Radio Exorcist Needed

Ok. So, I have a 1999 Chevy Venture Minivan, 3400 motor, auto, power, etc., with a factory radio. My son went out one winter day to warm up the van. Only problem is he didn’t actually start the van which killed the battery. My next step was to jumpstart the van, which I did correctly. After jumpstarting, the radio stopped working completely. I tried replacing both inside and outside radio fuses to no avail…it would not work. However, I continued to work on it. I took the radio out to make sure there was not a fuse in the factory radio. I unhooked the radio completely…still nothing! The only thing that will get the radio playing is to remove the outside fuse a couple time while the key is turned on, then replacing the fuse. The spark created seems to reset something. It plays perfectly until the van is turned off for about 10 to 20 seconds. Then, it stops working again and I have to repeat the process. I have asked a couple mechanics, but no answer. Taking the fuse out seems to reset something…it has never blown a fuse while doing this either. I NEED HELP! A crazy, simple problem I know, but I like to have answers not questions. If anyone has an idea to try, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you, Radioman

My guess is the radio has triggered the antitheft feature. If I am right, you need to find the code for your car and instruction on how to use it. Check your owner’s manual for more information.

Thanks for your reply. Nope! I have checked that too. The anti-theft feature only works if the radio is getting power. I set the anti-theft after reinserting the fuse recently, went through the whole process, and it did not fix the problem. It only created a new one. Now, every time I reinsert the fuse I have to enter my code :)…however, when I turn the van off, I lose all power again after a few seconds… I also replaced every fuse, including the circuit breaker fuses, and that did not work either… This problem does not affect any ohter feature of the van…only the radio.

You’ve already wasted too much time on this defective radio. Get another one from a junk yard.

Thanks! Is your reply based on prior knowledge or just an assumption? The radio worked fine before. Could the jumpstart have fried the radio? Not being sarcastic, I just want to know what caused it.

I don’t have experience with GM radios, but it does sound like the jump start damaged something inside the radio.

Since the radio can be induced to work, the problem probably isn’t the antitheft. If it were antitheft, the radio surely wouldn’t work ever.

My guess is that the radio has a DC-DC converter that isn’t starting or some such. Fifty years ago, you could have gone into the radio with a volt-ohmmeter and, if you didn’t electrocute yourself, your chances of fixing it eventually would have been pretty good. Thirty years ago, you could have taken the radio to a dusty shop in a back alley and they could likely have fixed it for about half the price of a new radio. Now in 2010, the best strategy is probably to replace the radio with a used unit from a junkyard.

When the radio is working do you hear door chimes etc.? Have you tried disconnecting the battery for 30 second then reattaching it?

Why a junk yard. Those guys charge more for a dusty old factory radio than you’d pay for a brand new aftermarket unit, which would be better anyway. Just get a new radio from somewhere like Crutchfield. Don’t forget to get the wiring harness adapter.

I did try disconnecting the battery…first positive only…then positive and negative. And yes, the chimes and everything else work. I guess I will try the new or different radio thing. The local junk yard only charges $20 for a used one. I knew I could do that, I just wanted the satisfaction of knowing what caused it. I guess if the new radio works I’ll know…

I would try 2 new fuses first, it may be the fuse is at fault. I don’t know if you ever had a bulb with a bad filament, you could hit it it and it would make contact and work until the next time you turned it on, Maybe the jiggling of the fuses is having the same effect.

Problem solved! I reluctantly bought a different radio from the junk yard…$25…and it works like a charm. Not sure what was damaged inside the radio, but something was…thanks to everyone for your comments and help!