Apple CarPlay Not Connecting to Subaru: Troubleshooting Guide

apple carplay not connecting subaru
apple carplay not connecting subaru

Experiencing Apple CarPlay not connecting to your Subaru can be a frustrating issue, especially when you are trying to navigate your way through unknown roads or want to enjoy your favorite playlist on your ride. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Many people face issues with Apple CarPlay not connecting or functioning as it should with their Subaru vehicles. This guide will walk you through a step-by-step process to diagnose and resolve these issues and get you back on the road with your Apple CarPlay working seamlessly.

Before we jump into the troubleshooting steps, it’s essential to remember that Apple CarPlay compatibility requires an iPhone 5 or newer running iOS 7.1 or later. If your device doesn’t meet these requirements, you may face problems with connecting Apple CarPlay to your Subaru.

Understanding Apple CarPlay and iPhone Compatibility

The first step to troubleshoot any potential issue with your Apple CarPlay not connecting to your Subaru is to understand and check the compatibility between the devices. It’s crucial to ascertain that your vehicle, region, and iPhone model all support Apple CarPlay. Your iPhone should be running on the latest iOS version to ensure the best compatibility with the car’s system.

If you’re not certain about your vehicle’s compatibility, it would be wise to reach out to Subaru or your vehicle’s manufacturer to confirm that your specific model does indeed support Apple CarPlay.

Inspecting Your Connection

Once you’ve confirmed that both your iPhone and your Subaru support Apple CarPlay, the next step is to inspect the connection between the devices.

If you’re using a wired connection, ensure that your USB cable and the USB port are functioning correctly. Consider using a different cable or switching to a different port to rule out any issues with these components.

If you’re using a wireless connection, make sure both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your iPhone. Also, check the CarPlay network settings to confirm that Auto-Join is turned on.

Lastly, if you’re still experiencing issues, try restarting both your iPhone and your Subaru. This simple step can often resolve minor software glitches that may be preventing the devices from connecting properly.

Is Siri Enabled?

Siri is an integral part of Apple CarPlay functionality, and thus, its settings on your iPhone can impact the connection with your Subaru. Make sure that Siri is enabled on your iPhone to ensure smooth operation of Apple CarPlay.

Checking Restrictions on CarPlay

If your iPhone isn’t detected by Apple CarPlay, it could be due to some restrictions set on your iPhone. You can check this by navigating to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions on your iPhone. Make sure CarPlay isn’t restricted here.

Remove and Re-add Your Subaru

Sometimes, simply removing your Subaru from your iPhone’s CarPlay settings and re-adding it can resolve any connection issues. This process essentially resets the connection between the two devices and can help eliminate any minor glitches that might be causing problems.

Update Your Subaru’s Firmware

It’s not just your iPhone that needs to stay updated for optimal performance. The firmware of your Subaru’s infotainment system also needs regular updates to function smoothly with devices like an iPhone. Ensure your vehicle’s firmware is up-to-date to prevent any connectivity issues.

If none of these steps resolve the issue, it’s time to reach out to Apple Support or your Subaru dealership for further assistance.

Enabling CarPlay and Siri on iPhone

In your iPhone settings, ensure that CarPlay and Siri & Dictation are enabled. This is a vital step in setting up a successful connection with your Subaru’s system.

Allowing CarPlay While iPhone is Locked

A useful feature of CarPlay is its ability to function even when your iPhone is locked. To enable this, navigate to Settings > General > CarPlay on your iPhone and select your vehicle.

Enable Accessories Option

Enabling the accessories option in your iPhone settings can also help resolve some connection issues. To do this, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Allow Access When Locked > USB Accessories.

Check Your Lightning to USB Cable

The quality and condition of your Lightning to USB cable can significantly impact your connection. Make sure your cable is in good shape and that it’s not longer than 3 feet for best functionality.

USB Port Compatibility

Not all USB ports in your Subaru may support a data connection for CarPlay. Refer to your vehicle’s manual or try different ports to find one that works.

Keeping Your Software Updated

Software updates often come with bug fixes and improvements that can resolve existing issues and enhance overall performance. Hence, regularly updating the software on both your iPhone and your Subaru’s infotainment system is crucial.

Try a Different iPhone

If you’ve tried all the above steps and are still experiencing issues, try connecting a different iPhone to your Subaru. This can help you determine whether the issue lies with your iPhone or with the Subaru’s system.

In conclusion, while dealing with issues related to Apple CarPlay not connecting to your Subaru can be frustrating, they can often be resolved by following the steps provided in this guide. Remember, if all else fails, don’t hesitate to reach out to Apple Support or your vehicle’s manufacturer for further assistance. Stay safe, and enjoy your journey with your fully functional Apple CarPlay system.


Why isn’t my Apple CarPlay connecting to my Subaru?

There could be a variety of reasons including software compatibility, connection issues, Siri settings, CarPlay restrictions, and more. Follow the troubleshooting steps in the article to resolve the problem.

How can I troubleshoot connection issues between Apple CarPlay and my Subaru?

Try different USB cables or ports, ensure Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your iPhone, check the CarPlay network settings, and restart your iPhone and car.

What iPhone and iOS version do I need to use Apple CarPlay?

To use Apple CarPlay, you need an iPhone 5 or newer with iOS 7.1 or newer. Always make sure to update to the latest iOS version for best compatibility.

What should I do if my iPhone isn’t detected by CarPlay?

Ensure that CarPlay isn’t restricted in your iPhone settings. You can check this in Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions. If this doesn’t work, consider removing your car from CarPlay settings and setting it up again.

How do I enable CarPlay to launch while my iPhone is locked?

Go to Settings > General > CarPlay on your iPhone and select your vehicle to enable CarPlay to launch while your iPhone is locked.

Why isn’t CarPlay working with the USB port in my Subaru Outback?

Not all USB ports in your Subaru Outback may support a data connection for CarPlay. Check your car manual or try other ports.