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Strange car stereo problem

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Jul 1, 2017, 11:47 AM

Post #1 of 4 (2292 views)
Strange car stereo problem Sign In


I have a 2003 Civic Coupe EX. When I first bought it in 2003 I replaced the car stereo with a Sony in-dash receiver. It worked great up until I upgraded to a newer unit in 2011.

Starting earlier this year the buttons on the receiver stopped working so I just assumed the unit was dead and bought a new one. I bought the Sony DSXA400BT. I had Best Buy install it but it was acting very weird - the buttons on the receiver itself and the remote weren't working in sync, if you turned the car on the first one you used would work and they other wouldn't (ie: press a button on the receiver, the remote wouldn't work until the next time you turned the car on). Also, suspiciously, my car battery died a few days after installation.

Best Buy told me the unit must have been bad. So I RMAd it with Sony and the one they sent me did the exact same thing. So I thought maybe this model just must be incompatible with my car (Crutchfield said it was compatible).

So I bought a Pioneer DEH-X6900BT and installed it last week. It seemed to be working great. Until last night when I took a car ride longer than 10 minutes. About 20 minutes in the LCD started flipping through settings on its own and the buttons on the receiver and the remote both stopped working! Same thing happened on my car ride back, 20 minutes or so into the trip.

I'm not even sure where to start to troubleshoot this. Clearly it's the car and not the receiver. What part in the car needs to be checked? I have a brand new battery I put in when the other one that was only 2 years old died after putting in the first Sony DSXA400BT receiver (mentioned above).

One thing I should airbag was recalled and I brought it to Honda in January to get repaired and this issue started almost immediately after. Could they have screwed something up?

Thanks so much for any help!

Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jul 1, 2017, 3:28 PM

Post #2 of 4 (2281 views)
Re: Strange car stereo problem Sign In

It's been years since I've done any stereo work......One thing that does remain constant is the aftermarket decks use the factory power and ground supplies the factory units used.....Normally there is an adapter that plugs into the factory harness (so the factory end isn't cut off) and the other end into the AM deck......There is usually 2 different power supplies.....One is hot all the time....for the clock & memory.....The other is only hot when the key is on, this is for all other functions of the deck, there is at least one ground and some AM decks have another that goes from the deck body to the car body.....

It's hard to say if say if the airbag work had anything to do with it....I've seen it in the past when a tech accidently cause a problem while working on a car and I've seen stuff break that was totally unrelated to what was being worked on (always a fun call to make for the service adviser).....either way you need to tell them about the problem right away, preferably before you leave or at least within a day or 2....I'm not sure how long it's been, but if it's been more than a few weeks, you probably won't have much success with them......

If you are doing this yourself then you will need to pull the deck and start off by check the power sources and grounds....also the problem needs to happening while you are doing your tests....If the deck it functioning normally then all the test you run will pass...

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jul 1, 2017, 4:00 PM

Post #3 of 4 (2272 views)
Re: Strange car stereo problem Sign In

This is really strange. Are there any other aftermarket accessories that have been added?


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jul 1, 2017, 4:08 PM

Post #4 of 4 (2268 views)
Re: Strange car stereo problem Sign In

In Reply To
This is really strange. Are there any other aftermarket accessories that have been added?

It does sound weird, but with multiple decks...and brands... having problems.......sounds like something else is going on.....Can't ignore the airbag work........Hopefully on the deck they didn't hack the connector but you know how that goes.....They don't make one.... We don't have one right now......Jobs gotta go.....

(This post was edited by Sidom on Jul 1, 2017, 4:09 PM)


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