Since last November, the radio will be playing and there will be a loud pop
and it will stop playing. The station numbers will still show in the window,
but that's it.
We found, after checking fuses and the antenna, that the car needed to be
shut off and then, it would usually play.
If not shut off, there will be occasional loud pops that sound like speaker
wires shorting. It's been getting worse. My Subaru dealer went right to
replacing the radio. The radio seems to be a real chore to get out of the
dash and I haven't tried anything.
Suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
The model is CZ601U1 MP3/WMA Compact Disc Digital Audio Text AM/FM
Clarion's OEM relationships with several automotive companies: Nissan,
Saab, Suzuki, Ford, Volkswagen, Proton, Toyota, Peugot, and Subaru. In
2015, Subaru America announced they would put in Harmon Kardon radios.
Was this a dealer-installed aftermarket radio?
"Subaru dealer went right to replacing the radio."
And you're still hearing loud pops? Is there a separate amplifier from
the radio, like in the trunk? Maybe only the head unit got replaced (in
the dash) but the amplifier is still the old one.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
From that pic, the radio seems more than large enough to have its own
internal amplifier; however, that doesn't stop users or dealers from
adding an even bigger amplifier to push out more undistorted watts.
Since this radio has Bluetooth, did you go into its configuration to
delete all current or old Bluetooth connections and test for awhile with
nothing Bluetooth that can connect to the radio?
Did you try testing with a different pair of speakers (on front or rear,
whichever is easier to get at)? Maybe you blew the speakers. Going
loud means a lot more distortion and that can blow speakers. Too much
power will distort the speaker cones beyond their designed range and
tear the cones. Distortion doesn't directly damage a speaker (clipping
of the audio signal due to overpowering) but overpowering will push the
voice coil too far and can rip it from the diaphragm, plus the foam
surround attaching diaphragm to frame gets overflexed and can rip.
The surround foam around the paper speaker cone (diaphragm) to the
speaker frame will age, become stiffer, and deteriorate. This will
cause distortion in output that some users will try to compensate by
overpowering the speaker (turning up the volume too high). With the
foam surround not holding the diaphragm in alignment, the voice coil can
score against the magnet, wear off the varnish, and short out. You end
up with a burnt voice coil.
I had problems with my Infinity bookshelf speakers, took off the fabric
cover, and the foam would crumble when running my finger lightly along
the foam surround. These are indoor speakers, so they don't experience
the heat, sun, or other elements to which car speakers are subjected. I
bought a foam surround kit, removed the old foam surround and installed
the new one (making sure the voice coil attached to the diaphragm moved
freely and was straight up-down inside the magnet before gluing the foam
surround to the diaphragm and then to the frame), and the speakers
worked like new. For me, it was just replacing the foam surround. For
blown speakers, could be the voice coil is ripped from the diaphragm.
I had a 2002 Subaru Legacy whose foam surround on its speakers was so
deteriorated that they really didn't keep aligned the diaphragm and
voice coil. In addition, because it's a car sitting outside in the sun
all the time (never garaged), the mounting plate made of plastic had
also deteriorated resulting in torqueing or skewing the speaker frame.
The mounting brackets were useless for the rear over-strut mounted
speakers. I could get new ones so I had to fabricate a new frame from
wood (since I could work with that to tool it into shape).
How do you know the speakers aren't the problem? The radio seems to
work, you put in a new one, but you still don't get any sound, or just
loud pops, or the speaker works at low volume after starting the car but
then overpowering or distortion shorts the voice coil or pushes the
diaphragm too far causing the voice coil to stick. Loud popping noises
are destructive to speakers.
The popping and loss of audio happens after starting the car. That
means the car was stationary, you started the car, but then did you
drive the car around or just leave it parked as before? Vibration from
driving (or a very shaky car) could apply stress to wiring connectors.
Have you gone to each speaker to pulled each wire off the speaker tangs
and push them back on, and repeat a few times, to wipe any oxidation off
the connection? There are probably connections within the wiring
harness, like at a connector under the dash and behind the side panels
in front of the front doors. The dealer would've already scraped the
multi-pin connector from the radio to the wiring harness at that end but
he did it only once. Maybe the popping you hear is crackling from bad
I had to modify my post since the mechanic (used Subaru's manager/mechanic)
'Suggested replacing, but did not do that.
Old radio still installed, no external amp, antenna on a short post in the
back of car roof.
I appreciate your time, so let me describe things better. Aside from the
'pop' that happens when output to speakers seems to stop, the radio plays
perfectly. The speakers do no distort and besides, there must be 6 of them
in the car, so a failed speaker shouldn't stop output.
Sometimes. IF the radio was shutoff when last the car was parked, if I wait
a bit and turn on the radio, there will be no output from the start no pop
needed. However, left on, periodically, there will be that pop which is
coming out of the speakers.
Seems like a thermal reset or self-resetting fuse is in the system. Thanks
Use the balance and fader to isolate sound to just one speaker. See
which one or if all have the pop. If you can isolate the popping to
just one speaker or two on the same side then tis likely the head unit
in the dash, like a capacitor gone bad.
