Harman Audio / Infotainment: Troubleshooting Audio Related Concerns – 2017-2019 Subaru

NUMBER: 15-231-18R
DATE: 08/21/18
REVISED: 09/05/18

APPLICABILITY: 2017-2019MY Impreza
2018-19MY Crosstrek
2018-19MY Legacy and Outback
2019MY WRX and WRX STI
2019MY Ascent
2018-19MY BRZ
SUBJECT: Harman Audio / Infotainment: Troubleshooting Audio Related Concerns



This bulletin provides troubleshooting steps to use when diagnosing specific and general audio/sound related concerns.  Please start by completing the Harman Investigation Guide-Questionnaire as it gathers important details which will assist you with this diagnosis and is required should the condition not be resolved by this troubleshooting.  Once the questionnaire is completed, follow the question flow based on the customer concern.   Answer each related question noting the results to each in detail while performing the diagnostics.  Review the entire bulletin before beginning to understand the flow for the listed concerns.  If the concern you have is not listed, check the Service Manual:  Infotainment (Diagnostics) > Diagnostics with Phenomena section as a starting point.



1) Confirm the condition as reported by the customer.

2) If the concern is for no audio is heard, answer the questions under item 2 (a-f). If not, skip this item and proceed to Item 3 below.

a. Check if the MUTE mode is turned on. If not, go to (b). NOTE:  If MUTE was on, turn it off and confirm normal system operation.

b. Check the volume adjustment. Does the system display the volume indicator when the volume knob (or volume steering switch) is adjusted? (See image to the right and check each controller).

volume indicator

c. Check each audio source option. What source(s) do or do not have audio? (See figure below showing Audio Source Widget in the upper right corner).  Does the audio widget in the top right corner of the screen show the correct source?  Note the results for each as you confirm both the widget display and, if sound is produced.

audio source

d. Does the system show indication that playback is occurring? For example, if using a media device (CD, iPod, USB, etc.) does the playback timer update?

i. If using a tuner (AM, FM, SXM), is there station data displayed and is it updating?

e. If the vehicle is equipped with a Harman/Kardon amplifier, go over items i through iii below:

i. Confirm connections are proper between HU and Amplifier.

ii. Does disconnecting and reconnecting the amplifier address the concern?

iii. Does disconnecting and reconnecting the head unit address the concern?

NOTE: If concern is not resolved after performing steps i through iii, perform a swap of each component with a known good amplifier and head unit (see IMPORTANT CAUTION below) one by one.  Swap the amplifier first.  Check if the concern is addressed.  If condition persists, swap the head unit (see IMPORTANT CAUTION below ).  If a component swap addresses the concern, request an exchange for the suspect component.

f. Follow the Service Manual: Infotainment (Diagnostics) > Diagnostics with Phenomena for SOUND DOES NOT COME OUT FROM THE SPEAKER. Note the results for each of the 6 steps associated with this diagnostic troubleshooting.

IMPORTANT CAUTION: Always disconnect the Telematics Data Communication Module (DCM) BEFORE any swapping of head units. DCMs must NEVER be swapped or the customer’s services will not function and DCM replacement may be required to resolve.

3) If the concern is for audio quality, answer the questions under item 3 (a-c). If not, skip this item and proceed to item 4 below.

See the image below for Line Diag display of Audio Check used in this diagnosis.

Line Diag display

a. What source(s) have the audio quality concern? Describe the concern (please capture a video, if possible).

i. For tuner (AM/FM/SXM/DAB -digital audio broadcast), is the concern on a specific frequency/channel? Please list the frequencies/channels.

ii. For media (USB, BTSA- Bluetooth steaming audio, CD, etc.), list the devices used, the file type (mp3, mp4, cda, aac, etc.).

b. Is the concern heard in each audio channel? Adjust balance and fade to confirm.  Balance and fade can be adjusted by going to Home Screen > Settings > Sound > EQ.  Drag the crosshair to each corner of the vehicle to check each channel for audio output (see image below).

