Installed a new aftermarket radio, gauge cluster won't work when its turned on

Hello, I recently had an aftermarket radio installed by a couple of friends that sort of do it as a hobby. I’m not the most mechanically or electrically inclined. Anyways, everything in my pickup works fine when the radio is not on, but when it is on, my fuel, oil pressure, engine temp and battery volt gauges all drop to zero. It also tells me in the message center to service my four wheel drive. I can turn it off while I’m driving and everything will go back to normal. But once I turn it on all of the above happen but it will still drive just fine. Has anyone ever heard about this or know anything I can do about it?
Thank you

UGH… Your friends who sort of do it as a Hobby screwed up. My guess would be that they either pulled power for the radio from the wrong source (Red wire of radio)… They pulled a ground from somewhere other than, uh, ground…or they hooked up the “illumination” wire of the radio to the wrong source…this is usually a (pink or orange/white stripe wire) it is labelled in the documentation…in fact all the wires are labelled for your radio.

Did these friends use a wire harness adapter and wire the new radio to that? Or did they wire it directly to your vehicles wiring. There is no reason to wire direct in this day and age when they sell wire harness adapters that even have color coordinated wires that match to the new radio…a child could wire it up simply by color… (If they purchased the $15 wire harness adapter)

The only reason to wire a radio direct anymore is on a really old vehicle…or a custom vehicle.

I used to be a Professional Installer…and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.


What @Honda_Blackbird said. Without knowing what they did it’s impossible to say where the problem is. Time to take it to a real installer and get it fixed.

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I doubt if very many people have had this problem because they either follow the instructions or use a real stereo shop. What to do about it - make these amateurs fix it - or go to a real shop and have it fixed.

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I’ve installed several aftermarket systems over the years for mainly friends of my son. Most of the time I let them do the work at my garage and just showed them.

Good aftermarket systems (like from Crutchfield) come with a wiring kit. It’s just plug and play. If you’re splicing wires (like we had to do 40 years ago), then you’re doing it wrong.