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Sorry eilif, but I don't have much of an answer for you.

First, you can pull the head unit from the dash and unplug it. The hazards and such should remain working.

Second, a scrap yard or eBay is your cheapest solution. Obviously buying a new factory head unit isn't cheap. And installing an aftermarket head unit requires some pricey parts (~$225 in parts).
Thanks for your guidance .

Is the head unit the grey box with two big plugs, one small plug and a CD slot?

I just pulled it out and have it in front of me. It's a DT1T-19C107-AF. Looks like there's lots of similar units on ebay for around 100.

Now that it's out, I won't get any more cackling right?

Are there no aftermarket units that use the stock screen and button interface? I have what I think is the stock 4 speaker with 4.2 LCD screen.

On the plus side, the ease with which I was able to pull this, has me thinking that if necessary I can probably tackle replacing everything with aftermarket.
 

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Yep. That piece contains the CD player, FM tuner, etc. But most importantly, it contains the amplifier that sends power to the speakers. If you just unplug it, it won't work obviously, but should keep everything else on the circuit operational.

No. Anything aftermarket will have its own buttons/display. You could get a real simple one for 60 bucks. But the parts to make it fit into the hole in the dash, and the harness to allow you to connect it to the factory plug aren't cheap. All said and done, the bare minimum you could probably spend to get something aftermarket up and running properly is right around $275 with a cheapo Pioneer or something. Closer to $500 for something nice.
 

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Thanks for that. I appreciate the education.

On a whim I called a Ford dealer and they have a unit for $350, which I assume is a refurb, but I don't know. For that price I'd rather go aftermarket.

I looked on Crutchfield and I can get a SONY WX-920BT and all the install parts for under $300 and retain my steering wheel controls. Any reason not to go that way? This is our only car and while we don't need high-end audio, I do want something reliable with CD port.

Any other suggestions for a radio choice?

I'm going to ride around for a day or so without the radio to make sure no other sounds happen and unless there are red flags, probably go with the above.

Does that seem wise?
 

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Thanks for that. I appreciate the education.

On a whim I called a Ford dealer and they have a unit for $350, which I assume is a refurb, but I don't know. For that price I'd rather go aftermarket.

I looked on Crutchfield and I can get a SONY WX-920BT and all the install parts for under $300 and retain my steering wheel controls. Any reason not to go that way? This is our only car and while we don't need high-end audio, I do want something reliable with CD port.

Any other suggestions for a radio choice?

I'm going to ride around for a day or so without the radio to make sure no other sounds happen and unless there are red flags, probably go with the above.

Does that seem wise?
That would work. But I'd call them and ask which dash kit they're going to send you. The Metra one kinda sucks.

If you think you'll ever want to add a rear-view camera, you should opt for a screen now. Pioneer AVH-211EX.
 

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That would work. But I'd call them and ask which dash kit they're going to send you. The Metra one kinda sucks.

If you think you'll ever want to add a rear-view camera, you should opt for a screen now. Pioneer AVH-211EX.

Is there a better option than the Metra? That's the only one I could find on their site.

I already have Rear View camera and it looks like the Metra face retains that at the top above the radio.
 

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Alternatively is there a generic mounting kit that can I can buy and then just cut the opening myself? I have some experience cutting and modifying plastic and It'd be nice to save 80 bucks.
 

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Just a quick update.
Bought the whole kit and caboodle from Crutchfield. For anyone looking at this as an option, here's what they sold me for a 2015 Transit Connect wagon that already had a back-up camera

Sony WX-920BT
$118.00

Metra 40-EU10 Antenna Adapter
$11.69

Metra 99-5831 Dash Kit
Painted Black
$77.96

Axxess ASWC-1 Steering Wheel Control Adapter
$46.74

Metra ISOPK Screw Pack
$1.55

Axxess XSVI-5524-NAV Wiring Interface

$38.97

Subtotal
$294.91
Shipping
FREE
Sales Tax
$18.44
Total
$313.35


Could possibly have saved a couple bucks buying some of the parts on amazon, but the pricing was pretty competitive.

I skipped the usual crimp connectors and bought a pack of 50 WAGO lever nut wire connectors at Menards for around 12 bucks. Dang these things are easy to use. You still have to strip your own wire, but connection/unconnection/reconnection is flawless!

