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Radio short?


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Hi all! Really hoping for some help on this one. 2005 Outback 3.0R.


After a short drive on a bumpy washboard dirt road my radio seems to have a short. Its totally random, not caused by bumps. The speakers randomly POP, really loud. The radio goes black and the climate control lcd screen shows some jumbled garbage and the lights on the buttons flash. Pushing the radio knob to turn it off and on again fixes the problem immediately and resumes what it was doing. The settings on the radio stay the same as well as the climate control. The a/c system or heating system continue to function normally even while the climate control panel is having a seizure. It can happen 5 times in a short drive, or it will go a couple days without happening. As far as I can tell it is totally random. I drove the last two weeks with the radio off, and it did not happen once.


I removed the radio and checked all the connections behind it. Everything looked good. No signs of anything loose. The radio was clean, very little dust. Reinstalled and made sure every plug was in properly. On the first drive after doing this it popped again, just like before.


Sooo I am somewhat lost. All I can think of is either its getting a power surge, and I need to check the fuses and plugs going into the radio. Or my radio is buggered and it needs to be replaced. Leaning towards the power supply to the radio since it effects the climate control as well. But then leaning back towards the radio since it doesn't happen when the radio is off.


Any advise would be much appreciated!

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Although I don't have this model and I'm not even sure if it's practical, can you remove the unit from the car and power it up on the bench to see if the same thing happens? Being an electronics tech I know some things that could cause this, but given the complexity of the unit and not being familiar, I'm not sure where to tell you to start. Although I would call up Subaru and see if they've heard of this issue.
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