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

Car Stereo All Static Until Warmed Up

I just bought a 2013 Honda Pilot and it’s having the weirdest issue. Whenever I turn the car on the stereo is all static. Doesn’t matter if it’s the radio, CD player, Aux, it’s all static sound. After about 10-15 minutes of it warming up though, the music is normal and the static goes away. My husband has looked at the car and done researching and can’t figure out why it would be doing this. I’d appreciate any advice or input from the community on what’s causing this issue and how to fix it. We do live in Wisconsin so it’s cold, and I park the car in the garage. Just bummed out that the car I just bought has issues already.

If it were mine, I’d just get a new stereo. Go to Crutchfield and see what options are available.

Have you seen the radio in a 2013 Pilot?

That’s not a DIY project for anyone who isn’t already well up on audio installs.

OP, it’s probably a loose connection that pulls away when the wire/solder join contracts in the cold. Fixing it will likely be more than you’d want to pay, but if you want to give it a go, find a good, locally-owned audio shop (NOT Best Buy) and take it in.

1 Like

Does the static (noise) change in pitch with the speed/rpm of the engine?

I think @kurtwm1 might be onto something. Both times the alternator failed in my Corolla it was preceded by a high pitched noise from the radio that varied with engine rpms.

1 Like

The static pitch does not change with the speed/rpm of the engine.

Thank you for your input! Very helpful!

I forgot to asked also, do you get the static with the engine off? If yes, it could point to a dying capacitor in the unit (or amplifier if you have a separate one under the dash).

Do you get the static when the rear defogger is on? Manually turn the rear defogger off to see if the static goes away. Some cars, mine too, use the defogger wires as the antenna. If a lead breaks in the window static can happen. The fix for me is a new rear window. $$$$ . I am trying to see if I can retrofit a normal antenna, so far I have not found anything DIY

Antenna problem? I guess that’s possible, but how is the static on the CD player output explained then?

When the car is on (engine off) there is still static

Actually, replacing the radio in this car is super simple and a used replacement radio can be had for less than $100. Replacing it shouldn’t take more than an hour, even for someone who has never done it before. Instructions can be found on youtube for this model car and radio.

Although not 100% for certain, this would point closer to a radio, or as “shadowfax” pointed out solder or wire problem. Since none of the radio’s functions work, I suspect a problem with the amplifier, which is built into the radio. A used radio for your model car costs less than $100.

I would say the radio has cold solder joint somewhere or a small crack in a joint which when warmed up closes and it starts to work . So unless you plan on pulling the radio out and opening it up and hitting all the joints with a solder gun a new radio is the easiest solution . Im not sure what you do with these new cars where everythying is run thru the radio including climate controls , dont like these new setups at all .

1 Like