So far the instructions Crutchfield emailed me are moderately useful mostly, though I just compared the wire lists from the radio and from the wiring kit and matched them up.

So far...
1) Radio is hooked up and dash facia installed. Looks pretty good.
https://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=261739&stc=1&d=1567693868
Black Facia looks good, and seems to match the color of the HVAC control panel below but the rubberized surface plastic is already a fingerprint magnet. It's called painted black, so I assume they spray on some kind of rubber paint?

Also, the mounts that hold the radio are plastic. I don't know if this is the norm, but I was hoping for metal. Still it all seems to fit well.


2)Radio works and looks nice. Sounds better than stock but I assume it's performance is still being held back by the stock speakers.

The LCD screen is kind of hard to read though. I assume this is partially because of the screen itself but and perhaps mostly because in the Transit connect, the radio is angled somewhat upward rather than perpendicular to the ground as in most cars.

3)Have not finished installing and activating steering wheel controls. I will be downloading those instructions today and expect it to be the most annoying part of the process.

4)In an odd bit of un-functionality, the stock backup camera screen doesn't work when the plug going to the airbag indicator is attached. At this point I'm just leaving that unplugged as it doesn't affect my daily functionality.

So that's where I'm at now. Will update as things progress. So far, I'm fairly pleased with everything. I'm in about $325 at this point. If I skipped the steering wheel kit, I could have easily kept this at $280.
 

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Nice man. And that's the first time I've seen that version of the Metra kit. Though the Focus kit is DARN similar, the Transit one looks much better IMO.

It's normal for the radio mounts to be plastic. I know.[:(]

The LCD screen on the Sony? Most of them have adjustable brightness. Make sure the brightness is up. Also, does the brightness change automatically when you turn the headlights on/off? Maybe the orange illumination wire on the Sony was connected incorrectly and now it thinks the headlights are on all the time (so the screen is auto-dimmed)? Just a thought.

Real odd issue with the back up cam. I've got no help for you on that. But Crutchfield is known for their customer service and install guidance. It's what made Crutchfield who they are today. So I wouldn't hesitate calling them up and asking about it.
 

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I'm both relieved and saddened that I am not alone with my 2012 Ford Focus SEL car problems.

Since buying brand new off the lot, this car has been NOTHING but problems. Spent $2200 getting the dual clutch replaced after my car just locked up and shut down while driving down the road. Thankfully no one was injured. Then the radio started with the hissing, popping, crackling. Scares the bejesus outta me and could just as easily cause an accident. I called Ford and they suggested I call United Radio, as it was their stereo installed in my vehicle. Called them and they asked I send in my radio and they would fix it for me. Cost me $480. Worked like a charm. Until it didn't.

9 months after sending it in for repair, the noises began again. I rang United and explained. They stated that my stereo would be under their warranty for 12 months and I I was still within that time frame. Relieved, I provided my name and my vehicles VIN to get the process underway. After providing info, United said they had no records of ever servicing my car. JESUS CHRIST ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!!! They stated that they had recently "switched systems" and that might why they're not seeing my info. But I could still send it in and they'd see "what they could do."

SCREW IT. Whats the use? I'm not wasting my time going through all of this, only to have the radio breakdown again in a few months and next time it happens, the warranty would be expired. I am looking for a PERMANENT AND VIABLE SOLUTION!! I see others have gone the aftermarket route. I would like to do the same but have no idea where to even begin with the process. IMO FORD SHOULD BY US ALL AFTERMARKET AND PUT IT IN THEMSELVES AS NO ONE SHOULD BE DEALING WITH THIS CRAP!!

But, with that being said, can anyone suggest what type of aftermarket I should get? I am not worried about SYNC or steering wheel functionality. I've never used it anyway. I would like to stick with sony, garmin, or kenwood if possible. But I see I will need a harness or something like that? Some kind of adapter kit? My boyfriend can install it for me, but we are just looking for some guidance on what others have done with long term success? <-- KEY WORD - LONG TERM! Something Ford knows NOTHING ABOUT!!

Thanks in advance for your time and your help!
 

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I'm both relieved and saddened that I am not alone with my 2012 Ford Focus SEL car problems.

