Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Subaru/Cadillac Direct USB port and problems with iPhone's GPS reception

This is probably the most bizarre one of all possible for iPhone's GPS malfunction cases! We've been troubleshooting it with one of the speedometer users, Tom, for several weeks until Tom narrowed down the case of non-working GPS to built-in USB charging plug in his Subaru!!!

Here is a thread on Subaru forums confirming this really bizarre problem: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/381618-outback-interfering-iphone-compass.html#/topics/381618?page=2 and here is a video that Tom agreed to share:

To troubleshoot this, just switch USB from the built-in USB charger to an external charger connected to a 12V plug or run iPhone without plugging it to the power outlet at all for a minute to see if problem is not caused by USB interference. Subaru, really?!

P.S. Here is the full video story from Tom: 

To recap, if you want to use your built-in USB charge plug with iPhone and to have GPS in iPhone functioning well, you have to start StarLink app in your Subaru. Note from Tom:
Also note that if users wish to listen to their music via the wired interface (appears to be better quality than via Bluetooth), they will also need the Starlink app on their iPhone. However, if they don't wish to listen to their music via this method, and they don't have the Starlink app on their iPhone, they can still activate the Starlink app on their car system, and the interference will cease. Hopefully some engineer will figure out exactly why this is, and share that with us."

Tom even experimented with a ferrite bead filter USB cable: "For your information, today I tried the a new charger cable, with a ferrite bead filter.  It didn’t help in the least bit.", but to no avail.

Hope this can make life to a few Subaru users easier! Thanks to Tom!

Cadillac owner? [Update November 3rd 2017]. It was a great troubleshooting with Jim from US who had Cadillac XTS 2017 rented and found out that actually plugging his iPhone to car's "direct USB" port made speed readings erratic. Everything worked alright with the "charger" usb port.

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