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Radio Reception Issue

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I've got a 2015 Ford Edge and I upgraded the center system to Sync 3. It was all working, then recently I've noticed that radio reception is essentially non-existent.  It was working fine, but not any longer. Is all radio reception handled by the shark-fin antenna thing? Is there a module that controls reception somewhere, perhaps? I would doubt that the cable fell out of the back, which I'll check, of course.  GPS location is spot-on, but that uses a dedicated antenna. I can try AM radio and see if the problem is there too. Can you get to the antenna on the roof externally, or must you drop the headliner to access. It's not powered in some way, is it?

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Can you get to the antenna on the roof externally, or must you drop the headliner to access?

You have to access it by lowering the head liner at the rear, just enough to get to the get to it.

 

It's not powered in some way, is it?  No.

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I would be really surprised if the antenna weren't powered.  The last time I messed with replacing a radio was in my 2008 Fusion.  In the wiring harness, one of the wires was for "antenna turn on."  This caused the antenna to be powered only when the radio was on. 

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Are there multiple antennas on this car? I know my old Passat had a shark fin and antennas in the rear glass. There must have been a module somewhere that would switch between whichever antenna was getting better reception. Is there anything like that to the Edge? Does the wire just go right from the shark fin directly to the radio? No antenna module or anything? Before I rip out the radio and look, I'd like to get a decent understanding of how the head unit obtains the radio signal.

Edited by bofus

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The antenna is connected the ACM (CD Player) and you shouldn't have need to remove that to install SYNC3 so doubt you messed with the antenna connection unless wiring harnesses got pulled on or something like that.  The ACM will throw a code if the antenna is bad or not connected.  Have you had it read for DTCs?  

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On 3/28/2022 at 4:10 PM, bofus said:

I've got a 2015 Ford Edge and I upgraded the center system to Sync 3. It was all working, then recently I've noticed that radio reception is essentially non-existent.  It was working fine, but not any longer. Is all radio reception handled by the shark-fin antenna thing?

Yes.

On 3/28/2022 at 4:10 PM, bofus said:

Is there a module that controls reception somewhere, perhaps?

 

Not that I know of. Essentially its just a wire sticking into the air. Believe it's a center loaded coil, but in truth I've never looked inside one.

 

On 3/28/2022 at 4:10 PM, bofus said:

I would doubt that the cable fell out of the back, which I'll check, of course. 

That would be my first guess. Did you gey a click when you attached?

 

On 3/28/2022 at 4:10 PM, bofus said:

 It's not powered in some way, is it?

None that I know of. Either the connection slipped out, the new radio went bad or something hapoened to the antenna wire. Did you pull on it and possibly break the connector ?

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More diagnostic info. I upgraded Sync to the latest 3.4.22XX something. No change. I went into Sync 3 diagnostics (hold track skip on steering wheel and track skip on the center console), then it beeps and goes into diagnostic mode running a speaker test. I selected the AHU diagnostic and pulled up radio signal strength.

 

On a particular station (94.9) I get a signal strength of 35 and the head unit locks in on the HD portion. This is the only station that locks in HD.

On another station (96.5) I get a signal strength of 1 and is obviously quite fuzzy and no chance of locking on the HD signal.

 

I would suggest the antenna must be connected or I wouldn't get the one channel locked in ok? If I drive around, this station won't stay locked and easily drops, but I can't enter diags when driving.

 

Opinions? Bad head unit? Is there an antenna amplifier somewhere that might be to blame? It's hard to imagine that a passive antenna could fail in some weird way. Water/corrosion in the shark fin?

 

In reviewing the installation directions, there is no separate FM radio connection cable, the only separate antenna connection is for the GPS hockey puck thing. My GPS is working. I'm assuming that the antenna signal must be coming in on the giant multi-pin connector on the back of the APIM.

 

I just compared the signal levels with my '16 Ford Focus.  I am getting 45 for a signal strength on 94.9 AND the 96.5. I get above 40 pretty much across the board on a Focus, but it seems the unit in the Edge can't seem to pull a signal other than one channel. Antenna or head unit issue?  I'd guess the APIM that is bolted onto the screen display, so maybe just a new APIM or new antenna.  Looking at photos online, there are at least two cables attached to the antenna, so I'd guess this is an amplified unit. Maybe the amp crapped out; but, where is it?

