I own a 2001 Ford Escape; it has been a very reliable vehicle, probably one of the best I’ve owned. One small problem – the digital radio dial fades away to nothing for weeks on end, and then ‘magically’ reappears for a day or two, then fades away again. The radio is the factory installed radio/CD player unit and works perfectly fine, except for the dial, an electro luminescent radio dial – green glowing lights that normally displays the station info, song title and artist as well as being a digital clock. Any ideas what causes the radio dial to fade away and how I can remedy this problem myself? I’m willing to invest in the radio removal tool to slide it out of the dash, but what do I look for once I get it out?
Unless you’re an experienced micro electronics technician, you probably cannot fix this on your own. I had a similar situation with my 2000 Ford Explorer, and the display has been out for years. It would come back up if it was really cold out, but disappear again once the heater started warming things up. The fix for mine is to have a new display control board soldered into place. I thought about doing it myself, but opened up the case and saw the very tight and narrow circuit connections inside. This was obviously above my abilities. So, I finally replaced it with an aftermarket unit that has better sound and more abilities, like Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Before even thinking about removing it you have to do the prep work. You go to http://www.crutchfield.com/ - you select & buy a new head unit. Then when you remove the old one, you install the new one. Presto. Better stuff and way easier - and probably cheaper. Crutchfield is A-1 all around. They will send removal tools along with any needed install extras and instructions.
Obviously you don’t need to use Crutchfield but they absolutely know what they are doing & have excellent customer service.
When this occurs is the radio actually still working/playing? If so it is the “backlight” on the display screen… Nect time it does this…grab a flashlight. and shine it at the display…Can you see the dial then? If so it is the backlight system…if this is the type of display I am thinking of. This is a VERY common issue on factory BMW radios…In the case of the Beemers…I take the radio apart…probably much further than most people will feel comfortable with…and then find the small light for the display…and then solder in a new one…works like a charm…but these are rather old or older type of displays…not sure if they changed the way they do this sort of thing, but in the 90’s this was how it was done.