Factory radio turns up volume unassisted

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MAKE: Ford
MODEL: E350 Super Duty
YEAR: 2006
MILES: 172,000
ENGINE: 5.4 liter
DESCRIBE ISSUE....Factory radio, no CD player, will increase volume by itself. Normally just a tick or so (volume 8 to 9 for example). But the other day I am driving home and the radio gets louder, it goes from volume 8, to 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. I had to turn it down manually because it wasn't stopping. Have you ever heard of this. I hope you don't think this is a put on, it is for real. I'm not sure I'd believe to be honest
Some radios are self adjusting. by speed or cabin sensing.
they will increase and the volume will also drop back to base setting with speed, whatever the trigger is.
Did you look in the owners manual to check on this feature, before we start looking outside the radio itself.


Staff member
I gotta ask... is this a recent problem, or did it seem to start at about the time the second battery system was installed?
I checked the owners manual and it does not list the speed sensitive volume control on any of that year factory radios.
billr, This problem started before the second battery system was added.


Hero Member
This feature was not supposed to be available on Super Duty. Having said that, I did some poking around on the Ford truck forums and found a reference to some speed sensitive radios being installed in Super Duty models. Whether at the factory or in a subsequent radio swap, I don't know. Try the following:

1) Start motor and turn on radio.

2) Press and hold volume/power button in for 3 to 5 seconds

3) "Speed vol" will appear on green LCD display along with a number.

4) Use "select" button (up and down arrows) to pick a number between zero and seven (seven is the loudest).

5) Pick number and wait for unit to reset back to regular screen.

Let us know.
I would try whacking on the dash board to simulate "road shock" to see if volume increases. If it does, internal radio problem is the likely cause. Probably intermittent, so might be best to do the whackin' right when you notice the volume has increased "on it's own".


Wrench. I help when I can
Yup, the tried and tested method my grand pa taught me. "When it don't work, hit it"

I think that is in my moniker, or whatever you call that in english.


Wrench. I help when I can
Yeah, grand pa had an old RCA TV. I mean the real ones. When the hitting thing didn't work anymore, he bought a zenith. That was a upgrade from the rca wooded frame thing. That zenith outlasted his old self at the ripe age of 83. When grand ma got to 82, we got her a flat screen. She died at 86. That flat screen died with her. Go figure. A zenith tv from the early 80's lasted more than 35 years. Grand ma couldn't hit the thing hard enough.

Funny that this came about with a dual battery install. May be a coincidence. Why BTW does this 54.l need a dual battery install? I don't think that has anything to do with a radio going up in volume on it's own though. Hey, at least you got 12 yrs out of the OEM radio. Maybe time for a walmart upgrade. ;)

So that was my smart arse reply of the day, made me laugh and think of my grandparents.

Oh, while I am in the grand pa funny moments of life, grand ma was passing the old electrolux vacuum cleaner to close to my grand pa. Our family home was literally on the St Anne river. We had a cement bed laid out at the foot of the lot, grand pa welded together some stairs, and all we had to do was throw a line in for trout. So off my grand dad went, electrolux in hand, chucked it in the river, came back inside and told grand ma, your vacuum thing is in there, if you want it, go get it. Knowing those old electrolux's, that thing would probably still be working. I know, I had one before my ex wife asked me to up grade to a sears thing. I found that indestructible electrolux thing at a flea market. Same green color as my grand ma's. I NEVER had a problem with it. Another great north american company that went under. When the quebec electrolux plant went under, thousands of jobs went with it. That almost wiped out the town. Sadly, that is a story alot of USA folks know also. Now it's garbage in, garbage out.

Going back to that sears kenmore. That thing only lasted 4 or 5 yrs. She thought my old electrolux didn't have enough options. I said there is only one option I am interested in, sucking action. Safe to say, I did not win that conversation.
nickb2....ok enough jokes now I'm mad (not really..... that was my joke...LOL) The reason I put in the dual batteries is because I burn 6 added LED cargo lights plus the factory rear cargo light, now LED and the cabin incandescent light (to be LED). With one battery if I didn't charge it once a week (5 year battery new) I would have a 11.5 volt no start. With the two batteries the second kicks in as soon as I turn the key. I still charge the main battery every 2 - 3 weeks.
This problem even dates back to my then 89 Lincoln Continental, not did the radio go crazy, but the electronic suspension as well. It all deals with lack of a good power on reset or POR for short, when you hit the starter, if the battery voltage drops below 8.5 volts, and you do not have a radio, you have a computer.

