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Radio amplifier problems 2016 Limited
Harmon Kardon radio with amp under front seat. Dealer replaced amp Feb.2016 and again Jan.2018.
Both times you heard a loud bang and crackling from the speakers even with radio turned off. Removed the fuse for silence.
The dealer claims the amp blows from moisture and corroded connections to the amp, from snow on your boots.
I use good quality floor mats and newspaper that I change frequently.
I am wondering if others living in snow belt country are having the same problem.
Could someone recommend a means to protect connections from moisture.
 

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Did the shop show you the corroded connections on the faulty amp they replaced?

Coating the connections with dielectric grease could prevent moisture from getting to the contacts.

Bobby...
['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Bobby, Thank you for the quick replay and your suggestion of coating the connections with dielectric grease. The shop didn't show me the corroded connections on the faulty amp. I believe what the dealer is telling me is a lot of BS, my carpets are bone dry anywhere near the amp.
I am just curious if any other are having this problem.
Keith
 

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I don't buy the corrosion from snow boots, etc. I have an aftermarket amp under my seat (and did in my prior Impreza also) and never had any issues. I live in the Pacific NW where it is rainy or snowy half the year.
 

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Subaru Forester Harman Kardon amplifier corrosion

I have the same problem with my forester 2014. Dealer replaced it twice and since Dec 2017, the stereo is off again ( 3rd time). All the 3 times, I hear multiple loud bangs or cracklings then no sound. the dealer told me that it is moisture from my carpet. Last time, I asked and see the replaced amp, and it was completely damaged by corrosion. It is a very sensitive appliance that should not be installed at 10" from wet carpet under our climatic conditions

Subaru should keep replace it and change the location. That is all.I have the same problem with my forester 2014. Dealer replaced it twice and since Dec 2017, the stereo is off again ( 3rd time). All the 3 times, I hear multiple loud bangs or cracklings and shot off. the dealer told me that it is moisture from my carpet. Last time, I asked and see the replaced amp, and it was completely damaged by corrosion. It is a very sensitive appliance that should not be installed at 10" from wet carpet.

Subaru should change the location that is all.
 

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For those of you who had this issue, how often did you have passengers get into the rear left seat while it was snowing/wet out? I'm wondering if this is more prevalent with those who have passengers in the back or if it's mostly due to moisture from the front (driver's footwell area).
 

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I just registered to this forum because this is the exact situation that I'm now in. I heard some loud static and a bang which marked the end of my amplifier. This is now going to be the second time I replace it and the dealer also told me that moisture was the reason for this. Luckily I'm getting it replaced for free since it hasn't even been a year from the previous occurance.

For those of you who had this issue, how often did you have passengers get into the rear left seat while it was snowing/wet out? I'm wondering if this is more prevalent with those who have passengers in the back or if it's mostly due to moisture from the front (driver's footwell area).
I rarely have anyone sit behind me because that's where I normally place backpacks/gym bags. My friends normally sit on the right side of the car. So if moisture is the cause of all this then it would most likely be the snow I drag into the driver's area.
 

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My 17 is in the shop for this issue currently and I also rarely have a passenger behind me. The connector is facing towards the front of the car so it seems to me the moisture is getting in from the front seat foot well. In addition to killing itself the amp also damaged parts of the wiring harness so I am told my car is unsafe to drive until they get replacement parts in which are no where to be found in the entire US. I am in some **** bucket Dodge Journey that Subaru provided through Enterprise for an unknown amount of time and I am entirely dissatisfied that on a $38k car Subaru made such an oversight.
 

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I wonder if pulling all connections and sealing with dielectric grease would help mitigate this, or if the origin is moisture intrusion into the amp itself by some other means.
 

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My forester has the exact same problem. I’m on my 3rd amp, amp only last 1.5 years. The carpet never gets wet I have weather tech floor mats. I’ll never buy another Subaru dealer wants almost over $700 to replace.
 

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2018 Forester Radio

First, I'm a newbie here and I've read posts in this thread but none exactly like my experience. I purchased a 2018 Forester end of November 2017. Then one Sunday in December, I had driven a short distance-with the radio on-when I heard a noise that sounded like a snowball hitting the rear passenger door (it wasn't). Continuing, I heard similar sounds which I now refer to as pops, bangs. At the first exit, a sudden deafening set of static and assorted high-pitched alarming noises erupted. I exited the parkway and parked. I wondered if all the speakers had blown and as the noises continued, if the car was about to explode. I turned the car off, then on again more than once but the noises and bangs continued. Turned the radio off and on and off again. At one point, I thought the siege had ended and drove a few feet only to have it happen again. And then, the noises stopped and an eerie silence took over. I took my car in to Service that Tuesday and drove away in a loaner. A week later I was told they could not replicate the situation and found NOTHING wrong. However, I was warned it could happen again. Off I drove with a working radio. Until Feb 7 and it happened again. I'm about to take my car in for Service tomorrow. Since the last round of bangs, and static, I've had a week plus of similar noises, no sound at all, popping noises from the radio when I turn the car on, popping noises during a drive, and even the occasional tune getting through. Anyone???
 

