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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, some things seem to have gotten better the longer I've had my RAV4.

-- creaks (etc) seem to have lessened
-- gas mileage has gotten better
-- stereo LCD isn't acting up anymore
-- don't seem to be getting any more errors with the CD player
-- acceleration rattle may have lessened as well

But, I still have an issue with the stereo that may sound odd when I describe it, but I'd still like to know if anyone else is or has had this issue.

Basically, it only happens when listening to the radio (not sure if it happens on AM, but it does on FM, and on more than one station, as far as I know). At times, the music will sound "fuller", like you can hear more of the instrumentation, vocals, etc.--like higher quality. But then, it will cut down to a lesser quality, and you will hear less of the music. It doesn't seem to be a speaker cutting in and out, and it doesn't do it with CDs or the aux jack, just with the radio. Could it be the signal? I don't notice the 'stereo' icon going on and off when this happens. I don't recall any of my other vehicles having this issue, though I may have noticed this issue while riding in an older Chevy within the past month or so.

How would the dealer even troubleshoot this? Could it be the head unit, the antenna, the cabling? It seems like a strange issue, but it DOES happen--I'm not making it up.
 

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Do you have the auto volume on???

It raises and lowers the volume depending on your speed. I'm not a huge fan of it and, have turned it off. Just tab through the Bass, Treble, Fade. It will be the last option: Low, Mid, High or Off.
 
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I'm not sure, but the JBL may have an automatic noise adjustment. I have that in my Pioneer right now and it gets louder/fuller when the road noise picks up. You have to switch it off if you don't like it. It's called ASL, whatever that is short for.....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have tried turning the ASL off, and that didn't fix it. I can be driving down the road with little change in engine noise, and it will do it sometimes. It's a strange issue.
 

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Look for the STEREO indicator. Chances are when the sound is flat, it's because you aren't getting STEREO sound and just getting mono. For you to get STEREO, you need a certain level of reception which is antenna related.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Zeoth said:
Look for the STEREO indicator. Chances are when the sound is flat, it's because you aren't getting STEREO sound and just getting mono. For you to get STEREO, you need a certain level of reception which is antenna related.
I already mentioned that the stereo icon doesn't go on and off when this happens. So, either it's a degredation in reception that isn't enough to knock it down to mono, or there's some other problem that should possibly be addressed. If this is the norm for this vehicle, then I may be able to accept it more easily. If not, maybe I should take it to the dealer. But how would they even know how to fix it? If it was the antenna, I could replace that myself.
 

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Ooops sorry didn't see that. Is it reliably reproducable in the same location? If so, find yourself one of those spots around the dealership and ask them to take one of theirs if they said it's normal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It seems to just happen at various places when I drive around. I don't know if it's very predictable everywhere, but it usually happens some when I drive to work, so I guess taking it down the same route would work. But if it was reception, wouldn't it happen on, say, a certain station, since that one may be further away than another? This seems to affect more than one station. It's a strange issue.
 
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