 

Looking at ebay, I see:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/373773058941

 

Where is this part?  I'm going to guess near the antenna in the roof?

Edited by bofus

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On 4/1/2022 at 12:33 PM, bofus said:

More diagnostic info. I upgraded Sync to the latest 3.4.22XX something. No change. I went into Sync 3 diagnostics (hold track skip on steering wheel and track skip on the center console), then it beeps and goes into diagnostic mode running a speaker test. I selected the AHU diagnostic and pulled up radio signal strength.

 

On a particular station (94.9) I get a signal strength of 35 and the head unit locks in on the HD portion. This is the only station that locks in HD.

On another station (96.5) I get a signal strength of 1 and is obviously quite fuzzy and no chance of locking on the HD signal.

 

I would suggest the antenna must be connected or I wouldn't get the one channel locked in ok? If I drive around, this station won't stay locked and easily drops, but I can't enter diags when driving.

 

Opinions? Bad head unit? Is there an antenna amplifier somewhere that might be to blame? It's hard to imagine that a passive antenna could fail in some weird way. Water/corrosion in the shark fin?

 

In reviewing the installation directions, there is no separate FM radio connection cable, the only separate antenna connection is for the GPS hockey puck thing. My GPS is working. I'm assuming that the antenna signal must be coming in on the giant multi-pin connector on the back of the APIM.

 

I just compared the signal levels with my '16 Ford Focus.  I am getting 45 for a signal strength on 94.9 AND the 96.5. I get above 40 pretty much across the board on a Focus, but it seems the unit in the Edge can't seem to pull a signal other than one channel. Antenna or head unit issue?  I'd guess the APIM that is bolted onto the screen display, so maybe just a new APIM or new antenna.  Looking at photos online, there are at least two cables attached to the antenna, so I'd guess this is an amplified unit. Maybe the amp crapped out; but, where is it?

 

Looking at ebay, I see:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/373773058941

 

Where is this part?  I'm going to guess near the antenna in the roof?

The APIM has nothing to do with the quality of your radio reception.  Did you read my previous post?

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Its possible that the 94.9 is close by and the head unit is receiving the signal directly. (But you'd need to be right across the street from tbe broadcast antenna).

 

I'd pull the radio and check the antenna connection. Try using an ohm meter and see is the circuit is shorted or open. (I feel it's working,  one because antenna's rarely fail (after all they're just a length of wire) and, two you're getting strong signal at one frequency).

 

As you're getting some reception, more likely the antenna is feeding signal and the head unit is failing. You say it worked ok once, so most likely its the head unit.

 

(Antenna circuits failing would give poor results across the band. But you would be getting some reception across the spectrum. Usual failure is corrosion at the connector.)

 

Ohm out the antenna circuit. If its ok, your head unit has failed. You can get it serviced for $130 from these folks (add $50 for same day service)

 

https://www.automotivecircuitsolutions.com/products/09-ford-radio-repair

 

(They're are others - just google)

Edited by enigma-2
Correct spell check scewups

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Sorry (jmr061), I read your APIM thing and I was confused since the GPS signal comes in on the APIM, I thought maybe this was related.  Sorry...I was confused. Gotcha:  APIM does not do anything with the FM signal, only the GPS signals.

 

I just pulled apart the center console and I pulled the radio. All connections to the back of the unit appeared fine. While I'm not a Sirius XM subscriber, I find I CAN listen to their "advertising" channel clearly. I drove around for an hour and Sirius kept playing. It's my understanding that FM radio and Sirius radio comes in via the shark fin to the back of the radio via two cables. There is one antenna for am/fm, and one for sirius. I get sirius fine. I also get somewhat OK am radio reception. FM is the problem. So, radio unit itself or the shark fin? What could possibly go bad in the shark fin? Maybe it got water inside and it corroded? I'll put the center console section back together and then drop the rear portion of the headliner and remove the shark fin and see what is happening back there.

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I wish I had access to the service manual but I don't otherwise I would pull some info for you.  I did do a parts lookup and the shark fin looks to have am/fm and satellite in it and also there is a part they call an isolator as part of the antenna system as well.  I would guess its one of those parts or the ACM itself may be bad.  Has the vehicle been read for codes?  The ACM has the capability to throw codes for antenna issues.

