Hello Everyone, sorry for the long post but I really need all the help I can find... It's a long post but please read through
My name is Tommy and I’m from Portugal. I currently own since new an Audi A1 1.6TDI Sport with some goodies inside with the MY2011 (August 2010-May 2011) production date. So it is fitted with: Pack Sport (Full DIS with efficiency program, sporty seats, sport trim, sport suspension, etc), Concert Radio (MMI 6.5’ Screen, 8 Speaker set, 2SD’s), Connectivity Pack (BT, AMI,pre install for GPS), Interior LED Ambient Lights pack, Xenon with LED DRL’s and Taillights, Light and Rain Sensors, Grey band on the windshield, rear parking sensors (fitted at the dealers, so not integrated with MMI), auto AC, and I believe that’s it.
The A1 is a great little cracker but unfortunately I received a Friday afternoon lemon and therefore my Audi has been nothing but disappointments. I have own it for 2,5 years and so far it has had: New Xenons, Corrections of Squeaks from A pillars, corrections from squeaks coming from the boot, a new vacuum pump (brakes), ECU reprogramming (because S&S stop working), stickers in the inward taillights due to paint rubbing off, fuel excess tube falling to underneath the car, squeaky passenger seat, a new airbag o-ring, two new car keys (as the originals stopped working), a blown speaker (consequence of problems in the MMI) and the most terrible of them all which was the substitution of 4 (yes four) MMI Headunits. So far all of the problems have been more or less promptly addressed by my dealers except for the last one, the sound distortion.
This problem is what brings me here. So I’ll start with the basics and provide the full scope of this sad story.
The first MMI unit was swaped because it couldn’t connect to any of my phones and the BT connection kept dropping. Audi saw this happening and swaped the MMI unit for a new one. The car was about a month at that time and this problem was resolved.
After some time I started noticing that the sound, when reproducing from the mp3 sources where the radio would have to convert the signals (so SD cards, CD player with MP3 files or flash pens on the AMI), would come out with distortions especially the bass (like low quality). No matter what configurations I’d input in the bass or treble the distortion was always present. Moreover I give it a little fader to the back speakers and I noticed that there was basically no bass coming from the back speakers nevertheless I have two mid-range woofers on the back as part of the 8 speaker system. This problem would not occur when playing from CD’s or BT streaming but this is not a solution. I have a friend with a 2012 A1 with the some of my extras (Concert with 8 speaker, AMI, BT, GPS, among other things) and the sound was clear, crisp, with soul, no distortion at all and you could actually listen the bass from the rear speakers!
I took both cars to the dealers so that they could hear the difference and they listened to my complaint and swaped, again, the MMI headunit for a new one. The problem remained, soulless audio and distortion from the MP3 sources. This time the thing got serious and I got really mad. The dealers contacted the A1 factory and were sent a CD with a software upgrade. This upgrade gave the radio a little more soul but did not resolve the audio distortion. Moreover, after about a month of the new update I was on a phone call and all of sudden there was a huge “boom” noise from the speakers and the stereo system went crazy. I had to reset the MMI to stop those loud bangs and the sound distortion because even mute wouldn’t quiet the damn thing. Consequently the front right tweeter was now working at 80% and I could actually hear the balance difference of sound in the car. After lots of discussion at the dealers, where they wouldn’t assume there was a problem with the speaker, I ended up buying a new one from the parts and substituting it myself (25€).
I complained once again and the dealers contacted the factory and they sent once again a new MMI unit, this time with a little serial number difference from the previously fitted one. The SVM coded the new unit again and they installed it. The problem remained and I complained once again. They said that there was nothing they could do and that they followed all Audi procedures and if there is no difference in Audio then it is because it’s a characteristic of that batch of cars from those production weeks. In fact they were right because they had an A1 in for servicing from the same production week of mine but with the Audi Sound System (which adds a DSP, a central speaker and an AMP to my speaker set) and I tried the Audio system in that car. I was appalled because, except for the sub, it sounded soulless and distorted like mine.
As I got tired of this mambo jambo I wrote a huge letter to Audi Germany complaining about this situation and other bits and bytes and after about 2 months I was contacted by my dealers to take the car in to solve all of them situations. Well the bits and bobs were solved and the MMI was swapped by a brand new MY2012 unit. This happened February of this year 2013 and this is where my new problems start.