Since buying brand new off the lot, this car has been NOTHING but problems. Spent $2200 getting the dual clutch replaced after my car just locked up and shut down while driving down the road. Thankfully no one was injured. Then the radio started with the hissing, popping, crackling. Scares the bejesus outta me and could just as easily cause an accident. I called Ford and they suggested I call United Radio, as it was their stereo installed in my vehicle. Called them and they asked I send in my radio and they would fix it for me. Cost me $480. Worked like a charm. Until it didn't.

9 months after sending it in for repair, the noises began again. I rang United and explained. They stated that my stereo would be under their warranty for 12 months and I I was still within that time frame. Relieved, I provided my name and my vehicles VIN to get the process underway. After providing info, United said they had no records of ever servicing my car. JESUS CHRIST ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!!! They stated that they had recently "switched systems" and that might why they're not seeing my info. But I could still send it in and they'd see "what they could do."

SCREW IT. Whats the use? I'm not wasting my time going through all of this, only to have the radio breakdown again in a few months and next time it happens, the warranty would be expired. I am looking for a PERMANENT AND VIABLE SOLUTION!! I see others have gone the aftermarket route. I would like to do the same but have no idea where to even begin with the process. IMO FORD SHOULD BY US ALL AFTERMARKET AND PUT IT IN THEMSELVES AS NO ONE SHOULD BE DEALING WITH THIS CRAP!!

But, with that being said, can anyone suggest what type of aftermarket I should get? I am not worried about SYNC or steering wheel functionality. I've never used it anyway. I would like to stick with sony, garmin, or kenwood if possible. But I see I will need a harness or something like that? Some kind of adapter kit? My boyfriend can install it for me, but we are just looking for some guidance on what others have done with long term success? <-- KEY WORD - LONG TERM! Something Ford knows NOTHING ABOUT!!

Thanks in advance for your time and your help!
Exactly what features would you like? CD? AUX? USB? Bluetooth? DVD? Touchscreen? Navigation? Apple CarPlay? Android Auto? Satellite Radio? Could you give an honest ballpark of what you're looking to spend all-in? I'm sure after all the run-around you don't want to spend any more than necessary, but I don't want to shortchange you and suggest subpar choices just to hit a price point. You see in the post above yours what eilif spent and got?
 

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I'm both relieved and saddened that I am not alone with my 2012 Ford Focus SEL car problems.

Since buying brand new off the lot, this car has been NOTHING but problems. Spent $2200 getting the dual clutch replaced after my car just locked up and shut down while driving down the road. Thankfully no one was injured. Then the radio started with the hissing, popping, crackling. Scares the bejesus outta me and could just as easily cause an accident. I called Ford and they suggested I call United Radio, as it was their stereo installed in my vehicle. Called them and they asked I send in my radio and they would fix it for me. Cost me $480. Worked like a charm. Until it didn't.

9 months after sending it in for repair, the noises began again. I rang United and explained. They stated that my stereo would be under their warranty for 12 months and I I was still within that time frame. Relieved, I provided my name and my vehicles VIN to get the process underway. After providing info, United said they had no records of ever servicing my car. JESUS CHRIST ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!!! They stated that they had recently "switched systems" and that might why they're not seeing my info. But I could still send it in and they'd see "what they could do."

SCREW IT. Whats the use? I'm not wasting my time going through all of this, only to have the radio breakdown again in a few months and next time it happens, the warranty would be expired. I am looking for a PERMANENT AND VIABLE SOLUTION!! I see others have gone the aftermarket route. I would like to do the same but have no idea where to even begin with the process. IMO FORD SHOULD BY US ALL AFTERMARKET AND PUT IT IN THEMSELVES AS NO ONE SHOULD BE DEALING WITH THIS CRAP!!

But, with that being said, can anyone suggest what type of aftermarket I should get? I am not worried about SYNC or steering wheel functionality. I've never used it anyway. I would like to stick with sony, garmin, or kenwood if possible. But I see I will need a harness or something like that? Some kind of adapter kit? My boyfriend can install it for me, but we are just looking for some guidance on what others have done with long term success? <-- KEY WORD - LONG TERM! Something Ford knows NOTHING ABOUT!!

Thanks in advance for your time and your help!
I nabbed a radio from a 2016 and installed it into my 2013, been working since last August. Top stickied thread has info - several people have done this and it's easy to do yourself.
 

