Honda Radio Stays on With keys out!

Hi, does anyone have any ideas on this. My 2003 Honda Accord radio will turn on while the car keys are not in the car. It’s been happening for months now. If I leave the radio powered on while the car is off it will drain the battery by the time I try to start it again in the morning. If I turn the radio off before the car keys are out I can still see the radio receiving power (the clock on the display lights up).

I had a different issue about a year ago where if the radio was on it would make really loud popping noise then go silent. I could usually get it back by turning it of an on several times. I it to a car audio shop who soldered the connections in the radio and I haven’t had the problem since. After this I also had an iPod/iPhone adapter installed. It seems as though the issue with the radio staying on may have started somewhere around that time.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? The guy at the car audio shop says that he thinks the radio is just bad and that Honda had a huge problem with radios in Accords from that year. However I don’t want to spend money to put a new radio in only to have the same issue after. Can anyone help??

I’m in agreement with the “guy at the car audio shop.” A new radio will fix your problem. Just make sure your new radio will connect directly to your original radio wiring. No cutting…no splicing.

I agree with “missileman” go talk with the people at the car audio shop i feel you will get a better install from them. check out Cruchtfield’s web site and see whats out there and what features you want, spend some time playi ng with the units on display make sure your ok with the controls

I agree with the new audio unit. I’d like to suggest that if you do the job yourself you get an “adapter plug” from an automotive audio store. The plug gets spliced to the new unit’s wires on the kitchen table and plugs directly into your cars original wiring harness. It prevents the problems often associated with butchering the harness. I’ve done a few and they’re super easy.

I would suggest a new radio is not going to fix this problem. That is because a radio is not alive; and has no brains. It does not know if the key is in the ignition or not. If it is receiving power - the radio is capable of turning ON. Just press the power button. If no power is going to the radio - it will not turn on - no matter how many times you press the power button.

From your description - the ignition key is not shutting off available power to the radio unit. A miswire or some such exists with the current radio and its wiring harness. Insulation gone touching metal - allowing power to flow; or the power wire being hooked up to an always hot connection; etc. You can get the setup wiring manual for your radio online. You should have a service manual for your vehicle as well. With these two items and some detective work - you can fix your problem. (unless the ignition switch is defective) If you install a new radio yourself - you will still have to figure all of this out… So if you like the current radio - figure it out with this one.

I tend to agree with DS77, with the caveat that it is possible, though unlikely, that somehow the switched power side of the radio has become linked to the constant power side internally through some means (something metallic falling into the radio in just the right spot, or perhaps an impressive case of tin whiskers). This should be easy to test - unplug the radio, stick a multimeter on the switched power wire of the cable that you unplugged, and see if any power is going to it. If it is, then your radio is not to blame, and you need to look more in the area of your ignition switch.

I expect at some point someone has made a wiring modification which wired the radio to the “hot at all times” point rather than the “hot in ON” point in the electrical system. There’s probably a reason they did it this way. Or they made a mistake and connected the wire used to provide power to the radio memory and clock to the radio itself. In any event, if this is the case, then you’ll just have to remember to turn the radio off when you exit the car.

The other possibility if the wiring remains as when the car was new is a sticking relay somewhere. Most cars have a relay or relay that turn on when the key is in the “on” position. And power to the stuff that is supposed to be powered when the key is “on” goes through that relay. If that relay sticks on, that would explain the radio staying on.

A faulty ignition key switch is another possibility, among others. An experienced auto electric expert could figure it out no problem I expect.

IMHO, it depends on how the radio is being “fed” power. Once car radios began to have digital displays and presets, typically there were two power connections to the radio–one for the main power, and one to “keep alive” the clock and memory presets. When you turn off the key, the main power would die but the keep-alive connection would continue to provide a small amount of juice. Often this connection would be fed from the same always-on power feed that fed the lighter socket or interior lights.

With increasingly complex stereo and nav systems, this may no longer be the case–it may be the system ALWAYS has power available and either its internal logic or the car’s “body controller module” (or both) may determine whether the radio should be on or not. If the car allows you to keep listening to the radio with the key off until you open a door, it may be set up like this.

In the former case, I would suspect either someone made a mistake when modifying the wiring to add your i-stuff adapter, or the head unit has a fault.

In the latter, it could be the head unit or the car’s BCM. And it could still be any wiring modifications that were botched.

The way I would approach this personally would be to first check or have checked the mods that were done to add your adapter, maybe removing it for troubleshooting. If all appears well there, I’d replace the head unit next.

Like Oblivion was saying, your vehicle may have a way to bypass power to the radio while the key is off. In my van, power to the radio stays on while the ignition is off for a short time at least and then automatically cuts off when opening a door or times out by itself. I would suspect some sort of power module or BCM is causing the trouble.

Wow thanks for all the ideas and suggestions. I’m actually going to try replacing the radio with an aftermarket one. I’ve seen as much information pointing to this being the problem as I’ve seen pointing to an issue with the car. Really praying this works. I will post an update as soon as I know the results.

Replaced the radio today and so far so good. Hopefully it stays that way

So I want to understand the issue a bit more as to I maybe having the same issue. Which is where once the car (04 Honda Accord ex coupe) is off and key is out of the ignition the radio backlights stay on but radio doesn’t turn on at all. My fix for it was removing the radio fuse but obviously that’s not the fix I want. Any help or answers if it wasn’t answered already?.

The person who had this problem 8 years ago in their last post said they replaced the entire radio to solve the problem.

I read that part but I’m wondering if there was another solution to the issue or just that

What happens when you open the door after pulling the key from the ignition?