Ford Ranger ‘Fake’ Engine Sound Disable

Are you considering disabling the ‘fake’ engine noise feature on your Ford Ranger? What is the fake engine noise called and what exactly is its purpose? Are there any side-effects and warranty issues when disabling this feature? Can you disable the active noise cancellation without any fancy diagnostic tools?

Ford Rangers are equipped with an Active Sound Enhancement technology that modifies the natural sound of the engine for an enhanced driving experience. The enhanced engine sound that is transmitted is in sync with the engine and can be adjusted from inside the cabin. It changes according to throttle position, engine RPMs and other factors.

Unfortunately, sound enhancement technology has been incorporated into many modern performance vehicles, without the knowledge of most owners. It’s a dirty little industry secret that’s been incorporated by most of the top vehicle manufactures to make their vehicles sound more appealing and sportier.

Think of it as the ‘Autotune’ for modern vehicles. Just like ‘Autotune’ enhances the voice of a singer by using clever electronic sound manipulation techniques, so do these active sound enhancers enrich the sounds of the engines. A puny little 4-cylinder engine can now sound like a roaring v8 if you so desire.

Ford Fake Engine Sounds

On select Ford models, the process of disabling the sound “enhancement” is as simple as pulling out a fuse. The downside to the approach is you also lose your Active Noise Cancelation feature on the vehicle. The ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) technology basically allows you to manage your vehicles sound inside your cabin for a quieter, enhanced ride.

On the Ranger models Ford Engineers claim not to process fake recorded engine sounds to mimic a higher displacement performance engine tone, but rather process original engine sounds that are being emitted. These are real organic engine sounds that are processed and transmitted through the vehicles speaker system.

Owner Feedback

Many owners are not convinced the Ford Rangers even have this sound Enhancement built into their trucks. It’s not very convincing, since you still hear lots of road and tire noise over the engine sounds from inside the cabin.

Unconvinced Owner #1

I think everyone is chasing ghosts here. I doubt there is any engine sound enhancements in a Ranger. A Mustang, maybe but that’s a different class of vehicle

https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/disable-fake-engine-noise.2885/page-3

Unconvinced Owner #2

I have never herd it either. Does the radio or sound system have to be ON or does it work (if it exists) like a chime??

https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/disable-fake-engine-noise.2885/page-3

Totally Convinced Owner #3

I have an XLT loaner right now and it definitely exists when you have it floored and at high RPM. Sounds a lot like a V8, but we all know that the 4 banger doesn’t sound like that. Not sure I would prefer hearing the 4 cylinder unless the turbo and blowoff valve could actually be heard like my Mazdaspeed Miata.

https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/disable-fake-engine-noise.2885/page-3

Totally Convinced Owner #4

I have a 2019 ranger stx that I just recently had a sub and amp installed in. The fake engine noise is absolutely there. I thought i had heard it before the sub was installed but it was very subtle and never really paid much attention to it. Now that the sub is installed you can hear it clear as day because it gets played through the sub. I don’t think this is restricted to the sync vs sync 3 or trim levels. My truck has the standard sync system in it. Now that the sub is installed I am desperately looking for a way to disable the sound because it is so overly exaggerated on the much large speaker. I will see if i can get a video of it tomorrow to show you guys.

https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/disable-fake-engine-noise.2885/page-3

Other Sounds

If you are concerned about other knocking, humming and ticking sounds while driving you can read more about that here: Ford Ranger Humming Noise during Acceleration (Ticking, Knocking, Rattling).

The clicking sounds you hearing is quite normal Ford Ranger behavior and your directional pump doing its job.

Sound System Upgrade

So, Ford takes the authentic sounds from each engine model, combine and “refine” them to be transmitted through the speaker system. Sounds all good and well, however, when you do a speaker upgrade that involves any sub-hoofers, you risk getting immense feedback through the speakers. There doesn’t appear to be a fool proof way to disable this feature, much to the frustration of many Ranger owners

User Experience

I have a 2019 ranger stx that I just recently had a sub and amp installed in. The fake engine noise is absolutely there. I thought i had heard it before the sub was installed but it was very subtle and never really paid much attention to it. Now that the sub is installed you can hear it clear as day because it gets played through the sub. I don’t think this is restricted to the sync vs sync 3 or trim levels. My truck has the standard sync system in it. Now that the sub is installed I am desperately looking for a way to disable the sound because it is so overly exaggerated on the much large speaker.

https://www.ranger5g.com/forum/threads/disable-fake-engine-noise.2885/page-3

IT appears the Infotainment head unit receives a signal directly from ignition pulses and throttle position then processing that into the fake engine sound. When doing a sub upgrade, some have reported notable sound oscillation and frequency feedback through the system.

Resources

Conclusion

Personally, I prefer listening to the original engine sounds, however it sounds. 4 banger Diesel engines doesn’t particularly sound super impressive, but you become accustomed to it. It allows you to more easily identify problems early on and get them sorted ASAP.

Problem is, manufactures put so much effort and engineering into making the driving experiences more refined and enjoyable, by incorporating a heap of soundproofing on the floor, doors and firewall. This cancels out most road noises, however, they also muffle most of the natural engine sounds. While this appeals to the masses, it unfortunately takes away from the audio feedback that some drivers have come to love.

Jade C.

4-Wheel drives and off-road driving techniques has been my passion for over 20 years. Here we strive to provide the most accurate, up-to-date, information about the functionality, common faults and latest technology built into most 4 Wheel Drives.

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