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Hello,
I purchased my 2013 Ford Focus SE used in 2014. About 8 months ago the radio started being grouchy and would decide when it did and did not want to work. Sometimes it would be fine but then it started not working at all and I had to put a little portable speaker in my car and listen to music through my phone via BT. The syncing feature also stopped working and my phone didn't recognize the radio, probably because nothing was working on the rafio!

Basically, currently the radio is a blank screen with just the date, temperature and time lit up. I can adjust the clock feature but that is it. The date cannot be changed and the radio, which I had synced to my phone and worked perfectly for just over a year after purchasing it, won't work at all. The "CD", "RADIO", "AUX", "PHONE", and "MENU" buttons do nothing with the exception that maybe 1x out of 50 attempts the "MENU" button will let me adjust the clock and display settings.

The radio is permanently now set like this and cannot even be turned off! I have read that this is a VERY common issue for Ford Focus owners who have the stock radio and that despite never issuing a recall on the radio, Ford must have known something was up because they started putting a new radio system post 2015 models.

I bought an electronic code reader to see if it could tell me what was going on but no code appeared on it. I even had the people at an auto body shop look at it when I was having new break pads put on this week but they couldn't figure out what the problem was. I don't have the $$ to bring it to the dealer to be ripped-off if there is an easy fix. I looked on YouTube but the images were blurry and I couldn't really understand them (I'd consider myself a beginner when it comes to cars but if there were very easy step-by-step directions on how to easily fix this issue I could probably do it).

If anybody has run into this issue, which I already know hundreds have, and can provide me with layman's directions for possibly fixing this issue so I can get my radio working without having to bring it to the dealer, I would really appreciate it. It sounds like it's possibly a fuse issue but I couldn't understand if the fuse had to be replaced (where do you buy a new fuse for a car?) or just switched on/off like a breaker.

Any help would be so appreciated!!!

Thank you!
 

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Why does everybody think anything electrical wrong with the car "might be a fuse"? hahaha Sorry. I just have customers come in saying that all the time. "My door locks only work about half the time. Probably just a fuse so it shouldn't be much to fix it." A fuse is all or nothing. If you're getting power AT ALL, the fuse is fine. Additionally, the radio is generally tied to other accessories in the car. You'd notice a couple things not working if the fuse were blown.

I'm sorry to tell you, but as you've read with other folks in your situation, it's shot. It's likely the ACM. You can buy one 2nd hand on eBay or a local junk yard and install it yourself. Probably anywhere from $50-$250 fix. Option B would be to go aftermarket. Pull the factory radio entirely and buy a Pioneer or Kenwood. The parts for the Focus aren't cheap though. You're looking at ~$200 in parts, plus whatever radio you pick out (~$75 minimum).
 

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I am having the same issue. I took it to the dealer, paid $100, and they said it was a bad APIM, but from what others are saying it may be a bad ACM. The quote to replace the APUM is $723. I tried interacting with Ford on Twitter, but that lead to nothing other than "you should contact your local dealership as there are no recalls or known issues with this." Yeah right.

Sounds like it's cheaper to go aftermarket, but I'm a little hesitant as I want to keep the functionality of the Sync system, and car stereo guys don't have particularly good reps. Any suggestions?
 

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I posted the following in a similar thread:
I had the ACM (audio control module) go bad in my car. I had similar symptoms. From what I can tell the CANBUS board in the ACM failed causing the unit not to "know" when to turn on. Our stock stereos don't have a 12v accessory wire and therefore rely on the canbus to "know" when to power up, power off, and to power off after sometime when you turn on the stereo with no key (like when you're washing you car). My car also started crackling the speakers when I opened the driver's door. It would also randomly and loudly crackle the speakers while driving, which startled me the first time it happened. I would keep the fuse pulled so you don't experience the same thing. This is not uncommon for 2012s and 2013s, yet Ford has failed to recognize that this is an issue. I ended up replacing the ACM with an aftermarket stereo, dash kit, and harness/interface. I wish you the best of luck.

FWIW I think android auto and apple carplay are vastly superior to Sync.
 

