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Car audio problems - Audi TT

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  • Car audio problems - Audi TT

    I have a problem with my car audio system and it is driving me nuts. Its been going on for over 2 years now and I have not find a way to fix it. My car dealer does not know the real problem and so they suggest to change the entire sound system including re-wiring which costs a fortune.

    To begin with, here are the specs of the car model and sound system:

    Car: Audi TT - Roadster (2002 model)
    Sound system: Bose (Audi Concert) with CD player and 6 disc changer

    Here is the problem:
    Basically what happens is that the sound goes off on its own. I turn the car on and turn the radio on, it works fine, after a few minutes, I start to hear some sort of static sound from the speakers, its even kind of the sound of something burning, like little crackles, it gets louder and louder and then the sound goes off, muted. At the exact time as the sound goes off I hear a clicking sound from behind the passenger seat (which is where the Amp is). Sometimes the clicking sound goes on about 3 times with double clicks ever time.

    At this point the radio stays on, all the functions work fine but there is no sound. Sometimes if I turn off the car and turn it back on, the sound comes back but within minutes the problem occurs again.

    What I have tried so far:
    I got another amp, exactly like mine from another TT, replaced mine with it and still had the same problem.
    I got another radio (Audi Concert) exactly like mine and still had the same problem.
    I tried replacing both the radio console and the amp and still had the same problem.

    This is driving me crazy, I have a great sound system which I cannot enjoy! The Audi dealer tells me they dont know what exactly the problem is, but they can fix it by changing the radio, the amp, all 9 speakers and all the wires for those and this costs way too much.

    I am certain it must be an electrical problem, maybe bad ground? A car electrician once plugged a laptop into the computer board of the car and told me I have electrical problems, something about voltage not being stable or such. I had him check my electrical voltage because the internal lights of the car (button lights and dashboard) seems to not be stable, then dim on their own, they go strong and weak...

    Can anyone help?

  • #2
    Crackles & death sounds like bad ground.
    Undo & redo all ground connections, preferably cleaning all surfaces (wire brush, eraser, contact cleaner, whatever). Assume all metal-metal contacts have insulation - scrape/clean it off. (Bolts/screws included.)

    That could also be the unstable voltage situation, and that suggests a bad alternator-chassis to engine to chassis/body ground, but bad body (or engine) to battery- ground could also account for it. So maybe that too is the audio ground problem.

    For the audio, it could also be bad power. You could clean all +12V contacts etc but try swapping the fuse first (in case of thermal fracture, or because it is a glass fuse) else at least remove & refit (to scrape the contacts).

    Although unstable voltage could be a bad regulator or ground, and the audio problem +12V or ground, I'm wondering if I should bet with 95% confidence on poor grounds knowing that mechanics and service centers rarely find such a basic problem (despite it being one of the first to be eliminated), and that the laptop was too stupid or primitive to detect ground problems because the aforementioned usually specify such programming etc. (But was the elec asked why, or was it merely a report?)
    I hope I lose the bet....


    • #3
      ^ +1. there is probably a loose ground somewhere(the dash lights indicate a possible issue with a shared factory ground point), or a partially blown/damaged fuse (visually appears intact, but once it heats up, it separates enough to shut everything off)...

      personally, i would rip it all out, and install aftermarket gear.. really. if you shop carefully, i bet you could build a system for around $800 that matches, or beats the quality of the factory system-- i am guessing that is at least half the cost that they quoted you...

      i should also warn you-- this forum is primarily for installing computers in cars, so the responses for electrical, or non-pc related topics are going to be very limited. i would really recommend checking a audi forum-- there is a very good chance that someone else had a similar problem, and can point you to some specific things to check. electrical problems are always a crap-shoot. sometimes you get lucky, and solve it right away, but it usually turns into what your experiencing until you get to the point of tearing the entire car apart...
      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"

      next project? subaru brz
      carpc undecided


      • #4
        ^ x 2

        But keep in mind that if there is a common ground issue (engine-body-battery), the new sound system will still suffer.
        Same if a power issue (+12V or 0V) in the audio system (I use my own separate power for audio etc).

        See how the ground search goes, then maybe try
        And though soundman is correct about this forum being primarily PCs, don't discount the excellent knowledge some have outside of PCs.


        • #5
          Hello! Thanks for the feedback you guys!
          I have posted this issue over at some Audi Forums but never got any feedback.

          I am sending the car to a pro car electrician who agrees that it might be a ground problem but also thinks he should check the electricity distribution and a few other things... I will let you know what might be discovered.

          Thank you again, I really appreciate it. Post soon!


          • #6
            Just wondering if you ever got this issue resolved? I'm having an almost identical problem in my TT and it's driving me mad!