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(Question/Help) Aftermarket Stereo Issues [No Sound]

Hello everyone!

I’m new to the forums, so I hope I am doing this correctly and apologize ahead of time if i’ve posted this incorrectly…

I’m currently working on my griflriends 03 Toyota Solara installing an aftermarket stereo, so that she can finally stop using those poorly made casset aux adapters that have been breaking every other week for her.

Once I had the after market radio installed, everything seemed fine wire wise and speaker wise. The stereo lit up, had power, and the speakers made a very quiet noise on max volume indiciating they at least had a connection. However, the aftermarket stereo still didn’t play any sound? Not through radio, aux, and or bluetooth. So after multiple diagnostics and trials and errors, I concluded her toyota must have an oem amplifier somewhere that wasn’t allow for the music sound to transmit. After a little more research, I discovered there is an amplifier and it is located behind the glove box next to where i’m working, which is at least sorta convenient aside from now needing to bypass it somehow lol?

So the question is, I bought a plug-in-go wire harness from AutoZone compatible with her cars model year and was wondering if I could connect that to the two correspanding harnesses that the amplifier has just to receive sound in the mean time?

I’m aware if this works, obviously some things may not temporarily work, like certain car beeps and such since it’s not being connected through the oem radio’s harness, but i’m okay with that so long as she can hear sound while she’s out on her 2 week road trip coming up.

I can resolve the rest better when she’s back.

I’d appreciate some insight on my thought process and whether or not that would temporarily work or not?

Thank you,
Dylan

I would recommend contacting Crutchfield for the correct adapter kit from your head unit to the original connectors on the car. I wouldn’t trust the AutoZone adapter.

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I would avoid butchering the car’s wiring harness. I’m a little confused. Did you use the harness adapter you bought? Double-checked the connections? Perhaps the external amplifier isn’t being powered up?

I suggest you go to Crutchfield.com and look up the proper harness adapter(s) for the car based on its original equipment stereo components.

I’ll bet you have the first harness but not the second.
https://www.crutchfield.com/g_103000/Wiring-Harnesses.html?tp=2977

Connect a new car stereo in select 2000-07 Toyota vehicles with factory amplifier

Just have a stereo shop solve this so all functions work as they should . There was someone recently that had a problem like this and the shop charged 50.00 to put wires in correct order.

The first step is to do an experiment. Take a couple of old speakers out to the car, speakers you know work, and temporarily connect them directly to the radio outputs (bypassing anything else, like the car’s amplifier) to make sure you hear all the radio stations you expect. Then at least you’ll know the radio and antenna is working. You may find she’s satisfied with that, and you might decide to just hook up the radio directly to those speakers. Or you might decide to hook up the radio directly to the car’s existing speakers, bypassing any amplifiers in between. You’d have to disconnect the connection from the amplifier to the speakers first. This is definitely a hack approach but should result in actual radio programs heard from the speakers for the upcoming road trip.

Replacing radios isn’t as simple as it used to be. On both my vehicles the radio is a stand-alone unit and only performs radio-related functions. So there’s little to no issues with replacing it with a standard aftermarket radio, say like I wanted USB memory stick input/mp3 player capability. If the car’s prior radio was involved w/the car’s audio alarm systems you’ll have to do some more research I expect. You definitely must reach a state of knowledge that you know what you are trying to accomplish is something Toyota engineers designed for. Otherwise you may do expensive damage to other electronics components in the car. If I were doing that job first thing I’d do is secure the car’s electronic schematics. Either that or have a pro who’s done it before advise me, or have them do it themselves.

To be honest, when upgrading the stereo in an older car, I’d much rather have an official OEM unit, which can be bought used for not much money. The OEM stereo will be plug and play, and all of the features will work properly, such as raising the power antenna (if equipped) and illumination from the headlight and dimmer switches. Plus, I think the “stock” look is much more appealing.

For any model made from the mid-1990s onward, it should be easy to find an OEM stereo with CD player in a junkyard. Some brands, such as Chrysler, used the same basic form factor and wiring connections for many years, permitting an easy upgrade for older cars. For example, I upgraded the OEM AM/FM/cassette stereo in my 1995 Dodge Caravan to an official Chrysler AM/FM/cassette/CD stereo that I purchased from a junkyard for $30. It looks good, and sounds great.

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I appreciate your guys responses!

I went ahead and tested the autozone part (since it was already bought and she leaves tomorrow morning) and thank the stars everything works!