Audi did not told the dealers to do this move. The dealers tried a long shot in order to try to resolve my specifc issue. They said that by accepting it I could not bug them again and I could not go back to my old radio. Well I was pissed and thought that there was no problem about it and ended up accepting it. They could physically fit the new unit to my car (they are similar) and after removing the component protection it would actually play. The radio had the same reference of my mate’s A1 (MY2012 car). But as it was from a different MY of my car those *******s from engineering factory ****ed the whole coding up to avoid people from adding features or upgrading their cars. So my car wouldn’t run the SVM program (the radio did not belong to that MY so the system wouldn’t code it for my car) and the dealers used the VAS-PC to program the radio. They have no information of how the coding works (well no one exactly has) and the only thing they could do was to copy the coding from my previous radio. This worked but some issues appeared:
1. I lost the menu control for ambient lights;
2. The radio shows options in the Tone menu as if I had the Audi Sound System (I can actually hear a bigger speaker output, ie, louder sound at lower volume when compared to the prevous unit and my mate’s A1);
As this was not enough It also created other problems such as some electrical interference on the speakers (from time to time I hear sounds like “Fsst” or “pff”) and occasionally the sound would go crazy like I mentioned up above with really loud sound like the whole speaker set just exploded. But as the sound was perfect, crisp, with soul and no distortion at all I tried to forget about it and just listen to my music and try to enjoy the car. By June I actually bought the license to activate the GPS and the licensing for the maps and I could successfully put the GPS running in the new unit. I went off for vacations in spain and the whole thing worked flawlessly.
Until two weeks ago I started having other problems, with MMI sound cut off’s, sound going to the rear speakers, then only to the left, then huge sound bangs, etc. The dealers were not available to receive my car and so I borrowed a ross tech vagcom (from my mate’s A1) to try to address some things myself. I could actually run vcds and the 5F module showed several random errors. Things like: short to ground and short to plus on every speakers, errors of the radio searching for a non-existent sub and central speaker, DSP errors, etc.
So I dug in and found a document from the Audi factory (Self Learning Programme attached to this e-mail) where I could understand better how the electricals work and the importance of a correct coding. I found out that the LED ambient lights control coming back is a big long shot as this is a menu activated on the 5F module but they are actually controlled by the central electrics and I don’t know anyone with a 2012 A1 with this extra installed. Unless I find out how to activate that menu the light control won’t come back. But that is not what bugs me. What really bugs me is the sound cuts and the electrical power shorts on the speakers that may be responsible for the sound cuts and the booms. Moreover I also found out that the gateway of the car is supposedly coded to my 8 speaker set. I also understood that there is a “power stabilizer” associated to the gateway which is in my case of 200W. And that if I had the Audi Sound System (as coded on this 2012 radio) then that component should have 400W.
So for all of this I believe that the wrong coding for the speaker set is responsible for most of these issues. I started lookin in the A1 forums and found a bloke with a similar car of mine, here in Portugal, but with the 2012 month year. In terms of extras the cars are alike, except for the ambient led lights and the xenon’s. So 2012 car and 2012 MMI I guess his coding should be fine.
I copied the 5F long coding (and the bytes were all equal) from the bloke and the adaptation channels using the VCDS. Nothing changed, the speakers and everything remained the same. I even tried the coding from my mate’s A1 which has rear parking sensors and no auto AC but the menus/options did not change at all!
I did not told the dealers that I saw the errors and that I tried the bloke’s coding in my 5F with the VCDS. So yesterday I took the bloke’s car and myself’s to the dealers and all they could do with the VAS-PC was to copy the long coding. The VAS-PC had no effect too. At the end they were already saying that if I had accepted it then there was nothing more that could do and I’m out of warranty too. So now I cannot have access to my old compatible 5F unit (it was swapped for the 2012 unit in warranty) and I cannot have MMI turned on because this behavior of sound cuts and sound booms is now recurrent everytime I try to use the stereo.
So my question to all of you is: do you have any idea of how to code the radio to the correct speaker set? Does the VCDS have access to all the coding there is available on the MMI? I don’t even know if my gateway (MY2011 is 8x0 and MY2012 is 8u0) is at all compatible with this radio upgrade (I don’t see why not but we never know).
The SVM is not option for my car. I really need help and Audi is not an option anymore.
I really need all the advice I can find and I am really going crazy with this situation that has been dragging itself for the last 2 years.
Thanks for reading...