2005 Legacy GX: stereo display: "Call"


Replaced my alternator in my 05 Legacy. Not by a Subaru dealer. Mechanic has worked on the car before. But this time, I saw a display on my radio panel “Call”. It stays on even when the car is not running. Stereo does not work. Previously, it did work.

The Subaru in my area of Quebec province is really bad. I don’t want to have to go to them unless no other options.

Anyone with a clue as to why this message in the stereo?

Thanks in advance, Betty

Have you asked the mechanic that replaced the alternator about this ?

Yep. I did. He has worked on this car in the past but isn’t enthused about it, I think.

When I picked up the car after the alternator replacement, I alerted him about the new error. He told me to go to the dealership because it was nothing he’d seen.

This is just a guess, but it is very possible that an access code has to be entered in order to be able to use the audio system after its electrical supply was interrupted. The folks at the dealership should be able to help, but first you should look in your Owner’s Manual to see if it mentions an access code.


In addition, you might check online at the Subaru website. Honda used to have a link to instructions on how to reset the audio system after it loses power. In addition to audio, the security system is likely part of the audio electronics. You likely need a code and have to follow a specific procedure to access the code entry screen.

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I expect VDC is correct, replacing alternator required disconnecting battery, which disabled radio. This probably seems like a weird feature, but is done by manufacturer to discourage radio theft. The idea is if thief steals radio, they won’t be able to sell it b/c it won’t work w/out the security code. So thieves don’t bother stealing the radio. Thieves could work-a-round this problem if it were easy to get the radio working again without going to dealership and proving who owns the car. Which is why that’s what you 'll likely have to do.

Sometimes the radio/stereo security code is inside the owner’s manual, or on a separate piece of paper stapled to the owner’s manual, or hand-written on the inside cover, etc.

I even seem to recall an old model (Honda, perhaps?) that had the radio code on a label inside the trunk,

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Subaru did not offer Bluetooth in 2005, I suspect this is an aftermarket radio that is malfunctioning.

If it is an aftermarket radio, it looks exactly like the model photos for my make and year. I bought this thing second-hand maybe 2009ish.

And it it is an aftermarket radio, I still cannot connect my ipod directly into the interface. No bluetooth. Just the 6 cd player. If I want to get fancy I could dust off my ipod 2nd gen and jam it into a holder of sorts that plays over radio air waves while powering up via cigarette lighter. In summary, I think this is the original stereo system.

If you decide to replace the radio, I think there are aftermarket versions available now that will play mp3 files from a usb stick. So if you have a favorite CD, just convert the tracks to mp3’s (using a desktop computer), then transfer to the usb memory stick, good to go, favorite music w/no moving parts. Works for Car Talk audio podcasts too :slight_smile:

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