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Alternator Whine/Engine Noise in speakers. Please Help!

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by pvault02, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Oct 10, 2010 at 8:54 PM
    #1
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    I installed a sound system in my truck back on the July 4th weekend and I'm still having problems with it. I'm getting bad alternator noise that sounds like a supercharger with the engine running. What I've installed is listed below and the problems I'm having as well as what I've done for troubleshooting.

    Current Problem
    When I turn on my truck I get alternator noise in all of my speakers. An increase in RPM's causes an increase in the pitch of the noise. It makes it sound kind of like a supercharger.

    With the engine not running and the ignition in ACC then there is no noise. When I turn the ignition to ON with the engine still off then I get a hum in all of the speakers. The noise sounds like it changes just a little bit when I press the gas pedal but not very much. This noise does not increase with speaker volume nor does it increase with my fan being turned up and down. I've even tried disconnecting the plugs on the gas pedal and the fan and heater/ac control.

    Upgrades
    Headunit: Pioneer Premier DEH-P800PRS
    Amp: Zed Audio Leviathan (900W/6 channel)
    Front Component Speakers: Hybrid Audio C61-2
    Rear Mid: Hybrid Audio C5
    Sub: JL Audio 13TW5
    Speaker Wire: Knukonceptz 12ga
    Amp Wire: Stinger 4ga (Power and Ground)
    RCAs: JL Audio

    Now when I first installed all of this equipment, I DID NOT have any engine noise. It wasn't until after I started troubleshooting a speaker popping problem.

    No I haven't tried a noise filter on the power line and I really don't want one because this is just a bandaid for a problem and I just want the problem fixed.

    After I installed everything I had a loud pop in all of my speakers. I didn't know what it was and thought I may have a bad ground. I moved my amp ground and then tried and still had a pop so then I proceeded to move my head unit ground. I went to turn on my truck and as I did that, I still had the pop but then I also ended up getting an engine noise problem.

    I decided to start troubleshooting by removing RCA's to see if I could isolate a speaker then I also tried to just remove the speaker wire from the amp and nothing got rid of the popping noise or the engine noise. So I decided to read resistance from the rcas to ground and found that the low output rcas were bad inside of the head unit. I took it to get repaired at a Pioneer repair shop. I got it back and I still had both problems. I then found out my amp had a bad circuit in it that was causing the popping noise and so I sent it back to be repaired for free. I got it back and the popping is gone but I still have engine noise.

    I've removed RCA's. I've removed speaker wires. I've tried to move the grounds from the hu and amp to different locations. I've even tried to ground at the same location. I've tried to directly connect the headunit to the battery to see if that would work and all that did was make it worse. When I say it made it worse, I mean the noise got louder and it sounded like I started having plug noise. I've had the alternator tested to see if I had a bad diode in the alternator and that was good. I took my truck to Toyota and asked them to do a draw test on the truck and that was good(11milliamps).

    I purchased a second set of RCA's because I thought I may have a problem with that. That didn't fix it. I tried moving my RCA's around and that didn't help. I purchased a hu through craigslist and sold it because I still had a noise problem.

    So then I took my truck to the place who fixed my hu. They substituted a kenwood hu and they said the noise was worse so they told me it was my amp. I tested my amp by connecting an ipod with RCA to the input of the amp and I grounded the RCA of the ipod to the truck. There is no noise in any speaker which leads me to believe there is no problem with my amp.

    I took it to another car audio shop in my area and the first thing they did was substitute a pioneer hu into my truck and they told me the noise went away. They didn't troubleshoot any further and they verified that the amp worked good.

    I've taken my hu back to the repair facility about five times now and they've told me that they can't duplicate this problem on my hu. So from here, I don't know what to do. If there's something wrong in my truck then I need some help trying to troubleshoot it. I just purchased a brand new head unit which will be here tomorrow for me to test. If that doesn't work then I'd like some help. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you in advance for any advice and help you can suggest. I'm willing to try most anything now. I really don't want to put a filter on my system. I think this is just a bandaid for what's actually wrong. I just want the problem fixed. I think this is a fixable problem considering I didn't have engine noise when this all started.

    Chris

    (I recently had this posted in the Entertainment section because I couldn't find this section for some reason. I'm just looking for a few more responses here. I figure the more eyes who see it the better chance I have of someone with a good idea.)
     
  2. Oct 10, 2010 at 9:20 PM
    #2
    dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    Try relocating your ground. That's all I got.
     
  3. Oct 10, 2010 at 9:28 PM
    #3
    Leadgolem

    Leadgolem Well-Known Member

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    Check your engine ground. Should run from your block to your firewall someplace. See if it's loose or faulty.

    Does the amount of noise vary with the input source? CD vs radio for example?

    Sounds like you've got cross circuit induction someplace.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2010 at 8:53 AM
    #4
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    These are a few of the things I tried.

    I've moved my grounds a few times. That doesn't fix it. I've tried to put the ground on the negative terminal of the battery and that didn't work. I tried connecting both the amp and the hu to the negative and that didn't work. I tried connecting both the amp and hu to one of the trucks dedicated grounds put in from the factory and that didn't work. I've tried pulling 12vdc directly from the battery to the hu and all that does is make the noise louder and it includes popping.

