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Honda Accord Hybrid Audio & Entertainment Questions

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
edited April 8 in Honda
Discuss HAH audio/entertainment issues here.

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  • Hi, First post!
    Seriously considering a HAH purchase. Probably will wait until Jan 1st, '06, so I can get the Fed tax CREDIT (vs current deduction) THANKS BLANE!

    Here is my question: I want the Navi, so I'm wondering about adding Sirius (I'll admit it, I'm a Howard Stern Wack-Packer!). Don't much care if the XM add-ons stay or get tossed, although I guess it would be best for re-sale to have both options available (if possible). WHAT do I need, precisely, and HOW do I do it?

    I've been told that the DVD player in the Navi unit (made by Alpine?) only plays the map DVD, and that the CF card slot is for software upgrades, and can't be used as a drive for playing mp3s... SO, does anybody know if there are any hacks to get around these limitations??? There are a lot of clever people out there, so it wouldn't surprise me!!! ;)
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Sorry to read that you are a Sternista. I gave up on him years ago. The XM Radio is integrated into the Accord's Navigation/Climate Control/Computer/Audio system. Therefore, you wouldn't have the option of having the XM add-ons stay or get tossed. In the Naigation-equipped Accord, XM is not an add-on.

    If you are serious about Sirius, THAT would have to be an add-on, wherever you could find a place to hang it. You also could probably not use the original XM antenna, but would have to mount a second antenna and its wiring on the roof (ugly).

    Playing movies on the dashboard is against the law in all states, probably federally too, because of the distraction factor (please don't drive anywhere near where I live while watching movies). You can Google around and find one or two outfits that have hacked the system to do so though.

    If you record your mp3s on CD-ROMS, you should be able to just use the Accord's in-dash 6-disk changer.
  • no worries - the movies would be played at a stop (or for my passengers only). If I'm purposefully avoiding watching a movie while driving, I can't see that it would be more distracting than the navigation or economy displays! Of course, I may need to explain that to a judge, if I get movies rolling... I'd appreciate any links to these hacks; I find endless Googles to be one of lifes most frustrating experiences - unfortunately, there are MANY posts on Sirius!!!

    I figured I could pull into a Good Guys and have them install a Sirius add-on, but that would mean it doesn't display on the Navi screen, with all those benefits. Supposedly, SoundGate figured out how to integrate Sirius into GM and Honda XM equipped units over a year ago - I just can't find any specific products for sale anywhere - again, MOST FRUSTRATING!!!

    This may actually sway me from buying this car; I REALLY dislike when a corporation tries to force me to do something in a particular way! I realize they are part owners in XM, and that they have economic incentive to only offer that brand - but didn't Microsoft get into trouble for acting in a similar manner with IE???

    Finally, if the 2005 NAVI unit is an Alpine, WHY doesn't it say it? Do you know the model #? Perhaps I can start sending detailed questions to Alpine customer service...

  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    Why don't you buy your passenger a $100 portable DVD player with a cigarette lighter adapter, so there's no need to screw up the great Accord dashboard with integrated everything? Sorry, but I no longer have a link to the outfit that used to market a hack for the OEM system.

    If Stern is your only reason to pass up a great car, you may want to re-examine your priorities.

    You've complained that Honda forces you to use XM Radio to the exclusion of the Dog. Have you tried to buy an XM-equipped Ford, Chrysler or BMW lately? "Not available, we only equip ours with the Dog."

    You won't see Alpine's name on the Honda Navigation unit for the same reason that you won't see the manufacturer's name on any factory-installed radio or navigation unit in any other brand of car. Labeling is just not done. Who makes the seats? Who makes the brakes? Etc.
  • Blane, I REALLY don't like being forced into things I don't want. I guess my feeling is that, for $30k, I should be able to get a radio that plays what I want!

    For $80k you can get a Maserati with absolutely EVERYTHING precisely like you want it. Custom color, leather, wood etc. I don't think I'm being too unreasonable, by wanting my $30k Honda to accept a Sirius modification...

    My post here is searching for somebody who has the same wants, and has figured a way to make it happen. Are you the only one that replies to posts on this board? Do you think I'll get a more accomodating reply from another member?

    Thanks for you help, such as it was...
  • I have posted here before to see if others experience static on their Accord Hybrid FM radios. The static sounds like someone is crinkling a plastic grocery bag, and is especially noticeable when the IMA engages. It is easiest to hear on talk radio (NPR) or classical stations where there are periods of silence. It occurs only on FM, not AM or XM.

