After calling Subaru to unenroll in starlink, I understand they still track / use the data my car produces. I also looking for a way to disable/turn off/disconnect the telematics through settings or some easy way. I could not find one.
Here is how I disconnected the Starklink telematics in about 30 minutes.
1. Removed the head unit following the steps outlined by AutoHarnessHouse in "Subaru Ascent Headunit Removal" on Youtube.
I also temporarily disconnected the white wire harness on the top right side of the head unit that connects to the top control console.
This took me five minutes. I moved slowly from the top corner of the trim pieces and worked down and to pop the trim lose enough to remove by hand.
2. Carefully disconnected the wire harnesses and antennas connected to the telematics unit (it is black box on the top of the head unit stack). This was the hardest part.
The two left gray wire harnesses have a snap/tab on the bottom which must be pushed in fully while pulling out the harness.
The four antenna harnesses (light grey, green, brown and dark grey) have one snap/tab on the bottom which is very easy to push in and remove the harness.
3. Plugged in the AutoHarnessHouse Starlink Bypass Plug to cross over the front speaker wires on the second gray wire harness.
Car Audio, Video, and Navigation - Wiring kits and custom installations for Subaru, Nissan, and Toyota
I did not need this, but for convenience I spent the $40; a bit pricey for what it does which effectively crosses over the two purple wires to each other, two blue wires, two pink wires and two light blue/greenish speaker wires.
This is because the telematics needs speaker connection to make its announcements. Without the cross over, the front speakers will be effectively disconnected.
This is where I could stop, and put everything back together, but I continued.
4. Removed the telematics unit.
I did not need to do this, but I removed the telematics unit by removing the four screws that holds it into the head unit bracket (two screws on each side) - similar to removing a hard drive from a PC.
I opened the telematics unit to check it out - it looks to be produced by Continental "Conti Model A3C0310450100".
The only thing I did was removed the backup lithium battery that keeps the unit powered after the car is turned off.
5. Put everything back together in reverse.
The entire process took 20 - 30 minutes (I had some interruptions).
Tools I needed:
plastic trim removal tools
10mm socket wrench and
a torex screw driver (forgot the size).
The most difficult step was pushing the two tabs in the bottom of the gray wire harnesses while pulling this out of the back of the telematics unit.
Lastly, for those who ask why go through all this effort? I personally don't want to use the Starlink services and even when I have opted out, they continue to collect data. Subaru should have an easy way to completely turn off their data collection - e.g., GM Onstar - just pull the fuse, although there should be a switch.
Also, I'm glad you brought back up this subject. I forgot to get back to it.
Everyone needs to be aware that if you are financing, depending on the terms of your loan agreement, it may run afoul of those terms. SOME banks I've worked for even have clauses allowing them to IMMEDIATELY "recover" the vehicle in such circumstances. Some don't care at all.
Regardless of whether your finance contract employs such terms and requirements, you do also need to adjust your insurance so that you do not have it indicated that you have remote immobilization, tracking and/or recovery features, and forego any related discounts. Those are either chosen by the insured, or selected by choosing the default vehicle options identified by the VIN. Though rarely prosecuted, doing anything else is insurance fraud.
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