'09 Impreza 5-dr. RADIO PROBLEMS

Since last November, the radio will be playing and there will be a loud pop and it will stop playing. The station numbers will still show in the window,
but that's it.
We found, after checking fuses and the antenna, that the car needed to be shut off and then, it would usually play.
If not shut off, there will be occasional loud pops that sound like speaker wires shorting. It's been getting worse. My Subaru dealer went right to replacing the radio. The radio seems to be a real chore to get out of the dash and I haven't tried anything.
Suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
The model is CZ601U1 MP3/WMA Compact Disc Digital Audio Text AM/FM
--
Wilson 44.69, -67.3

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Wilson wrote:

Clarion's OEM relationships with several automotive companies: Nissan, Saab, Suzuki, Ford, Volkswagen, Proton, Toyota, Peugot, and Subaru. In 2015, Subaru America announced they would put in Harmon Kardon radios. Was this a dealer-installed aftermarket radio?
"Subaru dealer went right to replacing the radio."
And you're still hearing loud pops? Is there a separate amplifier from the radio, like in the trunk? Maybe only the head unit got replaced (in the dash) but the amplifier is still the old one.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
From that pic, the radio seems more than large enough to have its own internal amplifier; however, that doesn't stop users or dealers from adding an even bigger amplifier to push out more undistorted watts.
Since this radio has Bluetooth, did you go into its configuration to delete all current or old Bluetooth connections and test for awhile with nothing Bluetooth that can connect to the radio?
Did you try testing with a different pair of speakers (on front or rear, whichever is easier to get at)? Maybe you blew the speakers. Going loud means a lot more distortion and that can blow speakers. Too much power will distort the speaker cones beyond their designed range and tear the cones. Distortion doesn't directly damage a speaker (clipping of the audio signal due to overpowering) but overpowering will push the voice coil too far and can rip it from the diaphragm, plus the foam surround attaching diaphragm to frame gets overflexed and can rip.
The surround foam around the paper speaker cone (diaphragm) to the speaker frame will age, become stiffer, and deteriorate. This will cause distortion in output that some users will try to compensate by overpowering the speaker (turning up the volume too high). With the foam surround not holding the diaphragm in alignment, the voice coil can score against the magnet, wear off the varnish, and short out. You end up with a burnt voice coil.
I had problems with my Infinity bookshelf speakers, took off the fabric cover, and the foam would crumble when running my finger lightly along the foam surround. These are indoor speakers, so they don't experience the heat, sun, or other elements to which car speakers are subjected. I bought a foam surround kit, removed the old foam surround and installed the new one (making sure the voice coil attached to the diaphragm moved freely and was straight up-down inside the magnet before gluing the foam surround to the diaphragm and then to the frame), and the speakers worked like new. For me, it was just replacing the foam surround. For blown speakers, could be the voice coil is ripped from the diaphragm.
I had a 2002 Subaru Legacy whose foam surround on its speakers was so deteriorated that they really didn't keep aligned the diaphragm and voice coil. In addition, because it's a car sitting outside in the sun all the time (never garaged), the mounting plate made of plastic had also deteriorated resulting in torqueing or skewing the speaker frame. The mounting brackets were useless for the rear over-strut mounted speakers. I could get new ones so I had to fabricate a new frame from wood (since I could work with that to tool it into shape).
How do you know the speakers aren't the problem? The radio seems to work, you put in a new one, but you still don't get any sound, or just loud pops, or the speaker works at low volume after starting the car but then overpowering or distortion shorts the voice coil or pushes the diaphragm too far causing the voice coil to stick. Loud popping noises are destructive to speakers.
The popping and loss of audio happens after starting the car. That means the car was stationary, you started the car, but then did you drive the car around or just leave it parked as before? Vibration from driving (or a very shaky car) could apply stress to wiring connectors. Have you gone to each speaker to pulled each wire off the speaker tangs and push them back on, and repeat a few times, to wipe any oxidation off the connection? There are probably connections within the wiring harness, like at a connector under the dash and behind the side panels in front of the front doors. The dealer would've already scraped the multi-pin connector from the radio to the wiring harness at that end but he did it only once. Maybe the popping you hear is crackling from bad wiring connections.
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On 06/12/18 5:08 PM, VanguardLH wrote:

I had to modify my post since the mechanic (used Subaru's manager/mechanic) 'Suggested replacing, but did not do that.
Old radio still installed, no external amp, antenna on a short post in the back of car roof.
I appreciate your time, so let me describe things better. Aside from the 'pop' that happens when output to speakers seems to stop, the radio plays perfectly. The speakers do no distort and besides, there must be 6 of them in the car, so a failed speaker shouldn't stop output.
Sometimes. IF the radio was shutoff when last the car was parked, if I wait a bit and turn on the radio, there will be no output from the start no pop needed. However, left on, periodically, there will be that pop which is coming out of the speakers.
Seems like a thermal reset or self-resetting fuse is in the system. Thanks again.
--
Wilson 44.69, -67.3

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Wilson wrote:

