Radio buttons not working after engine repair

my timing chain slipped and had to have engine repaired - then when I picked up my car the display for the radio/clock didn’t work and neither did the buttons. The knobs worked (to turn radio on/off and tuning) - but of course since the display is blank can’t see what radio station I’m on.
It worked perfectly when I dropped it off, but when I picked it up, it was non-functional. Mechanic says they didn’t do anything with the dash - but how else would this have happened? Is this not the fault of the mechanic?

Y’know, that’s common in 1929 Huppmobiles.
Seriously, knowing the year make and model of the car is kinda important here.

What probably happened was they disconnected your battery to do the work (normal) and the audio system needs to be reset with the proper code & protocol. A dealer should be able to help you. Many modern cars have systems that totally disable the radios if the battery is disconnected. These system were implemented years ago to prevent radio theft.

On rare occasion radios fail after the battery is disconnected, I used to see this in the 1990’s. Some people believe the vehicles electrical system must be powered up continuously from the time the vehicle leaves the factory to avoid such failures, this isn’t always possible.

Try disconnecting/reconnecting the battery again to see if the radio functions are restored, if not used radios for old cars are usually inexpensive.

If you need to enter a code to restore radio functionality, the codes are available at the car company web site. This is true for Honda at least. If it is an aftermarket radio, you need to contact the radio maker.

Take a look at your owners manual. It usually states if the radio needs reset. Hondas are notorious for this.

If the face of the radio is Black as you say…then this suggests there is no power to the unit, the fuse has failed, a ground strap in the engine compartment is not grounded OR the radio just decided to die on you.

You should at least see Something on the face of the unit. Many radios require a code to enter after a battery disconnect…but even in those instances the radio seems like it is at least trying to function… Your instance suggests that there is no power to the unit, the display died…or something to do with its power supply including Ground as well…ground is just as important as the other half…

First check the radio FUSE…they are fused for certain… Replace it with a KNOWN working fuse and test for power and continuity at the fuse block. If its not the fuse…you have to pull the radio and test at its connector…looking for Both power and ground. If the plug checks out OK…then the unit just “Gave up the Holiday Ghost” or the display died and you dont know it. If the display dies and it needs or asks for the code…you will never know what its trying to tell you. You could get the code and enter it and it might begin to play…but still have no display… I’ve seen that many times too. You can guess all day at the issue but until you follow the steps outlined, there is really no way to know whats up. The fuse is the first on the list for sure… The code second… Keep going till you wind up at that radio plug…many aftermarket radios also have an inline fuse on their power wires or directly in the back of the radio unit itself. With a little effort you can figure this out on your own.


I’m interpreting the OPs post as saying the radio does work , it’s just the display panel that doesn’t work.

I re-read…and I think you are correct 2 Cents… My bad… Yes…no display. I’d pull the radio fuse out and reset it again. Otherwise…it could’ve just burned out. But you are correct Sir…I misinterpreted the OP’s post completely… LOL Wont be the last time either…


Radio problems after disconnecting the battery with VW’s are a common problem reported here also.