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Radio electrical short causing weird problems.


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MistahYebba
User

Nov 7, 2014, 1:34 PM

Post #1 of 13 (1386 views)
Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Straight to the point.

I have an aftermarket alpine in my 2003 Jeep Liberty Sport.

Whenever it feels like it, the radio will work.

If I turn the car on and the radio doesn't power up, I can turn the car off, pop the radio face out of the main unit, turn the car on, and then pop the radio face back in while it's turning on and it will "fix" the problem of it not powering up.

On a rare occasion--usually after being on the road for a while--this method won't work..after the car sits for ~30 minutes, it "resets" the ability for this method to work.

If I use this method, the radio will either.

1. Work flawlessly. It will start "SEARCHING" for a BlueTooth device, connect to my iPhone, and play my music with great sound quality for hours. Radio, auxiliary, USB, they all work.

2. The radio will turn on, work as described in (1.) for about 3 minutes, and then just stop. The radio it self functions 100%, the buttons work, the display shows everything, but sound stops and the volume knob doesn't change the value. Basically, when this happens, I can do a quick check by rotating the volume knob. If the volume is frozen on a number, I know I'll have to do the METHOD ABOVE to try to fix it. (Normally when it freezes like this, using "the method" won't fix it until the car has sat for ~30 minutes.

3. The radio will turn on, work as described in (1.) until I get to a stop light, sign, speedbump, etc.. Holding down or tapping on the brake seems to cause (2.) to happen.

Here's my question: If it's a short, how come the radio FUNCTIONS just fine when it freezes, but no sound plays and the volume won't change? The lights don't dim, the buttons don't stop working... it's just weird. Electronics don't just "half-break".. they're either broken or not!

Why does unhooking the radio, turning on the car, and then hooking it back in temporarily fix it?

Thanks! GOOD LUCK! :)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 7, 2014, 2:12 PM

Post #2 of 13 (1374 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Guess of the day is the faceplate isn't making good contact(s.)


Heat, time plus while it's running you are operating at a higher voltage which may make it thru a poor connection.


Some "aftermarket" stuff is so cheap it's easier just to get another just like it if available or another. All quite seriously must be wired in properly and used an adaptor I'll call an interface such that the aftermarket radio doesn't need to mess with the original wiring of the vehicle at all as it will plug in to existing harness plug for it,


T



GC
User
GC profile image

Nov 7, 2014, 2:27 PM

Post #3 of 13 (1364 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

From the sounds of it, you have an issue with an aftermarket radio. If your power and ground to the radio are good, then you probably have to take up any issues with the manufacturer of the radio. Tom may be right, but I dont think anyone here is a radio repair tech.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


kenray
User

Nov 10, 2014, 10:23 AM

Post #4 of 13 (1327 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Just off the top of my head, it almost sounds like you may have a switch in the face that may be going bad. If you know how to use a multimeter, you may want to check the switches in your face to see if any have a low resistance reading. If you don't, your best bet is to take it to a professional repair person to check it out.


MistahYebba
User

Nov 11, 2014, 11:03 AM

Post #5 of 13 (1313 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Hey everyone!

Thanks for the replies.

If I wasn't scraping together change to buy Arizona Raspberry Teas before work in the morning, I'd totally take it to a stereo professional and have it looked at, or even buy a $5 multi-meter to check it out myself, but that's just not an option--at least until I get my next paycheck.

But please guys, do inform me:

How can it be wiring, internal components, etc., but still work part of the time?

It's just blowing my mind!

I have been building computers for almost 10 years now; I know how electronics work, but this just does not match up.

Don't you guys agree that if a wire was faulty, it would be faulty ALL of the time? Not just SOMETIMES work, SOMETIMES not work?

How can it work flawlessly for one day, and then NOT AT ALL for a month straight?

and then flawlessly again...?

It's almost as crazy as the electrical problem I have in my house:

When I flip the lightswitch to turn on my Ceiling Fan and Light, the USB Microphone that's plugged in to my computer turns off.

