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Tundra radio/amplifer

I have a 2001 Tundra. A few years ago, the factory radio quit. I took it to a local auto accessory shop, and they put in an aftermarket radio afer telling me it was too expensive to fix the factory one. It worked fine, but I never liked it. I was at their shop recently, and mentioned that I wish I had my factory radio working. They gave me the name of a radio repair shop out of town that is good. I took my radio to them, they checked it out, and told me,“it works. It must be the amplifer.” (The afermarket radio does not use the factory amplifer). So, I went to the junkyard and purchesed a used amplifer. The original shop put in the used amplifer and the factory radio and it worked. In fact, it worked so well that the radio continued to play after I shut off the truck and took out the key. At that moment, neither one of us had time to play with it.

My truck sat for a week, with the radio off, and when I tried to start it, the battery was dead. No lights were on an anything like that. So, I called the junkyard and told them that the amp was bad. He, of course, doesn’t want to buy that idea, and tells me the shop that installed it did something wrong. so, I went back to the shop, and they tell me it is just plug-and-play. There is no way they messed it up. To further confuse the issue, they put my original amp back in with the factory radio, and it worked, but still continued to play after the truck is shut off. I assume it was slowly draining the battery, but that takes a while to tell, and they weren’t in the mood to mess with it any more. They put the aftermarket radio back in and it works as it should.

The junkyard is not going to give me my money back because they gave me the part I ordered, and because it is electronic, they will replace it but not refund.

Anyone have any idea what is going on?

To add to the above story, the off/on button on the radio worked fine. I could and did shut it off that way.

Try a start over from the beginning at along with everything you need to install correctly. If you are half handy you con do it, you got hosed but it is chump change to getting a new system that will work right and sound good and not kill the car. Consider some new blaupunkt speakers along with Alpine box, you will be happy then.

There has to be a radio you like other then the factory…which by the way is probably just mid quality Panasonic or whomever Toyota subcontracts to. I would go back to an audio specialist and reinstall a radio, other than than factory, and live with it. Barkydog has a good alternative if you are handy.

Let me add that truck interiors are notoriously poor settings for decent sound. My home is awash in home theater and sound systems in nearly ever room but I have always been reluctant to spend more then the bare minimum in trying to get decent sound out of any vehicle. That is the only way I might disagree with Barkydog and others on going any more then factory installed speakers.

I have had great luck replacing factory radio’s with ebay ones.

I cannot stand the aftermarket stuff (although some nice features) as they typically are just plain hideous to look at in ugly colors blaring in dash and there general look. But also buttons are so tiny I can barely operate them easily.

Good advice so far. Still I’m curious about the problem you have with the original setup. You say

“In fact, it worked so well that the radio continued to play after I shut off the truck and took out the key.”

Is this new behavior? In my car the radio and accessories only stay on after the key is removed for about 30 seconds or until you open a door. Then everything goes off. If your Tundra originally worked the same way you have a different problem than the amplifier.

I’m also curious about why the original amplifier stopped working, but now it works fine, except it stays on all of the time. It sounds like the original amplifier wasn’t getting any power, now that both amplifiers are connected to a supply that is on all of the time they both work fine.

Both, the original and junkyard amplifiers could be defective in the same way. Still, I’m suspicious of your accessory shop’s willingness to find the real reason behind your problem. Plug-and-play is a vaporous term. Aftermarket components can be purchased with an adapter harness that should connect the new component to the car’s wiring with no modification. If there is no direct adapter available the installer has to hack into the car’s wiring. My guess, your installer couldn’t find a “hot” supply, maybe due to the original problem, and wired the new radio into something he found, a circuit that is on all of the time.

Your problem is getting the shop to find the problem and fix it without charging you an arm and a leg. If you are at all handy, buying a new system from a company like Crutchfield, and doing it yourself might be the best way to go. Best of luck

Radios have two “hot” wires…One switched by the key and one hot all the time to hold the presets and memory…Sounds like those wires somehow were reversed…If this were the amps fault, the RADIO would still shut off with the key. But it does not, it stays on, powered up. This can all be sorted out in a few minutes with a volt meter…

After reading your statements about the problem it looks to me the trouble is possibly within the original radio since you say the aftermarket one works ok when it is installed. The radio most likely controls the ‘power on’ control for the external amp and it sounds like the original OEM radio isn’t cutting things off for some reason. @Caddyman advice may be correct about the wiring but I assume that things worked well for a long time before the trouble happened.

Like @raj stated, Ebay is a good source for purchasing used radios at a very good price so you might try getting another OEM unit from there and then see if that works ok. First make sure that the power wires to the radio are going to the correct locations.

@MTraveler comment about the power delay cutoff is good and very well could apply to your vehicle. It is a common feature in cars today. The trouble may with that part of the power circuit and not inside the radio. Though I have to wonder why the new radio worked ok, if that is the case.