CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Radio turns on when car is off

My Radio has been turning on when the truck is off and the keys are out of the ignition. Does anyone have any ideas on an easy way to fix this ? I have a 1999 Ford ranger.

I’m not sure if the power to the radio is supposed to cut off with the ignition switch or not. If it is then it appears a modification to power has been made or the ignition switch is turning off like it should. There could also be an internal problem with the power switch in the radio that is allowing the radio to come on. Ebay is a good source for used radios if you end up needing one.

When the switch on the radio is off, the radio should be off regardless of whether or not the radio is receiving power. One cheap fix would be to put a switch in the power lead to the radio and mount the switch in a convenient location.

The power lead is on all the time. If you switch it off, then all the station presets will be lost, as well as the clock, the last station tuned to, and the volume level.
There is a control lead that is switched, but adding a switch won’t do any good since the problem is almost certainly in the radio.

The OP asked for an easy way out. If he doesn’t mind tuning the radio manually, and doesn’t mind not having a clock, then a switch in the power lead will keep the radio off. Since his vehicle is 12 years old, this would be an inexpensive way to solve the problem. I didn’t say that it is the best way.

You are correct if he wants to keep the radio presets and the radio has a clock which he uses. I am so used to looking at my watch that I couldn’t tell you if my car clock is set to the right time or not.

Some radios can be turned on until you open the door. Then they won’t. If you mean that it turns on by itself after that, I have noo idea how to fix that.

I just had this happen on my 1999 Ford Ranger too. I thought my neighbors radio was on next door and I’d hear it through the day but didn’t use my truck when I went out I found out it was my truck. No key in the ignition and the radio was blasting away. Now it won’t turn off until I turn it off but won’t turn off with the key any longer. Weird. I was checking here how to fix it.

The power to the radio is usually tied to the ACC portion of the ignition switch. Check to see if that power is getting turned OFF when the ignition switch is OFF. There may be a problem with the switch position contacts. Power to the radio may also be controlled by a module and the module has a problem. I don’t know how your system is designed.

Some Ford’s have a power feature that gives you power in the vehicle… such as to power the radio for about 10 min or so…or until you open a door.

To test this… either see how long the radio will stay on after key removal… or simply open the door after key removal… if it goes off upon opening the door… you have that feature.

I have it in my 04’ Exploder not sure what year that feature became available. I like it personally

However…if the radio is turning itself on at random and playing away… you have two issues. One internal to the radio…and the other in how its wired. Its not supposed to have constant power…its supposed to be switched…but knuckleheads abound out there so who knows who did what behind the radio… Pull it out and have a looksie. If you dont have the Ford tool to pull it… 2 small phillips screwdrivers will work… just do one side and then the other.