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Broken radio and climate control display 08 2.5i Limited


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Hi, new to the forum. Just bought my 2008 Legacy 2.5i limited. By the third time I drove it, the entire audio system doesn't work and the automatic climate control display is broken too. The auto climate control still works, I just can't see what it's doing. Took the car to the dealer, they won't do anything for me and want $450 to replace it with the same system which they can't even get til December. No way I'm doing that.


I want to replace the head unit with an aftermarket one. I don't need anything particularly flashy, just something that sounds good that I can play my iPod on.


My main concern is that replacing with an aftermarket radio won't fix the display issue for the climate control.


Any thoughts or suggestions on what head unit to buy and fixing the climate control display would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Apologies if this is covered elsewhere.

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Welcome, and congrats on your "new" Legacy.


In US and Canadian cars, the radio and HVAC are integrated into a single unit. Changing to an aftermarket HU means you must buy a JDM kit that has a replacement HVAC panel, with a fascia setup to install a double-DIN HU. See this thread:



Your only other alternative is to swap in a HU from another 2005-2009 Legacy or Outback. Any US or Canadian model will be plug-and-play (you'll want a 2007-up model to retain your aux input). See this page:



Before you do either of those, you might try pulling your HU and unplugging and reconnecting the face (it's a separate piece that plugs into the main body of the HU). It could just be that the contacts are dirty. While you have the HU out, also take a look at all of its harnesses. You never know what previous owners might have done back there.


Once upon a time, Subaru did offer just the face as a replacement/repair part. But even if those are still available, the price is likely well on the way to buying the JDM kit. And you don't know whether the problem is in your face unit or the main HU.

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The fuse is fine. Pulled the head unit out and nothing jumped out at me as wrong.


I'm just a little confused on what I need to replace it. What is a JDM kit? Can I buy whatever I HU (that fits the legacy of course) I want and the JDM kit is what fits it to the HVAC display?


I'm new to all this stuff, never had to deal with it before. I've poked around in that sticky thread, but it's so huge at this point it's kinda hard to dig into it.

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