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Cold radio

When I start my car and it’s cold I get choppy audio output from either radio AM/FM or CD. Once the car had warmed up then the audio stay consistent. When it drops out there’s a dull ‘sound’ like an amp makes. This is a 06 Rendezvous with a stock 6-disc stereo.

Too bad it’s not under warranty. This is not going to get diagnosed without removing the radio. If you can remove it yourself and still have it hooked to the power and speakers, you MIGHT be able to find the cold-sensitive component by spraying around with some acceptable aerosol cooler (can’t use Freon like we used to do; maybe ethylene glycol, like they spray on baseball players who foul one off their foot?) until you found the culprit. But then you would have to replace the component, and that could be tricky unless you are a whiz electronics mechanic. The only good outcome would be if the problem were a micro-crack in a printed wiring board trace, and you could bridge it with a little solder. But that would be hard to find with spray cooler, and even that fix might be tricky.

I think your best bet is to go to a good automobile radio shop and have them tell you whether it’s worth fixing or if you should just buy a replacement. Or maybe you want to to just suck it up and buy the replacement (OEM or aftermarket) if you can do the remove/install yourself.

Or just decide that for the $$$ you can live without sound 'til it warms up.

Good description you have eliminated many of the primary suspects. Is this an OEM or after market system?

 You could start be making sure you have good contacts at all the connectors for the speakers.

im not sure of the dash layout on a rendezvous, but is the radio located below the cup holder? i had this problem in an old van. drink sloshing gopt into the radio and shorted something out.

a 100 pioneer from best buy solved the problem.

Best hope is a matching junk yard radio, if you find one and they will sell it to you for a good price.

I would check out for a direct replacement.

I hate aftermarket ones. They look ugly in the dash with odd colored typically bright lighting, have tiny buttons, and I believe all lack the built 6 disc changer.

I know my 6 disc CD/AM/FM/cass for my WRX can be had for $100 typically barely used. My mum has one in her Forester which was a plug-in replacement.

It’s very annoying in the cold winters seeing as I may have to drive 15mins before it totally stops. When I first start up in the cold it really is 90% no sound…slowly gets better.

I know it’s temp related as I’ve gotten into the car on warm 60 degree days with no issue at all.

Sounds like the best answer is going be to an OEM stereo. The complications of OnStar etc…seem to make aftermarket even more expensive then the $100 OEM.

Do you think this is really a place to check since it appears to be temperature related? Sound never has issues after it’s fully corrected.

OEM for $100!?!?!?!? GO FOR IT!! You’ll never find a better deal to retain all those features!

Agreed…right now I’m almost worried that there may be a factory amp that could in fact be the real issue. My P.O.S. Ion has this when it came with premium sound.

negative on the liquid into the stereo option


I stopped selling OEM audio in 1999,we never had anything like you describe for $100.00. Of course all our equipment was new or rebuilt to original specs,we were a factory repair facility for Big 3 electronics,audio,and clusters mainly.

Are you saying you are being offered a good,exact replacement unit for $100.00?

$100 OEM radio…WHERE???

Back in 84 the cheap Ac/Delco OEM AM/FM/Cassette for my GMC pickup was $700. The OEM replacement radio for my 90 Pathfinder was $1100…The Bose OEM replacement radio for my 98 Pathfinder was $2100…

Salvage yards!! Trust me a rear end totaled vehicle has a perfectly fine stereo

Trust me, the people running the salvage yards are not idiots. But make your best deal,good luck.

Trust me…it really depends on the vehicle. If the vehicle is any where near popular…it’ll be stripped and sold in days. If the radio is in decent shape it’ll be sold WELL OVER $100. I tried that route when I was having problems with my 98 Pathy’s radio…OEM radio from salvage yard was about $500. I got my fixed for $150.

Dealership has been kind enough to fix this on their dime since it started right after I got the car. They’ve so far been unable to find the problem, but they DO hear it. They were working with GM tech center over the phone. They even tried removing the amp and the radio once they’d warmed up to the point of working and tossed them into the freezer for awhile. When they re-installed them, everything worked fine…go figure.

We’re now waiting for an amp and head unit to come in and then they’ll install them.