CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

My radio stays on even when car is off

I got my car from an auction and i apparently had to do work to it and we got most problems fixed but now when i saw my fuse box i saw their wasn’t a fuse inthe radio so i put on in there and it can on so i thaught cool it works so i turned my car off and the radio stayed on and i thaught oh bad fuse so i got a new fuse put it in and my car was still off and the radio stayed on. So i can’t have a radio because my battery will drain. The ignition works i got a new one installed it perfectly my car is a 2000 Pontiac grandprix gtp supercharged I’ve only had it for about 3 weeks and my friends dad who was a professional mechanic for 16 years is lost on this please help!

You can always just shut off the radio to avoid draining the battery, but that is not a good solution.

There are normally three power wires to a radio. One is hot all the time. It keeps the station memory and anything else that your radio ‘remembers’. A second wire is hot only when the key is on. That wire will be hot only when the key is on, though some cars keep that wire hot until you open the door or pull out the key. The third is attached to the dash lights so it dims the display when you turn on the headlights and adjusts radio illumination up and down with the dash lights.

In your case, the first suspects are that the first of the two wires mentioned are crossed, or more likely, that the function that keeps the radio on under certain conditions (such as until you open the door) is messed up. If that is the case, you might be able to move a wire to another terminal in the fuse box such that the radio feeds off another fuse that turns off instantly when the key is off. The concern is that other accessories may also be on that function and never turning off.

Clearly some prior owner butchered in an new audion box. If you want to fix it, you’ll need three things: (1) a schematic of the wiring to the audio systems plug (NOT a “wiring diagram”, a schematic), (2) an OEM connector plug, and (3) an audio system adapter plug for your vehicle.

You’ll need to completely sever the wiring to the butchered spot and connect it to the proper pins on the OEM connector as indicated by the schematic. You’ll then need to connect the sudio head to the adapter cable per the cable instructions. You’ll then need to plug the two in.

Hopefullly that’s the only butchering the previous owner did. If so, this will fix it.

GM has a feature called Retained Accessory Power (RAP). In the early years (1980s), it only held power on for operating the windows after the key was turned to off. Later, it was extended to include the radio and other electronics. Normally, it will shut off if the driver’s door is opened or after a pre-determined amount of time has elapsed. I think it’s 5 minutes in my TB.

First, I do not know if RAP includes the radio function in a 2000 GM.
1B, does it shut off if you open the door when the key is off?
Second, make sure it’s the OEM radio.
2B, you may want to verify if RAP controls the radio in your model year. Ask a dealer?
Third, the RAP module could be bad. See if your windows will continue to operate from the inside switches as well.

doesw anybody read the owners manuel anymore???

Thanks for the advice i will try it out