Changed my brakes. Now my radio doesn't work!

A friend who knows everything about cars convinced me that changing my brakes was something that I could accomplish easily, even though I know little about cars. I purchased the necessary gear, and after some difficulty pulling the wheels off, I was able to replace my front brake pads with relative ease.

As soon as I started the car up to test out my handiwork, I turned down the radio to make sure I didn’t hear anything funny. I drove this way for about 15 minutes, admiring the silence as I braked. I then tried to turn the volume back up, but I couldn’t hear anything. I tried multiple radio stations, but still nothing. I tried the cd player, and while it said the disc was playing, I still could not hear anything.

Please help!

2005 Toyota Corolla
120,000 miles.

I don’t see how there could be any connection between those two things you did. Always check the fuses when having electrical problems. Check the dash panel and the panel under the hood. It is best to verify the fuses are okay by using a test light probe to check each side of the fuse and make sure power is getting to both sides of the fuse.

Do you have a highly optioned Corolla?

Many top-of-the-line factory sound systems have a separate amp.

Did you disconnect the battery before replacing the pads? I don’t expect that you did, but often instructions start with disconnecting the battery. I think it is just a coincidence. You probably haven’t adjusted the volume in a while and just happened to do so now. Still, the car doesn’t seem old enough to have problems with the volume rheostat. You don’t have a mute button on the steering wheel, do you?

Unless you had to disconnect electrical connectors as part of the brake job, or disconnect the battery as @jtsanders mentioned, like the others here, I can’t see how replacing the brake pads could affect the radio.

hmmmm … well, here’s something: you had to jack up the car and put it on jackstands right? so you might have pinched a wire or connector somewhere doing that. Did you make sure to only use the jacking and jackstand points recommended in the owner’s manual? Did you notice that you pinched anything that maybe shouldn’t be pinched in an ideal world during the jacking and jack-standing? If not, then it is probably just a coincidence. Check the fuses. You (or a qualified tech, even better) may need to get an electrical diagram and use a DVM make sure you are getting power to the radio, and that the speaker wires are connected and not shorted out somewhere. If you need a new radio, that’s not a worry. Car radios are inexpensive and a new one will have functions your existing one probably doesn’t, like a usb input and a built in mp3 player so you can listen to CarTalk podcasts in your car.

Diagnosing modern day consumer electronics can be very confusing. One day for no reason at all, even though it had worked for 3 years prior on a daily basis, my broadcast digital tv tuner refused to work on channel 54.1. It works on all the other 70 channels, including channel 54.2, 54.3, etc, but whenever I turn to channel 54.1 the screen turns blue, something which looks like computer programming code appears, then it completely turns off. I have to do like a voodoo dance to get it to turn back on again, b/c when it turns back on, it is tuned to channedl 54.1, and it tries to do its blue screen of death again. But I have practiced the voodoo dance enough now that I can usually prevent this from happening. But anyway, I’m sympathetic about your radio problem, electronics problems can be confusing.

If your entertainment system has a seperate amplifier, check the 30 AMP fuse in the under hood fuse box labled AMP to see if it’s blown.


I ate carrots and got the flu. My carrots had just as much to do with my flu as your brakes did with your radio.

Things like this are just life’s way of telling you that it doesn’t appreciate it when you make progress… two steps forward, one step back. Happens to me all the time. Pure coincidence most likely.

+1 for @oblivion.

I’ll have to go with @Tester.