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2013 VW Touareg TDI Sport w/tech
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has been a reported problem a couple times by a few other Touareg owners, but does not seem to have a TSB.

When the radio has been on for an extended period of time (Hours long drive) it will suddenly have an extremely loud electrical POP or CRACK noise. Seriously it pisses me off because I get startled when it happens. It sounds like a rock hitting the windshield but coming straight out of the speakers (all of them).

After it happens sometimes the radio is silent, no more audio at all, but the head unit itself is navigable, and shows no issues.

When the stereo is cycled off then back on after a few seconds, sound returns and behaves normally for quite a while, but it has happened twice in one trip.

It does seem to only happen during the late Spring, SUMMER most often, and sometimes rarely in the Fall. I do not remember it ever happening in the Winter, so I suspect it is heat stress related, possibly to a bad electrolytic capacitor either in the amp or head unit. I would have to say that in total it happens maybe at least 6 times a year, but less than a dozen.

I have informed the service department at my 60K service, and they tried using a heat gun to duplicate the result to no effect. SO I am left with no recourse. It happens so infrequently and randomly, it is going to make me nuts, because the dealership will not attempt any repair of what they can't see, or hear, or duplicate themselves.

I have found that someone has had success in having the dealer replace an amplifier module (?) and head unit, and the issue has not returned for them.

Except for removing the head unit myself and looking for swollen capacitors at the circuit board level, I don't know what recourse I have in repairing it. Any ideas?? Would there be some way to escalate this to get a solution from the dealership/VW?
 

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2013 VW Touareg TDI Sport w/tech
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973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is anything aftermarket.

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No aftermarket anything anywhere in this vehicle. It has done it since it was new. I bought it in the Spring of 2013, and my first trip to Vermont on Memorial Day weekend it did it twice. I remember that first time well. I complained then too, no result from dealership.
 

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It does sound like a short somewhere, after long hours of driving. Wires get loose or plastic jacket get soft, causes the kinked area to become contacted. As the car bumps up and down, wires rub and results in pop, crackle, and snap in the system. I suspected between the back of the head unit and any point where any work was done in the past that may kink up the wires. Try to recall.

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2013 VW Touareg TDI Sport w/tech
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973 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, I thought of setting up a Contour HD1080 camera and turning it on and off throughout the day, what a pain that would be to catch it in the act of popping.

I have a REALLY difficult time believing it's a ground fault. It would happen ALL the time , all year round. It doesn't. It's infrequent, when it's warm/hot out, when I have had it on for an extended period of time. Seems like heat build up to me.

There has NEVER been any interior work done on this SUV. The AdBlue level sensor was re-programmed in 2014. The AdBlue tank heater was replaced in July 2016 under warranty. That's it. Other than that just regular servicing and no other part replacement under warranty.

Well. The camera route is probably my best option, at least if I get lucky I'll catch it in the act. Or maybe even turn the recorder app on my phone on each time I drive. I think it's VERY likely it will happen again on the way to Vermont this Summer for mountain biking. If I catch it while music/radio is on, and have a verifiable recording of it while I voice over and explain what happened and turn the radio off then on to demonstrate the issue, the dealership will find that actionable and replace something.
 
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