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desertfoxaz 02-22-2013 09:18 PM

2008 GT Electrical problems
For some time now my radio/climate control flourescent display has been flickering. If I press on the plastic surrounding the displays, it will stop flickering for a while. It's lit the majority of the time I but I can help but think at some time it will fail completely. I've already had the unit replaced right before the bumper to bumper warranty expired because the backlighing on the defroster button stopped working. Now my car has 69,000 miles and this unit needs to be replaced. The dealer said it can't be repaired and will cost me $1,000 to replace and the extended warranty I bought through Subaru (Classic plan) won't cover it.

About 3 months ago I had to take the car in because the rear lights wouldn't come on when I turned on the headlights. No tail lights, no license plate light...the brake lights still worked, fortunately. They had the car for three days and had trouble finding the problem but finally tracked it down to a solder connection that had come loose and they fixed it, but the labor/diagnostic fee wasn't cheap.

Also, we've had some unusually cold weather and my rear window was frosted over so I turned on the rear defroster and nothing happened. The button lit up and it was on for nearly 15 minutes and the window didn't defrost at all. I went to the dealer about this and they said there was power coming out of the switch but they said they can't diagnose the defroster itself unless I remove the rear window tinting. Does that sound right? I was going to have the rear tint redone anyway because it's peeling away from the window on the edges but I haven't done that yet.

This week, I was listening to music on my phone via the Aux jack and the volume started dropping and went to zero. I checked volume on the phone and on the head unit, and all seemed fine but I didn't hear anything when I plugged the phone back in. I checked the cable connecting it to the car and it's fine and plugged in headphones and everything works so it is probably the head unit.

Then tonight I was listing to a CD and it turned off completely. When I turned it back on, the volume was at zero.

Is my car cursed? I'm going to have to bite the bullet and pay to have the unit replaced. I just need to find some time to take it in, as this weekend won't work because I have things to do and I need my car. Has anyone else had similar issues?

sigmafour 02-22-2013 10:15 PM

Not cursed... gremlin's maybe. Sounds like you have a Friday afternoon head unit and AC control system right there. You're posting here asking what to do? It's broken - you want it fixed - seems like you have already made your peace with the price and will take it in. Knowing others have had similar issues won't lower the invoice even if you could say there's dozens of others on the forum on the internet you read about. Unfortunately.

So if you search there are people who have had odd audio issues, I think I have read about some where they volume goes down and others who have white noise scream out of the speakers but I think that was an amp issue. Bottom line is it's not a very common fault but it sounds to me like you have one with a cracked circuit board or bad solder joints.

If I was in the same difficult position you were in, since you can 'fix' the display by pressing around it - that helps locate where part of the problem is. Do you know anyone who can solder or is good with electronics? I would be taking a look at the boards in that thing and going over them. You can also try appealing to Subaru of America and explaining what's been going on with it, you may want to try this first... the tinting may have broken your rear defroster but it wouldn't have damaged the head unit/AC control. It does seem a bit unfair so be polite and keep nudging them to see if they will respond - many on here have had some luck out of warranty by appealing up to SoA about issues.

Good luck.

sigmafour 02-22-2013 10:21 PM

this looks like one still for sale - $295 - bit of a scratch but who cares compared to your issues and you can at least swap the part over if it really bothers you...

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