    A local car audio shop told me it was my hu so I purchased a new hu to make sure it wasn't my hu. The model I purchased was the Pioneer DEH-P9800BT. That did not fix the problem. I don't have a hu problem.

    So I took it back to them and they told me it was an RCA problem and replaced my rcas. They used Stinger shielded cables and they made the noise quieter but they didn't completely get rid of my noise. The noise is still there just a little quieter and higher pitched and definitely annoying.

    Someone mentioned to me that it may be my amplifier. The reason I don't think it's my amp is that I've actually sent it back to the manufacturer because it had a bad chip and they tested it after they replaced the chip and found nothing wrong with it. Since then I've personally tested the amp. This is how I've tested the amp. With everything hooked up normally I took a wire and I shorted the ground of the RCA's to the truck ground or anywhere on the truck body. When I do this I get a lot of feedback. So then I disconnect the RCA's from the hu to the amp and I connect an ipod with an RCA out to the amp. I left the wire that turns on the amp from the hu so that I could turn on the amplifier with the hu. Then I started the truck again and there is no noise in each channel I plug into. Then I shorted the ground of the RCA's to the truck and I get absolutely no feedback. Before anyone asks, no I did not leave the amp on as I switch from one channel to the next and I also had the amp off when I pulled the RCAs out to plug the ipod in.


    LeadGolem, I haven't done that but I'll check it. The noise doesn't change when I switch source from CD to Tuner. There does seem to be a change in the noise when I depress my gas pedal when I have the ignition to the ON position. It's like it flickers just a little bit when I start to press it. As I fully depress it then it goes back to normal.
     
  5. Oct 11, 2010 at 6:23 PM
    #5
    Leadgolem

    Leadgolem Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you've got a circuit induction problem. It's got to be a line that's carrying a lot of juice. This kind of thing can be a real bitch to find. Basically, your going to need to find whichever cable is partially shorted and replace it.

    What is happening is you have a cable that is partially shorted out. Because of this it's translating far more then the normal amount of the energy it's carrying into magnetic energy. That magnetic field is hitting something, probably something unshielded, in your audio system and causing the noise. Replacing your RCA's with ones that were better shielded decreased the volume by blocking the portion of the induction that would normally have hit them directly.

    Finding the problem is going to mean checking every single high load cable in your engine until you find the faulty one. Just about the only one you can exclude is the starter. If it was that you'd only have an issue when starting your truck. You can tell if a cable is definitely bad if it crackles when you flex it a little bit, or if it's connections are loose. Excessively corroded contacts can cause the same issue. If you don't find anything that is definitely bad, then your going to have to hook an ohm meter up and start checking the lines. You'll have excessive resistance in whichever one is the culprit.

    Best of luck
     
  6. Oct 11, 2010 at 7:57 PM
    #6
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    Is there a way that it could be a component? I'm just wondering this because when I originally had everything in I didn't have the noise. It took about a week before I was able to start trouble shooting the popping noise and while doing this I ended up getting the engine noise. All I did was move the ground of the hu. I moved it from my wire harness and I moved it down to inside of the left front kick panel. As soon as I started to turn on my truck it just started whining from there.

    Is it safe for me to try pulling fuses from the box to try and centralize where the noise is coming from or is that unsafe to do because of the computer? I obviously don't want to fry anything. I just want to get rid of the noise haha.

    Can I take an O-scope and try to figure out where the noise is coming from?

    Does the fact that the noise gets louder and I get popping when I connect directly to the battery mean that it could be related to the charging system? I've tried unplugging all of my coils and that did nothing.

    I'll try and use my lunch to check some more things.
     
  7. Oct 12, 2010 at 3:43 AM
    #7
    bookmonke

    bookmonke Well-Known Member

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    Its the ground at the head unit, you have a floater, if you used the metra harness and you didn't T the grounds to ground, one of those is floating either from the car harness or the radio side, hope that makes sense.
     
  8. Oct 12, 2010 at 8:49 AM
    #8
    Leadgolem

    Leadgolem Well-Known Member

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    As stated above, you can try T'ing the HU ground. See if that makes a difference.

    Pulling fuses is fine, you might piss the ecm off though. If you do just put the fuses back in and disconnect your negative battery terminal for about a 1/2 hour. That will reset the ecm.

    If you know how to use an O-scope to do that then sure.

    Getting louder with a direct battery hookup is that the problem is closer to the battery then where you had the connections before. Since this is an engine running problem I'd be looking at the wiring for your spark plugs. Might be your charging system too. Since you had your alternator checked and it came back ok I would be looking for a faulty connection or a cable that is failing.
     
  9. Oct 12, 2010 at 12:52 PM
    #9
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    So I took a little time and I pulled a few fuses. I pulled four fuses. I pulled the ALT-S, ETCS, EFI, and HORN and when I did that the noise decreased. So then I pulled the 30A AM2 fuse and the noise went away. I then put in the other four fuses and left the 30A fuse out and the noise was gone. I'll find a schmatic and see if I can narrow it down from there if that's where my problem lies.
     
