Subaru Radio Reception Problem

I have a 2005 Subaru Outback. About a month ago, I started my car in the morning and the regional npr radio station would not come in. I scanned the radio and it only picked up 2 stations. The cd worked fine and my iPod worked through an fm transmitter.

I took the car to the shop for other work and mentioned this issue. They found out the alternator went bad and thought that caused the problem with the radio.

I got a second opinion at a local electronics store and they think there is something wrong with the antenna and replacing the radio would not solve the problem.

I went back to the dealer and they could not figure out the issue. The electronics store guys think my only option is satellite radio.

I miss listening to npr and my regional community radio station. Does anyone have any advice before I buy into satellite radio?

The alternator has nothing to do with your poor radio reception. Period. You may have a bad antenna connection, or the first stage of the radio head unit may have gone bad. If you can get a cheap antenna and plug it in to the back of the radio to see if that makes things better. If so, then you know the problem is in the antenna or antenna wiring, if not, the radio is probably at fault. By the way, have you tried AM vs FM?

Satellite radio is nice. I have it in my car, but it is certainly not your only option. You can replace the stock radio if that turns out to be the problem with an inexpensive unit from Crutchfield (< $100) or replace the antenna and wiring if that is the problem. If you are not the handy type and don’t want to do any of this yourself, then I suggest you find a different car audio store to look into this. The one you have gone to seems more interested in selling you a system than fixing the problem.

The Roxette Tourism album. I could listen to that (did listen to it) for 18 months in my old pickup truck. The first song is How do You Do? Nothing else in the world like it. Things can never change on Cinnamon Street either. She (Marie Frederickson) sings her stuff HOT! Speaking of memories, I’m going to go listen to Grand Funk Railroad play Into the Sun. Maybe John Stewart and Stevie Nicks can play Gold too.

If the AM section has a problem also then most likely the problem is with the antenna connection. It may have just come loose. If the antenna is ok then the trouble is internal to the radio and you could have it fixed or get a used replacement unit from Ebay. Check out repair places on the net that you can sent it to. You could also get a new unit.

There may also be a preamp in the antenna circuit that is causing this trouble. I’m not sure if your model has that or not.

First off…stay away from the guy who said it’s the alternator. You drive a perfectly good running car in for someone to look at a radio problem and they say it’s the Alternator. If it was you’d be having a LOT more problems then radio reception.

Go to wallmart and buy yourself an antenna. Don’t install the new antenna…just unplug the old antenna and plug this one in. If your reception improves it’s the antenna…if not it’s the radio.

What kind of antenna do you have?? Fender mount??? Motorized??? Window???

Is your Ipod transmitter the type that plugs directly into the antenna on the back of the radio? If so I would suspect that unit is defective or the antenna connection is not in correctly. If its this type that directly plugs in simply remove it, plug antenna directly into radio and see if reception improves.

ensure that your radios LOCAL - DISTANCE button is not on. this button is usually marked loc/dx on the radio.

you haven’t said, but im assuming this is a stock radio from subaru?

look up in the owners manual to see how to change this setting. maybe you inadvertently hit the button.

both the mechanic and the electronics guys were full of BS, and only want to sell you something. (either a new radio, or some repairs that have NOTHING to do with this)