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We've recently imported our 2006 Outback to Hawaii from it's hiatus in WA. I find that the FM reception sucks for the stations I want (NPR, down near the bottom of the dial). I know our signal is weak (comes from Maui), but my 2001 PT Cruiser picks it up just fine, the Subaru, ZIP! Park them side-by-side and I can pull in everything on the Petey, but nothing but static on the Soobie. Not a radio problem, local stations are fine, just a signal strength problem. :(

 

Where is the hidden antenna, and can anything be done to improve reception?

 

Mahalo

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Is it a wagon or sedan?

 

I'm not sure how to test whether it's the booster or not?

 

Wagon antenna boosters are in the lower trunk compartment areas behind the plastic interior covers/cladding.

 

Sedan antenna boosters are in the rear drivers side pillar up really high close to the ceiling also behind the plastic trim.

 

AAHHHH..crack, that's fro 2000 - 2004 models....I would expect your generation to be the same though.

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Don't rule out a radio problem. In my Outback I am lucky to carry a signal from one of my local stations over 40 miles and through a canyon. In my pickup I can carry the same station for another 50 miles through the canyon and beyond.

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some window tints can reduce signal strength, but, quite likey the antenna booster is bad/disconnected.

 

 

I suppose, comparing a small 'transister' portable radio inside one car vs the other might be a test for the tint issue.

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Does reception get worse or no change when the defroster is turned on in the rear?

Do post back your solution or what you find out - my 2003 H6 Outback has the same issue - reception got significantly worse for some reason, never used to be a problem. I get stations only right in town now, loose it about half way on the drive home.

 

Wagon, which side? How does one test it? I've got a ham friend that may be able to help.

Attached is an FSM shot for 2000-2004 amplifier in the hatch area.

 

The antenna i believe is that line running through the rear drivers side hatch glass (so I would assume the amplifier is on the same side).

 

So, I also guess that means you should be able to test the rear glass antenna like you would a defroster...like making sure it has continuity and isnt' scratched/broken?

 

Are there two antenna's or one, again I'm not sure of that either...I thought I read somewhere there is an AM antenna and an FM antenna...unsure.

post-6800-136027661562_thumb.jpg

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I think they place the antenna wires in the rear quarter panel window on the driver's side of the car for the wagons. Along with checking the amplifier also make sure all the antenna connections are making good contact. There may be a faulty connection in the line. Check the connection at the radio also. It would be nice to know how the AM reception is. It usually is effected more than the FM band is when having a antenna problem. It is possible that the sensitivity of the radio FM band may be causing the issue but more likely the antenna system is at fault.

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