Subaru and Suzuki Head units pinouts  > Subaru pinouts
for 2008- Impreza/WRX/STI (non nav), 2009- Forester (non nav), 2010- Legacy / Liberty / Outback

Pin
#

Function

Notes

After - Market Harness Wire Colors (EIA Standard)

Subaru Factory Radio Harness OEM Wire colors

  2008–2011
Impreza
2009–2011
 Forester
1 Illumination +

+12 volts when you use the headlights switch to turn on the parking lights or headlights.  This pin is open-circuit when the lights are off.

For nearly all aftermarket HUs that have a wire for dimmer or illumination control, you should connect that wire to the Subaru's pin 1. 

Orange  / White Violet Violet
2 Dimmer (Illumination –)

Varies as you adjust the car's dimmer knob.

On Subaru models up to around 2006, this line varies in voltage from close to 12 volts (with the knob at the dimmest setting) down to 0 volts (with dimmer knob at brightest setting).  Note that this is backwards from the method used in some other cars.

The car's instrument panel lights are connected between the illumination and dimmer lines.  So the bulbs effectively see a range of voltage from 0 volts (dimmest) to 12 volts (brightest).

Recent model years have changed to LEDs for the instrument panel lights.  In these cars, the dimmer wire provides a pulse-width modulated signal (12V switched rapidly on and off).  The dimmer knob adjusts the percentage of on time, causing the LEDs to appear dimmer or brighter.

Orange / Black Black / White Black / White
3 +12 Volt Accessory (switched) Gets +12V when you turn your ignition key to Accessory or On. This wire is what causes the radio to turn off when you turn off the key.  Some HUs label this wire Ignition. Red Yellow / Red Yellow / Red
4 Steering Wheel Controls (SWC1+)

Wires connected to the car's Steering Wheel Audio Controls (SWCs).

In Subarus, all SWC wires go directly between the HU and the wheel.  Neither side connects to ground or a voltage in the car. Inside the wheel, the buttons connect to a network of resistors.  The HU sees a different resistance for each button (and a higher value when no button is pressed).

Many HUs today can work with OEM SWCs.  However, most HUs require a separate interface module (to convert from the Subaru's resistors to what the HU expects to see).

On most models/years: Pin 4 connects to the buttons for Mute, Volume Up/Down, Mode, and Channel/Seek Up/Down.
On 2011–up Impreza/Forester models with HUs with Bluetooth: Wheel no longer has Mute button.  Mode button is wired with other buttons on pin 13.
On 2010–up Legacy/Outback models with HUs with Bluetooth: Wheel no longer has Mute button.

Brown / Red Brown Lt Green / Red
5 Left Rear Speaker –   Green / Black Red / Black Red / Yellow
6 Left Rear Speaker +   Green White / Red White / Black
7 Left Front Speaker –   White / Black White / Black Brown / White
8 Left Front Speaker +   White Blue / Orange Brown
9 Antenna Booster Amplifier Power +

Powers an antenna booster amplifier (for the foil antenna on the rear glass or short antenna on the roof). Subaru OEM radios send +12V to this line only while you're in AM/FM mode. This line won't work to control an aftermarket speaker amplifier — the amp would only work while you listen to radio (not disc, aux, satellite, etc.) When installing an aftermarket HU, make sure this wire gets no less than 12 Volts. 

Blue  / White Yellow / Black Yellow / Black
 
10 Ground   Black Black / Blue Black
 
11

Impreza / Forester: CAN Low (data bus) 

Legacy / Outback: Steering Wheel Controls (SWC2+)

CAN (Controller Area Network) is a data bus that allows various devices in the car to communicate with each other.

2010–2012 Legacy/Outback with phone/BT SWC buttons: On/Off-Hook and Talk buttons.  These buttons share the same common wire (pin 14).
Note: In 2012–2013 models with OEM HU CE617U1, this signal is on pin #13 instead of 11.

2010–2012 Legacy/Outback with phone/BT SWC buttons: On/Off-Hook and Talk buttons.  These buttons share the same common wire (pin 14).
Note: In 2012–2013 models with OEM HU CE617U1, this signal is on pin #13 instead of 11.

Brown / Yellow Lt Green / Red Blue
12

Impreza / Forester: CAN High (data bus) 

Legacy / Outback: Body Integrated Unit

  Brown / Green Pink Pink
13 Impreza / Forester w/ BT: Steering Wheel Controls (SWC2+)
2012–2013 Legacy / Outback with OEM HU CE617U1: SWC2+
2010–2012 Legacy / Outback: +12V Ignition (ON/RUN)
Impreza/Forester with phone/Bluetooth SWC buttons: Mode and On/Off-Hook and Talk buttons. These buttons share the same common wire (pin 14). Brown / Blue Blue / White [Red]
14 Steering Wheel Controls – (common)    Brown / Black Yellow Yellow
15 Right Rear Speaker –   Violet / Black Red / White Gray / Red
16 Right Rear Speaker +   Violet Gray / Green Gray
17 Right Front Speaker –   Gray / Black Green Blue / Yellow
18 Right Front Speaker +   Gray Brown / Yellow Blue / White
19 Some models (see footnote): VSS
Legacy / Outback: +12V Battery (different circuit)
Vehicle Speed Signal (VSS) present in these models:
2012–up Impreza (not WRX or STi) and Crosstrek
2014–up Forester
2015–up WRX & STi
 
20 +12 Volt Battery (Memory) (R) Pin 20 connects to the car's battery (through a fuse in the panel under the hood) and gets +12V all the time.  Pin 20 has a larger-gauge wire. Yellow Blue / Red Blue / Red

 

20 pin Subaru Car Stereo proprietary of Subaru Forester, Impreza  (2008-), Legacy, Outback, Liberty (2010-) 20 pin Car Stereo connector layout
20 pin Subaru Car Stereo proprietary connector
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Subaru Forester, Impreza (2008-), Legacy, Outback, Liberty (2010-) 20 pin Car Stereo visual pinout:
Subaru Forester, Impreza  (2008-), Legacy, Outback, Liberty (2010-) 20 pin Car Stereo diagram
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