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So, many of you were or are having the same problem as me. I own a 2012 SEL Hatchback which other than the clutches going out, TCM going out, rattly headliner, rattly front suspension, and now crackling at full volume (even with the keys out of the car and radio off) radio, has been a good car :)

So, you just want to listen to the radio, your podcast, or turn off the radio so that you can get your tired little kid home after a late night out. Maybe you're enjoying a drive across the country or are stuck in traffic... CRACK STATIC!!!!! WTF!!!

So, when this happened to me I almost rear ended the person in front of me. Scared the ***** out of me. I blasted my dash with my fist and it stopped. Again, blast, stop. Again, blast, stop... Again, again, blast, blast, again, not stopping.

After a month or so I had to unplug my radio because it would constantly, at fully volume, pop, crack, and hiss.

Now, this is a three year old vehicle and this is obviously an electro-mechanical problem. This is inexcusable. If you are curious and took your radio out of the dash and took it apart, you would notice, that other than the CD module, there is only one PCB. Most of the components are surface mount other than an inductor, some electrolytics, and two amplifier ICs which mount to the chassis. If you looked closer you would see many of the through hole components (connectors especially) were not properly soldered (half empty pads). Signs of low quality control at whatever contract manufacturer Ford outsourced this to abound.

I reworked many of the components, all through hole components, especially connectors... I checked many things on the board and went over it with some optics. I installed it back in my car- 20 minutes later- CRACK POP!!!

So, I gave up. This car has shit on me too many times. I unplugged the radio and drove in silence for the next month and a half :( Poor me :(

Then, this past weekend, I decided to give the radio one last chance. I plugged it in and was able to drive for about five minutes before my ears were assaulted with the sound of Ford Quality! POP CRACKLE!!! FULL VOLUME!!! WE ALREADY HAVE YOUR MONEY!!! CRACKLE!!!

So, by now I was smart enough to leave the four screws out that hold down the radio face and secure the radio. At a stop light I ripped off the face, yanked out the radio while still crackling and plugged in, and then beat it mercilessly on the dash. I beat that radio like a red-headed step child. I smashed it and smashed it like it was a Ford representatives greasy melon. The person behind me, I could see in the rear view mirror, put their hand over their mouth in a gasp.

Eureka! It started working! Flawlessly! Unto this day it is still working without even a hiccup! I subconsciously resorted to the troubleshooting and repair methods of my past life as a mechanic and figuratively pulled out the BFA (big ********g hammer)!!!

Why did this work. Well, most likely Ford (or whoever designed built/outsourced) this radio used shit components. Actually, they probably should have used soft-termination caps near the connectors and other places prone physical or thermal stress. Perhaps this resulted in a PLL going bonkers. Who knows. Most likely the merciless beating took that misbehaving component out to pasture for good. Yay!

Bottom line is that, being a single PCB solid state device, there is no reason (despite whatever excuses) for these radios to fail this soon. This is just poor quality and customer service. Period.
So, the radio is trash if it is doing this anyways. Why not just beat the hell out of it... first off, you may fix your radio, secondly, it is very therapeutic.

TLDR. A few taps with the BFA and your radio should be good as new.
 

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Lmfao. My buddy is an "electronic guru" and works at a local dealer (he's very good with electronic stuff. Very good).

I'm sure he'd get a good laugh out of this, then proceed to tell you what the problem is/was.

Personally, I'd beat the f$*@ out of it myself as well.
 

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"fixed" he one loose connection missed in all the internal repair done.

beating on them can do that, at least for a while.
 

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So, many of you were or are having the same problem as me. I own a 2012 SEL Hatchback which other than the clutches going out, TCM going out, rattly headliner, rattly front suspension, and now crackling at full volume (even with the keys out of the car and radio off) radio, has been a good car :)

So, you just want to listen to the radio, your podcast, or turn off the radio so that you can get your tired little kid home after a late night out. Maybe you're enjoying a drive across the country or are stuck in traffic... CRACK STATIC!!!!! WTF!!!

So, when this happened to me I almost rear ended the person in front of me. Scared the * out of me. I blasted my dash with my fist and it stopped. Again, blast, stop. Again, blast, stop... Again, again, blast, blast, again, not stopping.

