CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2003 Saab radio dead

Actually, this might be the least of my worries, but it is the most obvious symptom. I solicited a jump start yesterday morning, and a kind passerby obliged. I hooked up my end while he hooked his end up BACKWARDS! I didn’t check his work before turning the key (insert dope slap here), at which point any damage was done. I corrected the cable, started my car, and found that everything worked. I had to reset the date & clock on the dash display, and the radio is completely non-responsive, but other than that lights, trip computer functions, seats, locks, EVERYTHING seems to be alive except the flippin’ GM - Delco radio. I checked the fuses in the fusebox associated with the radio / amp (there are three) and all are intact. My questions are:

  1. Why? How do I get my NPR back? Driving in quiet solitude is completely un-American, and it’s freaking me out.
    B. Is there greater heartache waiting down the road for me? The car has started several times since this, but have I created future alternator-type excitement in my otherwise uneventful life?

Thanks in advance for any help.

You lucked out this time. Buy a new radio (forget fixing the old one) and drive on. Things could have been much worse. Keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary especially the charging of the battery. Do you know why your battery was dead to begin with?

No I don’t, except that its been in the car for 5 years. It could be nearing the end of its life. Why only the radio? I would have expected that any surge that could get the radio would have toasted more important systems first.

Turns out it was a 70 cent fuse in the back of the radio body. All the dashboard fuses were ok. It works now, though.