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Old 10-29-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
spongebue
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2005 Focus with Audiophile Package: Intermittent Subwoofer Buzzing

Hey guys,

I've got a 2005 Focus ZX5 with the audiophile package. Original head unit was replaced before I bought the car, and I replaced that aftermarket with a Kenwood DNX570HD about 6 months ago. I reused all of the wiring (other than the obvious proprietary harness stuff) and haven't had a problem with either head unit until last month - since then, there would be intermittent buzzing from the subwoofer. Here's what I've noticed so far, not guaranteeing that anything is actually related to my problem:
  • Buzzing starts very abruptly - not a silent buzz that gradually gets louder
  • Buzzing only starts when I'm braking from what I can tell. But letting go of the brake doesn't do anything.
  • Turning off the head unit will kill the buzz, turning it back on is usually fine - at least for a little bit
  • Once or twice, I opened the hatch so I could take a look. It immediately stopped when I pressed the button from the dashboard. Can't remember if I was in park or not. I think the same thing happened when I opened the door.
  • Adjusting the volume of the head unit does nothing to the volume of the buzzing.
  • Usually I turn the head unit off when this starts, but once I left it on just 'cuz. The volume of the buzz would occasionally fade in and out. I think it eventually stopped a few minutes later.
  • Coworker thought there could be interference from traffic lights or something - I'll admit there is one intersection where it seems to happen a little more often, but it will also happen when I pull into his back alley.

I pulled the head unit out to see if I could find anything - nothing looked out of the ordinary to me. No exposed wires or anything like that. My dad pulled the sub out, he didn't see anything either. Of course, after we put everything back together, it started working again... for about a week. Then it came back.

Anyone have any suggestions to this? It's really getting old :(


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Old 10-29-2013, 11:52 AM   #2
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I had that problem and it turns out the ground was at fault. I re grounded the wires and made sure it was a solid ground and it fixed the problem. Also what can happen is if your sub wires are ran next to other power wires, they will interfere with the signal and you can get buzzing/ weird noises thru the speakers. You can wrap the sub wires in that silver anti-interference wrap or just relocate the routing of the sub wires... If you can hear the buzzing more when you use accesories like blinkers, applying the brakes, anytime power is ran thru a wire that is touching/ really close to the speaker/ sub wires, its a dead give away. Really make sure your ground behind the HU is solid and a tight metal to metal flush mating. Hope this helps, good luck.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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Hey, thanks! Just to know what I'm doing, which wires did you re-ground? I'd imagine the -12v for the subwoofer to the car's body, anything else? And when you mention grounding behind the head unit, what are you saying I should check is fully grounded? The head unit itself?
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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Well im not sure if you did it the same way i did... To make the stock sub work with the aftermarked HU, i had to take two rca plugs, strip the ends and wire them to the wires that come from the sub amp. On those rca's there is a ground wire on both plugs that needs to b well grounded otherwise the sub will buzz. Sorry for the confusion, your setup may be different.
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Old 10-29-2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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Got it - I may take another look, but I'm just using what Best Buy did when they installed the last unit before I bought the car (previous owner included a Best Buy receipt)
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Hope y'all don't mind me reviving a dying thread, but I've got a great update that could come in handy for people with similar issues.

Turns out, it was an interference issue. There was some metal wrapping that went around the signal wires, but when Best Buy installed a different head unit before I bought the car, they clipped the wire on the harness that goes to the shield (in hindsight, I'm facepalming over saying that "nothing looked out of the ordinary") so we basically had a piece of tin foil going around the wire with no real value.

With the speaker giving a faint hum, I tried making a connection between that metal shield and ground. Instantly, that hum went away. Later, I was able to get that buzz to show up (with a vengeance, I may add - it was LOUD) and I tried jumping that wire again. Again, the buzz went away instantly. Since it's pretty difficult to solder to that kind of material (especially when I have no way of plugging in a soldering iron in the apartment parking lot) I went with a quick-and-easy connection - bought some alligator clips from Harbor Freight, attached one end of a piece of wire to that, and then put the other end of the wire under a screw that holds the amp in place, tightened nice and snug.

Haven't driven too much with it yet, but so far so good - and being able to play with it like I had and get that extremely definite response was definitely encouraging.
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