Can an aftermarket radio cause other electrical problems?

Been having a lot of trouble with my 2009 Chevy HHR. The dash gauges turn off intermittently and the dash lights will randomly turn on and off with it. I also have been having trouble with my aftermarket radio receiving power. If I take the radio fuse out and put it right back in, the radio will work fine for about 5 minutes. The fuse itself is fine, I even replaced it to be sure.

I began to think this may be an issue with the body control module, but I noticed something else today. When I take the radio fuse out and don’t put it back, I’m given a “Service Tire Monitor” warning, but then absolutely no dash gauge problems at all. I drove it for 3 hours today with the fuse out and had no problems. So, is this still an issue with the BCM? Or could it be as simple as needing to replace the aftermarket radio? Where should I go from here?

Check crutchfields, sometimes a special adapter or something is needed.

Unhook the after market radio and see what happens . Did you take Testers advice in your other thread and see if someone could check the BCM .

Was going to, then noticed this trick with keeping the fuse out. Probably still will if I don’t find the solution. Just don’t want to shell out replacing the BCM if that’s not the actual problem y’know?

And so by unhooking the radio assembly, if the gauges behave normally with the radio fuse in, then it’s my radio that’s the issue and not the BCM? Am I understanding that right?

I would say it is a possibility, But many radios now are part of the whole system, door dinger, turn signal noise etc. and not sure how the car might react.

It is strange that removing the radio fuse allows the dash gauges and lights to function normally, unless this is a clue that something is going on with the grounding for those circuits. Adding a temporary ground jumper to the dash circuits would prove that out to be true or not. Since the lights and the gauges are normally provided power by different circuits it may mean there is a ground problem also, unless there is problem on the power side that is common to both circuits.