Battery terminals have to be clean and tight, all grounds tight, but the key problem in the Continental was the ignition switch, the lubrication on it was as hard as rock, cleaned all that off, used a power buffer to give the contacts a mirror finish and new lube, then everything was fine again.

Even problems with my father-in-law 86 Chrysler New Yorker, before his one year warranty ran out, his electronic dash wouln't come on, replaced it under warranty, after warranty they wanted 600 bucks for a new one, but that was not his problem, again the ignition switch.

Even problems with my 2012 Cruze, was 40 miles from home, turning the key to start, nothing happened, removed the key opened the drivers door, tried it again, nothing, 3rd time it did start. When I got home pulled the ignition relay, just some scum on the contacts, replaced that POS made in China with a good Panasonic relay to cure this.

Then my new 2017 Hyundia Elantra Limited, its weak spot was that production cutting time to hit the heater in the thermostat, controlled by the ECU, put my scope on that, a digital, hitting the starter, voltage dropped below 8.5V, only thing I found wrong with it, the negative battery terminal screw was a tad loose, been perfect ever since.

This new stuff has five or six computers, some work, some don't unless you have a good POR. Can be the heater in the thermostat, the radio, the headlamps don't come on, even AT or cruise control problems, computers are the problem.

Oh that Continental had another problem, removed the ECU, hit it with 12V, the Vss power to the chip ramps up to 5V, has a resistor and a capacitor tied to it where the capacitor had to hold the POR pin low, below 1 volt, that ramped up just as quit, the idiot that designed it used a capacitor that was too small, installed a larger one to solve that problem.

Program counter has to be reset to zero for it to read code properly, if not, the microcontroller goes crazy.
  1. My voltage drops to about 11V on starter mode. My digital volt gauge has a red light that comes on at 11.5V and on start it will come on for a second or two. Key on but not started or running 12.6V to 13.1V. I ran a second ground to frame from under hood batttery
Digital or even analog voltmeters read average voltage where a scope shows this instantly, sure an aversion to using a scope in automotive, in design for automotive products, can't live without one.

Dumbest thing is, solid state, do not test, whoever came up with this statement? Testing an ignition coil with an ohmmeter is completely worthless, one shorted turn in the coil that an ohmmeter will never detect would kill the spark.

Another stupid thing is to replace it with a known good part, how do you know if that is good if they don't even give you the specifications for it.

Sure opened a lot of hoods since I am retired now or just tired, all using a fuse relay box, with point contact relays in them, couldn't have made a poor choice, one tiny bit of debris on these can prevent a good contact. Sure loading up the ECU, use to be just that, now contains the AT, cruise, fuel injector drivers, ignition module and even the voltage regulator for the alternator. If any of those short out, have to replace the whole darn thing for only $$$$$$.

Use to be able to open these things, now completely sealed with epoxy so another major throwaway part as is the unibody.


Wrench. I help when I can
sure an aversion to using a scope in automotive, in design for automotive products, can't live without one.
I am 100% in agreement with this comment. I am just getting used to working with a few at my new workplace. I am using a pico scope 4 channel, and the snap on versus "virus" scanner I absolutely hate also has a 4 channel scope option but the processor in that scanner sucks large. We have everything we need to use both scopes. But sometimes, in this trade, it is longer to hook it up than the boss is willing to give me time for. Also, I think I am the only one at the shop who knows how to somewhat interpret the data even though I am new to this, I love learning this stuff. The others guy's at the shop are a bit outdated and don't want to waste time to get educated. Well that sucks for them, cuz this trade is changing FAST!!!

I think that is why alot of techs steer clear of the scope. But my boss is seeing the merits of it since I have started using them.

I am on a learning curve, and hook up time is getting better every time I pull the box out. My I5 laptop is more than enough to get great capture times. I think even an I3 would do better than that awful POS snap-on versus thing. But hey, it was all they had 10 yrs ago.

I told my boss that thing is a waste of money, no use paying for anymore updates. It's just to goddamn slow. And don't even try to have fun with a benz or a mini cooper, hlf the options the versus boasts it has don't work. Waste of my time. And that thing cost a fortune to up keep.