Sirius XM Radio in 2018 Subaru Forester loses Sirius subscription / service when car is turned off

Asked by Jan 20, 2019 at 11:48 PM about the 2018 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium

Question type: General

I bought a 2018 Forester in June 2018 and had my existing Sirius XM service transferred to the Forester.  My Sirius subscription is active through March 19, 2019.  Until 5 days ago, all has worked great with the Sirius service in my Forester.  Now, when I turn off the car and then start the car, the radio loses my Sirius subscription.  When I go to a Sirius XM station, the radio displays "Channel unsubscribed." This happens even after doing a refresh of the Sirius service, which has been done multiple times.  I've verified that the correct radio ID is associated with my Sirius account. Took the car to the Subaru dealership yesterday to have Technical Service Bulletin 15-205-16R firmware update applied to the radio as I was told that TSB should fix the issue, but that did not correct the issue.  Dealer said next step will probably be to replace the radio. I've been on the phone with Sirius customer support multiple times to ensure all is ok my account, which they say it is, and they say  this is a problem with the radio and not with my Sirius account / service .  Any ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'm at my wits end on this one.  

4 Answers


As of 1/15/19 that bulletin was updated. 15-205- 16R now has the SiriusXM fix in it. I have been doing a lot of updates on them. The update takes around 90 minutes


I have 2017 Crosstrek with this issue, dealer told me they attempted the update 6x and it didn’t work. They’re now saying might need radio, navigation and cd replacement. $1300 if it’s not covered, original warranty just expired 39k miles) I have extended. I’ve had the car 16 mos, are they trying to tell me I can’t expect the radio navigation in a car I paid this much for to last more than 2 years? Not paying this, it’s a documented issue.

You will not like this answer. It CANNOT be fixed. It is because SIRIUS added more channels than your radio can handle. I am having the exact same issue with my 2017 Forester XT. I have had my radio replaced and the unit has been "updated" 6 times. Still not fixed. SUBARU blames SIRIUS, SIRIUS blames Subaru. Quite the vicious circle. No one can fix it or is willing to take responsibility. They both are more than happy to take their money, but sure don not want to do anything about a problem they are both well aware of.


Finally, finally got my issue with Sirius subscription retention fixed with new radio install. Now working great. Subaru covered the $100 deductible. 2016 Subaru Forester with 70,000 miles. I believe the new radio was covered under my extended warranty except for deductible which Subaru of America covered. My dealer's service manager coordinated all this with Subaru of America customer service. Took a long time for new radio to arrive but all went very smoothly. Good luck to everyone with this problem.

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