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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Subaru Ascent Touring 9 months old. The nav system has opened with a fully white screen probably about 10 times during the past 9 months. It was never convenient to drive it immediately to the dealer and it then fixed itself after repeated power ups. It finally failed today with my wife driving and she was able to take it immediately to the dealer. They looked at it and said it's a common problem. Not sure if they meant an Ascent problem, a 2019 problem, or a general Subaru problem. They performed a software upgrade that failed and ordered a new Harmon Kardon head unit. I'll take it in for replacement when it arrives. Luckily all under warranty. I can't imagine the cost if this happened after the new car warranty expired.
 

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Subaru Ascent Touring 9 months old. The nav system has opened with a fully white screen probably about 10 times during the past 9 months. It was never convenient to drive it immediately to the dealer and it then fixed itself after repeated power ups. It finally failed today with my wife driving and she was able to take it immediately to the dealer. They looked at it and said it's a common problem. Not sure if they meant an Ascent problem, a 2019 problem, or a general Subaru problem. They performed a software upgrade that failed and ordered a new Harmon Kardon head unit. I'll take it in for replacement when it arrives. Luckily all under warranty. I can't imagine the cost if this happened after the new car warranty expired.
There's a revised head unit that is supposed to fix the issues you're having. Subaru is outright replacing the units, as you noticed. So far, I haven't heard of your particular issues recurring in the latest Harman Kardon revision (crossing my fingers). Regardless, especially since safety features are involved, such as back up camera, and controlling RAB and rear parking sensors, I expect that SoA would have likely extended the warranty or done a recall if the issue persisted past the warranty period. And if I were a betting man, I'd guess Harman Kardon is being taken to task for their initial failures.

Your new head unit should come fully updated, but, if you're not sure and want the peace of mind, let me know when you get it and what the firmware version is, and I can tell you. Alternatively, you can check on Harman Kardon's Subaru Maps site at that time (https://subaru-maps.com/).

Make sure that any Starlink, SiriusXM subscription and AT&T subscription is transferred to the new radio. I think in the case of at least one of those, that requires them canceling and restarting the subscription (because it's tied to the radio and telematics IDs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just read through the service order from yesterday. The installed software version was 4-18-20-50. They installed version UE-19-22-70 but the Nav system continued to malfunction. That's when they decided to order a new head unit.

I installed the Map Downloader on my home PC and downloaded the current software version which is UE-19-25-70 onto a 16GB USB thumb drive. I'll ask the dealer for that version when they install the new head unit. I suppose if they don't have that one available I can download it into the car myself via the USB drive.
 

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When I had my car in for service a few weeks ago, they did what they called a full update on my HK radio/ nav/ infotainment system ( I know it was at least a navigation update, but I'm not sure if it was any of the audio related functions). Now, sometimes my navigation doesn't load at all (maybe twice a week), and I have to restart the car. About, half the time since the update, it takes 20 seconds for the nav function to appear, where is it used to appear almost immediately after starting the car.

Does a quick trip to the dealer sound in order, or is this normal after an update? Honestly, it's a minor issue relative to some of the other things I have had happen, so I haven't really mentioned it or done anything about it. otherwise, I still think the nav system is one of the best factory systems there is.
 

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When I had my car in for service a few weeks ago, they did what they called a full update on my HK radio/ nav/ infotainment system ( I know it was at least a navigation update, but I'm not sure if it was any of the audio related functions). Now, sometimes my navigation doesn't load at all (maybe twice a week), and I have to restart the car. About, half the time since the update, it takes 20 seconds for the nav function to appear, where is it used to appear almost immediately after starting the car.

Does a quick trip to the dealer sound in order, or is this normal after an update? Honestly, it's a minor issue relative to some of the other things I have had happen, so I haven't really mentioned it or done anything about it. otherwise, I still think the nav system is one of the best factory systems there is.
Please go into Settings - General - System Information

And let me know what firmware versions.
 

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Hi Robert, this is what I have...

Software version : u1.18.38.50

Navi Database version North America 2017.03
Update 3_6513_28/12545/272294/12635
HI Perry, your system is not up to date, and can be updated to the August 19, 2019 update.

That's through no fault of your dealer, since it wasn't generally available at the time.

You are currently running the December 2018 update, which was the latest one available to the dealerships and public at the time.

You can update it yourself with an NTFS formatted USB 3.x stick or ask them to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Robert,

Things really went south today. The new radio came in and my wife took the car to Subaru along with a USB thumb drive containing the updated software, UE-19-25-70. The tech said the latest is UE-19-22-70 and the radio came with that version installed. But he agreed to install the version I supplied. An hour or so later the car was ready to go.

My wife brought the car home for me to program and I had difficulty adding our two iPhones. It took the first phone and downloaded the phonebook. It would pair successfully with the 2nd phone. I pressed the cancel button on the screen and the screen went totally black. Also, the small screen on the dash went black and the small screen above the dash went black. I tried again later with the same results.

I did all of this in the garage in accessory mode. I'm going to drive it a short distance tomorrow to make sure the car runs and doesn't shut down. Then I'll take it in to see what's happening.
 

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UE-19-25-70. The tech said the latest is UE-19-22-70
They're pretty much the same version. Upgrading wasn't necessary but shouldn't have hurt. Please keep me posted. I've never heard of all three screens shutting down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Robert,

I have a theory about the black screens. Working in the garage with the car in accessory and not running. Pretty hot even with the garage door open. Perhaps 90 degrees. The radio is on the bluetooth pairing screen and it is just spinning. Perhaps when the car is in accessory there is no cooling device protecting the radio and the radio overheats and shuts itself off with the results being black screens.

To test the theory I did the same tests this AM while the garage is about 10 degrees cooler. I was able to pair 2 phones and one iPad and there was no black screen. Unfortunately I was unable to download any phone books. The devices are all in full sync mode and I moved the on/off switch on the radio to download. When going back in to the device on the radio the on/off download button has always switched itself to off. And of course I never had any problem with phone book downloads with the first radio or any other car I've owned.

I deleted the devices one at a time and now I am unable to pair any of the 3 devices. Even after cycling the ignition. I'll call Subaru once they open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Black screen for the radio is hardly unusual. Here are a few links:



 

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Black screen for the radio is hardly unusual. Here are a few links:



Those are earlier generations of the head unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Instead of taking my Ascent in to evaluate both the Bluetooth problem and the black screen problem I spent time on the phone with the technician. He had done more research on the software that they installed at my request and his factory rep said it should not have been installed. They said the web site that provided the software is a Harman site and not supported by Subaru of America. SOA does not provide operating software to users for download. So they want to remove software version UE-19-25-70 and install the software that came with the radio which was version UE-19-22-70.

If there are problems after the software installation they will replace the radio again. I will probably take the car in next week. I have not seen any further black screen issues so I'll just go along with whatever they do and take it in later if black screen issues return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I followed your link to the Starlink document which led to subaru-maps.com which is where I downloaded the operating software. That's the Harmon site which certainly contradicts what I was told by the technician. I guess I'll play along since my radio is not working correctly.
 

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And ironically, that's not where the map updates come from, only the basic nav info, detailed map updates are downloaded over WiFi.
 
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