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So i have the same issue, where the stereo went static for a bit then started then static then turn the car off on the freeway and on again to make it work... :)
They have an adaptor for Ford Focus on crutchfield, it's 100 and I haven't been able to figure out the wiring in the focus to actually find the correct way to make it work. But you can keep SYNC functionality with it, as well as steering wheel controls. You might have to buy two different ones to get everything but I'm pretty sure just one does it all. The dash kit is like 175 so, not worth it when you can just slap it in the space and wedge it in. Looks bad but will work.
If you figure out the wiring let me know cause I have everything i need to install my new deck...
 

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I posted the following in a similar thread:
I had the ACM (audio control module) go bad in my car. I had similar symptoms. From what I can tell the CANBUS board in the ACM failed causing the unit not to "know" when to turn on. Our stock stereos don't have a 12v accessory wire and therefore rely on the canbus to "know" when to power up, power off, and to power off after sometime when you turn on the stereo with no key (like when you're washing you car). My car also started crackling the speakers when I opened the driver's door. It would also randomly and loudly crackle the speakers while driving, which startled me the first time it happened. I would keep the fuse pulled so you don't experience the same thing. This is not uncommon for 2012s and 2013s, yet Ford has failed to recognize that this is an issue. I ended up replacing the ACM with an aftermarket stereo, dash kit, and harness/interface. I wish you the best of luck.

FWIW I think android auto and apple carplay are vastly superior to Sync.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are 2 completely different things.

Android Auto is a competitor to Sync and other, similar, infotainment systems based on Blackberry's QNX operating system. (Sync 1 and Sync 2 are MSFT and Sync 3 is supposedly QNX based. If you've ever owned a real Blackberry smartphone, you're familiar with the issues QNX has.)

Apple CarPlay is a feature of Apple's iOS that requires a supporting infotainment system to function.
 

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Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are 2 completely different things.

Android Auto is a competitor to Sync and other, similar, infotainment systems based on Blackberry's QNX operating system. (Sync 1 and Sync 2 are MSFT and Sync 3 is supposedly QNX based. If you've ever owned a real Blackberry smartphone, you're familiar with the issues QNX has.)

Apple CarPlay is a feature of Apple's iOS that requires a supporting infotainment system to function.
Umm I wouldn't say Android Auto is a competitor to Sync anymore/less than Apple Carplay is. Android Auto isn't exclusive to any Make vehicle and is available all over the aftermarket scene just like Carplay. And like you said, it requires an Android device and a supporting infotainment system to function. Not sure why you're splitting them apart like that. You must be an iPhone user....[hihi]
 

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Android Auto exists in 2 forms. Android Auto the app and Android Auto the infotainment system.

The Android Auto app is a self-sufficient app that does not require any additional hardware to function, unlike Apple CarPlay, though it does add additional functionality to a supporting Infotainment system.

However, there is also the real Android Auto, that is an actual infotainment system like Sync.

The reason I'm splitting them apart is because people, like you, don't realize how different Android Auto and Apple CarPlay actually are.

You're right. Android Auto isn't exclusive to any vehicle manufacturer. Nor is QNX. Sync is nothing but a branding. The original "Sync" was developed by Microsoft as "Windows for Automotive". Ford was the only manufacturer willing to adopt it and gave their implementation the name "Sync". Android Auto was developed by Google to compete against the QNX based infotainment systems that most manufacturers were using. To get further into the market, Google released the Android Auto app and support for Android Auto was later added to Sync.
 

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I know this is an old thread but hopefully my info can still help someone. After some extensive research online, the problem with the 2012 Focus radio not turning on ( frozen blue squares) is the CD player. When you turn the radio on, it tries to initialize the CD player, when it cant, it freezes up. My car was doing the same thing, it would show the time, temp and frozen blue squares. So i removed the radio, just the silver box, not the monitor, I used a small torx screwdriver to remove the bottom panel of the silver box. Once the bottom panel was removed I pulled the gray ribbon cable loose from the connection inside where it attached to the CD player. Once disconected, I re assembled the silver box, and put it back in the dash. Turn the key on and it worked, and has worked ever since. I hope this tutorial helps someone out.
 

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Old thread I know, but a year or two ago, my 2013 did this also. Cracking popping in early mornings and wouldn't work unless you pulled over and restarted the car. Thankfully they covered it under warranty. I think it would have been in the neighborhood of 500-800 for the dealer to install a new sick head unit. Before I'd pay them that, I would go aftermarket personally. For around 300 ish you could get a nice Alpine or something and the hardware needed.
 

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I know this is a super old thread, but I was searching for a fix for the better part of a year and the answer is in this thread.