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Wish I had access to the schematics. I'm trying to find out the purpose for the  antenna control module (FR3Z-14D212-C).

 

Thinking its a band pass separator, separating the Siris & broadcast signals, but can't find anything definitive. (This is where the service manual would come in handy).

 

Rather than the antenna, I'm wondering if this could affect signal strength, allowing the Sirius signal but attenuating the broadcast signals.

 

Anyone know the purpose of this module and how it works?

 

 

Edited by enigma-2

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I am suspecting the "amp" portion of the antenna in the roof to be busted; or, the antenna isn't getting the power signal from the radio unit. I've gone ahead and ordered a new antenna and new "isolater" that is shown on a parts list. Parts will be here next week, then I'll drop the headliner and swap it out. Back in the "old days", I had a powered FM radio antenna to try to boost FM reception in my apartment. It BARELY helped. However, if I removed power from that antenna then radio reception was almost non-existent. This is acting like that, so I bit the bullet and ordered some parts. Once I have it apart, I'll verify power signal from the radio (blue wire, apparently) is getting to the antenna area.

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The antenna parts should be here this week, though I'm not convinced that is the issue. Using the radio diagnostics and some testing, I get:

 

Sirius satellite:  works great. No issues. (this apparently is a separate antenna in the shark fin)

FM Radio: VERY poor reception. I get signal strengths typically below 40 and often 0 or sub 20. Unusuable.

AM Radio: Good reception. Getting signal strength above 70 most of the time.

 

It's all very strange. I don't know how the attenuation of FM signals differ from AM and how an antenna could impact one but not the other. If the second antenna line was bad used for radio reception, I would have guessed that AM and FM would be impacted similarly. So, maybe it is something inside the head unit?

 

More updates as I try to use the old "parts cannon" to figure this out.

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When you ran the self-test, did you check for any DTCs? 

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It could be the radio itself.  Not having checked for DTCs yet is an issue.  There could be a DTC waiting that tells you exactly what is bad rather than just throwing the parts cannon at it.  I had access to the manual last week.  It just showed that the antenna has a separate AM/FM versus Sirius/GPS antenna (both contained in the sharkfin).  The antenna has a power wire running to it from the ACM.  It didn't show any other parts other than a splitter for the GPS/Sirius signal.  It could be the antenna or it could be the ACM.  The FM radio in the ACM itself could be bad.  BTW the 14D212 part you mentioned....14D212 is the base part # for APIMs, nothing to do with radio reception.

 

 

Edited by jmr061

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On 4/3/2022 at 7:55 PM, bofus said:

It's my understanding that FM radio and Sirius radio comes in via the shark fin to the back of the radio via two cables. There is one antenna for am/fm, and one for sirius. I get sirius fine. I also get somewhat OK am radio reception. FM is the problem. So, radio unit itself or the shark fin? 

On my 2009 MKX the AM/FM reception is through the antenna in the front (above the windshield). There is an antenna module inside the car directly under the AM/FM antenna. 

   The shark fin (above the rear spoiler) receives Sirius and (if equipped) the GPS signal. 

 

I don’t have schematics for other than 2009/10 model years and it's possible this may be changed in later model years. You won't know for certain until you pull the codes.

 

 

 

 

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Ok...mystery finally solved. The shark fin antenna is to blame. The new one arrived today and I was able to drop the rear part of the headliner and unplug the antenna and power leads to just try the new one before removing the old one:  HD Radio started working!  I then worked blindly to remove the old antenna, unscrew the 9 torx bolts holding the painted cover on, then moved my painted one over to the replacement antenna, and then finally worked blindly again to get that 10mm bolt back in situ. Using the radio system tests, I'm getting 70+ signal reception where I was getting MAYBE 7 and sometimes 0.  All good.

 

I don't SEE anything wrong; however, the underside had some aluminum corrosion and there are three little springs on the old one that aren't on the replacement antenna. These are pretty heavily corroded and covered in aluminum powder. Maybe just cleaning it would have worked? It seems like Ford went away from that design on the replacements as those three springs aren't there on the  new one...just to the left of the wire and bolt hole.

 

Here's the dead one:

 

shark-fin-inside.jpg

 

shark-fin-bottom.jpg

Edited by bofus
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