Drag the crosshair

c. If the concern is only observed while listening to certain audio channel(s), perform items i and ii below.

i. Confirm connections from head unit to speakers are not damaged.

ii. If the vehicle is equipped with an Harman/Kardon amplifier, confirm the connections between amplifier and speakers are not damaged.

If the issue persists, try a known good component from a like vehicle.  If component swap addresses the concern, request an exchange for the suspect component.

IMPORTANT CAUTION: Always disconnect the Telematics Data Communication Module (DCM) BEFORE any swapping of head units. DCMs must NEVER be swapped or the customer’s services will not function and DCM replacement may be required to resolve.

4) If the concern is for a buzzing noise, answer the questions under item 4 (a-d) below. If not, skip this item and proceed to item 5  Describe the concern (please capture a video, if possible).

a. Is the vehicle equipped with an Harman/Kardon amplifier? If yes,  return to item 2-f above.

b. What audio source(s) can the noise be heard on?

c. Compare the same source(s) and, if applicable, use the same media devices (CD, iPod, USB, etc.) in a like vehicle to determine if the concern occurs.

d. If the buzzing noise is confirmed when using certain media devices (USB, iPod, CD, etc.) try a similar device. Is the concern still reproducible? If not, gather details on the suspect device such as model, device software version (if applicable), device content such as file types, if this is a CD is it a copied CD? Data disc? Commercially sold CD?

5) If the concern is for other audio issues, please describe how to duplicate the concern (please capture a video, if possible).

IMPORTANT CAUTION: Always disconnect the Telematics Data Communication Module (DCM) BEFORE any swapping of head units. DCMs must NEVER be swapped or the customer’s services will not function and DCM replacement may be required to resolve.

6) If the above steps do not resolve the customer’s concern, complete a fresh Harman Investigation Guide Questionnaire documenting the customer’s concern and the results of each diagnostic step in this bulletin. If possible, capture a video of the condition then contact the SOA Techline to review for next steps.  Techline will request you send the completed questionnaire, step by step bulletin results and any videos of the condition.



For vehicles within the Basic New Car Limited Warranty period or covered by an active Subaru Added Security Classic or Gold plan, this repair may be submitted using the following claim information:

Labor Description Labor Operation # Labor
ZRN-43 Plus / Mid
ZRO-43 High (w/ Navi)



  • SOA strongly discourages the printing and/or local storage of service information as previously released information and electronic publications may be updated at any time.
  • Always check for any open recalls or campaigns anytime a vehicle is in for servicing.
  • Always refer to STIS for the latest service information before performing any repairs.

NUMBER: 15-231-18R
REVISED: 09/05/18



Download (PDF, 625KB)

NUMBER: 15-231-18
DATE: 08/21/18



Download (PDF, 624KB)


