1. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Returned from an out of town trip, the Prius started right up in the airport lot with no sign of anything wrong, but then I noticed the radio/stereo wasn't making any music. My wife and I had been listening to XM when we drove to the airport and the car hadn't been driven while I was away.

    Here's what's odd--making me thing it's an amplifier fuse issue--the MFD works fine. The MFD display shows the radio stations, XM, CD, Cassette, etc. tuning in just fine like it thinks it's playing music. But no adjustment of the volume (with knob or steering wheel controls) brings any sound at all (no static, nothing).

    I tried turning the stereo off and on again several times without change. I tried shutting the car down and restarting--no change.

    Anyone with experience with this? Is there a separate fuse for the amp? Is it weird that it would work when I shut off the car then not work when I restart it--or is that when fuses tend to blow?

    It was pretty cold out (45F) and the car was pretty cold soaked to that temp. But even when the cabin warmed up there was no change.

    Would appreciate advice.
  2. Offline

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Posts:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Hi Dr Fusco,

    My 07 EWD does indicate a separate fuse just for the external amp. The 30A fuse is located in the main relay box under the hood. It should be in the upper section of fuses inside the box and labeled "AMP". Fourth fuse down on the left column.
  3. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks "dog"! But the plot thickens...
    This morning when I started up (warmed garage, engine block heater, but cold outside) the problem persisted--no sound at all.

    But about 3-4 minutes into driving I started hearing very sporatic, sound (the stereo was tuned to an FM channel) Thinking maybe the sound was so sporatic b/c it was an out of area FM channel, I switched to XM--same issue, but slowly, over the next 5-10 minutes the audible sound became more frequent, though "stuttery" (better when driving, worse when braking or stopped) until eventually the sound came on and stayed on like usual with the usual sound quality and no stuttering or cutting out at all!!

    Could there be moisture in a connection somewhere that caused a brief short? A loose connection I should check (but why did it go from so loose there was no sound at all to tight enough to not break at all?)

    Glad to have audio back, but would like to know what caused this and how to prevent it from happening at a more inconvenient time (ie. a long trip).
  4. Offline

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Posts:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Could be:

    a) aliens in another dimensional space are messing with you

    b) your car was not happy with your musical choices

    or

    c) you have a intermittent connection that is open when cold but makes contact again as the components warm up. It may get worse eventually, then it will be easier to diagnose.

    :madgrin:
  5. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Freaking aliens, again--they're starting to piss me off!
  6. Offline

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Posts:
    12,211
    Likes Received:
    1,883
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
  7. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The volume numbers changed easily with both the knob and the steering wheel volume controls. Just no sound came out.
  8. Offline

    cwerdna Senior Member

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Posts:
    12,211
    Likes Received:
    1,883
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Interesting. Well, you almost certainly have a different problem than I and those other folks.
  9. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    They're baaaaccckkk!! Since my post on 10/19/11 the radio had demonstrated no issues at all. It came right on, stayed on, no stuttering or cutting out or anything.

    Until this afternoon. After sitting parked at work for ~5 hours I got in the car to come home....I noticed the radio didn't come on immediately as it usually does, but before I could get out of the parking lot it came on and seemed to be fine for a few minutes. But soon it started briefly cutting out, then rapidly cutting in and out (kind of stuttering) for several minutes. By about half-way on my ~10 mile drive home it was cutting out completely for several seconds up to minutes. And by the time I got home it was completely off with rare moments of sound (see below).

    Here's what's REALLY weird. When I was accelerating the sound was much more likely to cut out, even if it had been playing. And when decelerating (even just lifting my foot of the accelerator) it would 'cut in' and make sound again...the harder I would brake/faster I would slow the more likely and more sustained the sound was when it returned! By the time I got home it was basically not making any sound with the exception of a brief bit of sound when I was braking firmly to turn into my driveway.

    Once home I turned the car on, I fiddled with the wires under the passenger seat going to/from the amplifier, but they all seemed snug and wiggling them didn't make the sound come on at all. I took the right vent cover off and tried to fiddle with the wires on the back of the head unit, but didn't feel up to a full dash dismantling.

    So.... My sense here is that there is a wire, somewhere, that is touching something it shouldn't be and is shorting something (? the amp--b/c the head unit stays on and shows good signal), and when I slow down the wire swings free of whatever is shorting it and the sound returns. No idea why this is so intermittent though. Very frustrating.

    Would really appreciate any other trouble shooting suggestions, or alien eradication methods. Otherwise I think I'm stuck taking this in to the service department to try to figure out.
  10. Offline

    Rebound Senior Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Posts:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    529
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    I think it's a loose connection. Fortunately, these are usually very easy to fix, because all of the wires connect using very large AMP or Molex-style connectors which connect ten or twenty pins at once. If you or a friend know how to remove the radio from the dash, then you simply remove and re-attach the three connectors at the back of your radio unit.

    However, there is one question I have: Does your radio have an anti-theft feature, the kind that makes a red light blink and which requires you to enter a code if you ever lose power? Because if you have this feature, then maybe it's not a loose connector after all. However, I'd still try re-seating the cables before replacing the radio unit.
  11. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The amp is under the seat and, as I mentioned above, I did check those wires (though I didn't pull them out) and it didn't seem to be at that end. I know how to get to the back of the head unit, but had taking the dash apart--but maybe it'll be my next rainy day project just to check. The 2nd gen Prius does not have any anti-theft device built into the head unit.
  12. Offline

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Posts:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
  13. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It was a bit colder, and both this time & the first time the car had been sitting without the EBH and it had been raining.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Offline

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Posts:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    That 30A fuse for the amp is under the hood. I'd hit that with the freeze spray and see what happens.
  15. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Good place to start for certain. Or maybe just pull it and clean it off and reseat it to start.
  16. Offline

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Posts:
    7,499
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Also, I will add that sometimes a fuse can look good but not be any good. The best way to test is with an ohmmeter (DVM set to read ohms).
  17. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Just an update. I did take the car in to the local Toyota Service Dept. this week, waited about 2 hours, they took the car out for about a 5 mile drive, apparently checked it top to bottom and, of course, could not reproduce the problem and therefore had no advice.

    At least they didn't charge me for the "work", but suggested I bring it by if it happens while I'm out and about--yea, right.
  18. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Another update: when I restarted the car around noon today the stereo made no sound after working flawlessly for the past couple months. It was, again, after sitting outside in the rain in moderately cool weather (40F).

    As advised at the prior dealer visit I brought it to the dealer while not working. Currently they're tracing the various wires to try to find the source of the problem. If they figure it out I'll post the results.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    3.5 hrs later they "think" it's the amplifier that has an "internal short". They have to order a replacement & repair at a different time.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1 people like this.
  20. Offline
    • Moderator

    efusco Troll Slayer

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Posts:
    19,842
    Likes Received:
    1,064
    Location:
    Nixa, MO
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The service guy, who is also a personal friend, called this morning. He says it's $500 for the replacement (rebuilt) amp + $200 for service. That seems way excessive.

    Particularly considering that the damn thing is working again this morning. I had the space heater on the car all night in the garage and, of course, the stereo was working fine this morning.

    Still can't tell if this is a moisture issue, a cold issue, or a combination of the two.

    Appreciate any tips on where to pick up a salvage for a package #9 JBL amp for cheap. Or if there are any decent aftermarket alternatives I'd consider those too, I'm not looking to upgrade the entire system since I'll be replacing the car in the next 6-8 months, just want a reliable audio system until then and beyond. Got a feeling this will be a DIY job.

Share This Page