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Huge audio problem!

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Joined
August 27, 2016
Messages
25
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2
City, State
Central, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2016 Ford Utility PI
I own a 2016 Ford Utility Police Interpector. I bought this car "used" with only 31 miles, so it's not like it had any electrical problems from being in a fleet. My issue is that at high volume (26-30) it starts to cut power to the speakers and noticeably turn down the volume after about 15-20 mins on its own. Doesn't show up on screen, you can just hear it reduce. If you turn it down half way to 15 after about 45 sec. you can hear it regain the power and get louder without touching the dial. What's going on? Is it a safety mechanism.......dealership does not have an answer? They have replaced the radio module and that didn't fix it. They started to say because I have aftermarket things installed....... I have interior lights under the dash and under the front seats and a remote start, that's it. Those two things are so small compared to what police agencies install in these cars, so I'm having a hard time believing one of those things is causing the radio to dim and raise itself on its own.


Also, sorry if I should've posted in the police interceptor section. I just figured a lot more people will see it here and may have had a problem
 



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Not sure what all the radio module entails but it sounds like something on the audio side (processor?) is failing intermittently.
Just a guess though.

Peter
 






Well that's the term the dealer ship said when I first had the issue. They ordered the part and called it the radio module. It's in there again and they told me who really listens to there music that loud? That's a joke right. 26-30 is under normal working conditions or Ford wouldn't have let it get that loud.
 






I think there is an option somewhere of a volume limiter, but I have never used it or seen it used. Perhaps worth checking out? From what I know it is in the mykey features.

Just a thought.. Hope it all works out!
 






Well the issue is initially it's not limited, it's loud and sounds really good. I would never notice it on a short ride to work but when I work out of town, let's say a 20 minute ride that's when you notice it's really loud and then all of sudden it just drops by it self. If you turn down briefly for about 35 to 45 seconds it gains its loudness back. I don't know if my PI has my key. I have gone through every options on the dash and by the gauges on the steering wheel.
 






I've cranked my radio up to about 90% in both my F350 plat and Explorer limited.. neither have ever dropped volume.
 






Sound goes strong for about 20 mins and then at high volume it limits itself.
 






Well that's the term the dealer ship said when I first had the issue. They ordered the part and called it the radio module. It's in there again and they told me who really listens to there music that loud? That's a joke right. 26-30 is under normal working conditions or Ford wouldn't have let it get that loud.
Not sure how the 26-30 is read on the 2016 since the Sync setup is different. On Sync my volume is usually set around 7. On the MFT volume display in my previous vehicle it was around 7 bars. In any case it is the speakers not the radio that would be affected by turning up the volume.

Peter
 






This is a PI so it doesn't have sync, just a basic radio and CD player. 0-30 is what the volume is.
 






This is a PI so it doesn't have sync, just a basic radio and CD player. 0-30 is what the volume is.
So you are playing it at just about max volume! Wow. The pic below is where the volume level was on when I had the MFT.

Peter

P4250228_001.JPG
 






Could be the output (power) transistors heating up at high volume, and the audio system automatically turns down the level to protect the transistors and keep them from burning out. This is just a theory, but it explains why the loudness recovers after a cool-down period.
 






Could be the output (power) transistors heating up at high volume, and the audio system automatically turns down the level to protect the transistors and keep them from burning out. This is just a theory, but it explains why the loudness recovers after a cool-down period.

I like this idea. It will stay lowered till I bring it down to half way and then yeah, rejuices it self after a while. Less than a min.
 






Not knowing what audio system you have, this may not help but, go into your settings and see if you have 'speed compensated volume' adjustment. This setting compensates volume for noise conditions. If you have it, put it in the maximum position and see if this helps. There was a diagnostic suggestion for volume fading in and out but, it has to do with the radio signal fading in and out. If you are using another source like iTunes and having this issue then the 'radio signal' issue wouldn't apply.
 






Not knowing what audio system you have, this may not help but, go into your settings and see if you have 'speed compensated volume' adjustment. This setting compensates volume for noise conditions. .
I don't think I've ever noticed that working on any of the 3 vehicles I've had in the past number of years, regardless of the setting.