Use the balance and fader to isolate sound to just one speaker. See which one or if all have the pop. If you can isolate the popping to just one speaker or two on the same side then tis likely the head unit in the dash, like a capacitor gone bad.
A thermal fuse can be resettable or non-resettable. A non-resettable one blows to sacrifice itself but then you have to open the device to remove the blown one and solder in a new one. A resettable fuse takes a while before it resets (after the temperature goes down). You didn't mention how between pops. Unless you good at tracing logic and recognizing components inside the radio and doing the repair and soldering yourself, someone else will have to fix the radio and that cost could be close, or more, than getting a used radio to replace the defective old one.
Did the mechanic ever actually hear the popping noise? Looks like his suggestion is the most likely solution. STOP USING THE RADIO in the meantime. Popping damages speakers. Unless you're going to replace the entire sound system - head+amp unit and all speakers - get accustomed to driving around *without* listening to the radio. The radio is not mandatory to the operation of the vehicle, nor mandatory by a driver.
NOTE: Either disable the spam signature appended by Avast or uninstall the superfluous Mail Shield module (adds no more protection than for the on-access/real-time scanner). Else, Avast will spamify all your posts.
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VanguardLH wrote:

The 2009 had a 3-year basic warranty (5 years for corrosion and powertrain). The radio is long out of warranty. Stop using the radio and start hunting around for sales on radios for that car.
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On 06/13/18 11:53 PM, VanguardLH wrote:

Thanks again. I do shut off the radio, but this problem presented itself last November, but didn't last long and I've been able to use the radio steadily until around the middle of May. There will be perfect reception, then that loud pop, and then no reception, no noise for several minutes before other single pops. Since it worked from Nov. thru to May, I was hoping that it was intermittent enough to start working again.
Really was hoping it was a loose wire or antenna, but I don't think I can get my hand behind the radio to check it out.
--
Wilson 44.69, -67.3

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Wilson wrote:

The pop, loss of audio, and coming back later sounds like bad capacitors. They all dry out over time but some formulations last longer, are more expensive, and why some brands or models are more expensive. Tantulum capacitors are pricey, so they get used only where needed. They last longer than aluminum-canned electrolytic capacitors. While precautionary design has been implemented, tantulums tend to short when they fail (and will heat up, smoke, and burn up). Electrolytics tend to drift or open but can burn up if the electrolyte dries out. The popping you hear could be in the amp part of the radio, or it could be due to the large caps using the power supply (although you said the station and lights on the radio are still operational). Tantulums should be give a wide margin regarding the maximum operating voltage and not used in high-frequency circuits. ESR ceramic caps are often substitued for tantulums. Often when a capacitor fails, other components also go to Component Heaven. When chip caps fail, they get hold, melt their solder, and fall off the PCB. Amp and power caps are huge by comparison.
A loss of reception would result in losing the station and substituted with the white hash noise that you hear when tuning between stations (unless the radio is very good at squelching that noise but means you lose more distant stations). What you're describing appears likely a loss of audio output, not that the radio loses the station. Losing a radio station does NOT produce a popping noise. If that were true, everytime you tuned away from a station means the radio would pop.
You can watch for sales to minimize the impact to your wallet. Some places even sell used units. There are a couple of salvagers (not junk yards but places that strip vehicles for parts to resell and they then sell off the car shell to the junker). I've gotten parts from those salvagers and some parts even come with a warranty (but usually a lot shorter, like 3 months for a radio instead of 1 year when bought new from a retailer). One is a junker where you go into the yard and pull the part(s) yourself (but no welders or power tools), so their prices are even cheaper - but no warranty. They list their current inventory by brand and model, so you have an idea if the part (over applicable model years) might be there; however, they don't guarantee what is in the car after getting stripped, so you need to check their inventory for something recently delivered to them and get there quick. You do the work and you drive there to find out if the junker has the parts you want. That junker specializes in vehicles that are 20+ years old, so they are great for Subarus which last a long time but not if you have a newer model. If you don't want to incur the risk (of driving out there to find the parts have already been taken) then the other salvager does the stripping, stocks their shelves, you know the part is there, but you pay more due to their work to strip and organize into their stock. At the you-pull-their-parts junker (where models were 1999, or earlier), a AM/FM-CD radio would cost $21 (the price is fixed for all cars). At the junker that does the stripping and stocking, they didn't have one for a 2009 Impreza but will let you request a quote where they will check with other junkers if they have one and quote a price.
At eBay, the exact CS601U1 model is being sold there (used) for $40 (and $13 shipping). You have 14 days to return (at your shipping cost). If you don't want preowned (used) then there are new and refurbished units selling for $98 there. Buying new, say, from Crutchfield will run you around $150, or more. Of course, you'll be doing the work to remove the old unit to install the new one.
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On 06/14/18 4:25 PM, VanguardLH wrote:

Thanks again. You have correctly identified what I've been trying to say and you obviously know what you're talking about. Sounds like I better start carrying around some CD's while I hunt for a radio. ;)
--
Wilson 44.69, -67.3

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Wilson wrote:

Well, since the radio is an AM/FM receiver, CD player and MP3 player, you might want to use the CD and MP3 sources for a while to see if the popping still exists. The power supply and amp would still be common. If the popping disappears when using CDs or flash sticks for MP3 then you know the problem is isolated to just the radio circuitry. Well, that might let you isolate where in the radio the popping originates but doesn't really help if you are not the hobbyist type that can go inside to do the repair. Sometimes you can see a leaked electrolytic, so you know to replace that capacitor. Sometimes you cannot see they leaked until you desolder the cap to see underneath it. A bulging cap indicates a leaked cap. A voltage regulator can cause a cap to go bad, so replacing the cap just has it blow out again. I've had caps that blew, didn't find any remains, and it took a while to notice the little leg remnants still soldered on the PCB.
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