Can removing a stereo cause a power drain, even if the wires have been tested to check and nothing shows up

I’m thinking the stereo removal is the hidden culprit.
So I bought a pretty rundown but otherwise reliable 1999 Infiniti g20. I hardly know jack about cars, so the mechanic duties fall on my fiance. He’s an experienced mechanic. Only thing he ever did to it before we sold it was take the stereo out, it is a Pioneer AVH-P23OODVD. A really good friend of mine needed a vehicle, my fiance was confident selling it to her so I trusted his decision but I had a feeling if things went wrong I’d feel responsible. Immediately it gave her issues, battery started draining so I bought a new one and he replaced it. Alternator died. Bought one for her. Replaced it. Battery died again. Bought. Replaced it. She took it lots of people and got all sorts of different opinions, different work done, the bottom line has been there’s a mysterious power drain and nobody can figure it. It finally went a few days without dying on her but it’s happened again. I promised her to make things right I’d let her take my pontiac, pay to register it to her and everything until we fixed the issue.
No one seems to take interest when I’ve brought up the stereo being taken out, like it wouldn’t have caused the drain to happen and the wires have been checked by people from what she’s said. Ive just had an inkling that since the ONLY thing we ever did to it was take that stereo out, it could be what the cause is, and if so, would putting in another stereo help figure that out? Maybe the wires need to be hooked up to not draw unnecessary power? Like I said I don’t know much about cars, but honestly I cannot afford to keep making this right, but that is what I’ll do because that is how I am.
If anyone has any input on what I’m thinking could be the cause, please fill me in.

Also, I honestly really need my vehicle and am in the middle of moving, working graveyards overtime, about to get major ankle surgery, taking care of a one year old, etc. My hands are full. Thank you for reading, I’m all ears.

Well I made it through but it was not easy . Just take the vehicle back and refund the 500.00 and never sell to or buy from a friend or relative again. After you get it back just list it As Is for 500.00 and take the first decent offer.


I learned my lesson and will not to ever sell to a friend again, and the trading of the pontiac is only with the intention to figure out what’s wrong with the infinity, and trade back. Sorry it was not easy to read the whole thing, I write a lot as a hobby so I tend to write more and read things at a glance extremely fast. I will rewrite it as short as possible with more car facts, I’m just too artistic and not well versed in mechanic lingo.
Really what I’m wanting to know is if anyone has any theories involving the stereo removal being a source for the issue, I’ve found some interesting discussions on this site when investigating my hunch.

Don’t know if removing the stereo was the problem but anytime you mess with the wire’s thing’s can happen some time’s some time’s bad.

I think it’s more likely rodents chewed on the wiring someplace while it was sitting gathering dust. I agree though just cancel the sale and get your car back.

I sold one of my Rivieras to the cousin of a girl at work who needed a car for work, desperate, etc. All cleaned up, waxed, new battery, full tank of gas. All it needed was a new headlight switch so I knocked the price down from $100 to $50 to cover the switch. Outside of never transferring the title, next thing I knew she had cousins or some relative tearing the engine apart and never could get the thing fixed again. Ran great before and served me well for 300,000 miles but then someone with a tool kit started messing with it. Yes there are needy people but sometimes people just create their own issues and there is no way to help them. Get your car back and refund her money.

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Without actually having hands on with the vehicle theories are all that can be offered .

Bing brings up good points 1. Has the friend changed the registration 2. If not and you have cancelled the insurance on this you are looking at major financial problems.

RE: Your original question about the radio. I would think removing the fuse for the non-existent radio, then checking the parasitic draw would answer the question. If the parasitic draw is still there, proceed R&R-ing the rest of the fuses until the circuit is isolated.
As far as a solution. Give her back the $500. Then have you and your mechanic boyfriend decide which is the lesser of two evils, the Infinity or the Pontiac, keep one, take the other to the recycling yard.


Removing the stereo isn’t causing the battery drain issue. Something else that is connected to the power bus has a problem. Apparently people that have worked on it already haven’t found the real problem. Whatever it is, in order for a current drain to happen, the load has to be connected to the power source to allow current to flow. From what you say about the multiple battery replacements I wonder if there really is an excessive current draw problem. Normal current draw on a battery should be around 25 milliamps when things are in the ‘sleep mode’ when the car is parked. Added alarm systems and such can cause problems like this. Here is a link that helps you understand what needs to be done to find the problem.

That said, there are other problems that can make it seem the battery is being drained or is bad but really the battery is just fine. Intermittent faulty connections in the power bus wiring can fool you to think the battery is low or bad but it is really just fine. Someone that knows how to trouble shoot electrical problems should have no problem figuring out what is really going on with the car.

As far as letting the person use your current car, I don’t recommend you do that. Liability is the big issue here. You can check out the Judge Judy show and learn all about what happens when vehicles change hands without proper title transfers and insurance issues. You didn’t try to pull one over on your friend when you sold it and were only trying to help out. It’s a well used car and things can happen anytime. If they want a trouble free car with a warranty then they should pony up for a new car. I will bet the trouble with the car you sold them is really a pretty simple repair and not real expensive to fix correctly. Checking the battery voltage when the trouble is happening will tell what really is going on.

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Here’s the deal: A $500 car is sold as is/where is. There is no warranty. Your friend got one hell of a deal, because any car that starts and runs and which only costs $500 is a screaming deal, and now your “friend” wants you to pay a significant portion if not all of the purchase price back in maintenance and repair items that you are not responsible for. And then you give her another car!?

Your friend is taking advantage of you. Your friend should have realized that you are not a dealership and you are not selling a new Lamborghini. Once she drove it away, it was hers, including all the problems that may or may not develop. Your responsibility at this point is exactly nothing.

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Your friend sounds like they are using you. Ditch this “friend.”

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It’s extremely doubtful that the radio removal has anything to do with this. I have a question though.
You say your fiance is an experienced mechanic. Why has he not checked the car for a parasitic draw rather than go through multiple battery replacements and an alternator to boot?

I’m trying not to be too critical here but this kind of smacks of throwing mud at the wall and hoping something sticks.

You might clarify the battery drain part. Just because a car does not start does not mean the battery is at fault. If the engine did not physically crank over by the starter motor engagement that could point to a faulty neutral safety switch or even a corroded or burnt fusible link in the underhood fuse block which could be affecting the starter solenoid along with lighting and everything else.

I’ve done a few favors (free ones) for a couple of in-laws and suffice it to say no good deed goes unpunished. I’d be tempted to take the car back and give them their money back because I think at this point you’re being used a bit. They want a 5 year/60k miles warranty then buy a new car.

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has friend put another radio in the infinity to replace the one that was removed?

unless something shorted when radio was removed, an empty radio wire harness should not in any way cause a battery drain. Pull the battery fuse as was suggested.

unsolicited advice: Then tell your friend this is now her car and her problem. Either buy it back for the same price, or tell her that you are done dealing with the infinity. as @shadowfax said- any car that runs for $500 is a smoking deal, and friend should be glad that she got a car that runs for that. Have boyfriend hookup a battery kill switch (very easy to do,) and have that be the end of your dealings with the infinity.

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Do you really think that–14 months later–the OP is still trying to figure out what to do with that constantly-dying vehicle?

Though late, no need to flag the post.

No flag… merely a comment about it being very late in the game if the intent was to help the OP.

Apparently several people flagged the post. I guess because it was not even a real solution and sounded dumb .