FREDWESTON.NET - How did they do it
How did they do it
Posted under Miscellaneous on Thursday, April 02, 2015 @ 11:13:14 PM
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Two days ago the radio in my car stopped working.  There's a back story here that made me believe this was simply due to the fact that Ford Sync sucks and should be avoided at all costs.

The way back story: my friend Jason also has a vehicle with Sync, and we've occassionally lamented on Facebook about how much it sucks.  Radios freeze, instrument cluster crashes causing all gauges go to zero while driving, music abruptly starts playing out of the speaker on the phone that was one second earlier streaming music to the radio via bluetooth (without any user interaction having taken place), in short it works about as well as you'd expect a Microsoft system to work.

The more recent back story: a couple weeks ago I started hearing a strange noise from my dash when turning my car on.  After some trial and error troubleshooting, I determined it was the mechanism that controls which vents air from the A/C blows out of.  I took my car to the dealer, they fixed it, and the next day I pick my car up.  A day or two later I discover that the automatic windows (where you press the button once and the window goes all the way up or down) have stopped working.  Back to the dealer the car goes, fixed again it gets, and I pick it up for the second time in as many days.

Now, that was about 3 days ago.  Two days ago, my radio stops working.  I can still see audio settings, presets, etc on the screen but the radio won't turn on.  I jump on Google and see other folks reporting similar problems and attributing them to the fact that Sync blows, so I accept that as the problem and make a 3rd appointment at the dealer for tomorrow.

Now here's the interesting part...since tomorrow is Friday and I really don't want to be without my car for the entire weekend while Ford fixes it, I decide to do some more troubleshooting to make sure there's nothing I can do to fix it myself.  More googling suggests that I do a master reset on the Sync system which I do and which yields no progress.  A bit further down on the troubleshooting list I'm reading, it suggests that I check my fuses, so I reference my owner's manual and check the two fuses it lists for the audio unit.  At this point, I feel compelled to mention that while I normally have no trouble fitting my 6'4" frame in what I assume is probably one of, if not the, smallest cars Ford makes, trying to stuff myself into the passenger seat upside down so my head is under the dash in order to actually see the fusebox (btw, great job on the easy access, random Ford engineer) is a bit like trying to stuff a tent back in it's carrying know it'll fit but it takes 10 minutes to make it work.

Anyway, I digress.  So I pull the first fuse out to check it with a multimeter and promptly drop it into the depths of my dash, never to be seen again.  Nothing to do about that, so I proceed to check the second fuse, which is...not there.  I see the hole where it's supposed to be, but there's clearly no fuse where there's supposed to be a fuse.  I recheck the manual to make sure I'm looking at the right spot...I am.

So off to WalMart I go to get some fuses.  Once back home I replace the fuse I lost and put a fuse in the spot where there should've been a fuse but wasn't.  Turn the car on and the radio now works again.

At first you might think that when the car was being worked on at the dealership, for some reason they removed the fuse and forgot to put it back, but the radio worked after I picked the car up, so there had to be a fuse there at that point.

So....what. the. hell.

So I silently thank myself for deciding to do some more troubleshooting and go inside to tell Amanda what happened.  She suggests that this happened awfully close to April 1st and asks if I think somebody at work sabotaged my car.  Well, no, I wasn't thinking that but I am now!

I can't really think of any explanation.  Those little fuses are in there pretty snugly and I can't imagine a circumstance where a fuse could simply fall out on its own, but I also can't come up with a scenario where someone would've had access to my car to take the fuse out.

I don't know what happened, but this is one of those Sherlock Holmes moments where once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.