Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Bose radio stopped working

I have a 1996 Nissan Maxima with a factory Bose stereo system. The entire Bose radio/tape unit will not turn on.
The strange thing is that I could get it to work by cutting the power to the unit (removing the fuses AUDIO and ELEC PARTS for a few seconds and plugging them back in).
However, it would stop working the next day or even after a few minutes or few hours with the car off.

22 year old car radio stops working. Sort of a “dog bites man” headline, don’t you think?

Time to replace the radio.

The factory head unit from that year Nissan is made by Clarion. The speakers may be Bose, but the head unit is Clarion. It’s actually a fairly decent unit. Your best bet is to go Aftermarket from someplace like

1 Like

I’ve run into issues when replacing a Bose System head unit, because the amplifiers are associated with the speakers rather than in the head unit. If you are looking for a cheaper way out it is often possible to find original equipment functioning head units on Ebay that are exact replacements for your car. It’s a bit of a risk because you don’t know for sure that what you are buying is in good shape, so be careful.

1 Like

Places like Crutchfield have replacement systems that take all that into account.

1 Like

Sounds like an ideal opportunity to get a new aftermarket unit that has BlueTooth and Android Auto or Apple CarPlay capability.

1 Like

Outside chance the car’s battery is behind this issue? I’d look into that before digging into my dashboard!

I’m sure Crutchfield has compatibles, but I was throwing in another option. We never really know the economic situation a person is in, or their ability to use tools to perform repairs. While a used part from another Nissan isn’t the best performing choice it is cheap and should be easy to install.

If the person is unskilled, then they better get someone to help him with a used unit. There were several flavors of head units for that vehicle…better get the right one, or you’re wasting your money.

Thank you everyone for the suggestions!
I ended up getting a Kenwood head unit with Bluetooth (no Apple CarPlay). I had someone install it for me.
Some pros and cons:


  1. It’s really nice to have Bluetooth and USB input, and not having to use a tape adapter :smile: It’s also great to be able to control the playback without having to look at my phone.

  2. The display is a lot nicer! I can see the name of song playing and the radio program that’s currently on. I can even change the color of the display!


  1. The antenna comes up whenever I turn on the unit is on, even when I’m not using the radio.

  2. There’s a constant low volume white noise/hiss coming from the speakers, even with no music playing or volume at zero. I think this Kenwood unit just have very high line output. I had to adjust the volume compensation to -15db and speaker gains to -8db in order to have usable volume control. Does anyone know an easy way to fix this? It’s not a big issue; I only hear it when the car engine is off and I listen for it, but would be great to get rid of the hiss.

I think the antenna power is connected to the wrong lead from the head unit. On the last Kenwood I installed. There is one for the antenna which is only powered with AM/FM. And another that is power when ever the unit is on, for an amplifier trigger. Might have the antenna hooked to the amp. trigger. I been there done that only I hooked the amp to the antenna lead then wondered why the amp didn’t work when playing CD’s.

1 Like

If you are still using the Bose amplifier, I would suspect that the installer hooked the speaker wires from the head unit to the amp instead of the line out cables. One reason for this may be that the Bose system, at least in GM products, needs a 6.5V peak input to the amp and most aftermarket head units only put out a 2 volt peak signal. People complain about the low volume of aftermarket head units with the Bose system.

The other reason I suspect this is the white noise. Speaker wires are not shielded where the line out cables are.

1 Like