Peter
 






I don't think I've ever noticed that working on any of the 3 vehicles I've had in the past number of years, regardless of the setting.

Peter

That doesn't mean that it may have some bearing on the OP's problem. It's only a suggestion. His volume is changing, going into that option and doing a reset may clear it up or, it may do nothing. One never knows until it's tried. In my experience, it's often the most simple approach the clears up a problem. :thumbsup:
 






Not knowing what audio system you have, this may not help but, go into your settings and see if you have 'speed compensated volume' adjustment. This setting compensates volume for noise conditions. If you have it, put it in the maximum position and see if this helps. There was a diagnostic suggestion for volume fading in and out but, it has to do with the radio signal fading in and out. If you are using another source like iTunes and having this issue then the 'radio signal' issue wouldn't apply.

Oh I have tried. That's for driving though. This will do it when the car is parked too. I don't have iTunes. I bought a cheap PI lol. Only radio and CD player for me.
 






The OP probably wont see this but for anyone that finds this here it is.

i have a 17 xploder xlt with sync 3 and last year during school my radio started doing what the OPs was doing, volume level turning itself down after 30-45 minutes of listening to music at high volume. new school year and more driving is bringing me back to this because this time its even worse. most times i get 20 minutes or less into the drive and the volume goes from 25 of 30 to what sounds like 5 of 30 and the only way to bring it back is to either turn the music down and wait or just straight up turn it off. to me ( im an apprentice mechanic in 4th period now) it portrays as something that is overheating giving that you can turn it down/off and normal volume is restored after a bit.

got annoying enough that i did something about it. i removed my "headunit" which is in this stereos case the one with the disc drive in it. opening this thing up after removing various screws i noticed that on the heat sink on the side of the board the thermal interface material looked a bit crusty so i removed the 5 screws holding the sink onto the transistors/mosfets. upon removal there was some TIM on them still but looked thinner on some of the sides. i cleaned it off with isopropanol alcohol and some qtips. got both sides as clean as i could and applied new thermal paste ( went to computer store and got some non-conductive paste ). re-installed the heatsink and put it all back together and reinstalled into the vehicle. listened to some music to "set" the paste and confirm that i didnt mess it up.

after letting the new paste "bake" in for a couple days my stereo is able to stay at 25 for at least an hour solid. no plans on making a longer road trip to test how long it can go, so i feel my problem is solved.



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The OP probably wont see this but for anyone that finds this here it is.

i have a 17 xploder xlt with sync 3 and last year during school my radio started doing what the OPs was doing, volume level turning itself down after 30-45 minutes of listening to music at high volume. new school year and more driving is bringing me back to this because this time its even worse. most times i get 20 minutes or less into the drive and the volume goes from 25 of 30 to what sounds like 5 of 30 and the only way to bring it back is to either turn the music down and wait or just straight up turn it off. to me ( im an apprentice mechanic in 4th period now) it portrays as something that is overheating giving that you can turn it down/off and normal volume is restored after a bit.

got annoying enough that i did something about it. i removed my "headunit" which is in this stereos case the one with the disc drive in it. opening this thing up after removing various screws i noticed that on the heat sink on the side of the board the thermal interface material looked a bit crusty so i removed the 5 screws holding the sink onto the transistors/mosfets. upon removal there was some TIM on them still but looked thinner on some of the sides. i cleaned it off with isopropanol alcohol and some qtips. got both sides as clean as i could and applied new thermal paste ( went to computer store and got some non-conductive paste ). re-installed the heatsink and put it all back together and reinstalled into the vehicle. listened to some music to "set" the paste and confirm that i didnt mess it up.

after letting the new paste "bake" in for a couple days my stereo is able to stay at 25 for at least an hour solid. no plans on making a longer road trip to test how long it can go, so i feel my problem is solved.



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Good job there. You most likely got it from what I see in the photos. The original paste may have been either too thick or not evenly spread out. You just want an even thin coat to fill the tiny (unseen by the naked eye) voids in the mating metals. Update this in the future if it holds up. The OP may want to make it a sticky! My background is audio/ video component level repairs dating back to the 1970's. I commend you for taking the time to document this!

Gerry
 






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