Sparty wears out a radio

#vanlife .

We have used the radio in our van Sparty a lot. XM radio ensured that we could listen to songs from the 70’s and 80’s, latest country hits or soothing jazz on Watercolors while camping in the dessert. We could even listen to the Patriots games when we could not find a bar or a fan group to watch the game with like we did in Nashville.

Sure the radio sound is not the best. And you do need to press the on-button every 20 minutes if the ignition is off. But it is a life line to civilization when we (often) have no cell signal.

All of that use apparently took its toll. It started with occasionally shutting down navigation. Then it would decide it did not like the music we were listening to and change to music on the USB port. Mrs Ram did not appreciate that because it always seemed to pick hip hop instead of her usual country music. (I think Sparty and Mr. Ram are in this together!)

The Vortexes in Sedona seemed to take its toll as well. The radio seemed to time travel from hours to days both forward and backwards.

And like most auto gremlins anytime we brought Sparty in for a check, they could not repeat our observations.  And even though we had pictures of some of the probelms, they would not do anything.

Several weeks ago the radio could take no more. After 4 minutes of playing, it would shut down for a 30 second nap and then restart. Four minutes later it was time for another nap. You would expect that Mrs Ram and I would be very mad at this point. However this was consistent – we knew the dealer could not miss this one.

So I called the local Ram dealer only to discover they do not service my van. It seems there are some dealers that are not authorized to service full-size Promasters. The next closest one also did not service it. I had to take the nearly hour long drive to Daytona.

After changing Sparty’s oil, the service advisor Jean said his radio had a problem and needed to be placed. A mere 7 days they said for a new radio to be shipped. It turns out this radio must be popular because it took over a month to come in.

Sparty is whole once again with a radio that works for hours on end. Of course the Nav system still sucks but that is another story….

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