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No power to the radio

My radio just quit working one day I started my car (even with the key in the accessory position).

The time is not being displayed (even with the key in the accessory position).

The 7.5 amp radio fuse appears fine.

I heard a buzz when I turned the key from the accessory position to start.

Any ideas?


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Use an Ohmmeter to verify that the fuse is OK (pull the fuse out when you check it with the meter) or replace it with a known working same rated fuse.

This is just to totally eliminate it as the problem so that you don’t waste time looking for something else if this was the problem

You may have to remove the radio and use a Voltmeter to check that both 12V+ power supplies to the radio are available. One is from the radio fuse and one is from the ignition key accessory power feed circuit.

Here’s a link to a video that shows how to remove the radio from the dashboard.

Here’s a link that shows the radio harness wire colours and their function.

If both power feeds are there then there is a problem in the radio itself which will have to be further investigated

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Looks like there is power from the fuse box. I'll let you what I find out on the radio.



After taking out the radio and checking the power on the harness, I was getting nothing. So I then tried grounding a light tester to the door and then tested the Car Radio Switched 12V+ wire (red/yellow), and I got power.

So, for whatever reason, the ground wire on the radio harness wasn't working. Odd...

Thanks for your help!



I assume that you initially checked it at the radio harness plug by placing the test light between the earth connector pin (black wire) and the power supply connector pin wire(red/yellow) and it didn't work so you changed earth connection and it did, is this correct?

Try putting a pin through the insulation of the black wire so that it makes contact with the wire itself. Dressmaker's pin with a tiny plastic bead at the end is a good choice.

Do this about 2" from the harness plug (or where you can get good access to the black wire near the harness plug) and then either use an Ohmmeter to test for continuity between the pin and the "radio or open side" of the black wire connector in the harness plug or the test light between the pin and the power wire (red/yellow) connector.

If it does work then you have a faulty connection in the harness plug.

These are usually crimped connections where the "barbs or teeth" of the connector bite through the insulation of the wire to contact the wire.

You could try to gently pull out the black wire. If it comes (which it shouldn't), there is the problem.

If the harness connector tests OK then the problem may be a broken earth connection on the black wire.

You could then test between the black wire harness connector or the pin and the door "earth" using an Ohmmeter to test if there is continuity between both.

If not then the problem is with where the black wire connects to earth.

A way around it would be to connect a wire from the chassis somewhere (bright metal which is connected to earth -prove it with an Ohmmeter) and then splice that into the black wire so that you have an earth going into the radio,

Apologies if you know this already ;-)


What if the red/yellow (switch) shows 12+ but the green/yellow (constant) one is not showing anything ?


@Michael Plourde

You would have to chase it back through to the radio fuse.

Usually the power through the "switch" comes from the ignition key being operated so it must be OK. The constant comes from the radio fuse.


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