    I have complained in writing several times to American Honda and have been told that "it is a characteristic of the vehicle." I have had the car at 2 different dealers since January, and the dealers have contacted their national technical support folks, and there is no solution.

    I have just spoken again to American Honda customer service asking for a status update, and was told that there is no solution and that the engineers have determined that this is not a defect and that they are not pursuing a solution.

    I have also been told by Honda that they have reproduced the problem on other Accord Hybrids. But they have no plans to fix the problem or to give me a new radio. (I can only assume that not all radios have this problem because nobody else seems to be complaining.) Their "corporate response" to the problem is that this is a characteristic of the vehicle.

    I asked about whether this problem exists on the 2006 Accord Hybrids as well, and how could Honda possibly consider this acceptable quality. The customer service rep said again that it is not considered a defect and if a consumer test drives an Accord Hybrid and notice the static, then he/she may simply decide not to by the Accord Hybrid. But it is not a defect.

    I also asked why the local Honda dealer had not yet heard of this problem from other customers when I brought my car there in August. (Seems like ample time for a "characteristic of the vehicle" to show up in customer complaints.) The customer service rep's reply was that they hadn't heard other customer complaints but they reproduced the problem with another Accord Hybrid on their lot.

    So I will ask it again here: does ANYONE else have this problem?

    And does anyone have ideas on how to get a real solution out of Honda?
  • This problem is a good reason to really test drive a car before purchasing. Some folks find these noises because their hearing is good; others find it just by accident. Obviously the manufacturer does not want to invest the time and money in fixing the issue. If FM reception is the primary reason that you buy a car make sure that you drive that car everywhere you intend to go before purchasing. IMHO I believe that the options given by the manufacturer on this car are good although paying for pricey satellite reception isn't everyones first choice. My sympathies to the sufferer. Personally I am still listening to NPR on satellite while it is free. I haven't used FM since purchasing my HAH. Of course, no FM radio sounds good in the Bay Area or Los Angeles from what my sister in law says. I suppose the only fix is to sell the car. It would be interesting to hear a vote from all the folks out there whether their accord or civic makes this noise.
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    I have posted here before to see if others experience static on their Accord Hybrid FM radios. The static sounds like someone is crinkling a plastic grocery bag, and is especially noticeable when the IMA engages. It is easiest to hear on talk radio (NPR) or classical stations where there are periods of silence. It occurs only on FM, not AM or XM.

    I have complained in writing several times to American Honda and have been told that "it is a characteristic of the vehicle." I have had the car at 2 different dealers since January, and the dealers have contacted their national technical support folks, and there is no solution


    The static FM sound you are hearing on your Hybrid Accord is probably caused by the vehicle electronics. In this case, could be the electronic controller of the IMA function. Another source of noise could be noisier ignition system.

    Hybrid vehicles, when driven in Electric mode, does generate a lot Electronics noise (EMI or Electromagnetic Interference in technical term) which has the same frequency as your FM station. It is similar to Electronic jamming except in this case it is unintentional: the noise jams the station and causes static, ticking noise, whistling sound... Honda probably knew about it but they could not eliminate the noise. Remember your vehicle has a whole array of DC battery cells. To drive the AC motors, there is an Inverter that convert DC to AC. The Inverter and and other electronic control circuits have to switch fast and move a lot of electric current. High current and high switching speed is the perfect combination for making a lot of EMI.

    I am surprised that you have no AM noise. May be the switching frequencies for their Inverter and other electronics are above AM Band. AM/FM are based on Analog format, so they are very vulnerable to EMI, especially AM. XM is based on Digital format, so it is less vulnerable. In addition, XM frequency range is in 2 GHz range, it is easier to filter the noise at high frequency

    Did you ever wonder why the Hybrid Accord or Hybrid Civic has the mini-whip antenna for AM/FM on the roof instead of the Rear Glass antenna like the regular Accord or Civic? The reason probably is the Glass antenna is more vulnerable to EMI than the mini-whip.

    I doubt that one can find a Hybrid vehicle in the market without some serious EMI problem. Honda vehicles typical are very good with low vehicle EMI.

