Weird car stereo issues

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Haggai, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    My car stereo's been acting strangely of late, so I was wondering if anyone around here might have any advice. My car is a little over six years old now, with a built in CD/AM-FM-radio stereo. A few weeks ago, upon returning from out of town, the car wouldn't start in the airport parking lot, and after I got a jump, the stereo buttons wouldn't respond. I could still turn the volume and tuning knobs to adjust volume and change the radio station, but the seek and scan buttons didn't work, nor did any of the pre-set stations, or the button to switch between AM and FM. When I put a CD in, it would play it, but I couldn't skip between tracks, and I couldn't even get the CD back out of the player, since the eject button wasn't responding. After I got home that night, I switched the car off and on again, and happily, everything was working OK again with all the stereo's buttons, which stayed that way for the next couple of weeks.

    There were one or two more times when the same problems popped up again since then, but it never lasted very long; e.g., I'd get in the car to drive to work and the buttons were all out, but after 5 or 10 minutes they were OK again. But over the last couple of days, they went out and stayed out. This morning, the car wouldn't start again, so when the Triple A guy came out, I went ahead and had him replace the battery (which was old and apparently overdue for replacing). When I was driving in to work, still no response from the stereo. But then, using the old male approach of "smack the hell out of it until it responds" to malfunctioning devices, I did get it to work again. I had tried that yesterday as well, before the battery died, but to no avail. So, I'm hoping that now I've replaced the battery, whatever the problem was is gone--I suspected it was connected with the battery in the first place, since it didn't start up until my battery was dead in the airport parking lot those few weeks ago. I don't really understand how those issues would be connected--any thoughts from anyone around here? I hope the stereo issues are gone now, so that I don't have to have it worked on or replaced. I had never had any problems like that with it over the past six years.
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    In my experience, eerie stereo issues can be due to:

    a) a short within the car's wiring or in the stereo itself

    b) Weak connection from negative battery post to car body

    c) an old stereo breaking down over time

    You can get a nice Alpine for $200 with the ability to connect it to an ipod [​IMG]

    www.alpinefullspeed.com
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    There is also a car audio section on this forum... Doesn't seem terribly active but it's there!

    Jay
     
  4. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    A low voltage battery can create havoc in car electronics. Hopefully your new battery fixed your problem.
     
  5. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    For now, it seems to be OK, so hopefully it was just the battery issues. I suspect it was, since none of this had ever happened before, not even on previous occasions when I'd needed a jump-start. Another thing is that when I got a jump a few weeks ago, the clock came back up showing 12:00, which I don't recall ever having happened before. So maybe the battery had more or less died and some settings were reset, with the problem occasionally re-surfacing as the successfully jump-started but essentially "undead" battery chugged along for the last couple of weeks with one foot still in the grave. The clock came up reset to 12:00 again yesterday morning, after the new battery was installed.
     

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