New Radio Problems



I just put a new Pioneer DEH-1300 into my 1998 Pontiac Sunfire SE Convertible. MY problem is that my head uit barely works.

1. There is a power issue and the entire thing turns off after it gets above 20 on volume.

2. There is another power issue, I cannot listen to my stereo and have the headlights on at the same time.

3. When it is one and the volume is up the interior lights pulse with the beat of the music.

If there is anyone that can help or even has suggestions please respond…I am slightly desperate.

Thank You.


Did you run a dedicated ground wire to the radio?


It sounds to me that you have made some wiring errors. You may have wired a speaker lead to ground and that is why the lights are pulsing with the music. You should also check the main power lead and ground for the deck to make sure they are correct.


I think it is more likely the lights pulse to the music when you turn it up because the wiring is insufficient for the power draw of the stereo. Automakers dont use any heavier wire than necessary for the factory stereo. Like posted, I would run a heavy dedicated ground wire. If that is not enough, I would suggest running the power wire through a relay that connects direct to the battery (with an inline fuse of course).


I suspect it is a wiring issue, and in particular the existing wiring you are trying to use is not up to the power requirements of your new system. You may get lucky by just improving the ground, but frankly I think you are going to need to provide new wiring to that new radio.

BTW remember that those overly loud noises now can mean poor hearing later in life.


It could be wiring…could also be a speaker issue too. If the speakers are very inefficient they could be taking all the wattage the amp can put out…and then the amp starts to clip. Many amps have a safety feature that shuts itself off to prevent it from clipping. More and likely it’s wired up wrong.


Did you buy a radio wire harness plug adapter for your car? Generally you buy this plug adapter with your new radio. Then in the conveniences of sitting at a table in your house you wire the radio to the plug adapter using the directions from both. Now its a simple matter of unplugging the old radio and plugging in the new one without making one wire cutt in the factory harness. So now you can always put the factory one back in if you ever sold the car.

It may be to late now but information for the future.

Good Luck


I guess thats quite possible, we had some wiring issues to begin with. WE tested all the wires and the one we thought was the ground didnt work. The system itself was getting no power until we spliced two that worked. Thats when the complications started.

Do you think taking it to a professional would be worth the money and trouble?


The issue for noise comes with the fact that it is aconvertible and therefore when im on the freeway its rather dificult to hear. Traveling at 70 kinda kills the volume. What kind of effort would it take to replace the wiring?