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Discussion Starter #1
Doesn't matter what station but my radio will crackle/static when I driver over bumps, specially the lane marker dots. Only happens on AM though, FM & XM are strong. Guess maybe my AM antenna wire/connection is loose. I'm taking it in on Friday to get a new wheel, fix wind noise, rear window, paint crack and now the radio too.
 

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You are generating quite a list for the rest of us to use when we pick up our trucks.

Maybe we should start a separate thread somewhere about quality isuues to watch out for when inspecting your new truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
zero said:
You are generating quite a list for the rest of us to use when we pick up our trucks.

Maybe we should start a separate thread somewhere about quality isuues to watch out for when inspecting your new truck.
Indeed, I'll make a Check List thread soon and add everything I found and I'll edit my post as others chime in with other issues. That will make it convenient so others just have to print out the first post instead of reading the whole thread. Maybe Tom can make it sticky.
 

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rear window?/paint crack?

can you elaberate on this? thanks.
 

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I'm getting the same crackling sound but mine occurs even on smooth surfaces. I really believe it is the headunit. The XM and the FM radio works well. One thing I noticed is that one particular radio station I listen to on my Mazda MPV does not come in very well on the Ridgeline...I guess the hidden antenna thing is not that great...Honda really makes you want to stick with XM.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Appears this only happens when I turn up the cabin heat to like 75-78 degrees and then after 10-15 minutes it will start to crackle with static when I go over rough surfaces. Hopefully now when I take it in and do a drive with the manager I can reproduce it and they'll finally do something about it.
 

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The AM portion of this radio seems to suck. FM, XM, and CD's sound great.
Cannot get much volume out of AM without distortion.

Doug
 

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Haha, mine is the opposite, AM comes in LOUD and FM is really low. I have to change the volume controls markedly when switching bands. Station selection on band doesn't matter.
 

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Hmmm...I get significant crackle with XM on bumps and left rear speaker cuts in and out. Dealer says he hasn't heard of this but it should be easy to demonstrate since it's pretty persistant.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Skyburst said:
Hmmm...I get significant crackle with XM on bumps and left rear speaker cuts in and out. Dealer says he hasn't heard of this but it should be easy to demonstrate since it's pretty persistant.

I only have it on AM but try banging hard on top of the dash above the radio with your closed fist. I need to let my radio warm up for 10-20 minutes before it will do this. With either my first or driving over lane marker bumps at low speeds I'll hear a crackle or static on any AM station. Most likely it's a bad head unit or less likely a soft connection to the head unit with one of the harness connectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
GRRRRRR, now my new radio is doing the same darn thing again. It was fine until I had my windshield replaced and all the sudden it started acting up again. Coincidence? who knows. I'm really starting to get sick of this. I'd like to be able to stay away from the dealer at least for a few weeks. So far it's been in 5 times.
 

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We're still at the stage of having this happen while the dealer is listening. Happens all the time otherwise...and of course they haven't heard of the problem before...even at Honda control headquarters. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Skyburst said:
We're still at the stage of having this happen while the dealer is listening. Happens all the time otherwise...and of course they haven't heard of the problem before...even at Honda control headquarters. :confused:

So far they've replaced my head unit and then my attenna lead & module, no luck so far.
 

