Problems with the radio in the 2017 Outback

Asked by Jun 24, 2018 at 04:06 PM about the 2017 Subaru Outback

Question type: General

Are others having problems with the sound system in the 2017 Outback locking up, replicating the preset list, and making all other features  none functional? I've already been through 2 radios in 10 months

26 Answers


Yes. I've had this same problem. The radio goes crazy sometimes. Now it keeps dropping satellite every time I turn it off.

3 people found this helpful.

I called SiriusXM about the facts that when I hit list the only station that comes up is preview and why, even though I subscribed to the traffic/navigation features, I am steered into traffic jams. I was told that there is a compatibility problem with Subaru radios. Actually, the radio worked fine when I first bought my 2015 Outback, SiriusXM must have made the change which screwed everything up. Some marketing plan, huh?

6 people found this helpful.

I was having the same issue with my radio only showing the preview when I clicked on station list however my presets were working this morning my presets are not working and the radio doesn't seem to want to respond to changing from FM to Sirius... I called Sirius last week and they said there's a known issue with Sirius satellite radios and the service however this seems to be more of an issue with the radio itself. Anyone have any information?

5 people found this helpful.

I have been going back and forth with Sirius for a couple of days. I can only access channels by using the knob on the radio and when I hit list all i get is the ID station and channel 1. I put out an email to my dealer waiting to see if I get any help. Sigh

6 people found this helpful.

Spoke to the dealer, they are aware of an issue with serius and their head units. The guy mentioned some other issues to ... backup camera getting stuck on-screen, screen blanking out, etc. The hardware apparently has problems aside from poor technology implementation.

3 people found this helpful.

My 2016 Outback Limited has the same problem with Sirius: As of a month ago, it stopped working with the touch screen (although all other non-Sirius functions do). All I can do is use the tuning knob to scroll through the list of offerings. My list of50 plus stations disappeared and four music stations appeared. Incredibly inconvenient. Sirius claims they are working on it. Dealers have had reams of complaints, but they--rightly so--said it is a Sirius problem. Sirius offered me a $25 credit toward my next renewal. What I want is the issue fixed and a rebate on my current year's subscription for the service lost. (By the way, it did not affect my wife's 2018 Subaru Crosstrek.)

3 people found this helpful.

Sirius stations stopped working about a week ago (Sept 2018) on my 2015 Legacy. Works if I send an activation signal until I power of the car, then all channels are unsubscribed again.

2 people found this helpful.

Having the same problem on my 2016 outback...on line "chat" said they are working on it; offered $5.95 credit - all the touch functions are gone and can only access stations with the tuning know. ridiculous.

3 people found this helpful.

I am having the same issue. My list function only identifies three listings which provides 001, 002 and radio ID. I called Sirius and the person, who I could barely understand, said it was a radio problem but clearly it is not as every other feature of the radio works fine. Like everyone else, tuning is only possible with the dial. I just told Sirius to cancel the service when it expires which they probably will not do. Very poor customer service!

4 people found this helpful.

My subaru forester 18 is doing exact same. Stopped listing all but three channels.

1 people found this helpful.

My 2017 Outback has been doing the same thing! I'm disgusted!

1 people found this helpful.

Hi Subaru users. Actually I have been going back and forth with this problem. It isn't a Sirius issue, it is a Subaru issue. This is the information that I finally have gotten back from them: Dear Listener, Thank you for contacting SiriusXM. We are sorry to learn the difficulties that you have encountered. You are our valuable customer and we will do our best to keep you happy and satisfied. Subaru plans to have a software fix available by mid-December. The update will be installed at no charge for customers whose vehicles are still under their New Car Basic Warranty if they present it to a Subaru Retailer with this complaint. Anyone with a vehicle outside of the warranty coverage period will be evaluated case by case. Meanwhile, you are still able to listen by using the knob to tune or directly tuning to the channel of their choice. I hope this helps.

5 people found this helpful.

I just left the Subaru dealer after 2 and 1/2 hours waiting for this problem to be fixed. It is December 13. There is no fix. Dealer saying they haven’t seen this problem before!

1 people found this helpful.

left dealer after update, a couple hours,get home try radio ,same bs again ,hit list and get xm preview,oo2 pop hits and id,

i was told i would need to get a new radio at a cost of $900 lol


My 2016 Outback radio unsubscribes from Sirius every time the car is shut off. At startup, I get a "Ch.Unsubscribed" message and I have to call Sirius to have them send an activation code. This issue is 2 weeks old and began in Dec 2018 and no relief from Sirius except for the phone number to call for what turns out to be a temporary reactivation.

2 people found this helpful.

Subaru released a service bulletin on January 2, 2019, #15-205-16R, which was supposed to address the issue with the Sirius station list and also the lack of traffic information on the map. I just returned from 2 hours at the dealership; they had no luck getting the update to "take" on my 2016 Outback. They are pointing the finger at whoever manufactured their radios (I assume they know who that is), saying it must be a software issue. They did not charge me for the visit, which they could have, and their only suggestion is to go to Best Buy and have them install a new radio and see if that works. I'm serious.

1 people found this helpful.

