jumbled RDS - 2008 XLT - Ford Explorer Forum - Forums for Ford Explorer Enthusiasts
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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jumbled RDS - 2008 XLT

The RDS has never worked properly from the time I purchased the vehicle new in 2009. It gets stuck and then goes too fast, and even worse, it gives the info in a random, jumbled order.

For instance, if the song was Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" being played on station 107.1 - The Peak, it will display something like this:


You get the point. Plus, like I said above, it will get stuck. It might stick on FOSTER THE for like 30 seconds and then go to 107.1 for a split second and so on and so forth.

There is no rhyme or reason to the order nor the length. I have googled this RDS problem a few times over the years but never really see anything that matches my particular issue.

Whether anyone knows a fix or not, has anyone even heard of this kind of problem in ANY vehicle...ever?

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Old 03-29-2017, 04:08 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 674
No I haven't see this before, but you might try asking in your generation of vehicle forum instead of the Tuning & Customizing forum since this is a stock issue, not a modification issue.

I don't understand why you would not have demanded that they fix this problem when it was new under warranty. Even if they claim a warranty doesn't apply, it still had to work right at the point of purchase.

Anyway, that looks like a bug in the firmware of the Stereo itself, or some factory defect that only an engineer of the stereo could pinpoint. Does it have any method of data input that would make upgrading the firmware possible? For example an SD card slot or USB port? I suppose there could be a service port on the rear, but otherwise if there is no way to input data, there is no way to upgrade firmware if one even exists available to the public.

The only other thought I have is that in rare cases a device can get into a bad logic loop that requires a power cycle to clear, but I would have thought that between purchase and now, that you've had the battery disconnected at least once (to change in a new battery if nothing else) so whether a power cycle clears it or not, the problem is still present.

If I were you, I'd call around to local junkyards and see if they have any stereo pulls that match yours or at least are something you can live with, that match the wiring harness and steering wheel controls assuming you have those.

You can pull the original stereo at the junk yard and try the new one, having an agreement with the yard that you are not buying it "as is" out the door without trying it, rather only if it works while you're on their property trying it out.

You might mention what model of stereo you have. I did find a youtube video that shows how to access a hidden menu on (at least) one model:

If you don't care about steering wheel controls, then you can replace it with anything you want.
Please post your vehicle year/model/engine/(n)WD in help topics.

'98 Explorer XLT 4L SOHC 4WD
'14 Explorer XLT 3.5L NA AWD
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Old 03-29-2017, 05:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the very detailed reply, J_C. I knew very little about RDS when I bought the vehicle. In fact I'm not even sure I knew it existed. So I was impressed with it the way it was. It wasn't until well after the warranty expired that I started seeing other people's RDS and realized that the problems with mine weren't down to it being new technology.

No SD slots or USB port. Battery has been disconnected, been changed too. Good advice regarding the junkyard, and will try to find a hidden menu. Will try 1 and 6 first and if no-go, then I'll play around with the numbers. Likewise I will post this in the section you mentioned.

Oh, and I NEED those steering wheel controls - they're much more important than the RDS. But thanks for the suggestion on that too.

Thank you very much!
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audio, radio, rds, stereo

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