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Peter Bagley
Peter Bagley, Auto Service Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 677
Experience:  master tech at Toyota dealer
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2006 Avalon XLS V6. Problem started about a year ago. People

Customer Question

2006 Avalon XLS V6. Problem started about a year ago. People complained of a ticking sound whenever I talked to them using my blue tooth earpiece. I thought it was just a cheap earpiece. Over the past 6 months or so ticking sound started on low (NPR) range FM. AM is crystal clear. Tick rises and falls with engine RPM. Hitting a random bump on the Interstate can make it go completely away for miles. Hitting another random bump on the Interstate will bring it back. Ticking is now loud enough to make FM unusable. Had brand new plugs put in since car has 130K on it. Ticking sound still there.
On an old tech car this would scream ignition wires, but those don't exist on this.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 11 months ago.

hello my name is ***** ***** thank you for allowing me to try and help you. well if it were plugs such as not installing resistor plugs going over bumps would not effect it, so rule out plugs and wires. what it sounds like to me is a loose wire or connection at the back of the receiver unit. Is the unit and accessories all OME or original factory equipment? You may have to have the unit removed to check the wiring to it.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
You missed one critical piece. This ignition electrical interference impacted all 3 of my blue tooth ear pieces long before I noticed anything with the radio. It is an electrical problem which is getting progressively worse. Strong FM stations not impacted by it, but lower frequency NPR range stations are. For the first year I had this car the ticking did not show up anywhere. Then for about a year it was the blue tooth ear pieces. Radio would be off and other person would hear the ticking, not I.Definitely not a loose wire on the radio.
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 11 months ago.

Well if your positive with your assumption that all wires and connections at back of radio are in excellent condition then lets go to process of this radio and blue tooth all original or aftermarket? first unplug any Bluetooth devises you have hooked to the radio and see if radio still has noise. Then if it still does remove radio far enough to access wiring at back of it. unplug the blue tooth mogul it has a noise filter built into it. Try the radio again if no noise in radio replace that mogul. if noise still persists i would recommend replace spark plug wires , they may be arcing or damaged internally. are the spark plugs original OME replacement parts, if so eliminate that.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Blue tooth is not in any way connected to the radio. It is paired with my cell phone only. This car has the original factory radio with a separate tape deck down below. It does not have any blue tooth capabilities. With the engine off the radio works perfectly as do my ear pieces for hands free calling.Remember the rate of the tick rises and falls with engine RPM. That means it is something within the ignition system. It is the same tick one used to get with older cars when one ignition wire was bad/arcing against a valve cover or the block.
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 11 months ago.

then it's defiantly either the spark plugs or spark plug wires . each has resistance built into them . again are the spark plugs original equipment replacement parts and should have R on them with the number, that stands for resistant plugs. If they are then replace the wires they have a carbon core and can over time get damaged or loose it's properties , and the insulation gets hard and cracks allowing arcing either way it's a high voltage serge or arc if you will that's causing it if the spark plugs are as I stated then the wires are your culprit One other thing is the charging circuit if the alternator is faulty , diode problem or internal voltage regulator this can cause a electrical buzzing in the radio as well. you can check this out without a gauge by removing the alternator drive belt and running with radio on. If the noise is gone replace alternator . if noise still there look at the spark plug wires as mentioned. hope this helps.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
A 2006 Avalon does not have ignition wires. It is a coil on plug system. Yesterday I had the factory original plugs replaced with the same plug and the problem is still there. The vehicle is at my local mechanics now so cannot verify, but I believe it does have serpentine belt making it difficult to "unhook the belt from the alternator" without unhooking the water pump and everything else.Noise is not an electrical buzz but a spaced tick. I will have them check the alternator out but should not be culprit.
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 11 months ago.

I never assume anything till I have test results in front of me. if it's more a clicking then most likely wires or one wire when it fires. won't hurt to do an alternator check at that age any way.good luck let us know

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The problem was the center coil in the front. 06 Avalons do not have ignition wires.
Expert:  Peter Bagley replied 11 months ago.

close but no cigar, glad you found it , yes they work like wires each cyl has their own coil packs on them. Have a good day