Radio problem

Our factory RDS radio has had buibs burning out for about 3 years now, and recently it appears that one of the bulbs in the digital clock is out. When i removed the two screws near the ashtray and lighter and removed the housing exposing the radio and other controls (AC, etc). I then removed the three screws from the radio and was able to extract most of it. I proceeded to pry off the faceplate from the radio housing, and found that there was a circuit board screwed on to the housing. I removed the 5 screws, but could not separate the board from the faceplate. I needed to put the car back together since we had an errand to run, and when I put everything back, the digital clock was totally out (black) as well as every other light that is part of the radio. I pulled the cover to the fuse panel (located on the passenger side between the door and the glove compartment), but could not find a fuse for the radio. Oh yes, the radio turns on and functions, just no lights. Any ideas on what I did and how I can fix this?

Just get a new radio. You disconnected something when you unscrewed the circuit board. This problem is simply going to aggravate you, especially when you realize the lights and the display are not intended to be easily replaced, and are soldered to a circuit board. Unless you are an electronic hobbyist, and know how to fix a circuit board, your not going to fix this. It is just going to be easier and cheaper to find a good aftermarket radio and replace the entire unit.

Thank you for your quick reply, unfortunately with today’s economy, and the size of the hole created by the removal of this radio, replacement is not the best option for us.

What, it it a DIN size, Double DIN size? Is it one of those that form fits to the dash? Check out They will have a radio system, or several, that WILL fit your car or truck. What make model and year is your car or truck? I have yet to see any car that you cannot replace the radio in. I replace radios in friends cars and trucks and my own all the time. Radios can be had for less than $100 and more than thousands, depending on the options.

If you insist on getting this one fixed, which may be more expensive, try I was able to price check a repair for the radio in my 2000 Ford Explorer (display doesn’t work, but rest of the radio is fine). I figured I could buy a brand new radio that fits the large double DIN fitting for less, and keep all the same features. 4 years later, and the radio just keeps working.

I don’t know what a DIN is. The radio is about 4 inches high and it does form fit the dash. It has a cassette deck (why did I choose that, I don’t know…too many '80’s tapes, I guess…)It also has that RDs feature, where we can select the type of music we want to listen to, and when we seek, the radio will only stop on that type of music. It also has a traffic feature where it will tell us if the station does traffic reports as well as an info button which can tell us the name and artist of the song playing, as long as the station is transmitting that information.

DIN is the form fitting for car stereos. DIN radios are about 2" high. DIN-and-ahalf are 3" high, and double DIN is 4" high. Along with the radio, there are model-specific kits that include mounting brackets, face plates, and wire harness converters to make installation look professional and function perfectly. I use these kits all the time, and never have to cut the factory harness to wire a new radio in. The brackets and face plates make the radio look like they were make for the car. The adapters are usually inexpensive, like $20, and save a world of trouble. Check out for model-specific information for your car and truck. These guys know your car and it’s radio.

Ok. I will take a look.


Being old enough to have acquired some depression age values growing up, throwing away a perfectly good radio annoys me. The majority of my annoyance is with the engineers that design this often short lived and usually impossible to repair junk. But those who enable them don’t score all that high in my book either.

That said, you’d probably like a display on your radio. I’m going to assume that the circuit board drives the radio displays and maybe converts button pushes to voltage pulses. I’d take out all the screws except the ones holding that circuit board. I’d loosen those. Now turn the ignition to the Accessory position. Push the circuit board in firmly and move it around a little. If the displays spring to life in some positions, try to tighten the screws such as to hold it in one of those positions. The worst that is likely to happen is that you’ll finish destroying the radio – which you were going to replace anyway.

If you do replace it, spend any extra money needed to get a unit with connectors that match your car’s connectors. It’s likely cheaper to get a generic unit and splice it into the car wiring. That is what I’d do. But you’ll just get madder and madder as you deal with problem after problem getting the wiring right while standing on your head and trying to work in a space designed to hold a radio rather than two hands and a bunch of tools.

This is eliminated with a good wiring adapter. I use them all the time. They are color coded to match most aftermarket radios, and plug right into the factory harness. I solder up the adapter wires to the radio wires on my work bench, then just plug it right in to the harness when I install the radio. No muss, no fuss.

Looking at it this afternoon, I saw that one of the wire harnesses had popped out. It was a bear getting back in. I’m going to try once more…