A thermal fuse can be resettable or non-resettable. A non-resettable
one blows to sacrifice itself but then you have to open the device to
remove the blown one and solder in a new one. A resettable fuse takes a
while before it resets (after the temperature goes down). You didn't
mention how between pops. Unless you good at tracing logic and
recognizing components inside the radio and doing the repair and
soldering yourself, someone else will have to fix the radio and that
cost could be close, or more, than getting a used radio to replace the
defective old one.
Did the mechanic ever actually hear the popping noise? Looks like his
suggestion is the most likely solution. STOP USING THE RADIO in the
meantime. Popping damages speakers. Unless you're going to replace the
entire sound system - head+amp unit and all speakers - get accustomed to
driving around *without* listening to the radio. The radio is not
mandatory to the operation of the vehicle, nor mandatory by a driver.
NOTE: Either disable the spam signature appended by Avast or uninstall
the superfluous Mail Shield module (adds no more protection than for the
on-access/real-time scanner). Else, Avast will spamify all your posts.
Thanks again. I do shut off the radio, but this problem presented itself
last November, but didn't last long and I've been able to use the radio
steadily until around the middle of May. There will be perfect reception,
then that loud pop, and then no reception, no noise for several minutes
before other single pops. Since it worked from Nov. thru to May, I was
hoping that it was intermittent enough to start working again.
Really was hoping it was a loose wire or antenna, but I don't think I can
get my hand behind the radio to check it out.
The pop, loss of audio, and coming back later sounds like bad
capacitors. They all dry out over time but some formulations last
longer, are more expensive, and why some brands or models are more
expensive. Tantulum capacitors are pricey, so they get used only where
needed. They last longer than aluminum-canned electrolytic capacitors.
While precautionary design has been implemented, tantulums tend to short
when they fail (and will heat up, smoke, and burn up). Electrolytics
tend to drift or open but can burn up if the electrolyte dries out. The
popping you hear could be in the amp part of the radio, or it could be
due to the large caps using the power supply (although you said the
station and lights on the radio are still operational). Tantulums
should be give a wide margin regarding the maximum operating voltage and
not used in high-frequency circuits. ESR ceramic caps are often
substitued for tantulums. Often when a capacitor fails, other
components also go to Component Heaven. When chip caps fail, they get
hold, melt their solder, and fall off the PCB. Amp and power caps are
huge by comparison.
A loss of reception would result in losing the station and substituted
with the white hash noise that you hear when tuning between stations
(unless the radio is very good at squelching that noise but means you
lose more distant stations). What you're describing appears likely a
loss of audio output, not that the radio loses the station. Losing a
radio station does NOT produce a popping noise. If that were true,
everytime you tuned away from a station means the radio would pop.
You can watch for sales to minimize the impact to your wallet. Some
places even sell used units. There are a couple of salvagers (not junk
yards but places that strip vehicles for parts to resell and they then
sell off the car shell to the junker). I've gotten parts from those
salvagers and some parts even come with a warranty (but usually a lot
shorter, like 3 months for a radio instead of 1 year when bought new
from a retailer). One is a junker where you go into the yard and pull
the part(s) yourself (but no welders or power tools), so their prices
are even cheaper - but no warranty. They list their current inventory
by brand and model, so you have an idea if the part (over applicable
model years) might be there; however, they don't guarantee what is in
the car after getting stripped, so you need to check their inventory for
something recently delivered to them and get there quick. You do the
work and you drive there to find out if the junker has the parts you
want. That junker specializes in vehicles that are 20+ years old, so
they are great for Subarus which last a long time but not if you have a
newer model. If you don't want to incur the risk (of driving out there
to find the parts have already been taken) then the other salvager does
the stripping, stocks their shelves, you know the part is there, but you
pay more due to their work to strip and organize into their stock. At
the you-pull-their-parts junker (where models were 1999, or earlier), a
AM/FM-CD radio would cost $21 (the price is fixed for all cars). At the
junker that does the stripping and stocking, they didn't have one for a
2009 Impreza but will let you request a quote where they will check with
other junkers if they have one and quote a price.
At eBay, the exact CS601U1 model is being sold there (used) for $40 (and
$13 shipping). You have 14 days to return (at your shipping cost). If
you don't want preowned (used) then there are new and refurbished units
selling for $98 there. Buying new, say, from Crutchfield will run you
around $150, or more. Of course, you'll be doing the work to remove the
old unit to install the new one.
Thanks again. You have correctly identified what I've been trying to say and
you obviously know what you're talking about. Sounds like I better start
carrying around some CD's while I hunt for a radio. ;)
Well, since the radio is an AM/FM receiver, CD player and MP3 player,
you might want to use the CD and MP3 sources for a while to see if the
popping still exists. The power supply and amp would still be common.
If the popping disappears when using CDs or flash sticks for MP3 then
you know the problem is isolated to just the radio circuitry. Well,
that might let you isolate where in the radio the popping originates but
doesn't really help if you are not the hobbyist type that can go inside
to do the repair. Sometimes you can see a leaked electrolytic, so you
know to replace that capacitor. Sometimes you cannot see they leaked
until you desolder the cap to see underneath it. A bulging cap
indicates a leaked cap. A voltage regulator can cause a cap to go bad,
so replacing the cap just has it blow out again. I've had caps that
blew, didn't find any remains, and it took a while to notice the little
leg remnants still soldered on the PCB.
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