How to Install a Stereo in a Subaru Outback


The Subaru Outback has been around long enough that many owners are finding the factory stereo has stopped working or lacks the punch it once had. Replacing the stereo in a Subaru Outback gives you better sound quality and additional features. Swapping out the factory head unit requires basic tools and about an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wiring harness adaptor
  • Subaru radio mounting kit
  • Disconnect the negative battery terminal and ensure it can't touch any metal parts. Place the shifter into "D" and set the parking brake.

  • Pry the trim from around the shifter, starting at the bottom edge and working towards the dash. Once it's free, slide it over the shifter and set it aside.

  • Locate and remove the two screws holding the cup in place and pull it out. Pull the ashtray out of the dash and remove the three screws, one at the back and two at the top.

  • Get a grip on the lower corner of the trim surrounding the Subaru Outback stereo and apply pressure until the clips disengage. Locate and remove the four screws holding the radio in place.

  • Pull the radio out of the dash and disconnect the wires from the back of the head unit. Connect the wiring harness adaptor to the original harness and let it hang from the dash.

  • Secure the new stereo into the Subaru radio mounting kit and plug the wiring harness adaptor and antenna wire into the back of the stereo. Slide the entire assembly into the dash and reconnect the negative battery cable.

  • Turn the stereo on and test the speakers and controls to ensure they are working properly. Secure the stereo into the dash with the original four screws and replace the trim, ashtray and storage cup.

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