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Old 10-17-2006, 10:53 AM   #1
Captain Graybeard
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Default Electrical/Radio issues...what to ask for...

Hey all,

I've got a 2003 WRX wagon (I'm the second owner) and have had the car for about a year. It has 40K miles.

The issues that I am having (and the previous owner had) are with the radio. It shuts itself off randomly or won't shut off at all. In the latter case, I have to disconnect the battery to shut the radio off. I have had the car into the dealer about 10 times now and the previous owner several times too. SOA regional tech guru looked at it twice. All work was and is still under warranty.

The dealers have replaced the radio with a new one 2 times (that makes 3 radios have been in the car), replaced the engine compartment and passenger compartment wiring harnesses, new ground(s), new antenna, new alternator, new power lead, etc. I am at the point now (I am expecting) that SOA will say they can't fix/resolve the problem. They have asked me what I think should be done. I have no idea. Since it may be more than the radio causing this problem I would like to have it solved. I get an aftermarket radio installed aftermarket and paid for by SOA, they may claim that their responsibility is over. If the problem is still there, I'm SOL. Is my resale value already screwed? I wasn't planning on keeping this car until its final days.

I can't keep taking it in every time this happens (it happened 5 times this past week, and I only drove the car 5 days out of that week) and I had to disconnect the battery twice to reset the radio.

Is it out of the question to think of having my car swapped for a similar mileage or equal blue book value car? They have suggested incentives on a new vehicle, but I don't want a new car payment.

I don't know what to expect for appropriate or meaningful resolution that is fair to me. Anyone have any advice? I am truly appreciative of any input.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:32 AM   #2
Cooter05WRX
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I know this sounds stupid but it happened on a nissan of mine. Have them check the ignition switch (where you put your key), I replaced mine on the nissan and it fixed it.
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Old 10-17-2006, 11:36 AM   #3
LastResort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooter05WRX View Post
I know this sounds stupid but it happened on a nissan of mine. Have them check the ignition switch (where you put your key), I replaced mine on the nissan and it fixed it.
12345!

I think it's pretty clear it's not the radio causing the problems, I'd have them start looking at relays as well, one is probably stuck.
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:38 PM   #4
racingfish
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40k and its under warranty still? ohhh your talkin about the 1 year/unlimited mile warranty
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:58 PM   #5
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40k and its under warranty still? ohhh your talkin about the 1 year/unlimited mile warranty
Since this has been an issue since the beginning, it stays under warranty until it gets fixed, regardless or time or mileage.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:36 PM   #6
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Ahhh thats a new one... gonna have to remember that one...
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:26 PM   #7
Jon [in CT]
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Graybeard View Post
... I am at the point now (I am expecting) that SOA will say they can't fix/resolve the problem. They have asked me what I think should be done. I have no idea.
...

Is it out of the question to think of having my car swapped for a similar mileage or equal blue book value car? They have suggested incentives on a new vehicle, but I don't want a new car payment.
...
I don't think it's out of the question to ask for a car swap. SOA ends up briefly owning many cars of your vintage and mileage right about now because they're coming off lease. Subaru usually auctions them off. Maybe they can earmark one of them as a swap for your lemon.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:33 PM   #8
racingfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon [in CT] View Post
I don't think it's out of the question to ask for a car swap. SOA ends up briefly owning many cars of your vintage and mileage right about now because they're coming off lease. Subaru usually auctions them off. Maybe they can earmark one of them as a swap for your lemon.
i think they (soa) would rather find out whats going on with the radio... then trade cars... and when and the person turns in their car, the bank is the one that picks them up. Dont know if subaru ever gets their hands on it.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
Captain Graybeard
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Thanks for the responses so far...

The car is at the stealership right now. The SOA case worker told me that the regional tech guy and the panasonic rep are working together to find out what is going on. IMHO, they will come up with zip again as there were so many other attempts to locate the problem. But it would be nice if they find something. I will keep an update here.

BTW the idea for swapping cars (I thought) would be so that they can take it to their highest level guys (if they want to) to fix it, and resell it at auction or whatever. At least the would have every opportunity to learn what the problem is without having to piss off a customer in doing so.

I should know today if there was anything found.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:28 AM   #10
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OK....Just updated from SOA representative. The tech played with the car and the SOA rep said there was no mention of them finding anything that was outstandingly wrong. So I am imagining that they ripped the dash apart went fishing for a problem and found nothing, but did some testing and they hope that by pulling stuff out and putting stuff back the problem will be solved. I am not encouraged.