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I believe you have the same issue, the first time my amp was dying I was bombarded with the deafening static that you mentioned (normally only when I started the car). The dealer also told me they couldn't replicate the issue, eventually I caught it on video and sent it to them and they had the head mechanic take a closer look who then told me it was my amp. This time around I'm not getting any static. Just silence.
 

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Thank you for replying. Apparently, I'm not alone at least. I will follow up after my visit to Service tomorrow. Congratulation on catching it on video. I tried to record it when it happened this month, but did not do a very good job.
 

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Thank you for replying. Apparently, I'm not alone at least. I will follow up after my visit to Service tomorrow. Congratulation on catching it on video. I tried to record it when it happened this month, but did not do a very good job.
And, I also don't buy the wet carpet/moisture theory,and have never had any passengers in the back. The car is not even 3 months old yet.
Also I did not mention the one other problem I had - because in light of this one, it's minor - but at one point, after loading the trunk for a trip in early December, it would not open when I got to my destination. I was told something must have blocked the receiver when I tried the remote, and then tried opening it from inside the car.
Of course, the trunk opened at the dealership after a couple of attempts.
 

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Just had my amp blow in my 2017 Limited. Sounded like the speakers were all going to pop! Same song and dance at the dealer - corroded contacts caused by moisture. They blamed it on my after market floor liners (3D from Costco.ca) They submitted a warranty claim with Subaru Canada which was approved quickly. At this point I think Subaru knows they've got a design problem, but their easiest fix is to replace the amp.

Has anyone done any mods to avoid this so called moisture problem?? I'm tempted to contact Subaru customer service and voice my concerns.
 

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anyone with the problem able to take a picture of their connectors to know which ones are getting corroded? I would assume prevention would be as simple as throwing in some dielectric grease into the connectors.
 

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Just had my amp blow in my 2017 Limited. Sounded like the speakers were all going to pop! Same song and dance at the dealer - corroded contacts caused by moisture. They blamed it on my after market floor liners (3D from Costco.ca) They submitted a warranty claim with Subaru Canada which was approved quickly. At this point I think Subaru knows they've got a design problem, but their easiest fix is to replace the amp.



Has anyone done any mods to avoid this so called moisture problem?? I'm tempted to contact Subaru customer service and voice my concerns.


How is a 3D mold all-weather mat gonna hurt that? If anything would help.

At least they are fixing it. I hate that when a shop blames you but still fixes it. Being phony, acting as to make themselves out as flexible friendly bending over backwards for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Just had my amp blow in my 2017 Limited. Sounded like the speakers were all going to pop! Same song and dance at the dealer - corroded contacts caused by moisture. They blamed it on my after market floor liners (3D from Costco.ca) They submitted a warranty claim with Subaru Canada which was approved quickly. At this point I think Subaru knows they've got a design problem, but their easiest fix is to replace the amp.

Has anyone done any mods to avoid this so called moisture problem?? I'm tempted to contact Subaru customer service and voice my concerns.
You should call Subaru and voice your concerns. I am going on 6 weeks without my car because of this dumb design fault. They have replaced the amp twice, the head unit once, 1 wiring harness, and they are attempting to replace another wiring harness once they receive the part. If they can't figure this issue out I will be selling my forester as soon as it goes out of warranty because the parts bill for this repair alone has got to be north of $2k.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update since my amp was replaced Jan.03/18

The dealer claims, they don’t have a problem with the amp.
I would be very happy to refer this thread to them if I have a future issue, just to prove there is an issue.
I sent a registered letter to SUBARU Canada and my dealer regarding my concerns with the amp problems and possible future problems.
I never received a reply from either.
I sealed all connections with dielectric grease.
I have been very vigilant in checking my front carpet, never even damp. My vehicle is parked in a heated garage and I very seldom have passengers in the rear left seat.
 

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I might have missed it, but do you mean that you have had amp failures, even AFTER applying dielectric grease to the connections and being more careful?

Or, are you doing this all now, not wanting to have it fail yet again?
 
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