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Volume control

I have a 2007 Cadillac Escalade. We were driving at Christmas time and one morning when we got in our car, the Bose radio/DVD player/CD player was on mute. The mute icon appeared in the upper right hand corner of my blue screen. We looked through our manuel to turn off the mute. Nothing. We called Cadillac support AND went to the dealer, apparently there was not mute button. No one knew how to fix it, how it got turned on, or where it came from.

So the dealer, after our second visit, finally got the radio to have some volume, albeit, very low volume, but now the volume control knob was broken. No matter how we wiggled it, we had no way to turn up and down the volume on the radio. We drove for two weeks not being able to hear much of anything. Then one day, I was backing up and had the car in reverse, and my teenage daughter, in frustration, reached for the volume control and it worked!! But when we put it back in drive, the volume on the radio dropped dramatically to almost nothing. We tested it again, REVERSE, we had volume control, DRIVE or PARK, no volume control.

We took it back to the dealer again, told them what was going on. They didn’t believe us until they heard it themselves.

After looking at it for a couple of hours, they said we needed a new Bose radio system. . .$2,000. What?! In a three year old car?!

We asked them why the gears had anything to do with the radio. . .they couldn’t give us an answer except we needed a new radio. We questioned them further and they got testy. . .we just need a new radio, $2000. Somethings fishy . . .

I would not be buying a new radio yet. My guess is there is a grounding problem. When you shift it is making or loosing a connection.

Assuming there is no warranty left on the car, I would recommend a good audio shop. Let them take a look and see if they can find the problem. Once the warranty is up there is seldom any reason to have your car serviced by the dealer.

First off if you do need another system…check out A LOT cheaper and BETTER then the OEM system.

It sounds like a short. But your only choice may be to replace it if the dealer isn’t going to cover it under warranty.

It depends…

The Bose system in the Maxima…the electronics were made by Clarion. Only the speakers were made by Bose. Not sure what the setup is for the Cadillac. Some of the GM Bose systems were still using the AC/Delco radios with the Bose speakers. AC/Delco radios are NOT that good and very very expensive.

IMO, If necessary, you could go to a local install automotive audio shop and get very good results. The environment is very important to good performance and some of these guys having been around a while, can customize a system as good as ANY (if not better) factory install.
Nothing to do with your question, but for $2000, I’d keep my money local and get better sound to boot. Don’t be impressed by “names”, instead, you’ll be more impressed with results.

I agree that you should take it to a reputable stereo install shop to see what they think about it. Depending on how old you are, ask some younger people at work, or around the neighborhood, where they think is a good shop to go to.

We had a shop around town here that, although they couldn’t prove it, people suspected they broke into the cars they worked on a little while after they worked on them. Customer would have their loud stereo system installed, then a month or so later, they’d have it stolen out of their car. Maybe it WAS coincidence, but many suspected an inside job.

Is there a “Cell phone” icon which mutes for a cell phone call.
Is there a rear seat control panel?
Earphone jack into which something was inserted?

Guess I’m spoiled by the shops in this area. I took a car in once with a decent factory system and a “birthday buy what you want” from my kids burning a hole in my pocket. After going over the car, they told me the minimal improvement wouldn’t be worth the money in the car I owned. I was impressed with their honesty and they have been my "go to " audio sound guys since. They haven’t disappointed. No break ins !

Modern stereos are so highly integrated into the car that you pretty much need custom fabrication just to get an aftermarket one to fit without gaps. By the time you pay some guy to whip up a fiberglass surround, you’re talking a lot of money. And then modern luxo/near-luxo cars have a LOT integrated with the stereo, so ripping it out can break things.

OP: First off, an '07 is 5 years old, not 3. Second, call GM corporate, tell them what’s going on and that you’re finding it hard to believe that a new stereo will suddenly make the gear shift stop muting your stereo. Make them go to their designers/engineers and ask them how this could happen. Come back here with what you learn.

You’re very right to be suspicious of the dealer’s explanation. Service techs at the dealerships generally don’t know jack about the electronics. I remember getting in an argument with an Acura tech about the factory data link in the car - he insisted that it was locking on to and sending a signal to the satellite to transmit information about the car to diagnosticians. I had to explain to him that without an aimable transmitter and an FCC license, that couldn’t happen. In short - they’re just as lost on the mysteries of vehicle electronics as you are. Go to the source and make them explain it.

Well, that was one shop and one example.
There’s another shop that does stereo installs and they’ve been around for awhile now. They do good work, they put a CD player in my old Ford Contour, replacing the tape deck and the factory speakers. Had I kept my Civic, I might have had them upgrade the factory setup in that as well.

Any other Caddy dealers in your area? You might try them, it can come down to finding one person that knows the system inside and out. They might be at a different dealer, and they might be more willing to push through the company resources to research your problem.

I disagree with that.

There are kits for almost every car out there. These kits will make the install look custom. They also have adapters so the steering wheel controls work. Also blue tooth support that will mute when you get a phone…many systems will also integrate with the built in cars mic. You can get them with built in GPS…USB jacks for you phone or other devices…etc…etc.

Strange problem. If it were mine, I might want to try removing the backup lamp and repeat your test. I’d want to know if the system was somehow finding ground through that lamp when it’s energized in reverse. If you remove the lamp and the sound does not return when in reverse, you’ve narrowed down the cause. Simple test to do…

My 2011 Sienna has controls on the wheel to control the volume, go to the next station, and answer the cell phone if I would set it up. (I don’t, since I get in the car to get away from telephones, people, etc.) At any rate, when honking the horn, I’ve hit a button on the wheel that cuts out the radio and thinks I am answering the telephone. I don’t know how a Cadillac Escalade is set up, but try poking the radio buttons on the steering wheel. Some of the buttons may even be on the back of the steering wheel.

In this day and age it really isn’t that difficult to evaluate a cars interior then maximize the system for it. When Bose sent an acoustic engineer to evaluate a listening area years ago, he did little more than what anybody with the right software and a lap top can do today. It’s well within anyone’s ability depending upon their interest to actually do it. You really don’t need the factory to tell you what’s best.

Is this car still under warranty? Does the warranty cover the radio?

Nothing says helpful like ethnic humor.

“Some fancy cars like yours have a system that automatically raises the volume when the car is more likely to have wind and road noise from traveling at high speed.”

So that explains why the radio works properly when the car is IN REVERSE?