  10. Oct 12, 2010 at 4:39 PM
    #10
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    So I looked at the wiring schematic and came up with a few fuses to pull. I found that the noise was coming from the 15A IGN fuse. I tried looking at the schematic and I'm pretty sure I got everything but if anyone else might know anything related to this then I'll gladly take any help.

    It appears as though the systems that use this fuse are Engine Control, Cruise Control, and SRS.

    Engine Control
    From the fuse to the C/OPN Relay then to the ECM(FC).
    From the fuse to the ECM(IGSW).
    From the fuse to the Transponder Key ECU(IG).

    Cruise Control
    From the fuse to the ECM(IGSW).
    From the fuse to the Stop Lamp Switch then to the ECM(ST-).

    SRS
    From the fuse to the Airbag Sensor Assembly Center(IG2).
    From the fuse to the Occupant Classification ECU(IG).
     
  11. Oct 18, 2010 at 3:34 PM
    #11
    killerdiller

    killerdiller Member

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    Since I'm in the same boat as the OP. I have to ask what the term T'ing means. mine is pretty faint when using the tuner and just a little more noticeable when using the CD player.
     
  12. Oct 18, 2010 at 4:50 PM
    #12
    bookmonke

    bookmonke Well-Known Member

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    Well you know how the black comes out of the aftermarket HU and you connect to the metra Tacoma harness black wire, just tap or T in and ground that someplace.
     
  13. Oct 18, 2010 at 6:02 PM
    #13
    killerdiller

    killerdiller Member

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    Thank you.
     
  14. Oct 18, 2010 at 6:14 PM
    #14
    mrp192

    mrp192 REALLY!!

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    Stereo, boobies
    try grounding your AMP to your frame rail.. OR get a long ass ground and run the ground back to your battery..
     
  15. Nov 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM
    #15
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    I've tried connecting the amp to the battery and it does nothing different.
     
  16. Nov 12, 2010 at 9:05 PM
    #16
    mrp192

    mrp192 REALLY!!

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    I just got some ground loop isolators and im going to install them tomorrow.. ill let you know how they go.
     
  17. Nov 14, 2010 at 1:28 AM
    #17
    supersuk

    supersuk Well-Known Member

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    Sounds!
    Did you try rerouting the RCA wires away from the culprit wiring harness?I remember my taco install having noise problems from the front driver side speakers when the car was on and off! I thought it was strange cause the speakers werent even hooke up to the amp yet. Turns out the problem was noise being introduced into the crossover that was close to the wiring harness on the drivers side kick panel area.

    If you can, keep all signal wires away from the drivers side kickpanel. I've never had a problem with noise since I moved it. However, I don't need to worry anymore since I'm running active. Just a heads up.
     
  18. Feb 12, 2011 at 3:03 PM
    #18
    lineberw

    lineberw Well-Known Member

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    Hey pvault02,
    Did you every solve your stereo noise problem? I have the same year, make, and model as your truck and have the same issue. I would pay to fix it but, car stereo shops don't even help me. I've had several different headunits, amps, speakers, and always had background noise/popping issues. Rewired several times, changed rca cables, headunit ground, and no luck. Can you tell me how you fixed yours? If it fixes mine I gladly mail you a check.
    Thanks,
    Wes
     
  19. Feb 14, 2011 at 9:36 PM
    #19
    pvault02

    pvault02 [OP] Member

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    Sorry for not getting back to everyone on this one.

    The problem ended up being induced EMI into the RCA's from both sides of my truck. During the troubleshooting from the third shop, we found out with the RCA's disconnected from the HU and left connected to the amp. There was a loud beep type noise coming from all of the speakers when it was disconnected from the HU. This caused the engine noise and we ended up running the RCA's underneath the carpet. There is a problem with my truck somewhere because I didn't have this engine noise problem for almost two weeks then it appeared out of nowhere. I just hope that whatever the problem is either stays hidden or decides to rear it's ugly head before my warranty is up haha... I was actually in the shop working with the tech so I know everything he did and he didn't add a filter anywhere.

    I found out the problem after going back and forth from two shops that couldn't figure out the problem to a place that was about 40 min away from where I live. They were both idiots and if anyone lives in the Philadelphia/NJ area and they are having problems with their car audio and can't figure it out then let me know. I'll give you the name and number of the guy I went to in Pennsauken, NJ. He's very smart and knows his stuff and his hourly rates aren't bad either.

    I think that since this was my first full install of a system in a vehicle that I could do this again and if I had a problem I could figure it out. I've learned alot after talking to a lot of people. I was just unprepared for the whole engine noise thing and I think that made me a little more impatient. The only people I know who had the noise problem decided to put filters in their systems and I just didn't want to do it.

    If anyone has anymore questions then hit me up.

    Now I can do my wife's car. She's going to get the W6 or W7, she just doesn't know it yet. :)
     
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