They are also going to keep my car for 2 more days to see if they can get the radio to cut out again. They DID offer me a rental car, so that was good faith.

Panasonic rep said two out of the 4 radios that have been in the car were defects. The last 2 were fine though.

So I am planning on picking the car up tomorrow and the problem will probably re-surface shortly thereafter and we can do this drill alll over again

The SOA rep apologized for the hassles and acknowledged my frustration. I told her that the next time it's raining, to think about standing in a parking lot under the hood with a wrench undoing the battery cable to turn your radio off, then she will understand my frustration.

This SOA rep is the second one on this case for me. The first one did nothing for me. Didn't return calls, didn't return emails, etc. This new rep has called me repeatedly and I really feel that she is trying to resolve the case. So hats off to Kerry at SOA, a rep that represents.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:59 PM   #11
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Good luck, I'm still 100% absolutely convinced it's not the radio itself but the ignition or a relay. when it happens again and you need to turn of the radio, try pulling the fuse for it or the accessories instead of undoing the battery.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:44 PM   #12
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IIRC, at one point I did pull the fuse. In fact, I pulled (I think) all of the fuses (in the car fuses) one at a time to see if I could get the radio faceplate light to turn off with no luck.

Last resort...So are you saying that if the ignition switch was not OK it could be providing the constant power to the radio?

Just spoke to the mechanic working on my car. Nice guy, really seems to want to fix the problem and he's the most senior subaru mechanic they have. I told him about the ignition switch and he said they wouldn't rule that out. The mechanic is going to open up the steering column and look at the ignition switch today. And get this....panasonic told the mechanic that it is not possible for the faceplate to stay on with the car turned off/key out. The mechanic believes me so the next time this happens, I am going to stop by the dealership and we are going to take a picture and send it to panasonic

They did just put a new battery in my car at no charge!!!

The saga continues......
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:03 PM   #13
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Because 2 of the 4 radios were OK and still had the problem, I think we can conclude that issue is in the car. What I'm thinking is (and I could be wrong) is that the possibly the ignition is not correctly turning off the accessories when the key is removed, but after thinking about it, I would think that would leave other accessories on as well. I just don't know enough about how the ignition is wired to know if the ignition has a contact that is used exclusively for the radio. Are there any other symptoms? The other option is the a relay that is controlled by the ignition is getting stuck. I would have your dealer/mechanic look at the relays that are connected between the HU and the ignition.
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:47 PM   #14
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OK, I picked up the rex last night. From what the service desk guy told me, they pretty much did nothing but poke and prod around at wires. Oh yeah, and replace my battery for free. They said they will give me all the paperwork next week.....They did interface with Panasonic and Subaru or Panasonic wants yet another radio placed in the car. That will happen next week. I seriously doubt it's the radio. I will let them play the radio replacement exercise and then I will see when the next time the problem occurrs.

This really is getting ridiculous. Or is it just me? I think my dashboard has been torn open so many times that I am getting concerned about it getting loose and rattling sooner than it should. Is this a legitimate concern?

Thanks for all the responses so far.
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:12 PM   #15
Cooter05WRX
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I am sure they will put new clips in to hold the dash if it starts to get loose.
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:34 PM   #16
joecerv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooter05WRX View Post
I am sure they will put new clips in to hold the dash if it starts to get loose.
If not, bring your concern about the future rattles and have them install new clips, when the problem has been fixed.
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:51 PM   #17
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Talk to SOA, and see if you can take it too a specialist and have them bill SOA. They will more than likely say "No", but this is getting old I'd bet
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:25 PM   #18
Captain Graybeard
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Well, another new radio was placed in my rex last week. I drove the weekend without issue and today....poof, radio shuts off again. ALTHOUGH, this time, I turned it back on to find that the pre-sets were still there. So all power was not lost. Still another permutation of the same problem. AAAAARRRRRRGH. More calls, more emails......waiting......
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:19 PM   #19
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Not the stereo.....
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:40 PM   #20
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god, this must suck. I hope it gets resolved soon!
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:21 AM   #21
racingfish
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or save yourself the headache and get yourself an aftermarket radio.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:24 PM   #22
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Quote:
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or save yourself the headache and get yourself an aftermarket radio.
except that won't solve the problem if it's not in the radio.
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