Bestseller No. 1
Pioneer AVH-1300NEX Multimedia DVD Receiver with 6.2" WVGA Display/Apple CarPlay/Built-in Bluetooth/SiriusXM-Ready/AppRadio Mode +
  • Multimedia DVD receiver with 6.2" WVGA display, Apple carplay, built-in Bluetooth, siriusxm-ready and appradio mode +
  • Apple CarPlay Compatible. Crossover Network HPF/LPF
  • Appradio mode+ compatible. Spotify, works with Pandora, siriusxm-ready
  • Hands-free calling and audio streaming
  • Wireless Remote Control NOT Included
SaleBestseller No. 2
Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS Navigator System with Lifetime Maps, Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions, Direct Access, Driver Alerts, and Foursquare Data
  • DRIVER ALERTS - Receive alerts for upcoming sharp curves, speed changes, school zones, a fatigue warning, nearby red light and speed cameras and more
  • EASY TO USE - Dedicated GPS navigators display current street, current speed, speed limit and arrival time
  • GARMIN REAL DIRECTIONS - Guides like a friend, using recognizable landmarks, buildings and traffic lights. Display type : WQVGA color TFT with white backlight
  • FOURSQUARE - Preloaded data from Foursquare adds millions of new and popular stores, restaurants and more. Display resolution 480 x 272 pixels
  • DIRECT ACCESS - Simplifies navigating to select complex destinations, such as malls and airports ; rechargeable lithium-ion. Battery life up to 1 hour
Bestseller No. 3
Garmin 010-01681-02 DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S GPS w/Smart Features (Renewed)
  • Includes all original accessories plus a 1 Year warranty
  • Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S GPS w/ Smart Features
  • The DriveSmart 61 navigator is loaded with helpful driver alerts, live services and up-to-date content so you can always drive with confidence. The future is on your Garmin. Just look ahead and drive.
  • In The BOX INCLUDES: Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S GPS | Vehicle Suction Cup Mount | Vehicle Power Cable | USB Cable | Quick Start Manual | Limited 1-Year Warranty
Bestseller No. 4
BOSS Audio BV9386NV Navigation - Double Din GPS, Bluetooth Audio and Hands-Free Calling, 6.2 Inch Touchscreen LCD Monitor, MP3, CD, DVD Player, USB/SD Ports, AUX Input, AM/FM Radio Receiver
  • GPS NAVIGATION: Built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) Includes Coverage Of All 50 States, Puerto Rico And Pre-loaded Point Of Interest. The Text-To-Speech Guides you To Your Final Destination. View Maps In 2D As Well As 3D
  • BLUETOOTH: Answer Calls With Just One Push Of a Button. Make Calls And Be Hands-Free With No Distractions. No Need To Hold Your Phone Ever Again. You Can Also Play And Control Your Music And Apps Like Spotify / Pandora Wirelessly
  • MEDIA PAYBACK: Watch Your Choice Of Videos Through The DVD Player, Play Music Through Your Bluetooth Device, Pop In a CD or Use The USB And SD Ports For More Audio Alternatives. Tune Into The AM/FM Radio Stations For Up To Date Music/News/Sports And More.
  • AUXILIARY INPUT: This Double din head unit Is Compatible With The Audio Output From Smartphones As Well As MP3 Players. Even More Ways to Chill. The built-in DVD player lets you play DVD, CD, MP3, MP4, VCD, JPEG and WMA formatted discs through this system
  • INPUTS: USB / SD Ports, AUX Input. Connect a Rearview Camera (Sold Separately). The Steering Wheel Interface Allows You To Use The Existing Functions On Your Steering Wheel (Interface Module Sold Separately. We Recommend The Metra ASWC-1).
Bestseller No. 5
Jensen VX7020 6.2 inch LCD Multimedia Touch Screen Double Din Car Stereo Receiver with Built-In Navigation, Bluetooth, CD/DVD Player & USB/microSD Ports
  • BUILT-IN BLUETOOTH WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY - your double DIN car stereo head unit multimedia receiver will easily pair with the vast majority of Bluetooth devices allowing you to make and receive all your calls Hands Free
  • 6.2 INCH LCD TFT HIGH RESOLUTION TOUCH SCREEN - your large 6.2 inch LCD high resolution touch screen display provides a comfortable viewing experience while keeping all your favorite content within fingers reach
  • MUSIC STREAMING & VIDEO PLAYER - not only will you be able to view & control your SiriusXM, Pandora, iHeartRadio & Spotify apps from the home screen you will also be able to stream wirelessly music from your Apple or Android devices and play great movies
  • iGO PRIMO NAVIGATION - was developed specifically for automotive navigation and will display vibrant easy to read road maps with 11 million points of interest and the Naviextras Web Support will make sure you are constantly updated on all map features
  • HDMI/MHL CONNECTIVITY - will allow you to connect your Bluetooth device wirelessly and mirror its content on the large 6.2 inch LCD TFT display
