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Soda spilled in 97 Subaru, now no audio!

Last night we got Sonic and when putting the drinks in the drink holder, one of the styrofoam cups popped and Sprite went all down the front of the console. Now this morning, my radio powers up but there is no sound, like a speaker connection is messed up. It is also having problems ejecting tapes and I didn’t want to try a CD, probably because it is sticky…

My question is, A) should I try to clean everything the best I can with alcohol, take trim off to let it dry out, and hope for the best, or should I try to figure out how to actually remove the stereo unit? And if I do, then what?

And B) is there any wiring directly behind the stereo that could affect driving? Lights, etc. are working fine.

I can’t afford to take it anywhere, even to have someone look at it, but I am pretty comfortable working on my car – just not the electronics!!! Thanks for any help, I couldn’t really find anything in the other forums.

No more soda allowed in my car, ever!

Did any spill INTO the radio?

I think so… I just took the trim off and there was soda all around it, and when I took the tape out it had soda on it. I did get sound coming out of the speakers, but I think the radio is turned way down and the volume knob is not responding. I can’t tell if all the speakers are working, sounded like just the front right one. None of the buttons on the radio are working, although they were working intermittently a bit ago. Now I am thinking I may have to replace the stereo and hope the speakers are fine???

Also it didn’t look like any soda got into the gear shift area, thank God!!!

Try ebay for a used Subaru car stereo. You likely ruined yours with the liquid. The speakers will be fine.

I worked for a company that provided Big 3 radio service and the top two issues that caused us to deny warranty were soda injestion and coins in the cassete slot. I don’t have kids so I found out through work that kids like to put coins in the slot (and in the cig. lighter receptacle).

You radio would have to be disassembled and cleaned (cleaning the cassete mechanism would be time consuming) with no guarantee of success.

You might get lucky and have it work normally after it dries out. I would pull the radio fuse and not even try to use it for several days at least. It’s unlikely that you did any damage to anything outside of the radio, which is full of delicate electronic devices compared to the adjacent wiring.

If it doesn’t revive, I’d try ebay for a radio if you want to keep it stock, or this might be a good time to upgrade for $100-$200 to something much better, capable of .mp3 playback, etc.

I did revive a cell phone by dipping it into a cup of alcohol without submerging the screen and letting it air dry over night. Might be worth a try

One of my jobs while working for Motorola was fixing both pagers and two-way radios (hand held like the police have). You would be suprised how many pagers fell in the toilet (yes this was the 80’s) and about half came around. Many radios were used as instruments to hit people with, these required extensive repairs (I am speaking about the radios as I did not see the people).

Problem is the alcohol may dissolve all the lubricants in the cassette mechanism and possibly harm any rubber parts as well.

It’s still the same this morning… powers up but nothing else. Probably will have to replace it! Lame.