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Old 06-07-2015, 09:54 AM   #1
Axial_Soliton
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2008 AURA XE
2006 VUE 3.0L
Default 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

I have searched forums here for options on what the problem might be without finding something applicable. Sound output of the rear speakers is weak when they used to produce all the bass. Recently, the bass came back for ~1 week. I can't find an amp in the trunk and it seems like the speaker wires are routed in a channel off to the right under the deck toward the radio. Could it be that the only amp is in the radio? If there is a way to pull fuses to reboot the radio, can this fix the bass-loss problem? Thanks for any pointers.

I had thought there was a connection between this bass-loss problem and the rear fuse box. A while back, I found it hanging by its connection wires after checking why the defroster stopped working. How that happened is a mystery. The defroster fuse had blown and melted part of the box, itself. A good tech was able to get the right replacement box and work through the new connections with GM. Original box is no longer available. Defroster is working.

The FM going to static when I push the defroster button I now believe is because there is at least 1 tiny break in the defroster grid, on the 5th middle grid line from the top. This part of the window is the last to clear in the morning, so obviously low heat production due to a defect in conduction. I found a report from GM saying that current arching across a tiny break causes the FM radio static. I can see where this causes higher impedance and lower current flow, and that this generates electromagnetic noise right next to the FM antenna which is printed at the top of the rear window under the tinting. This seems reasonable though I can't find a defect in that grid line with a magnifying glass. Still working on that.

Another related problem is that I need to hold the key fob button for 3~5 seconds to open the doors. The receiver unit is connected to the defroster grid. I had thought that all these separate problems were connected to the fuse box first hanging by its wires, and then being replaced with GM's "updated" fuse box.

A local GM dealer said they would replace the window for $1000. That sounds like an expensive punt. At least the XM and phone work! No luck at GM dealers with any of the above.

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Old 06-07-2015, 02:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

does bass have same problem on xm??? if not its not the radio. when bass doesnt work does it have any effect if you tuirn bass level up higher?

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Old 06-09-2015, 06:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

If your car has the premium sound option (UQ3) you would have a separate amplifier in the front passenger side of the trunk. If your car has the standard six-speaker option (UW5) it doesn't have an external amplifier and uses the radio's internal amplifier.

My guess at this point is that your car has option UW5 and you have a blown rear speaker. When you get a chance, use the Fade & Balance settings on the radio to select only one of the rear speakers at a time. When you have it set to one speaker and don't hear anything, you've found your blown speaker.

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Old 06-10-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

Both rear speakers are working. Believe I have the UW5 option. Satellite radio is not different sounding than terrestrial radio, except less fidelity, but this is to be expected. I tried to check the trunk carefully and didn't find a box under the deck at the front of the trunk on the passenger side. The front 4 speakers are great. I have their bass boosted and they are carrying the load. It sure was nice when the rear speakers were making the bass, though.

If the internal radio amp is the driver, it might be intermittent for some reason. I removed fuse 13 in the rear fuse box and there was no change in radio sound. Don't know why this car would have a fuse 13 with no bass-boost in the trunk, however. Now I am thinking the radio needs a reboot. Other than disconnecting the battery for a few minutes, are there fuses I can pull for 5 minutes that remove all power to the radio? I am thinking that it is microprocessor-controlled. A reboot every 5 years might not be a bad thing.

Thanks.

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Old 06-10-2015, 11:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axial_Soliton View Post
Both rear speakers are working. Believe I have the UW5 option. Satellite radio is not different sounding than terrestrial radio, except less fidelity, but this is to be expected. I tried to check the trunk carefully and didn't find a box under the deck at the front of the trunk on the passenger side. The front 4 speakers are great. I have their bass boosted and they are carrying the load. It sure was nice when the rear speakers were making the bass, though.

If the internal radio amp is the driver, it might be intermittent for some reason. I removed fuse 13 in the rear fuse box and there was no change in radio sound. Don't know why this car would have a fuse 13 with no bass-boost in the trunk, however. Now I am thinking the radio needs a reboot. Other than disconnecting the battery for a few minutes, are there fuses I can pull for 5 minutes that remove all power to the radio? I am thinking that it is microprocessor-controlled. A reboot every 5 years might not be a bad thing.

Thanks.
You can pull the RADIO fuse in the I/P fuse block for a few minutes and see what happens, but I doubt you'll notice any change. The standard factory rear speakers (p/n 20939209) in the Aura are full-range drivers that do not have separate tweeters like the front speakers (see picure below). The EQ (Bass/Mid/Treble) settings are applied to all four speakers simultaneously and the radio sends the same signal to the front and rear speakers. Keeping this in mind, it is impossible for the rear speakers to be working if you don't hear any bass at all from them.

Aura_rear_speaker.JPG

Did you try adjusting the fader (front to rear adjustment) and balance (left to right adjustment) to each rear speaker individually like I previously advised?

Also, it is common for GM to populate fuse slots for options the vehicle is not equipped with. For example, the fuse slots for the sunroof and amplifier on our 2007 Equinox still have power going to them even though it is not equipped with a sunroof or the premium sound system.

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Last edited by ruley73; 06-10-2015 at 11:26 PM..

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Old 06-23-2015, 06:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

Yes. I faded right to left and both rear speakers are working equally. Looks like the problem is the radio, itself. I will have time this weekend to pull the fuse for a moment. A couple of years ago, the 2 left radio buttons froze. Rebooting more than once by pulling the fuse a few times is what I recall fixed that.

I tried the defroster grid repair liquid sold at a popular parts store. Still static on FM when defroster button pushed and that grid line doesn't work. Will try again with the liquid. New back window installed is just under $1k. Will also look for another fix for the dinged grid line.

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Old 09-10-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

OK, a couple of months on and the front left speaker went intermittent. The rear speakers are still weak, but I can just up the volume. In the past month, the front left speaker came on one time on its own, one time when I drastically upped the volume, and a couple other times when the radio came on as I started the car. The past week it has been off. As was noted in another post, it used to be off in the cool morning drive to work, then on in the hot drive home. Pulling the radio fuse didn't help. I now think the internal radio electronics have issues. pulling the fuse should be a reboot for digital circuits.

The car runs like new at 122k miles, so I am planning to fix this radio problem. If anyone has another idea, please let me know. I'm starting tonight to look for a new saturn 2008 radio and will have a local shop install it and replace the front speakers with good quality ones. I like the chimes, embedded phone, etc, so aftermarket probably is out.

Any thoughts welcome.

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Old 09-28-2015, 09:35 PM   #8
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Happy Re: 2008 Aura XE standard radio; Rear Speaker bass gone

Start with first principles. I took the car to a local audio shop with a good reputation and asked to have the radio and speaker problem diagnosed. The front left speaker was not working at all when I dropped it off. At the end of the day, all 4 front speakers were replaced with a Kenwood upgrade. The radio is working like new. Sound is at least as good as new to my ears, but probably better. I think there must be some deficiency in the front door speakers in the Aura for 2 of them to go bad. The left speaker was 18 months old and was replaced by a dealer.

Now I'd like to find a place that can reprint the defroster grid so that when I turn it on it doesn't turn FM to complete static. I will also look for a remedy to the need to hold down the key fob buttons for 5 seconds for them to operate. I know the reason why and the fix is available somewhere, just not at a dealer.

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