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Electrical pop in dashboard then radio shuts off

Less than two weeks ago I had the fuel pump replaced and battery terminals replaced on my 2006 PT Cruiser Touring Edition (not turbo.) I have almost 90,000 miles and have had very few minor issues all these years.
Car stalled while driving, towed it to mechanic, he diagnoses fuel pump failure. So I had him replace fuel pump, and while I was there had battery terminals replaced, since I’ve dealt with some pesky corrosion recently.

I’ve never had electrical problems with this car. So here I am a week after repair, I’m driving and hear an electrical pop in the dash, then the radio turns off and back on within a few seconds. Nothing else happened, I chalk it up to a fluke and keep going. Well it happened again yesterday! Exact same “pop” then radio turns off, comes back on in 2-3 seconds.

Both events happened during the day, so I don’t know yet if my headlights had been on, would this “pop” have affected lights too? Perhaps.

So what I’d like to know is: when the mechanic was replacing the fuel pump and battery terminals, do those repairs involve him messing with wiring at all? Could he have left a grounding wire disconnected? I’ve read a little about the fuel pump relay, but I have not been able to confirm that 2006 PT Cruiser has a fuel pump relay. ? Any other theories on what could be shorting out, creating an electrical “pop”?

Check under your hood and look to see if the battery and its new terminals is NOT coming into contact with the hood. I am primarily concerned with the new terminal on the POSITIVE SIDE Of the Battery…MAKE SURE that it is not able to contact the hood. Ensure that the battery is properly secured and held DOWN with the anchor system that is used…and then make sure that the positive side of the Batt or terminal is not intermittently grounding out on ANY metal Surface.

What you are describing to me is what you hear in the vehicle when the Positive Batt Terminal very quickly grounds itself out on a metal surface. The new terminal replacement has me worried that the Pos side of the batt is able to ground out in some manner…Make sure it CANNOT…for many reasons… You do NOT want that batt to be able to perform a direct short …the results are NEVER Pretty when that happens.


Wow thanks for the quick reply!
Hate to sound like a wuss, but should I be nervous about touching/opening the hood if the positive terminal is touching the hood right now?? Yikes!

We are discussing 12VDC. Unless you were standing in a BIG puddle of water, with Bare Feet and a thick Grounding wire firmly attached to your hand and the other end attached to the negative side of the battery…NO DO NOT FEAR. You will be just fine…no shocks are in your immediate future. LOL. Dont be afraid to open the hood to have a look.

Like I said…make sure the batt cannot move around and make contact with anything metal. Be sure the Pos terminal cannot contact anything metal either. This should take you about 2 or 3 minutes. Remember to look at the spot under the hood that would be most likely to be in touch with that positive terminal. Make sure there are no Arc marks under that hood.

If you do not see any evidence of Arcing out under the hood…The cause can be the connection to the radio itself, or an internal issue with the radio… Another cause can be a loose connection at the new battery terminals as well… Replacing the factory batt terminals is not one of the things I like to see done…the factory terminals are ALWAYS Superior to anything aftermarket…ESPECIALLY when they use those .99 terminals that require you to cut all the power wires and insert them underneath a thin piece of metal that ATTEMPTS to clamp down on the wires to make a Good Connection… Wiggle the wire connections to the new terminals to see if they are secure.


LOL! Thanks, I opened the hood confident I wouldn’t be electrocuted.
So battery is secure in place, terminals not touching anything, no signs of arcing. I talked to the mechanic who did my recent repairs. He just suggested I try to find a trend if this keeps happening, so at the moment I hear the pop: listen for any other noises, did I just hit a pothole or bump, did I use the turn signal, are headlights on, is AC on, etc. He didn’t seem to feel his recent repairs would be related to this issue at all, but I have not yet come to that conclusion.

Thanks, Blackbird, for the advice. I’m hoping this electrical pop does not continue, but if it does I’ll take some notes and I may come back here to pick your brain a little further.

When you hear the pop, do the warning lights on the dashboard come on? Does the engine skip a beat? If not, I suspect the problem may be in the radio. Try this experiment: drive your car for a week or two, but leave the radio off. If the popping doesn’t reoccur, the problem is probably the radio.

OK well that’s good and was definitely something to look into. I think you are proceeding with the correct advice. See if the sound corresponds to anything obvious… It very well may be an internal radio issue for sure. Good Luck with diagnostics. That pop may be the circuit losing power and regaining power…OR if there is a factory Amplifier involved I would poke around there as well… In addition to being a Mechanic of Sorts…I also installed Alarms and Sound Systems professionally so I know that an Amp could be the culprit.


I'm driving and hear an electrical pop in the dash...

If it’s coming from your speaker, it does sound like your radio is failing.

I’m new here, but you said if the dash lights turn on or engine skips a beat what would that mean?

I drive a 2003 Taurus & my car makes a pop sounds Also and all the lights on the dash turn on & the car seems to “stall” for like a split second but feels like the engine skips a beat. What would it be?