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Ford sync 3 interference white noise from speakers

Our Ford sync 3 system in the car has a random interference issue which makes very loud white noise from speakers

Ford Sync 3 Problems

My 2016 Ford Focus has an intermittent problem with the Sync 3 sound system. Sometimes when starting the car the sound system will emit a very loud static / white noise sound from the center speaker and turning the volume up from zero just increases the noise and no audio output from the other speakers in the car.

If I use the sat nav, the audio from this comes out the side speakers without any issue but as soon as I turn up the volume on the dash the interference noise wipes out all other sound.

I have found in the past that leaving the car overnight will often solve the issue.

The video below recorded on my phone shows the sound issue.

If anyone else knows how to fix this, please let me know in the comments below.

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15 comments

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cr08
15 August 2019 at 5:57 pm
So knowing a little bit about Ford's audio system architecture (all Sync versions are quite identical in this area from the original v1 to Sync 3) and some of their existing 'quirks', I may have some pointers that may lead you in the right direction.

Essentially the way Ford has the system laid out baseline is you have the APIM which is just the Sync module and audio-wise just handles Bluetooth (calls and music), Navigation audio, USB playback, and voice prompts and tones.

They also have the ACM which is basically a stripped down old school AM/FM/CD headunit with no display. This obviously handles what you'd expect as I already mentioned: AM/FM/CD/Satellite Radio and most importantly amplifies and outputs the audio to the speakers. It also has extra duties in the form of mixing audio. It will take audio from the APIM (on separate lines, it'll take full audio from bluetooth music playback and USB audio for example and also a separate line for voice prompts and tones) as well as commands over the CAN bus for various functions.

So say for example you are listening to FM radio and have navigation operating. The ACM will happily play its own source right out to the speakers. As you are driving the navigation needs to read off a turn for you. APIM feeds that to the ACM and tells the ACM "duck the FM audio and mix this voice prompt on top". This is also how the same volume controls will handle the different sources depending on what is active as that passes through the APIM first which determines how it commands the ACM to do its part.

What has been common especially on older MyFord Touch vehicles in a similar vein is randomly the ACM will get 'stuck' and not take any further commands from the APIM. So whatever the last audio source was is where it'll stay and switching inputs on the APIM will do nothing, volume won't change, and voice prompts and tones won't come through (if you happen to have parking sensors, those beeps also fail to come through as a fun FYI!). The most common fix is classic IT 'turn it off and back on again' but by pulling the fuses for the audio system. It fixes it for a time.

Based on that information I am taking a wild guess is something is amiss with the ACM and it may be stuck on a silent AM/FM station hence the static and the volume control is out of whack. If you happen to have a premium audio system with a separate amplifier it may also explain why there's the significant jump from 0 to 1 volume (0 would just tell it to cut the audio altogether and 1 is coming back on at whatever arbitrary volume it 'thinks' it is being told to be at). So while I can't make any further guesses beyond that, maybe that background info might help.
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Russell
10 December 2019 at 5:55 am
Did you have any luck getting the issue fixed? I've got the same problem with my 2016 Ford Focus.
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Brian
10 December 2019 at 9:38 am
Russell, I havent been able to get this fixed. The local ford dealer knows of the issue but didnt have a fix for it.
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Russell
12 December 2019 at 2:35 am
Thanks Brian. Will let you know if i have any luck. They are replacing centre speaker today.
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Luke Conde
27 January 2020 at 9:17 pm
I have the same issue with my 18 Plate Kuga, anyone know the fixes?
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Derek Macdonald
23 April 2020 at 3:00 pm
I had the same with my 2016 Focus today. It has happened once before just after i bought the car. What i did to clear it wasswitch radio off. Open the door and close it again and LOCK it using the fob. Leave it a minute or two, then using the fob open dooor as normal. Switch on radio and allow to power up as normal. Problem sorted ! So im not sure if that will work for you, but it works for me. I tried several times without locking the door and it didn't work, but by locking it it did.
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paul
14 July 2020 at 2:48 pm
has anyone found a fix for my ford kuga 2017 has the problem from left hand speaker
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Russell
17 August 2020 at 10:05 am
I've had no further problems so far since the centre speaker was replaced. Hoping that's a permanent fix.
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Russell
02 September 2020 at 12:19 am
After all that time, issue has come back. Will have to take it in again. Will keep you posted.
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Darren
14 September 2020 at 8:17 am
Ive got this same issue with my 2015 Focus ST. I found that if you adjust the fader more towards the rear it cuts the noise off but also disabling the front centre speaker. Im curious to know the exact cause and fix for this
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shawn haskins
10 January 2021 at 9:46 pm
I had the same problem with my 2010 Taurus SHO the issue was the back corner of the ACM had rubbed through the wiring harness on the passenger side and was shorting out on the ACM .
It started as an internet problem with the radio I didn't see it the first time Looked at it but that's what it was . The dealer for old me it was a faulty ACM , saved myself about $700 .
Hope this helps someone
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Grante
05 February 2021 at 7:56 pm
Just got the same problem today with my 2017 kuga sync 3..
Tried taking the fuse for 5 mins but that hasn't worked. The noise come from the left rear door speaker.
Has anyone fixed this issue please .
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Paul S
27 June 2022 at 2:01 pm
My wife’s 2016 Kuga using a sync 2 system had the same issue, swapped/disconnected all speakers no change. Took it to an independent audio specialist, it is a common issue with sync2&3, hex removed the control box which sits behind the display, the power supply inside this was defective, this was repaired and refitted, all ok so far!!
£290 all in
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Ray
13 September 2022 at 8:52 am
Has anyone got a fix for this yet. ?
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Ray
14 November 2022 at 8:00 pm
I have now had my Ford Edge white noise fixed. It went to fords in Herne bay Kent and had a new audio module fitted. £725 supplied and fitted. Mine is a sync 2 touch. 2016.

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