I’m new to this forum, but one day I turned on my factory installed radio and heard a loud blaring NOISE- it didnt change when i adjusted the volume at all. That was about a year ago. To this day, I still get that noise but on occasion, I can turn it on and hear the radio (or tape player) instead. However, that is rare. Once in awhile, the noise is softer and you can hear the radio over it. Any idea what this is? Loose connection somewhere? I am afraid I’ll get taken advantage of at my local car shop if I go in unprepared. Thanks!
Check to see if you get this problem when the engine is off. If so, then test to see if the noise is only when you use the radio, or is present with the tape player as well. If it is just the radio, check for a loose antenna connection. If it is in the tape player as well, the amplifier section of the unit is probably faulty and your cheapest way out is to go to a store like Best Buys and purchase a new radio.
If the problem occurs only when the engine is running, then the problem is either in the ignition system or in the charging system. Make certain all spark plug wire boots are firmly seated on the spark plugs. Start the engine at night and look for an arcing around the spark plug wires. Does the problem with the radio only occur in damp weather? This would suggest the electrical problem. There may be a capacitor on the alternator to filter out noise from this unit. If so, these capacitors are inexpensive and you might try replacing it.
One other test that might reveal a problem with the ignition system or charging system: try a portable radio in the car. Start the engine and see if you hear the same noise through the speaker of the portable radio. If so, you probably have some sort of ignition interference or worn brushes in the alternator.
Is this a new car? Have you considered going back to the dealer under warranty?
thanks to you both for your replies! this is a 1994 acura, and it happens with the tape player as well (to answer the first reply). it doesnt just happen in bad weather, happens in all weather. when it does occasionally work, it seems to be after the car has been on for a bit. but your replies help a lot!
By any chance is this a Bose system??? If so the electronics are made by Clarion and this is a KNOWN problem. It’s also easily fixed. There are places you can send the unit to to get it fixed for about $200. I sent mine to this place in Shrewsbury MA. You can google the Web to find more info on this.
Sounds like a bad amp section in the head unit.
For the $200 repair cost Mike cited, you can buy a decent aftermarket replacement with more features.
That is definetly one route. But if it is a Clarion Unit, then it’s probably better to keep the Clarion. They make EXCELLENT units. And you’d be very hard pressed to buy a unit for $200 that’s anywhere near the quality of the Clarion. Also for the $200, they go over the unit and update all known defective parts and completely clean/refurbish it. NOTE: It may be more now. I had mine fixed for my Pathfinder aobugt 5 years ago.