After a month or so I had to unplug my radio because it would constantly, at fully volume, pop, crack, and hiss.

Now, this is a three year old vehicle and this is obviously an electro-mechanical problem. This is inexcusable. If you are curious and took your radio out of the dash and took it apart, you would notice, that other than the CD module, there is only one PCB. Most of the components are surface mount other than an inductor, some electrolytics, and two amplifier ICs which mount to the chassis. If you looked closer you would see many of the through hole components (connectors especially) were not properly soldered (half empty pads). Signs of low quality control at whatever contract manufacturer Ford outsourced this to abound.

I reworked many of the components, all through hole components, especially connectors... I checked many things on the board and went over it with some optics. I installed it back in my car- 20 minutes later- CRACK POP!!!

So, I gave up. This car has shit on me too many times. I unplugged the radio and drove in silence for the next month and a half :( Poor me :(

Then, this past weekend, I decided to give the radio one last chance. I plugged it in and was able to drive for about five minutes before my ears were assaulted with the sound of Ford Quality! POP CRACKLE!!! FULL VOLUME!!! WE ALREADY HAVE YOUR MONEY!!! CRACKLE!!!

So, by now I was smart enough to leave the four screws out that hold down the radio face and secure the radio. At a stop light I ripped off the face, yanked out the radio while still crackling and plugged in, and then beat it mercilessly on the dash. I beat that radio like a red-headed step child. I smashed it and smashed it like it was a Ford representatives greasy melon. The person behind me, I could see in the rear view mirror, put their hand over their mouth in a gasp.

Eureka! It started working! Flawlessly! Unto this day it is still working without even a hiccup! I subconsciously resorted to the troubleshooting and repair methods of my past life as a mechanic and figuratively pulled out the BFA (big ********g hammer)!!!

Why did this work. Well, most likely Ford (or whoever designed built/outsourced) this radio used shit components. Actually, they probably should have used soft-termination caps near the connectors and other places prone physical or thermal stress. Perhaps this resulted in a PLL going bonkers. Who knows. Most likely the merciless beating took that misbehaving component out to pasture for good. Yay!

Bottom line is that, being a single PCB solid state device, there is no reason (despite whatever excuses) for these radios to fail this soon. This is just poor quality and customer service. Period.
So, the radio is trash if it is doing this anyways. Why not just beat the hell out of it... first off, you may fix your radio, secondly, it is very therapeutic.

TLDR. A few taps with the BFA and your radio should be good as new.
This is a thermal design flaw on the PCB - not sure why bashing it would cure the problem but I bet it didn't fix it for long, maybe the temperature dropped after you "fixed" it?
 

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This is a thermal design flaw on the PCB - not sure why bashing it would cure the problem but I bet it didn't fix it for long, maybe the temperature dropped after you "fixed" it?
This is a thermal design flaw on the PCB - not sure why bashing it would cure the problem but I bet it didn't fix it for long, maybe the temperature dropped after you "fixed" it?
Hang on here just a minute, I've been browsing these threads over the last few months trying to solve this problem in my own car, and no one prior to you mentioned a thermal design flaw on the PCB. Could you elaborate more on what that means, and how to fix the problem? I was planning on buying a new headunit for my car, but it would be nice to have confirmation that this would indeed work.
 

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Hang on here just a minute, I've been browsing these threads over the last few months trying to solve this problem in my own car, and no one prior to you mentioned a thermal design flaw on the PCB. Could you elaborate more on what that means, and how to fix the problem? I was planning on buying a new headunit for my car, but it would be nice to have confirmation that this would indeed work.
Are you into electronics? If not you wont understand much of this! You need to download the datasheet for the NXP DSP, inside this document it provides information on the external regulator required for the chip to work correctly (and within spec), now look at the component they have used on the pcb, ( totally different) you will see the thermal rating is not what is recommended in the NXP datasheet, how you fix this is dependant on your own imagination but I added a small copper tab and used a sil pad to draw the heat away from the MOSFET, changing just the MOSFET will cure the fault but for how long is anyone's guess?
 

