Subaru Radio Not Working – 4 Reasons and Solutions!

Firstly, when the radio unit is damaged, the Subaru radio may stop working. Secondly, if the radio of your Subaru is facing sound problems, it won’t work properly. Thirdly, a malfunctioning infotainment system/display of the Subaru can cause this issue. Finally, faulty components can cause the Subaru radio not to work.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to know all the reasons, symptoms, and solutions to your subaru radio not working, read the article entirely.

Subaru Radio Not Working: Quick Fixes

The table below will give you a brief idea about the reasons and fixes for a Subaru radio that’s not working-

Radio unit damagedBlown fuse
Water damage
Replace fuse

Dry out and replace the entire radio unit
Sound issuesFaulty wiring

Blown speakers and amplifiers

Radio receiving poor signals
Inspect and replace damaged wirings

Check and replace the damaged speakers and amplifiers

Adjust and replace the antenna
Display malfunctioningThe sound coming out but there is no display

Software glitches/bugs

Damaged screen
Update the radio’s firmware version

Reset the radio

Replace the LCD screen
Faulty componentsSpecific buttons are not working correctly


No power
Replace the faulty components of the radio

Ensure ventilation of the radio

Check and replace car battery

Now get ready for some detailed solutions to the problems mentioned above.

Subaru Radio Not Working: Detailed Solutions

Now let’s get to the step-by-step guidelines to get the Subaru radio to work properly again.

Reason 1: Radio Unit Damaged

If the radio unit of your Subaru is damaged, the radio of the Subaru can be unresponsive and lead to shutdown.

Radio Unit Damaged
Source: upgradedvehicle

The two major damages the radio unit can face are a blown fuse and water damage. A blown fuse can disrupt the connection between the radio and your car battery. 

This situation is identical in other cars too. For example, to troubleshoot the Jeep Renegade radio problems, checking the radio fuse is essential.

On the other hand, water damage can severely harm the radio’s power unit and its components, causing failure.

Solution 1 of 2: Replace the Fuse

To change the Subaru radio’s fuse-

  • Start off by locating the fusebox. To do that, check underneath the passenger seat.

    Then read the manual on the fuse box to know which exact fuse is responsible for the radio in your Subaru. Alternatively, you can also find it in the owner’s manual. Generally, the fuses are of 15A in the box #2 and #9.
  • Then, inspect the fuses. If the fuses are blown, it should be an open-end fuse. Take out the fuse and replace the blown fuse with a new 15A fuse.
  • Finally, check the radio to see if the radio works all right and gets power. 

Solution 2 of 2: Dry out the Entire Radio Unit

Take the entire radio unit and dry it completely. Disconnect the Subaru radio unit from the car’s dashboard and dry the radio for 48 – 72 hours in a dry room. Then reinstall it.

To minimize the chances of the radio unit getting damaged, you can clean your car stereo and maintain it regularly.

Reason 2: Sound Issues

For sound issues in the radio, look for a few symptoms like faulty wiring, blown-out amps and speakers, etc.

radio sound issues
Source: Lifewire

Solution 1 of 3: Inspect and Replace Damaged Wirings

Remove the Subaru radio from the vehicle’s dashboard and tighten/ reconnect any cables that have loose connections or are disconnected. Replace the wires if needed.

Solution 2 of 3: Check and Replace the Damaged Speakers and Amplifiers

To ensure that the speakers and amplifiers are getting power, check the resistance and voltage of both by using a multimeter. If they’re damaged, replace them.

Solution 3 of 3: Adjust and Replace the Antenna

If the antenna is damaged, replace it to solve the issue when you are not hearing audio from the Subaru radio.

Reason 3: Display Malfunctioning

The third reason behind this issue is display malfunction. The display malfunction can happen due to software/hardware glitches. Moreover, a damaged LCD panel causes the radio not to work.  

Solution 1 of 3: Update the Radio’s Firmware Version

Updating the radio’s firmware version is the most convenient way to get rid of the software glitches. Here are the steps:

  • Park the vehicle with the parking brake fully engaged. Also, the gear should be neutral if your Subaru is MT and park if your Subaru is CVT.
  • Access the infotainment system go to ‘settings’, and go to ‘general’. Then connect it with a WiFi source.
  • Go to settings again and click ‘Check for Updates’. If there’s an update available, ‘Software Update Ready to Install’ will pop up on the screen.
    If nothing pops up, then the firmware version is up to date.
  • Select ‘Download Now’ to download the latest firmware update. It will require close to 100MB of file downloads. After downloading, keep your car on while it installs the update.

    This process may reboot the infotainment system a couple of times. After that, when it shows the ‘I Agree’ screen after turning it on, your update is complete. 

You can also update the firmware without WiFi using a USB flash drive. Download the latest firmware version from to the flash drive and connect it to the system and follow the on-screen prompts to complete updating.

Display Malfunctioning
Source: carsales

Solution 2 of 3: Reset the Radio

Resetting the radio is another quick fix to get it working again. You can do a soft reset as well as a hard reset when it comes to Subaru radios.

To do a soft reset, simply hold down the power/volume knob for 10 to 15 seconds. The display will reboot and the infotainment system should be reinitialized.

If the soft reset’s ineffective, do a hard reset. Go to ‘General’ and then to ‘Settings’. Once you’ve located the ‘Factory Data Reset’ option, select it and then confirm a reset. 

Use this video as a reference if you’re having trouble following the instructions:

Solution 3 of 3: Replace the LCD Screen

You can take your car to the dealership to change the LCD screen. Replacing the entire infotainment system will cost around 1300$. On the other hand, replacing the screen will cost around 700$, plus labor costs.

Replacing components of the radio might take time. If you don’t want to wait too long or you want a better sound system in your car, get a portable radio. These portable Bluetooth radios will surely enhance your radio experience.

The Final Words

That’s all the information you need to know when you find your subaru radio not working. Hopefully, this article helped you fix all of your problems regarding the radio!

Always double-check amperage ratings and compatibility whenever you’re replacing a component of your radio. That way, you can avoid many problems in the future. Best of luck.


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