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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2019 Forester Sport with the Harmon Kardon sound system. The dash speakers and sub appear to be working properly, but the front door speakers are muted and the rear door speakers don't play at all.

I have tried the following based on other posts.
  • press power button for 10-seconds
  • press power, tune and eject buttons to reset
  • disconnect the battery for 2 minutes
  • unplug (and replug) both connections on the amp

None of the above made a difference.

I am out of warranty and am curious if anyone else has solved this problem on a budget. I have already thought of buying a new amp from Subaru or replacing it with an aftermarket version. Both alternative are upwards of $600. I am looking for a less expensive option.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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I would pull the door panels and inspect or remove the speakers and test them to be sure it is not a speaker issue.

It's not likely if it happened suddenly, but it beats replacing the amp and still having the same issue.

I'm not sure how the output is from the head unit, but if there's a low pass high pass midrange before the amp sees the audio, that could be bad also, only sending the higher frequency to the dash, and the lower to the sub.
 

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I wouldn’t think that multiple speakers would all suddenly fail simultaneously, so I would suspect the amp.

Like @FozzieBalou suggested, get it diagnosed by a dealership … even if you have to pay some amount, it still might be your best option.
 
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Once you have a dealership diagnosis, contact Subaru of America for goodwill $$$ support. They’ve helped me out every time I’ve had an out of warranty issue with my 2019 Forester. (I’ve got 67k mikes so the bumper to bumper ended long ago.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for all the suggestions. I called a nearby dealer and they said it would cost $160 to diagnose the problem since I am out of warranty. Once diagnosed, the $160 could go toward the actual repair. Given there is a TSB for the audio system already, I think my chance of getting Subaru America to do something is plausible. I haven't had good experience with them stepping up in the past, but it's worth a try.
 

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Subaru Forester Touring 2019 AWD
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Thank you for all the suggestions. I called a nearby dealer and they said it would cost $160 to diagnose the problem since I am out of warranty. Once diagnosed, the $160 could go toward the actual repair. Given there is a TSB for the audio system already, I think my chance of getting Subaru America to do something is plausible. I haven't had good experience with them stepping up in the past, but it's worth a try.
Hello, I’m in the same boat as you. I saw this post and responses. I called Subaru and they emailed me a $350 coupon. When I took it to Subaru they charged me a $280 electrical diagnosis fee even though I told them there was a TSB. He wouldn’t see the print out but said they’d pull it up from there end. I bet he raised the diagnostic fee because of the coupon.

They checked had it for hours. I took an Uber home. I get a call that the technician stated all speakers were working. …. Really? I had the service advisor go back and check. 30 mins later I get another call with an apology. Tech checked another ladies car by mistake.

A couple of hours later I call them for an update. Service tech states it needs a new amplifier.

He said he would order it and it should come in a week. Im not on Warranty. $285 “electrical diagnostic fee”. $403 for amplifier. $140 for installation. Minus $350 coupon so they want me to pay $478 before tax. I said okay but now I’m regretting telling him ok over phone.

I’m wondering if I can cancel this. I’d rather save that money for anything else that might arise.

or Should I replace amplifier to avoid other issues in other speakers. I also have a bad feeling that new amplifier might not fix speakers if they are blown so that would be more money.
I’m so conflicted.
 

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@Jocy31, if the amplifier does not fix it, and if they say it's your speakers now.... tell them you aren't paying for it. to reinstall your original, and take it to somewhere that does free installs and have good speakers installed.

Reading a few other threads on this subject, it seems hit and miss between speakers and the amp.
 

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Factory reset the head unit.
I did this. It didn’t work. I saw other threads and even unplugged the amplifier and back but nothing changed.

@Jocy31, if the amplifier does not fix it, and if they say it's your speakers now.... tell them you aren't paying for it. to reinstall your original, and take it to somewhere that does free installs and have good speakers installed.

