Fixing internals of a car radio

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Scubacamper, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    I cannot replace my car radio with an aftermarket radio without customizing the installation. My vehicle does not allow for aftermarket radios.

    Replacing the radio will cost upwards of $900.00 USD - no thanks

    I'd like to try to repair it, but don't know where to start - this is where you come in. :)

    The radio used to intermittently come on. Now it does not come on at all (no sound, but definitely has power).
    Occasionally, it will turn on but will not allow controls to work.
    Occasionally, it will only emit a buzzing noise through the speakers at a constant volume.
    Occasionally, (of late, not at all), but it used to come on for a little while then pop out (in other words, a pop would sound and it would cut out the sound completely while still displaying information on the screen).

    What do you think may be wrong? Where should I start?
     
  2. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Seems like you have a short in the wiring harness that feeds the audio system.
     
  3. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Would you mind offering suggestions on how to track down the short?

    That is certainly possible since I have removed the radio once before to repair a mechanical problem - not common for my work but I guess it's possible I may have left one loose or damaged a wire somewhere along the line.
     
  4. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    If it's not too hard, I'd pull the radio out and bench test it with a spare battery, or even jumper cables, and a spare speaker. This would allow you to determine whether the radio itself has problems or if they are in the harness in the car.
     
  5. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    are any of the symptoms occuring when you go over bumps? could be a crack or bad soldering on circuit board. most modern radios are so complicated these days, that it is nearly impossible to troubleshoot without the factory information, schematics and such. also, they are tied into the car electronics systems quite a bit, so the problems might not even be in the radio.
     
  6. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    I can bench test, yes. I have not noticed any patterns whatsoever. Bumps do not seem to cause it to foul up. I keep thinking internal amplifier, cap, or maybe a transistor?
     
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    ?? I don't understand - maybe those are disconnected statements. Are you saying there is a problem even on the bench, away from the harness?
     
  8. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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    Pretty ridiculous how much it costs to replace a damned radio these days.

    My first car had an AM push-button radio for $29.99

    Or, was it $15.99?
     
  9. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    funny..... crutchfield has a radio/adapter kit for every vehicle.. ;)
    and its only $900 when you need pandora/gps,etc... and can't install it yourself..
     
  10. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Scuba, best bet is to start fresh. Two things. I believe wayneh suggested removing your radio and bench testing it. Great idea. Secondly, most vehicles will have a B+ wire to the radio, Ignition wire to the radio and ground. This will at least power up the radio. Then you probably have two or four channels which generally have matching color pairs of wires to the speakers. You can test a speaker with a small AA battery or 9V by just momentarily touching the wires to the battery and listening for a thump. Do not hold them on the battery too long. If your radio tests okay on the bench, you have issues with the car.
    One thing I have not seen on any posts is information on the vehicle or pictures. Year, make, model or radio part number and I can help you with wiring diagrams or tell you what to test. Let's go step by step instead of guessing what may be.
     
    absf likes this.
  11. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    I'm sorry it was unclear, I have the capability and skill set to remove the unit and bench-test it but have not done so yet.
     
  12. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Crutchfield was, and always is, my first stop for car audio. Alas, they do not have one for my vehicle (I was shocked, frankly).
     
  13. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    Thanks - it's a 2004 Nissan Quest SL with DVD system. It does not have the Bose pkg.
     
  14. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    Did you try to call Scosche then..
     
  15. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    No - I'll have to try them.

    Also, the $900 figure was for the radio itself - no install.

    ...Just checked their website - no mounting kits, just wiring harnesses (just like Crutchfield). Bummer. :/
     
  16. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Here a guy uses a standard stereo into the lower DIN box on the 2004-2006 Quest. You need an adapter if you have SAT Radio.
     
  17. Scubacamper

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 4, 2014
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    yeah, I've seen that video before; just haven't gotten desperate enough yet to scrap my coin tray. :)
    With his vehicle, his original OEM HU is still operating...
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  18. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Have you bench tested the unit yet or do you need the vehicle wiring diagram for connections? What is the make and model of the radio you have? It should be on a label on top of the unit. Do you have a picture of the connectors on the back of it or can you draw them as close as possible?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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