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Buyer's remorse or blue oval blues. My stereo has decided to terrorize me with LOUD popping, crackling, and white noise. In the beginning my stereo would make a loud pop and then not emit any sound. The display would work, and I could change the stations, inputs, and volume, but no noise would come out of the speakers. I would simply turn the car off and back on and the problem would be resolved. Since, this gremlin has transformed into a creature off a "Predator" movie. Now when I start my car, the music may play for a couple seconds and then the loud popping takes over. Whether the volume is on "1" or "10" the noise is just as loud and startling. I would simply turn off the power to the stereo, but this did not seem to alleviate anything. Although not as consistent, the noise seems to intermittently come even if the car is turned off and the key NOT in the ignition.
As stated, this noise is very loud and startling. It startled me enough that I accidentally jerked the wheel out of reflex while driving down the highway yesterday. Music is a luxury, but having the crap scared out of you by your own car while driving is a GIANT SAFETY ISSUE!!

A little back history on this vehicle: I bought it brand new from a Ford dealer. My last vehicle (Toyota) was completely unreliable and I was excited to have a new, dependable, car with good fuel economy and would bring me peace of mind. Unfortunately, this radio issue is not its only defect. As many others, I too have been dealing with the transmission issues of it shuttering, grinding, losing power, and killing my MPG.

Is there any hope in Ford rectifying my issues or should this lemon be returned to the farm?[:(] Unfortunately my warranty has expired as I am now at 40,000 miles. One dealer wants $80 just to diagnose the radio issue, while the other wants $120 to do the same. Both stated that the transmission parts are on back order so they can't do anything about it for a while. I have read other threads from people with this radio issue and am wondering if Ford is acknowledging this issue or simply trying to sweep it under the rug and let their loyal customers' wallets take the heat for their shortcomings??

I don't hate Ford, my other Ford vehicles were awesome. But this one has made me lose a lot of hope in their brand and the overall quality of American auto manufacturers' products.
My ford focus is doing this EXACT same thing! Everything you said. I was just standing in my kitchen and literally heard my car make that LOUD ass noise!! I don't know what to do. I'm scared to even drive it
 

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I’m sure the OP has long resolved this issue but, the popping and cracking loud noises from the stereo are caused by the Microsoft system inside the radio. Change to an aftermarket radio soon, because I theorize that this short somehow affects the TCM.
 

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I am sure that everyone on this forum has found some sort of solution by now, but hopefully this can help someone in the future. I have been battling that loud POP issue coming from my speakers for the past few weeks. My vehicle finally got to a point where the radio was completely disabled, the little LCD froze on a page, buttons did not have background light, and NO noise was emitting from the speakers anymore (not even the popping). I have a background in PJB level electronics, so I decided to give it a go.

To give some context, I have a 2014 Focus SE, and this POS has been in for too many warranty issues, but I just exceeded my 100k mi warranty. I tried to buy a new audio control module from ford, but they wanted $570 for it which is BS. I found a company in VA that sells the whole module for $260 which I ordered but have not received yet (if you prefer buying a new one rather than my solution below, PM me and I will share the company). I will be returning the ACM back to this company in VA because I am very confident that my solution below is a viable solution.

When I pulled the radio out, I noticed that there were 2 specific components that were HOT to the touch (screenshot of said components below). Coincidentally, these components also had a layer of thermal paste on the outside that made contact with the casing. This thermal paste appeared to be very dried out like it has been over heated.
305411


The solution, I went to Best Buy and bought a new tube of thermal paste for $7.99 and coated the face of these 2 components. After doing so, my radio miraculously started working again, and has been working FLAWLESSLY for the past week, no popping, no scratching, no issues at all.

I anticipate that several years down the line I will need to do this again when the new layer of paste is dried out, but hopefully I get rid of this nightmare of a car before then. This whole process can take about 15-20 minutes. It took me a bit longer because I spent some time with my multimeter trying to find a failed chipset.

Anyways, I hope that this saves somebody some hair loss. Good luck guys/girls.
 

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I am sure that everyone on this forum has found some sort of solution by now, but hopefully this can help someone in the future. I have been battling that loud POP issue coming from my speakers for the past few weeks. My vehicle finally got to a point where the radio was completely disabled, the little LCD froze on a page, buttons did not have background light, and NO noise was emitting from the speakers anymore (not even the popping). I have a background in PJB level electronics, so I decided to give it a go.

