Ford 2008 Escape Sirius Satellite Radio Fault

INTERNET SEARCHERS, If you have this problem please leave comments after reading.  My problem was resolved,  see later posts (click link for day 2 upper right).  Thanks.  D

The satellite radio is offline.  I know Sirius sends these little updates through all the time.  The last time it was working was before the big change where all the channel numbers changed.

After the big change I noticed that the radio was no longer indicating the name of the channel it was tuned to when in satellite mode.  Then, about a week later,  “satellite radio fault”.  Has not worked since.  I think Sirius bricked my radio with a bad firmware update.

January 2010, somewhere along I80 in Colorado

Now, I know a few things about electronics.  I even know a few things about embedded uP’s and firmware and such things.  But this knowledge will not help me very much. No, what I need is the person at Sirius that I get on the phone, or the guy at the Ford dealer to know something about it.  But the guy at Ford of course told me to call Sirius.  Although every day at work I update the firmware on multiple devices,  there is no public information or firmware update available for the magic Sirius radio box.  Not really sure where it is mounted in the vehicle.  Sirius will not be able to do anything because the uP does not even start up.  So anything they send will not be received.  Ford thinks they can not fix it because they have no idea how it works.  To them it is a foreign thing that some other company installed in their product.  The Ford service guy suggested I should call Sirius, “sometimes they tell  you  to point the car north”  he said.  Lots of commercial  Geosync satellites north of here…That must be the problem,  on the wrong bird.  Actually in the big city satellite radio runs mostly off terrestrial repeaters.  But I digress.

What probably happened is that Sirius sent through some kind of firmware update, and I shut the car off too soon not knowing that anything was going on.  I only hope that they did not brick the radio.  I will be trying to fix that today.  Wish me luck and send money.

First thing to try is disconnect the battery for about ten minutes and let the radio go completely dead,  then reconnect.

Satellite radio fail

Update, Same day.

Disconnected the battery,  reconnected after 5 minutes.   No change.

Next step, call Sirius.  Lady on the phone wanted to send a refresh signal.  Never mind that the radio is not receiving anything, never mind the uP will not even start.  I explained about all that.  She was not aware that there had been a change in the channel numbers.    So we sent a refresh signal.

No change.  She transferred me upline.  Another female.  Same deal, transfer again, this time a guy answered.  The guy had me shut off the radio, then shut off the motor, then open the door.  I drew the line at running around the car three times. I still have my pride. Close the door, restart the car.  No change.  Finally he decided that there was in fact a hardware problem and the satellite module needs to be replaced at the Ford dealer.  Huh, who’d a thunk it.  So next comes the phone call to Ford, see when they can do it.

Satellite radio fail

The Ford dealer closest to work is Galpin Ford.  They can get me in on the 27th.  It seems there are a whole bunch of people with satellite radio problems.  hmmmmmm.

Not one to create panic,  but this is obviously some kind of conspiracy.  Ford needs the money?  Sirius wants to change to a new module that has features that allow the government to spy on us?  Aliens gathering data, studying our habits in preparation for invasion!


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23 Responses to Ford 2008 Escape Sirius Satellite Radio Fault

  1. Mark Sikes says:

    Hey, I have the same problem. Did you get your’s fixed? Everyone I talk to at both Sirius and Ford Dealers are dumb as rocks…….

  2. Will Leighton says:

    2011 Ford Escape XLT: Sirius radio worked fine for several months then, in January of 2012 got the dreaded “satellite radio fault” display. Talked with Sirius Customer Service and they confirmed that my account was valid. Tried the typical re-activation signal process and still got nothing. Talked to Sirius again and they seemed to be aware of this problem occurring with Ford products and told me that it is a defect with the vehicle.
    I called the local ford dealer in Fairfield, California and arranged to drop the vehicle off for radio repair and a 10K service. When I went to pick up the car I was told they couldn’t get the radio repaired in the time I had available. I would have to bring it back and leave it with them for several days because they would need to order parts. On March 5th I took it back to the dealer. Got a loaner car and was told the repair would probably take about two days. On the 8th I got a call from the dealer telling me that they replaced the antenna and that didn’t solve the problem. I told them that they could have read the Ford blogs and they’d find out that this problem is rampant with Focus, Fusions and Escapes. In all cases it ain’t the antenna that’s the culprit. In doing my research it seems there’s a faulty module buried deep within the bowels of the dashboard. Perhaps the dealers are reluctant to venture into those dark depths? It is now March 11th and we haven’t heard further from the dealer. It would seem the training and communication between Sirius and Ford service departments is lacking. I’ve had excellent experience with XM radios in my GM products and my Subaru – no problems of any kind, ever! I can’t understand why Ford and Sirius can’t get their act together.
    I will report the latest news after I call the dealer tomorrow morning, perhaps the time change will bring good news. Stay tuned . . . .