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Are you into electronics? If not you wond understand much of this! You need to download the datasheet for the NXP DSP, inside this document it provides information on the external regulator required for the chip to work correctly (and within spec), now look at the component they have used on the pcb, ( totally different) you will see the thermal rating is not what is recommended in the NXP datasheet, how you fix this is dependant on your own imagination but I added a small copper tab and used a sil pad to draw the heat away from the MOSFET, changing just the MOSFET will cure the fault but for how long is anyone's guess?
I admit, I don't know much about electronics, this type of work is likely beyond what I know. But if I were to invest the time and energy to learn, I would want to know, did this fix the crackling problem in your car? And how long has it been fixed for?
 

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not my car but yes it has fixed it, I did this 3 weeks ago, radio was crackling intermittently for some time then it went pop and stopped working completely, this was the only component i replaced/touched and it was obvious it was overheating to begin with. This was on a 2013 Kuga ACM. a similar design using the same NXP audio processing IC as the Visteon C346 head unit although this one used a different transistor (having similar power and temperature rating). Running plastic packaged silicon at its maximum temperature is never a good idea, I was told the fire retardant additives in the plastic degrades them over time when running hot (hence military ICs use ceramic packages).
FYI the MOSFET has a power rating of 0.71 Watt at 25C ambient, the design assumes a dissipation of 0.64W. With an ambient temp of 50C (not uncommon for a head unit living above a heater box), the thermal calculations indicate its junction temp is around 163C (150C being the maximum it is allowed).
 

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not my car but yes it has fixed it, I did this 3 weeks ago, radio was crackling intermittently for some time then it went pop and stopped working completely, this was the only component i replaced/touched and it was obvious it was overheating to begin with. This was on a 2013 Kuga ACM. a similar design using the same NXP audio processing IC as the Visteon C346 head unit although this one used a different transistor (having similar power and temperature rating). Running plastic packaged silicon at its maximum temperature is never a good idea, I was told the fire retardant additives in the plastic degrades them over time when running hot (hence military ICs use ceramic packages).
FYI the MOSFET has a power rating of 0.71 Watt at 25C ambient, the design assumes a dissipation of 0.64W. With an ambient temp of 50C (not uncommon for a head unit living above a heater box), the thermal calculations indicate its junction temp is around 163C (150C being the maximum it is allowed).
I see! This is all helpful, although I will note my car is a 2013 Ford Focus, I was actually directed to this thread from another one that was Focus-specific, but I'm hoping your diagnosis and fix will align with my car as well. You mention the radio went pop and stopped working completely--did it still crackle after that though? My experience was that after the radio stopped working, the speakers would still transmit a loud crackling noise, regardless of if the radio was on or not. Hell, regardless of if the CAR was on or not. If this doesn't align with what you experienced in your friend's Kuga, I question whether your fix is applicable to my situation. Does what I described sound like what you saw in your friend's car, and if not, do you see your diagnosis as a possibility for my car?
 

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the Focus C346 was in production from 2012~2018 (earlier in Europe). the faulty component I had (not a Visteon unit) is different to the one you may have?. The Ford Kuga (Escape in the US) was based on the Focus and it could be yours is also a Sanyo automedia manufactured ACM?, Unfortunately Ford dropped their incumbent supplier (Visteon) around this time so it is anyones guess what ACM you you have. The only way to tell is remove the radio bezel and compare to attached image of what the sanyo unit looks like, (Black heatsink to left and screw at front - circled), if you are lucky to have this unit the fix is fairly easy to do (will need a soldering iron to change the transistor), As no servicing info is available for the radio I used the NXP datasheet to work out the minimum ratings of the transistor, the SI2315BDS fits nicely in the spec (Enhancement mode 2.7Amp P channel MOSFET) although the transistors package (SOT23) thermal rating is still poor, this is not helped as its located between a bunch of components that also run hot! I also added a small copper tab and used a thermal sil pad to sink the heat away from the component (stuck to metal work of housing) just to make sure this does not fail again after a few years.

The Visteon design is a bit different, it uses a different transistor package (WDFN-6) that wont come off the board with a normal soldering iron as its not a standard transistor package but you can get these from eBay (about $6 for 5 of them). I would be fairly confident it is causing the fault as it is again slightly under rated and performs the exact same task as the one in the Sanyo ACM.

