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2001 Town & Country Radio Cycling on off

My 2001 Chrysler T&C’s radio/cd changer is cycling on/off exactly every 14 seconds and goes off for 2 seconds, most annoying when I listen to Car Talk and miss the punch line! If I play the CD, every time it cycles, the CD would restart from the beginning i.e. I can only hear the first 15 seconds of the song over and over and over.

My T&C is equipped with a second CD changer. This unit is unaffected in that power is continuous and the song continues to play forward, I just miss a couple seconds of the song as the main radio and speaker cycles on/off.

Coincidence? This all started when I took my T&C in because the transmission was being a lame duck, won’t shift. The problem was quickly identified and a remanufactured transmission control module was replaced. Transmission problem solved and I “happy” paid. Driving the minivan home, indeed the transmission was back in business ready to shuttle kids around in all gears. I click on the radio and “what the”, he radio was cycling on and off and I’m missing all the essential information of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me”. The on/off cycling was so regular, I later timed it and it’s exactly every 14 seconds!

The transmission shop said the replaced TCM has nothing to do with the radio. It must have been a coincidence the radio problem appeared after the replacement of the TCM.

Any idea why my T&C radio is doing this and how I can fix it?
I want to hear every word of “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” and “Car Talk” in my T&C!


If the display on the radio is cycling also then I would suspect there is a problem with the DC power to the radio. If the display isn’t being effected while it happens then it would seem to me there is internal problem with the radio. Replacements can be purchased on Ebay for a reasonable price. Be sure to match the factory model number up with your current model. There are also places you can send your unit in for repair if you want to.

Thanks Cougar!

The display cycles too so I agree it appears to be a DC power issue. I just can’t figure out of what would cause the precise cycling interruptions to the DC power.

There are 2 kinds of power on car stereos: Constant, and switched. Constant power maintains thing like radio stations, and what track the CD player is on. Switched power just turns everything else on (normally by connecting constant power to the main power inside the stereo. Constant and switched normally run to all parts of the system.

Try disconnecting the CD changer from the unit (assuming the changer isn’t part of the in-dash unit), to see if there’s a short in that wire somewhere, or there’s a fault in the CD changer itself that’s causing this. If you can, disconnect from the front end, and not the changer. I realize it’s more work, but will also eliminate the wiring. If there’s anything else plugged into it (iPod/iPhone/other MP3 cable, whatever) disconnect that, too.

I don’t really think this will fix it, but I would do it as an troubleshooting step. Remove all but the base from the equation, and work your way out.


The only thing that comes to mind that could cause that kind of thing to happen is if the power for the circuit is tied to a circuit breaker and it is being overloaded slightly. As far as I know, the radio is tied to a fuse. The trouble still could possibly be internal to the radio.

I would bet that there is an internal circuit in your car stereo that is causing it to switch on and off in regular intervals. I had a problem with a large screen television. The only thing that would happen when I plugged it in was that there was a rythmic clunking noise and the pilot light on the front of the set would flash on and off in sync with each clunk. The remote wouldn't work, nor would the buttons on the console. Fortunately, the set was on warranty and when the serviceman arrived, he swapped out a board and that took care of the problem. He told me that there was something on the board that wouldn't let the set build up enough power to operate. On your car stereo, there may be some current limiter on a circuit board that makes the radio go on and off.