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How do I get my car radio back working? Answered

In my 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 Pickup, the radio isn't working.
The antenna ran through the passenger door and one day, the exposed wire in the antenna made contact with the door, immediately shuting off the radio. I am assuming it did this because the body of the truck is grounded by the battery.

The antenna is no longer attached to the radio, however every once in a while the radio turns on but when I try to play a cassette or a CD it blinks on the screen and will shutdown anywhere from 30 sec. to 20 minutes later. If I don't try playing a cassette or CD, It will shutdown anywhere from 30 sec. to 20 minutes later. The radio generally shuts down when turning. Once, the truck was parked overnight and the next day, the radio read "8:30" telling me it had been on for either 8 or 20 hours. Recently, it has been not working at all, turning on maybe once a day.

It is a radio with a cassette player, and then in the back there is a 5 disc CD changer.

I checked every single fuse, and just in case replaced the "Radio" fuse, but still nothing.
I also checked in the radio to see if there was an internal fuse, or one on the back of the radio, however I found nothing.  

Help would be appreciated, Thanks.



Best Answer 7 years ago

If the radio turns ON when the car is parked as you explained, then one power wire is attached to a spot that is always "ON" when it should be attached to IGNITION ON. Also, possibly, the radios metal chassis is NOT bolted to something METAL. This makes the radio only get its ground connection from the ANTENNA. Therefore, whenever your antenna wire touches together for a few seconds, it makes the radio WORK OK for a while. All you need to do is re-splice the antenna wire. Just bare the wires and attach the SHIELDwires to each other... then attach the CENTERCONDUCTORS to each other. Be sure the SHIELDwires do not touch the CENTERCONDUCTOR by electrical-taping them. Solder the wires for best results. Then electrical tape them so they dont short together.


Answer 7 years ago

There were actually two problems, I figured out, not only was the antenna broken, but there was also a loose cable that supplied the ground energy. The antenna was also meant to be the ground connection, so I could resplice it, but I don't use the FM-AM radio often.

Now this may have been random, I haven't looked into it that much into it, but my 6 -CD changer isn't working anymore, however it is getting power. and starts playing for 1 second, never making sound then stops.


4 years ago

I also need advise i was replacing my car radio and once i plugged everything back in the electrical tape came off a few colored wires and they touched together the radio instantly stoped working i went and bought a new radio thinking it had blew or somthing but the new one isnt working either any suggestions?


7 years ago

Grounding the antenna should not have hurt your pickup's radio.
It still sounds like a power problem and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a second frayed antenna spot elsewhere.

Try by-passing everything and run a fused wire from the back of the radio to your cig-lighter or the battery on the other side of the firewall.
Some times trucks have a little more room behind the front panel.

The god of EE does not reveal things easy, you may be the one selected to be driven stark staring MAD  :-D  LoL



7 years ago

Pull the radio and bench test it. Hook it up with a 12 power supply and see if it works with no problems. This way you can narrow down where the problem is. If the radio is bad it will still not work right once removed. If the wiring is bad in the vehicle then the radio will work just fine. So you will know that its faulty wiring and from there you can trace back and find just what wire it is.