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I picked up my RTL-Navi last week. I was very concerned that I would have problems with AM reception after reading many posts about poor performance on AM. I like to listen to local sports and talk radio in the morning on AM. I have been very pleasantly surprised to find that the AM performance is exceptionally GOOD. I live in the mountains in Central PA and the local AM stations are usually only good for about 40 miles. The Ridgeline has outperformed all other vehicles that I have ever owned. My wifes Acord is close. There is no static from bumps. Overall, I am very pleased. The FM volume is very low compared to all other modes.
Here's a long shot for you. I probably am telling you something that you already know but just in case, here is an idea or two. You may be experiencing electrical noise from a poor connection elsewhere in the truck that does not have any connection (no pun intended) to the radio. A switch that is out of adjustment and is just on the verge of turning on or off may arc and cause the type of noise that you are looking for. Try tuning a very distant weak AM station and turn up the volume. That should make electrical noise really loud. Have someone push and pull on the tailgate and the trunk to simulate if maybe the light switch is just on the edge of turning on when you hit a bump. You can push, pull, and wiggle any wiring that you can get to. You might get lucky and find a bad connection or a bad ground just about anywhere. Dont forget to check the brake lights too. Check both ends of both of the battery cables. The other thing that you can do is to turn your truck radio on but all the way down. Take a cheap transistor radio and tune a weak AM station. Repeat the same steps as above. If you hear the same noise on the transistor radio, something in your vehicle is radiating the noise. That usually points to something not directly associated with your truck radio or antenna. You might be able to narrow down the search by using the transistor radio to sniff for the source. If you hear the noise when the lights are on but no noise when they are off, it could be something as simple as a defective or loose light bulb or a bad socket. Tail light and side marker light bulbs that have a brass base usually have their negative wire soldered or tack welded to the brass base where the brass meets the glass bulb. If that connection is bad, those bulbs draw between 1 and 3 amps which is more than enough to cause a small spark and the noise that you are experiencing (when they are supposed to be on). These type of intermittent electrical problems are a real SOB to find. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ultra-HOG said:
I picked up my RTL-Navi last week. I was very concerned that I would have problems with AM reception after reading many posts about poor performance on AM. I like to listen to local sports and talk radio in the morning on AM. I have been very pleasantly surprised to find that the AM performance is exceptionally GOOD. I live in the mountains in Central PA and the local AM stations are usually only good for about 40 miles. The Ridgeline has outperformed all other vehicles that I have ever owned. My wifes Acord is close. There is no static from bumps. Overall, I am very pleased. The FM volume is very low compared to all other modes.
Here's a long shot for you. I probably am telling you something that you already know but just in case, here is an idea or two. You may be experiencing electrical noise from a poor connection elsewhere in the truck that does not have any connection (no pun intended) to the radio. A switch that is out of adjustment and is just on the verge of turning on or off may arc and cause the type of noise that you are looking for. Try tuning a very distant weak AM station and turn up the volume. That should make electrical noise really loud. Have someone push and pull on the tailgate and the trunk to simulate if maybe the light switch is just on the edge of turning on when you hit a bump. You can push, pull, and wiggle any wiring that you can get to. You might get lucky and find a bad connection or a bad ground just about anywhere. Dont forget to check the brake lights too. Check both ends of both of the battery cables. The other thing that you can do is to turn your truck radio on but all the way down. Take a cheap transistor radio and tune a weak AM station. Repeat the same steps as above. If you hear the same noise on the transistor radio, something in your vehicle is radiating the noise. That allmost certainly points to something not directly associated with your truck radio or antenna. You might be able to narrow down the search by using the transistor radio to sniff for the source. If you hear the noise when the lights are on but no noise when they are off, it could be something as simple as a defective or loose light bulb or a bad socket. Tail light and side marker light bulbs that have a brass base usually have their negative wire soldered or tack welded to the brass base where the brass meets the glass bulb. If that connection is bad, those bulbs draw between 1 and 3 amps which is more than enough to cause a small spark and the noise that you are experiencing (when they are supposed to be on). These type of intermittent electrical problems are a real SOB to find. Good luck.
Thanks a bunch for the detailed post. Indeed I thought along the same lines but have not tested as such in great detail. If there is a loose connection causing some sort of feedback interference then it's deep under the dash. I can bang my fist on top of the dash, not very hard mind you, and it will cause the radio to crackle. Oddly though, this will only happen on AM whether it's a very strong station or weak but never occurs on FM or XM. My hunch is it's still a bad head unit and of course I just happen to get two of them. I just seems if there is a bad ground or feedback interference it would effect all frequencies, not just the AM band. I've given up on self-diagnosis, someone smart from Honda is going to have to figure this one out. I also really don't like my interior getting ripped apart and put back together again over and over. At some point it just never goes back the same as from the factory and squeeks and rattles start to emerge. Not there yet but I certainly fear it.
:(
 

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AM is far more sensitive to electrical noise than FM, especially from sparks and bad power connections, including bad grounds. Turn the glove box trunk-lock switch on and see if it makes any difference. Try the transistor radio thing. You might get lucky. The mechanics at the dealer may not have the real world electronics experience to trouble shoot this type of problem without just replacing parts until the problem goes away. That is not intended to be critical of them in any way. It can be a very difficult problem to solve. Experience helps but a good dose of luck with a lot of persistance can work just as well. A few years ago I had a potentially lethal very intermittent electrical problem on my two year old Harley. At seemingly random times it was as if you reached up and turned the master switch off. All power, all electrical, all ignition sudddenly went dead. My wife and I were left sitting on a glider with no nights. Real exciting at 70 MPH passing a truck on the interstate on a moonless night! Thank God that the truck right behind us must have been a biker and recognized what happend in time. It turned out to be that the passengers foot, when positioned just right (wrong?) blocked enough of the air flow that the main circuit breaker overheated and tripped. After months of trying everything imaginable to track it down, I traded it in. Two weeks later, Harley issued a TSB about the problem that they denied existed earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Ultra-HOG said:
AM is far more sensitive to electrical noise than FM, especially from sparks and bad power connections, including bad grounds. Turn the glove box trunk-lock switch on and see if it makes any difference. Try the transistor radio thing. You might get lucky. The mechanics at the dealer may not have the real world electronics experience to trouble shoot this type of problem without just replacing parts until the problem goes away. That is not intended to be critical of them in any way. It can be a very difficult problem to solve. Experience helps but a good dose of luck with a lot of persistance can work just as well. A few years ago I had a potentially lethal very intermittent electrical problem on my two year old Harley. At seemingly random times it was as if you reached up and turned the master switch off. All power, all electrical, all ignition sudddenly went dead. My wife and I were left sitting on a glider with no nights. Real exciting at 70 MPH passing a truck on the interstate on a moonless night! Thank God that the truck right behind us must have been a biker and recognized what happend in time. It turned out to be that the passengers foot, when positioned just right (wrong?) blocked enough of the air flow that the main circuit breaker overheated and tripped. After months of trying everything imaginable to track it down, I traded it in. Two weeks later, Harley issued a TSB about the problem that they denied existed earlier.
Thanks Ultra-Hog, I think you've re-newed my curiosity to track this down. Didn't know AM frequencies are more sensitive as I've little electrical experience. I'll start flipping switches and try the portable radio. Good call on that and story about your hog, much enjoyed.
 
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