Question Some Stereo Advice for a complete novice please

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
Hi folks

Ill start by saying I know nothing about car stereos, so keep that in mind when answering please :)

I picked up an old Zafira last year to fit my surfboards in, it was all good until I got a new stereo from ebay. I paid a local lad who claimed to have worked in Halfords to fit it for me as I live very rurally and wouldnt have much choice.

There was a few inital teething problems (with the reverse cam not working properly) but he got it all sorted and I left happy that all was working.

Usually the car would be used daily, but whenever it sat for a few days the battery would drain entirely. I bought a new battery a few months ago but thats not fixed the problem. After its drained I have to connect a charger for about 12 hours to get it going again.

As I say, I know nothing about stereos (or cars for that matter lol) but im fairly sure the stereo is the issue.

Is it as simple as removing some fuses to completely remove the stereo from the equasion? Ill get it repaired properly once all this lockdown is over but until then I would like to try and determine if its ok once the stereo isnt involved. When ive googled the problem I keep reading about a "parasitic drain" which sounds accurate. Ive already ensured no internal lights were on, nothing plugged into the lighter socket

Fuse number 35 is listed as the infotainment system so that was going to be my starting point

Any tips, suggestions or warnings I need to consider?

Thanks
 
Unfortunately with an aftermarket install it is impossible to stay to which wires the installer connected it and thus to which fuse it is connected.

If you know electrics then a car or radio is not that different, and with a multi-meter and a bit of patience and testing the culprit can be found. I do suspect it is the new stereo, but the way it was wired in;

Only one way to find out where fuse 35 is taking the power away from it :)
 

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your reply, it's going to be well beyond my level. I've got it booked in with an car audio fella tomorrow, he's doing exactly what you mentioned with the multimeter.
 

PhillyG76

Standard Member
When you turn ignition off (keys to position 1 or off completely to 0), does the radio turn off? If not it maybe that the guy who installed it may have mixed the permanent 12volt feed which is used to keep things such as radio stations stored in memory and then you have the Accessories (ACC), which only comes on when ignition is on. He may have them wrong way round. Take that fuse out and see what happens, although that will stop battery dying, it doesn’t tell you much more though.
 

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that, the guy who took a look reckons the reverse camera was causing the drain. Hes disconnected it (I didn't particularly want it, it came free with the stereo) and so far so good although the car hasn't sat undriven for a few days yet so that will be the test as that's when it generally went flat.
 

PhillyG76

Standard Member
Next time you go out in your car, try turning different things on and see if you can notice changes such as dashboard lights dimming, or even engine note changes. For example when you put air con on, you will feel slight loss in power, or if it’s cold and you put all heaters on, back window heater and that, some cars lights may dim if the car is only idling. Also after a good drive. Just put ignition on and headlights on full, and see if anything makes bulbs go noticeably dimmer when you switch something on (things like back window heater always will as they draw a lot of current). It see if anything stays on that shouldn’t with keys out. As the other person commented if you know someone who’s good with electrical multi-meters then that’d help. But one final thought, you say that happens if you don’t drive for few days. Could be battery on it’s way out. Sorry I’ve filled your head with too much. But try and eliminate things out of the equation.
 

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
Thanks again for all the info, its appreciated

I did actually replace the battery at the start of the problems as I really hoped that would be all it needed.
 

PhillyG76

Standard Member
Have you got an owners guide for the stereo? Just, you mentioned about the reverse camera maybe causing the problem. When I was looking on Sony website, as I’m looking to find out if I can run google maps and play music via Bluetooth at same time, in the FAQ it mentioned that if the mic for hands free phone use is plugged in wrong socket it causes a few problems. If you’ve not got manual then email the company.
 

Fat_Tony

Distinguished Member
I went against all my better knowledge and ordered cheap imported tat, I never do this with tech but learning the get what you pay for lesson again.

I don't think I have the manual but it was unintelligible pigeon English anyway.

I got the car back Saturday, I've driven it every day since with no problems. It's sat idle all day today, my battery tester arrived today and that's indicating a full charge. I'll try again tomorrow but I'm optimistic this has fixed it.

Thanks for your ongoing interest, I hate being so clueless but it's so rare I change stereos I've not got the patience to try and learn. I'd sooner pay someone who knows what they are doing.
 

PhillyG76

Standard Member
I used to work for Clarion car audio, many years ago, had a few basic jobs such as quality inspector, line feeding and then became a trainee service engineer. Loved it there but sadly they transferred the warranty services over to Clarion France. But in my town Swindon, there’s a Car audio installer who, looking at YouTube videos, has every tool imaginable, was ex Vodafone engineer and seems to know everything, but not sure if the Sony unit I want is actually released onto market yet lol
 

AMc

Distinguished Member
FWIW I've had similar problems after fitting aftermarket head units.
The problem - at least in my VW - was that the VW>ISO loom connection > ISO Pioneer connector had the permanent 12V and switched 12V live connections the wrong way around.
Leaving the head unit drawing too much current when the ignition was off = flat battery.
The manual mentioned the potential problem and it was a moment's work to pull the head unit and switch over the two connectors. It is something the installer should have checked.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Samsung HW-Q800A Soundbar & Rotel Michi X3 Reviews + TV show and Movie News & Reviews
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom