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How is my radio connected to my windows?

I have a 1999 Camaro V6 that I had a new radio and speakers put in about 2.5 years ago. The mistake that I made was having Circuit City (at that time about 3 months away from filing bankruptcy) install everything. A couple months after installation (and with CC long gone as a company), I noticed that my radio would restart every once in awhile. At first I thought it must be a loose connection because it seemed to happen when I would drive over large bumps. Later on, it started happening more frequently, and just at random. After awhile I started to notice that my power windows would NOT work when the radio was off. The radio would (and still does) stay off for an indefinite amount of time. What I have to do is bang on the side of the console where the radio is WHILE holding my power window button. Once the power to the radio kicks back in, the windows immediately start working.

How can this be? Should I take my car to a professional audio shop and see what they can do?

I’ve checked for loose connections and found nothing. I’m not the most knowledgeable with car electronics, but can do the basic stuff (voltage checks, etc)


If you have the owner’s manual it will have a diagram of the fuse box with some idea what is on the circuit for that fuse. It seems odd to have the power windows and radio on the same circuit and the info in the manual or a shop manual should confirm if this is standard wiring.

My guess is the installer of the radio just grabbed whatever current was handiest and spliced into the same circuit your windows are using. Not a big deal, but is seems you have a bad connection somewhere in that circuit. A car stereo shop should be able to sort it out easily. These places know how to remove and replace the plastic interior pieces without damage to the panels and clips so I’d use a car audio shop over a general mechanic.

It is almost certainly a power supply issue someplace, so if you couldn’t find it then an audio shop is a good bet.

You could give it one more shot though if you want, but with a wiring diagram. You can probably find one for free via autozone’s online repair info.

Sounds like a bad ground someplace.

Take it back and have CC troubleshoot it.

@MikeInNH , CC is locally a gloryfied dollar store now.

@raj - Yea I know…and according to WSJ…they don’t expect them to be around in 2 years.

But I’d still take it back…they messed it up…they should fix it.

But I'd still take it back...they messed it up..they should fix it

I don’t know where you all are located, but here in Virginia (where CC headquarters were), they have been gone for 2 years. I guess they are still around in some places?

So unfortunately I can’t take it back there, but I will pull out the wiring diagram and see if I can decipher anything, but will probably take it to a shop.

Thanks everyone!

Remove the hush panel at the bottom of the dash. This is where the fun begins because you have to contort yourself enough to reach up under the dash and feel/see the radio harness. Feeling/wiggling/looking you can find where they tapped into your existing wiring. I’m betting you’ll find a series of crimp connections. The main power lead for the radio is likely tapped into the same circuit as the power windows with the main feed coming in and Ying off to the radio and the windows. The crimp has failed. If it were mine, I would cut the crimp out, strip the wires and use a wire nut. It’s not a critical circuit and a wire nut will probably outlast the car if the wires are twisted together properly before the nut is installed.