    • admin says:

      Yup. I shudder to think what might have been the cost in time and dollars had it not been under warranty. They act like it is a foreign thing some other vendor put in the car. Don’t know much about such new fangled things. Geeez Ford. Get your act together.

  3. eric says:

    My Fusion is having the same reception issues that were mentioned in comments above. I cancelled my subscription until this can be resolved. Anything less than the performance I got with the “old Xm” is simply unacceptable, not to mention lame. Does anybody know if a resolution has been found or if a class-action law suit has been discussed? (Not frivilous to me!)

  4. Fish says:

    I’m getting an “antenna failure” on my 2010 Ford Edge. I’ve called two area Ford dealers and neither have heard of this. Not sure what to do next. My Sirius account is active, and if I turn it to 184 I can hear the promos but the text reads of the error. Any advice?

    • admin says:

      I read somewhere that the antenna never fails but rather that message likely indicates a bad electronic module. What you have to do is call first Sirius and follow the script until they determine you need to go to the Ford dealer. They then communicate to the Ford dealer what needs to be done. Good luck and let us know what happens.

  5. Bob says:

    I’m getting “Satellite Radio Fault” (2008 Ford Escape). It started 2 days ago and so far the refresh isn’t working and the people at Serious haven’t offered any other options than that. It won’t even let me try to change the station to 184 as the directions state.
    I guess my next stop will be at a Ford dealership.
    So what was the outcome and the costs at the dealerships?

  6. Richard R. says:

    Have the same problem on my 2010 Escape called Sirius on several occasions but my radio shows no fault. They said they would send a refresher signal and wait about 15 minutes. Myself and my wife did still nothing.Called back and Sirius told me to shut off the car and open the doors just so happen we were traveling on a highway doing 75 MPH than there response was it seems that you have a receiver problem.My AM/FM works just fine why can’t anyone build a car where this problem can be remedied without fighting with a dealer who has no clue as to what’s going on.I’ll be truthful these service managers wouldn’t know if the battery in their hearing aid was bad.Remember if they save the dealer money it looks good on their resumes.

  7. will leighton says:

    My dealer finally determined that the cause of the problem was a module in the radio that needed replacement. Took a couple of weeks for the part to arrive but after the new part was installed we’ve had no further issues. Sirius was no help. All they said they could do was send the refresher signal. Gotta get the dealer to replace your module in the radio itself.

  8. Bob says:

    So how much was the fix from the Ford dealer?

  9. will leighton says:

    We’re still under warranty so the cost of the satellite module was covered. The receiver tuner modules on eBay and elsewhere seem to run in the $59 – $145 range. I don’t know how hard it is to replace but I usally check on youtube to get the “how to” on any auto repairs. Hope this helps.

  10. Bob says:

    So I finally got my car into the local Ford Dealer. The tech tried to re-boot the module but it failed. They only want $619 + to replace the unit (but of course the part is on back order, and they don’t expect availability for up to 2 months). Guess I”ll just have to cancel my subscription and get use to not having the service.

  11. sherrell gillaspie says:


  12. Gene Lambert says:

    My 2010 Ford Edge went down today. Probably same problem. Antinna Failure. Thanks for the info.

    • admin says:

      Good luck getting it fixed. One thing you could try, if you can locate the magic box, is connect a 3rd party antenna and see if that does fix it. The antenna can be purchased online for the portable radios and I think the connector is the same. In the 2008 the magic box was under the passenger seat. D

  13. admin says:

    Update: The 2008 was totaled as an outlaw, running from the police in Indiana, crashed into the rear end at 90 MPH. I was able to salvage the magic box that makes the satellite radio work. I found it under the passenger seat. I have a lifetime contract with Sirius so I think someone else could use it. I would be willing to sell it. If you have a 2008 vintage car or similar and you have this problem, contact me and maybe we can make a deal. You can leave a comment here or text me at 812 318 1953. 73, Dave

  14. Elizabeth Yates says:

    My built in nav radio has lost sound on the Sirius radio. The car is a 2008 expedition. The other media options work just fine. The radio appears to know what channel it’s on. I’ve been through the turn it off/open the door routine. After getting a refresh signal, can hear faint radio like sounds at full volume, though not useable. I tried another refresh today…no help. Next we will try the battery disconnect, and after that, the radio guy at the dealership. Just wondering if anyone has any bright ideas.

  15. Elizabeth Yates says:

    Didn’t see the email notification info when posting above comment

  16. Andrea W. says:

    My 2010 Escape a few months ago started doing this Antenna Fault message when I turn on the Sirius radio. I can’t even change the channels on Sirius but the regular AM/FM radio works just fine. I just renewed the service and now can’t use it.

  17. Betty S. says:

    My 2008 escape’s Sirius radio has worked fine up till tonight and then it just stop showing the Sirius antenna fault message.

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