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Car won't start after radio install

I have A 2004 Pontiac grand am and am trying to install a non factory stereo. The previous owner cut the adapter wires to the original radio and had them taped together so I had to wire the new CD player directly to my car and run an ACC wire to the fuse box Well now after I have done this my blinkers don’t work nor do my wipers and my car won’t start.

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You need to unhook what you did and check for blown fuses.

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Already did both things and capped the ends of the wires so they wouldn’t touch

When you say the car won’t start, do you mean you turn the key to start the engine and nothing happens?

Or you turn the key and the engine cranks over but doesn’t fire?


The second one it just won’t fire

" car won't start."

Does the starter engage (crank/no start), or just silence when you turn the key to START?

Did you disconnect the battery when you installed the stereo?

And does the vehicle have an anti-theft system?


Yes to both

Please understand that I mean no disrespect, but you have a butcher job (cut & spliced wires tapping new circuits) on top of a previous butcher job (the one you described) on top of an (aftermarket?) anti-theft system.

Fixing this is going to take someone with the proper access to the necessary wiring diagrams and schematics, proper equipment, and proper training. Find a shop in your area that specializes in automotive electrical systems, call them and describe your dilemma, and ask them if they can take the car in to them. Have it towed there.

Again, I mean no disrespect, but IMHO this is a job for a pro. Be advised that the final solution may even require disconnecting the security system. Be prepared to make a decision if it comes to that.

I suspect you have triggered the car’s anti-theft system and the ECM is responding by not sending power to the spark plug circuits. The lack of blinkers and wipers is likely not related to the no start, but indicates several circuits are also disrupted. With all the computers, sensors, and anti-theft connections with multiple circuits I think this one is going to be tough. I’d recommend a good quality audio installation shop. If you are lucky they’ve had a similar problem with a customer car and may have some ideas where to go next for a fix.

You might consider taking a test light or VOM and going over every single fuse you can find. Maybe during this installation something was inadvertently touched which created a dead short and popped a fuse having something to do with engine management.

With an electrical problem that’s always the first thing I do anyway. Knock on wood that it’s as simple as that.

I cut no wires first of all I only connected to already cut wires. Also I didn’t put n an anti theft system I was only referring to what the car already has which is a security system when I turn the key three lights are lit security the battery symbol and oil symbol

You may have connected to BUS communication wires that went to the OEM radio. Check a wiring diagram to identify security system or communication wires in the system that should be isolated.

Is there a way to reset my security system? Battery disconnect ect.?

Here’s how to reset the PASSLOCK anti-theft system.

The battery must be connected.

  1. Attempt to start the engine, (engine won’t start), and allow the ignition switch to return to the run position so the dash lights are on.

  2. Observe the security TELLTALE.

  3. After approximately ten minutes the TELLTALE will turn off.

  4. Turn off the ignition switch and wait for five seconds.

  5. Start the engine.


There is a DLC serial bus link to the OEM radio.

Just in case this isn’t a PASSLOCK problem, I’ll add one thing to my comment about fuses.
You state that you did not cut any wires; only connected to wires that were already cut. Fair enough.

The point there is that connecting a radio lead to one of those already cut wires could create a short and pop a fuse. Maybe a power antenna lead as an example and to which I might add the following.
Some years ago a customer bought a brand new VW and balked at the price on a stereo upgrade at the dealer where I worked. Two weeks later it was towed in for a no-start and the entire wire harness behind the dash was fried; all because of a power antenna lead that he kept attaching to ground. Just sayin’…

I expect you already know this OP, but if you connected something to a serial communications line that shouldn’t, this could cause the car not to start. Sometimes those serial communications links go to places in the car’s electronics other than the radio. It’s also possible the ECM could be damaged if this happened . Unlikely though.

I suspect though that what has happened is you’ve triggered some kind of anti-theft system, designed to protect the car and/or the radio from being stolen. If I had this problem I’d return all the wiring to the way it was before, then figure out how to get the car to start, before messing w/the radio.

You may need to tow the car to a dealership, as sometimes reinitializing these anti-security systems require special equipment.

From what I’ve heard, GM used some stupid design as to where the starter for their cars is based on the factory-made radios themselves. I’m not so sure if they still do that or not, but I think the reason why they did this is so that OnStar can control your and make it stop or pull over, etc., just in case if someone stole your car.

That might be the reason why your Pontiac won’t start. Because again, GM’s starter is radio based and the fact that you removed the original radio that was in the car.

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Revived a 4 year old thread…I can imagine the Pontiac isn’t around anymore.