To give some context, I have a 2014 Focus SE, and this POS has been in for too many warranty issues, but I just exceeded my 100k mi warranty. I tried to buy a new audio control module from ford, but they wanted $570 for it which is BS. I found a company in VA that sells the whole module for $260 which I ordered but have not received yet (if you prefer buying a new one rather than my solution below, PM me and I will share the company). I will be returning the ACM back to this company in VA because I am very confident that my solution below is a viable solution.

When I pulled the radio out, I noticed that there were 2 specific components that were HOT to the touch (screenshot of said components below). Coincidentally, these components also had a layer of thermal paste on the outside that made contact with the casing. This thermal paste appeared to be very dried out like it has been over heated.
View attachment 305411

The solution, I went to Best Buy and bought a new tube of thermal paste for $7.99 and coated the face of these 2 components. After doing so, my radio miraculously started working again, and has been working FLAWLESSLY for the past week, no popping, no scratching, no issues at all.

I anticipate that several years down the line I will need to do this again when the new layer of paste is dried out, but hopefully I get rid of this nightmare of a car before then. This whole process can take about 15-20 minutes. It took me a bit longer because I spent some time with my multimeter trying to find a failed chipset.

Anyways, I hope that this saves somebody some hair loss. Good luck guys/girls.
Tonka,

I have a 2012 Ford Fiesta SE and the radio is KILLING ME with the crackling, popping, loud white noise even when the radio is not on. So, you are saying I can buy paste from Best Buy to get this to work and save $700 that the dealership is trying to charge me? Can you tell me more?
 

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Tonka,

I have a 2012 Ford Fiesta SE and the radio is KILLING ME with the crackling, popping, loud white noise even when the radio is not on. So, you are saying I can buy paste from Best Buy to get this to work and save $700 that the dealership is trying to charge me? Can you tell me more?
That is what worked for me. I would first go get some thermal paste from Best Buy for $7 and coat the outside of those 2 components. This paste helps regulate heat to keep electrical components from getting too hot and displaying bad behavior, which I believe to be the cause of this problem. If you would rather buy a new radio, there is a company out of Virginia called 1 Factory Radio (804-658-5978) they sell the whole radio for $240ish and is very easy to replace. Screw Ford, don’t give them your money for making poor quality parts. Let me know if there was anything unclear in my repair description and I will elaborate for you.
 

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That is what worked for me. I would first go get some thermal paste from Best Buy for $7 and coat the outside of those 2 components. This paste helps regulate heat to keep electrical components from getting too hot and displaying bad behavior, which I believe to be the cause of this problem. If you would rather buy a new radio, there is a company out of Virginia called 1 Factory Radio (804-658-5978) they sell the whole radio for $240ish and is very easy to replace. Screw Ford, don’t give them your money for making poor quality parts. Let me know if there was anything unclear in my repair description and I will elaborate for you.
While I have your attention...I tried disconnecting my car battery for 45 minutes and then restarting. The crackling noise has seemed to stop, at least temporarily, but now the display screen is stuck on "Ford Touch, Ford Audio" screen, none of the buttons work, the on/off button doesn't work, and the radio obviously does not turn on. I would definitely like to avoid paying Ford $800! I've been told it could be the Audio Control Module. I'm curious if you, based on your experience with similar issues, have any thoughts on what else it could be.
 

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I will elaborate more on the topic I started but after messing about with aftermarket stuff and wasting a bunch of cash I bought a receiver off eBay for about 80 bucks from a seller with a return policy.

Plug and play. Noise is gone and I'm happy.
The one thing I will say is that while most sellers didn't have a picture of the reciever itself, I was careful to buy from a dealer that showed a picture of the same center console as my 2015 TC wagon.
 