Just came back from Subaru dealer. Took over 3 hours to update. At one point the service tech said if it doesn't work "we'll have to install a new radio". The tech returned to say that they were finally successful. I checked to see that indeed the Sirius listing came up and I was able to scroll to a cable news station. But! My iPhone can no longer connect!!! I called 800 Subaru tech support number and they are investigating issue. Ugh!

Update for Gen2 console set (2015 Outback) just released. Had installed on my outback and it fixed the problem with not recognizing commands for SiriusXM. See your dealer for update. Installed a week ago and no problems since.

No issues connecting up with iPhone via Bluetooth? "Hands Free" Siri call initiation working? Auto-recognition of iPhone when starting up? All above not working for me after update.


Here is my post this morning to the SiriusXM Facebook site: "I am looking for a class-action attorney to help with our SiriusXM issue. We own a 2015 Subaru Outback with SiriusXM installed from the factory. In the fall, the channel guide abruptly disappeared from the radio, meaning that the only way to tune it would be to use the tuning knob-- obviously a dangerous proposition while driving. We have had the vehicle in to our local Subaru dealer a number of times for attempted repairs and have discussed the issue with tech support at SiriusXM as well. Yesterday, we had the radio replaced along with a mass software update pushed by SiriusXM that was specifically designed to fix the issue and continue to have the same problem. While researching on line,we have found literally hundreds of similar complaints on CarGurus and other websites. As far as I can tell, in late summer, SiriusXM increased the number of channels they offer to the point that it exceeds the capacity of Subaru (as well as certain Chrysler models) to receive the data. Of course, they did this without contacting either Subaru or (more important) the customers, who, like us, have continued to faithfully pay their subscription fees for a product that is: 1. not fully functional, and 2. misrepresented in both their advertising and in information that is provided with the models. We believe that affected owners should be compensated for their inconvenience as well as holding SiriusXM responsible for an issue that is entirely their doing. " The "Customer Service" response from SiriusXM to my wife was to give her the phone number to call to cancel service. This is absolutely ridiculous-- SiriusXM has released an update that they KNOW is incompatible with a number of Subaru and Chrysler radios, yet continue to advertise their product in new Subaru vehicles. Subaru also knows of the incompatibility but is leaving their dealers hanging out there to suffer the wrath of customers. Appears to me that there needs to be litigation to get the issue resolved (sorry to you all for a long post!).

5 people found this helpful.

By the way, we had a brand new radio installed yesterday at Subaru that did not fix the problem.


Thank you for updating on this problem. In the meantime, you might want to consider that Costco has a subscription to Spotify Premium for $98.99 a year. I have decided to go this route. You can make your own music choices, just sayin. Good luck.

1 people found this helpful.

Same problem on my 2017 Outback. Love the car but this is terrible. I like the class action idea above.

1 people found this helpful.

Well, after reading posts,I know now not to bother with a 6th appointment at the dealership. I first had this serious Sirius problem (have 2017 Outback) last summer. I eventually complained to Sirius so much that the company sent me a check to cover my the balance of my prepaid plan. I fell for one of the many "deals" several months ago (was inundated with cheap subscription offer for "new" customers) and will now request another check to cover the latest subscription that fails to give me service. Over the last 3 months, the service worked for maybe 2-3 hours.

My 2017 outback radio system has been acting strange since last service. I'll be listening to a podcast via bluetooth and randomly it'll switch to another downloaded podcast. Anyone else having an issue like this? My 2005 outback would switch stations sometimes when I turned i took a sharp turn too. What's up Subaru?

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 1,204 nationwide Outback listings starting at $3,900.

Postal Code:

Subaru Outback Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
48 Great Deals out of 1,143 listings starting at $3,950
Used Honda CR-V
74 Great Deals out of 3,924 listings starting at $1,999
Used Subaru Crosstrek
265 listings starting at $12,995
Used Subaru Legacy
11 Great Deals out of 386 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota RAV4
78 Great Deals out of 3,021 listings starting at $5,499
Used Subaru Impreza
32 Great Deals out of 850 listings starting at $3,299
Used Toyota 4Runner
13 Great Deals out of 541 listings starting at $7,995
Used Toyota Highlander
23 Great Deals out of 1,327 listings starting at $2,500
Used Subaru XV Crosstrek
157 listings starting at $9,950
Used Toyota Tacoma
33 Great Deals out of 1,900 listings starting at $5,995
Used Toyota Camry
53 Great Deals out of 1,515 listings starting at $1,995
Used Honda Pilot
12 Great Deals out of 918 listings starting at $5,688
Used Ford Escape
145 Great Deals out of 5,752 listings starting at $2,495
Used Honda Accord
44 Great Deals out of 1,720 listings starting at $1,795

Used Cars for Sale

2019 Subaru Outback For Sale
465 listings starting at $29,295
2018 Subaru Outback For Sale
10 Great Deals out of 181 listings starting at $25,921
2017 Subaru Outback For Sale
6 Great Deals out of 96 listings starting at $19,999
2016 Subaru Outback For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 150 listings starting at $14,950
2015 Subaru Outback For Sale
133 listings starting at $13,995

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.