  • hi
    just bought my new HAH 2 weeks ago. Not impressed w/ the stereo. Maybe better speakers are an option. I had a BOSE system in my last car (2004 maxima) that was awesome. Any suggestions like do you think purchasing new speakers will help?
  • See Post #8 under HAH Accessories: cal_cal, "Honda Accord Hybrid Owners: Accessories" #9, 28 Sep 2005 1:47 pm

    Not too much discussion in the forum regarding your question. I'm curious if this will change with the 2006 model???
  • jntjnt Posts: 316

    Typically, OEM (Honda, Ford, GM...) uses typical cheap speakers for their vehicles, especially high volume one like the Accord. So compensate for lack of fidelity on the cheap speakers, they resort heavily on speaker equalization. For example, if speaker has no high, they compensate that with more high from the radio. So as a whole, the system sounds more even from BASS to TREBBLE.

    Honda is doing that to both Civic and Accord.

    Another thing is Honda 's engineering taste on Audio setting: they have been tuning car sound for typical Japanese music: lot of high (TREBBLE) and not enough low (BASS). So naturally for us, their radios are lacking BASS. Also the question of output power of the head unit. Behind the beautiful and big radio front plate, the Accord radio is actually a DIN size radio. It has small heat sink for its internal amplifier. That means it can generate moderate output power before getting distorted audio. If you after clean, undistorted audio, you may want to have a better and more powerful external amplifier (if your car does not have this option)

    Now if you buy a better Aftermarket speakers, you may get the sound improvement provided that they are better overall or at least more BASS response. Replacing speakers alone may just be the trick if you only care about the fullness of the sound (not more output power). It is typically the cheap speakers, lousy antenna and/or vehicle noise that compromise radio reception and sound quality.

  • thanks for the info! I think I will try to get new speakers soon! ;)
  • My HAH, worst purchase of my entire life! Hope you never bought one?
    rockohead :lemon:
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    You replied to a four-month-old post. That poster hasn't posted anywhere in these forums since last August and will probably never read your message.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "You replied to a four-month-old post. That poster hasn't posted anywhere in these forums since last August and will probably never read your message."

    It's the latest trend. I'm planning on replying to blane sometime around March of 2006...
  • Rockohead

    Go buy a used Yugo and then your HAH will not only be the second worse purchase in your entire life!.

    Seriously, what problems are you having. Thinking a HAH is a lemon is not normal. Problems can be resolved and Hondas are good automobiles.


    P.S.- My dog's name is Rocko :)
  • So, I just bought an '06 Civic Hybrid, and I love it. I also love XM radio, and I understand the Navi system is 'XM-ready'.

    The dealer informs me that all I need to do is to buy an after-market antenna, hook 'er up to the already-present XM receiver, call in the radio ID to XM and turn it up.

    Best Buy's installers tell me that NO, I need to buy the antenna from Honda, as the plug is a special proprietary piece that can't be replaced.

    When I called the XM folks, they also told me that the XM receiver was already present, but then decided that NO, it wasn't, because when I hit the 'CD/XM' button like they asked me to, it doesn't show a radio ID, like it should if the receiver is present.

    Anybody have XM for their '06 Navi system? What did YOU have to do to get hooked up? Is the XM receiver present? Will a generic XM antenna work, or am I forced to buy Honda's extremely expensive version?

    Thanks, folks.
  • fapfap Posts: 12
    I have an '06 HAH w/Nav and XM. I didn't have to do anything. The first 3 mos of XM were free and, if I wanted to extend - which I did, all I had to do was go to the radio ID and call it in. No add on antenna - if you have the Nav and you're sure you have XM, then you should be good to go.
  • Did you order the XM option? I did NOT, as my salesman assured me it was included. But I'm not sure that's true.

    So, what's the truth? Is the XM receiver included with all Navi audio systems (as opposed to being an option that must be ordered)? If it IS included, will it only accept the Honda antenna? If it is NOT included, will any after-market XM receiver work with the ultra-cool Navi audio system? Finally, I see no XM radio ID included in any documentation, just the four-digit Navi code and the serial number. I would think that if the XM receiver was included 1) I'd have the XM radio ID somewhere, and 2) when I hit the 'CD/XM' button, I'd see SOMEthing happen, such as displaying the XM radio ID.

    Thanks for the reply, by the way. But I'm still not sure if I actually have an XM receiver in the Navi system yet.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    You are in the Accord Hybrid thread. The Civic hybrid makes no mention of an XM option. You are probably stuck with paying the big bucks for a Honda XM receiver and antenna. It pays to find these things out before you sign on the line.
This discussion has been closed.