Bestseller No. 6
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
  • Features high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix for improved performance and reception in heavy tree cover or deep canyons
  • Keeps track of routes, tracks and waypoints, and heart rate with add on heart rate monitor (sold separate). Uses standard AAA batteries. 2 required.
  • TracBack feature retraces user's path on the easy-to-read LCD display;Display resolution 100 x 64 pixels;Battery life Up to 17 hours in GPS mode;Track Log 10000. Display size : 1.42 x 0.91 inches
  • Supports dual position readout so user can view current location in multiple formats. Audible tones. Hold the compass level when navigating to ensure maximum accuracy
  • Features trip computer, sunrise/sunset times, hunting/fishing information, electronic compass and barometric altimeter
Bestseller No. 7
Garmin 010-01539-01 DriveSmart 50LMT GPS Navigator with Dash-Mount Bundle - (Renewed)
  • Includes all original accessories plus a 1 Year warranty
  • Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT GPS Navigator
  • In The BOX INCLUDES: Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT | Lifetime maps and traffic (indicated by inLMTin after model number on the box) | Lifetime traffic antenna/vehicle power cable | Vehicle suction cup mount | USB cable | Quick start manual | Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Hard EVA Case with Zipper for Tablets and GPS - 5 Inch | Universal Weighted GPS Navigation Dash-Mount
Bestseller No. 8
Car GPS, 7 inches 8GB Navigation System for Cars Lifetime Map Updates Touch Screen Real Voice Direction Vehicle GPS Navigator
  • Multi-language real directions guides rich features like a friend, video, audio, pictures. Receive alerts for upcoming sharp curves, speed changes, school zones, a fatigue warning, nearby red light and speed cameras and more.
  • 7 inch large touch screen react fast with no delay. 8GB ROM plenty of room for you to storage the maps in case your need for intercontinent trips . And also comes with a car charger, back bracket mount and sunshade.
  • Free Lifetime Maps keeps you map current with updates up to twice a year. Please check the instruction in the box to update the map or contact us via Amazon message for further information.
  • You can customize a better route according to your vehicle's weight, length, height and width, thus avoiding the roads which have width restrictions or height restriction or weight restriction, etc.
  • We offer you 100% satisfaction 90 days hassle free money back guarantee, and lifetime warranty. If you have any questions about the product, please contact us via Amazon message. We will reply you in 24 hours.
SaleBestseller No. 9
FLOUREON GPS Navigator 7.0 inch GPS Navigation System with Lifetime US/Canada/Mexico Maps Spoken Turn-by-Turn Directions Direct Access Driver Alerts for Car Vehicle Truck Taxi (Black)
  • 7" Touch Screen LCD display,Resolution:800*480 pixels. Support External Micro SD(up to 32GB extra storage), Note: 2018 latest Map download: https://s3.amazonaws.com/ebayimg.appinthestore.com/001gary/North+America+2018.rar
  • This GPS navigator is mainly used for navigating and also has the optional of video paying, audio playing, FM,
  • Life time free maps update, feel free to contact us to update, pre-installed North & South America maps. Suitable for the use of car, truck, emergency ambulance, bus and taxi.
  • Built-in speaker with FM transmitter function,navigation voice and music will be sent directly to the car's speakers, volume adjustable for different need; voice remind the speed limit and making a turn, main street names(some remote areas might not be recognizable)
  • One Year Warranty and Friendly Customer Service,All Floureon GPS Navigators have 1 year warranty, 100% satisfaction and zero hassle returns guaranteed. We provide 7/24 friendly technological support and customer service.
Bestseller No. 10
Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator System with Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions,5 inch display, Lifetime Map Updates, Direct Access, and Speed Limit Displays
  • Foursquare - Search millions of additional new and popular restaurants, shops and more with Foursquare
  • Garmin Real Directions - Garmin Real Directions guides like a friend using landmarks and traffic lights
  • Direct Access - Simplifies navigating to select complex destinations, like malls and airports
  • Backup Camera Compatible - Take the worry out of reversing with the BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera (sold separately)
  • Free lifetime Map updates

Last update on 2019-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2019-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.