Reading a few other threads on this subject, it seems hit and miss between speakers and the amp.
Thank you for this advise. I will be doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I stopped by the dealer yesterday. I thought an "in person" conversation might help. To some degree it did. The service rep told me to contact Subaru of America. He said they sometimes help when the car is out of warranty.

I called Subaru of America when I got home. Sure enough, they said they may be able to help. They asked me to have the diagnosis completed and they will follow up with the dealer to see what can be done. Subaru of America hasn't committed to anything yet. Mostly because they aren't confident what needs to be fixed. But at least they are considering helping out. I don't take the car in until next month. I'll report back then.
 

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I stopped by the dealer yesterday. I thought an "in person" conversation might help. To some degree it did. The service rep told me to contact Subaru of America. He said they sometimes help when the car is out of warranty.

I called Subaru of America when I got home. Sure enough, they said they may be able to help. They asked me to have the diagnosis completed and they will follow up with the dealer to see what can be done. Subaru of America hasn't committed to anything yet. Mostly because they aren't confident what needs to be fixed. But at least they are considering helping out. I don't take the car in until next month. I'll report back then.
I decided to opt out of fixing it. I paid the diagnostic fee and restock fee for the amplifier using the coupon Subaru sent me. I just can't justify paying close to $500 after coupon a $350 coupon for an amplifier that may or may not fix the rear speakers. As long as my front and subwoofers work I'm fine with it. Maybe one day i'll get an amplifier and take it somewhere but right now I have to focus on other things.

This also made me do some research and I am contemplating on YAA VSC (ext warranty) I've been doing tons of research on it and it closely mimics the bumper to bumper. They work with Subaru and other mechanics that accept AAA and some other one. Not getting it for the amplifier issue, but now i'm nervous of some other worst surprise.

Good luck with your issue
 

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Hello, I’m in the same boat as you. I saw this post and responses. I called Subaru and they emailed me a $350 coupon. When I took it to Subaru they charged me a $280 electrical diagnosis fee even though I told them there was a TSB. He wouldn’t see the print out but said they’d pull it up from there end. I bet he raised the diagnostic fee because of the coupon.

They checked had it for hours. I took an Uber home. I get a call that the technician stated all speakers were working. …. Really? I had the service advisor go back and check. 30 mins later I get another call with an apology. Tech checked another ladies car by mistake.

A couple of hours later I call them for an update. Service tech states it needs a new amplifier.

He said he would order it and it should come in a week. Im not on Warranty. $285 “electrical diagnostic fee”. $403 for amplifier. $140 for installation. Minus $350 coupon so they want me to pay $478 before tax. I said okay but now I’m regretting telling him ok over phone.

I’m wondering if I can cancel this. I’d rather save that money for anything else that might arise.

or Should I replace amplifier to avoid other issues in other speakers. I also have a bad feeling that new amplifier might not fix speakers if they are blown so that would be more money.
I’m so conflicted.

Update: so I did not pay for the new amplifier. After the first quote for some reason the service manager added more, bringing up closer to $800. I politely declined.

I did leave my honest review. I was disappointed. Service manager kept my car for over 5 hours to do an "electrical diagnostic" and completely blew off the TSB, which I am aware are not recalls.. still the amp came defective from factory. Anyhow, Subaru called me and since I was just out of the warranty by a few and way low on milage, they would do the amp switch for free. She contacted the dealership which did the work in an hour today. They did treat me so much better today, granted the same service manager was not there today.

It fixed the problem and won't risk a defective amp blowing my speakers, which were all still good.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, I took my car in to have it diagnosed. After a couple of days (not hours) they told me it was the speakers. Since the dealer cost for replacement speakers is a bit much, I ordered some aftermarket ones from Crutchfield. The rear speakers work fine now, but the ones in the front doors still seem muted. It sounds like there is a crossover cutting off the highs. Has anyone else experienced this? I have the HK system with the amp.
 
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