Dgallawaysr is right. Same exact problem. Just time and temp with frozen squares. I took about the acm and disconnected the ribbon and hooked it back up and it still didn't work, so before chalking it up to another failed attempt, I just decided to swap the ribbon sides. So the one that went to the cd player now went to the main board and vice versa. Reassembled, turned the key on and Bam! Radio back with full functionality.

Figured there has to be other people like me looking for a fix and this did it
 

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I know this is a super old thread, but I was searching for a fix for the better part of a year and the answer is in this thread.

Dgallawaysr is right. Same exact problem. Just time and temp with frozen squares. I took about the acm and disconnected the ribbon and hooked it back up and it still didn't work, so before chalking it up to another failed attempt, I just decided to swap the ribbon sides. So the one that went to the cd player now went to the main board and vice versa. Reassembled, turned the key on and Bam! Radio back with full functionality.

Figured there has to be other people like me looking for a fix and this did it
Signed up just to reply, as mine just went out completely too. Can you go into more detail as to what you did? I have yet to take my dash apart, what exactly are the steps?
 

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I know this is a super old thread, but I was searching for a fix for the better part of a year and the answer is in this thread.

Dgallawaysr is right. Same exact problem. Just time and temp with frozen squares. I took about the acm and disconnected the ribbon and hooked it back up and it still didn't work, so before chalking it up to another failed attempt, I just decided to swap the ribbon sides. So the one that went to the cd player now went to the main board and vice versa. Reassembled, turned the key on and Bam! Radio back with full functionality.

Figured there has to be other people like me looking for a fix and this did it
Second reply. I figured out the process, switched my cable and put back in my dash and still the same. Time date and temp, and frozen blue blocks. Looks like I'm on the hunt for a new receiver, correct?
 

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Anyone ever fix this issue short of getting a new unit?
Seems to me the proposed fixes above by users with 1 post make no sense at all
 

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Not yet but, I am still looking at fixing my unit. I keep checking to see if it wants to work .. I did reinstall it.
.. there was a time or two where the screen did a lot of wonky indiscernible displaying giving me an impression I'm wasting my time.
 

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I know this is an old thread but hopefully my info can still help someone. After some extensive research online, the problem with the 2012 Focus radio not turning on ( frozen blue squares) is the CD player. When you turn the radio on, it tries to initialize the CD player, when it cant, it freezes up. My car was doing the same thing, it would show the time, temp and frozen blue squares. So i removed the radio, just the silver box, not the monitor, I used a small torx screwdriver to remove the bottom panel of the silver box. Once the bottom panel was removed I pulled the gray ribbon cable loose from the connection inside where it attached to the CD player. Once disconected, I re assembled the silver box, and put it back in the dash. Turn the key on and it worked, and has worked ever since. I hope this tutorial helps someone out.
This didn't work for my sons 2013 Focus unfortunately. After I initially disconnected the CD player ribbon cable the radio worked but stopped working again days later. At this point the radio hasn't worked in months so I'm looking for a used OEM replacement based on many other posts saying the radio (ACM) is bad.
 

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This didn't work for my sons 2013 Focus unfortunately. After I initially disconnected the CD player ribbon cable the radio worked but stopped working again days later. At this point the radio hasn't worked in months so I'm looking for a used OEM replacement based on many other posts saying the radio (ACM) is bad.
Wll i thought about that too but hte OEM replacements will likely have the same defect.
Which as other have pointed out soewhhere in these forums seems to b overheating of one of the chips. I couldnt beleive once i opend the case and pluggd it in how rapidly the whole thing got extremely hot . Surprised their have not been fires.
 

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Second reply. I figured out the process, switched my cable and put back in my dash and still the same. Time date and temp, and frozen blue blocks. Looks like I'm on the hunt for a new receiver, correct?
correct IMO.

I tried the same thing. It did work for 30 seconds then BAM!
 

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My son's 2013 radio model number is CM5T-19C107-HC. I want to replace it with another OEM radio. I'm finding there are a lot of model numbers out there. Does anyone know if some are compatible? I only need, AM/FM with CD and Sync ( no HD Radio and no Navigation). Thanks.
 

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i think as log as the number up to the last two letters is the same you should be ok.
But why do you think OEM will solved this. IMO this is a desing error. I think the units overheat. oddly enough even IF the car is off
 
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