If there was someone in the UK with a Visteon head unit (Ford Focus) that was crackling and popping I could replace the transistor to prove a point (at a small fee).
 

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Update! the earlier Visteon head units ~2010 (Sony SOCD1X) also used the same feeble transistor although this was located at the bottom of the PCB and does appear to have more bare copper around it so may not be as prone to the same failure?
 

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Update! the earlier Visteon head units ~2010 (Sony SOCD1X) also used the same feeble transistor although this was located at the bottom of the PCB and does appear to have more bare copper around it so may not be as prone to the same failure?
 

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You must mean this device that is hotter than the rest - it is a regulator, but it seemed to be operating correctly when I checked it on the bench. It's not that hot, but perhaps it could overheat in the vehicle.

309778
 

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Its difficult to see whats what here, the reg is close to the NXP SAF7741 (pin 31-33) possibly "Q501" if its a visteon unit?

I assume the flur image is taken from the top of the PCB (front of the head unit is at top of image?) - I would guess its SP2? the other bigger hot spot being the NXP audio processor IC? this is a power hungry IC!


62C maybe the case temperature of the part, add another 25C for an elevated ambient air temp and its already past 85C. The maximum die temp is 150C, this is the tiny piece of silicon buried inside the plastic package! - snip taken from C346 schematic: Note the Transistor does have a Schottky diode integrated but it isnt used - hope this helps.

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Its difficult to see whats what here, the reg is close to the NXP SAF7741 (pin 31-33) possibly "Q501" if its a visteon unit?

I assume the flur image is taken from the top of the PCB (front of the head unit is at top of image?) - I would guess its SP2? the other bigger hot spot being the NXP audio processor IC? this is a power hungry IC!


62C maybe the case temperature of the part, add another 25C for an elevated ambient air temp and its already past 85C. The maximum die temp is 150C, this is the tiny piece of silicon buried inside the plastic package! - snip taken from C346 schematic: Note the Transistor does have a Schottky diode integrated but it isnt used - hope this helps.

View attachment 309779
Yes, Q501 is a 2x2 QFN P-ch + schottky diode "Fetky" (On Semi NTLJF3117P) that gets pretty hot. I checked my original radio unit on the bench this afternoon at lunch and it is indeed putting out 1.8 volts when I apply 12V power to the connector. The gate of the MOSFET is controlled by the DSP as shown, though I believe it's a different DSP than shown in your diagram (marking "70150SC".) On my PCB there's an "ATTNxxx" attenuator (looks like an SMT inductor) between the output of the regulator MOSFET and the input pin on the DSP.

Note that the junction is likely only 1-2 deg C higher than what the what the IR camera "sees" and the area is neither burnt nor has the regulator failed to operate, at least on the bench when it does a momentary startup to see if the CAN bus is going to talk to it.
 

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I would suggest changing this part, noise on the 1.8V rail will affect audio quality (It is supplying the audio DSP) the 70150SC sounds a Ford/Visteon part number, is it a 144pin QFP IC? the original part number was 700184CFSC but possibly you have a cut down version, the schematic I have shows 4 tuner inputs (2 x FM one data and one DAB/SDAR) but not all have these. the 3.3V is derived from a different regulator (that also gets pretty warm) but it does feed the DSP via a ferrite as you say (and 1v8 rail feed a few pins). if you have a scope its worth checking the 3v3 and 1v8 rails and heat the PCB up and see what happens? if the 1.8 and 3v3 are there and you still dont have audio its likely either the DSP or the power amp IC (of which there were different versions - TDA8595, TDA8566 etc)

309783
 

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sorry i didnt read this fully, the unit only powers up for a few seconds if it doesnt see a can message, difficult to scope!
 

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sorry i didnt read this fully, the unit only powers up for a few seconds if it doesnt see a can message, difficult to scope!
Agreed. I have 2 failed units that are slightly different designs ('13 & '16), so I might "compare and contrast" to see what's common and I'm curious how Ford was bamboozled into using parts that clearly weren't well designed.
 
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