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Just a quick update.
Bought the whole kit and caboodle from Crutchfield. For anyone looking at this as an option, here's what they sold me for a 2015 Transit Connect wagon that already had a back-up camera

Sony WX-920BT
$118.00

Metra 40-EU10 Antenna Adapter
$11.69

Metra 99-5831 Dash Kit
Painted Black
$77.96

Axxess ASWC-1 Steering Wheel Control Adapter
$46.74

Metra ISOPK Screw Pack
$1.55

Axxess XSVI-5524-NAV Wiring Interface

$38.97

Subtotal
$294.91
Shipping
FREE
Sales Tax
$18.44
Total
$313.35


Could possibly have saved a couple bucks buying some of the parts on amazon, but the pricing was pretty competitive.

I skipped the usual crimp connectors and bought a pack of 50 WAGO lever nut wire connectors at Menards for around 12 bucks. Dang these things are easy to use. You still have to strip your own wire, but connection/unconnection/reconnection is flawless!

So far the instructions Crutchfield emailed me are moderately useful mostly, though I just compared the wire lists from the radio and from the wiring kit and matched them up.

So far...
1) Radio is hooked up and dash facia installed. Looks pretty good.
https://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=261739&stc=1&d=1567693868
Black Facia looks good, and seems to match the color of the HVAC control panel below but the rubberized surface plastic is already a fingerprint magnet. It's called painted black, so I assume they spray on some kind of rubber paint?

Also, the mounts that hold the radio are plastic. I don't know if this is the norm, but I was hoping for metal. Still it all seems to fit well.


2)Radio works and looks nice. Sounds better than stock but I assume it's performance is still being held back by the stock speakers.

The LCD screen is kind of hard to read though. I assume this is partially because of the screen itself but and perhaps mostly because in the Transit connect, the radio is angled somewhat upward rather than perpendicular to the ground as in most cars.

3)Have not finished installing and activating steering wheel controls. I will be downloading those instructions today and expect it to be the most annoying part of the process.

4)In an odd bit of un-functionality, the stock backup camera screen doesn't work when the plug going to the airbag indicator is attached. At this point I'm just leaving that unplugged as it doesn't affect my daily functionality.

So that's where I'm at now. Will update as things progress. So far, I'm fairly pleased with everything. I'm in about $325 at this point. If I skipped the steering wheel kit, I could have easily kept this at $280.
I guess this was the topic I had posted too.

Anyway, here's what happened after...
-Even after maxing the brightness the screen was really hard to see in any kind of daylight. The angle from the Metra kit is just wrong for a traditional lcd display. I assume a modern video lcd screen would be better but who knows..

-Never was able to get the steering wheel controls to work. Returned that wiring unit to Crutchfield.

-Something about the radio kept draining my battery. Local electronics specialist couldn't figure it out but it would stop happening when I unplugged the Sony. Happened so often I bought an emergency battery charger.

-thought for a couple months about hard wiring in a power cut switch but didn't seem worth it. I didn't want to lose my presents and I missed having steering wheel control.

-After a few months of cell phone radio and general indecision I bought a head unit (called "reciever" on eBay) from a junkyard seller on eBay with a return policy. Cost about 80 bucks shipped.
Was careful to buy from a listing that had the exact same control panel. Only a couple were like mine with the Backup camera lcd display on top and no mini lcd readout in the middle of the controls.

-Took me about 10 minutes to put everything back stock and it all worked with the first power up.

I've got back full functionality and my wife is especially glad to have the steering wheel controls back. So far no battery drainage.

If the static sound returns I'll try the thermal paste but as long as this lasts a couple years I've got no problem buying another sub-100-dollar junkyard reciever.

Next step will be to contact Crutchfield and see if they will accept the parts back, even with a restocking fee. If not I'll sell them myself. I've modified the wiring kit so I'm stuck with that.

So, best case scenario (assuming they take back the radio and Metra kit with a restocking fee) I'm out a hundred bucks and I've got a battery charger. Worst case I resell on my own, take 200 buck or so bath and chalk it up to experience.

Anyway, make of this what you will. I'm happy with the end result. I would generally recommend a used head for someone who wants the cheapest, lowest hassle solution to this problem but of course YMMV.

Good luck folks.
 

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An addendum to the above. I contacted Crutchfield, and it looks like they are going to take everything back! The message from them wasn't completely clear, but it sounds like they'd had some similar issues with my combination of gear in the ensuing months.

I've got a return address label from Crutchfield and I'll let you all know how it turns out. Even if they take a sizable restocking fee, I'll be more than happy after this many months have passed. Will definitely look to them again in the future for electronics.
 
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