Lol wtf?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 11, 2014, 2:00 PM

Post #6 of 13 (1310 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

What could you possibly mean by saying "how could anything go wrong" with something electrical - especially with AZ's wild temp extremes, an item in a moving thing taking all the bumps and vibrations and has contacts to a removable faceplate that's no doubt just a click on plastic junk that holds in in place?


You fix computers crap and don't own a DVOM of any kind!


Internal repair wouldn't be my thing ever for this and possible that it isn't servable for much of anything. At least look at contacts of face plate and clean them with electrical cleaner or just a Q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol plus push on the dang plate when it's NOT working and see it that matters or snaps it back on again?


T



MistahYebba
User

Nov 11, 2014, 2:07 PM

Post #7 of 13 (1305 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Hi Tom! :) You're my favorite person on this forum, you know that?

and I know, what a surprise that I don't own a DVOM of any kind! :( Never really needed it for a computer; faulty PSU's are a rare occurrence, so there hasn't been a need to check those. :P

A loose wire or component has been my first guess since this problem first happened many months ago.. but here's why I ruled it out..

This problem can happen while at a complete stand still. Actually; this problem most often happens when I hit the brake..even just slightly.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 11, 2014, 2:32 PM

Post #8 of 13 (1302 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Interesting about the brake and seems to bring on this? Basics - does anything mechanical about the brake pedal get near or touch wiring?


Dash metal is also supposed to be common ground to the vehicle either by bolting it on or ground straps also. If the metal (all should be covered up to look nice) behind everything can lose ground on some of it just maybe where the brake pedal mounts is torque on it just enough to lose a connection? That's a WAG for the day but I've seen more odd things happen too than that,


T



GC
User
GC profile image

Nov 11, 2014, 11:09 PM

Post #9 of 13 (1284 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Take Toms advice on the faceplate.

Being in or around vehicles puts a curse on anything electronic. Vibration, environment extremes (temp,moisture), rust, poor engineering,and dont forget - not exactly a rock solid power supply like a computer.

We replace faulty electronic components every day.


____________________________________________________
Willing to help, willing to learn... Rob


MistahYebba
User

Nov 12, 2014, 7:06 AM

Post #10 of 13 (1276 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Okay, when I get home I'll clean the connections with a QTip like Tom said, but here's the thing

Don't you think if it was the connectors on the faceplate being dirty, broken, etc, that it just wouldn't work at all?

How could a dirty faceplate connector make a car stereo system be fully functional in every aspect except the volume freezes at whatever value it was when it faulted, and it no longer plays sound?

Literally every button works; seeking, searching for BT devices, adding station presets, changing CD tracks... everything works, but the volume can't be turned up or down (the number value), and the speakers stop playing sounds (and they occasionally 'POP' and 'CRACK').

A dirty or missing copper connector strip doing all that??

That would be like if 1/2 of a 2-Prong Televison plug was dirty, so when you plug in the TV, you can't open the TV Guide anymore.

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a smartass, but seriously lol


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 12, 2014, 9:15 AM

Post #11 of 13 (1269 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Just another question for this about a removable faceplate. Isn't or aren't most to render the radio totally useless? I couldn't possibly know assorted types but why have such a feature if you could just get another and steal the thing if it's worth stealing at all?


I see some decent plain stereo/disc jobs for under $100 bucks so what's the incentive to steal them but then again those that do probably aren't so clever either.


This is no comparison to a two prong TV plug with one missing or bad of TWO. No telling how many contacts go thru this exact faceplate,


T



kenray
User

Nov 20, 2014, 10:10 AM

Post #12 of 13 (1211 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Bad solder connections and wire connections can be intermittent, working sometimes and not others. I have been in electronics repair for over 40 years and intermittent problems are a very common occurrance If a contact is loose, sometimes it will make connection and sometimes not. It may not make sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to me. I have even seen fuses that look and test perfectly good out of the circuit be bad when in the circuit.


kenray
User

Nov 20, 2014, 10:14 AM

Post #13 of 13 (1211 views)
Re: Radio electrical short causing weird problems. Sign In

Tom is quite correct. If the contacts are a little bit dirty, just a little bit of movement of the face could cause it to lose contact. If you have no alcohol or qtips, a pencil eraser will also work. Be sure to clean the contacts on both the face and the front of the deck.






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