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2004 Prius, no sound from stereo

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Audio and Electronics' started by efusco, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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  2. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    I went ahead and purchased this one. Will try to install it myself and will take photos since i haven't seen any of anyone else doing this previously. other than getting the seat out (which I dread) it seems a pretty simple project.
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  3. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I think it's more likely cold temps opening a bad solder connection.
  4. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    You may be right, but I've driven the car on FAR colder days than it was yesterday without any issues, but the first time it happened and yesterday the temp was in the 40s range but quite rainy/humid.

    In any case, I'm still convinced it's gremlins and am currently researching the best gremlin capture and storage methods.
  5. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    My EBay package arrived today--bare 24 hours after ordering! That's the good news.
    The bad news, they sent me the Denso DVD-GPS unit that goes under the driver's seat instead of the amp that goes under the passenger seat. I called and am waiting to hear back on how they want to deal with the exchange. Too bad, it would have been a perfect weekend project.
  6. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Hopefully this will be the last post in the saga....
    The new amplifier arrived early this afternoon (huge props to the Ebay seller for fast shipping!).

    Only 3 bolts and 2 connectors on the amplifier (sorry, didn't do photos, but you don't need them). All accessible with just moving the front seat fully foreward or back. I first took out the front 2 bolts (hidden under a carpet cut out), then the back one. This made it easy enough to move the amp around to get easier access to the electronic plugs/connectors. There are catches on the top middle of both of those that must be depressed before it will allow you to pull out the plugs--that was, by far, the hardest part and it just takes maneuvering the amp around until you can get a proper angle on things to get the right pressure on the tab while simultaneously pulling outward on the plug.

    Once disconnected it slid right out from under the seat. I connected the plugs/connectors on the new/replacement amp. Tested (worked fine), then redid the bolts. I do recommend doing the front left (driver's side) bolt/bracket first as there is a little tab on it that goes down into the floor of the car, so you'll want to be sure that's lined up right. So I did the front two bolts, slid the seat forward and did the back one.

    Total time including getting tools (all you need is a ratchet wrench and a 12mm socket), testing, and putting things up... 15-20 minutes.

    Total savings.... $700 (what the dealer estimated) - $115 (what I paid for the salvage amp) = $585!!!

    Anyone can handle this DIY!
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  7. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    The gremlins are baaaaccckk!
    The stereo had worked flawlessly until this morning when I noticed that it didn't start playing for about 7-10 seconds after I pulled the car out of the garage. It was delayed more than normal, but often there's a slight delay b/c the garage blocks the XM signal sometimes.

    But after work, and during another cool RAINY day (notice every time this has occurred it's been associated with at least mildly wet/rainy and cool weather), there was no sound. My drive home is about 20-25 minutes and I was without audio as described previously in this thread for all but the last few minutes of the drive. This time it briefly flickered on after a hard left turn, then about 20 seconds later it came on again and stayed on for the duration of the trip home.

    So, I'm convinced there must be a loose or broken cable connection from the amp to the head unit. The odds that my second amp has the exact same problem as the old one are minuscule. No idea how to track this down without ripping up the carpet and pulling the dash apart.

    So, anyone want a used JBL amp that's perfectly good?
  8. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    The gremlins are baaaaccckk!
    The stereo had worked flawlessly until this morning when I noticed that it didn't start playing for about 7-10 seconds after I pulled the car out of the garage. It was delayed more than normal, but often there's a slight delay b/c the garage blocks the XM signal sometimes.

    But after work, and during another cool RAINY day (notice every time this has occurred it's been associated with at least mildly wet/rainy and cool weather), there was no sound. My drive home is about 20-25 minutes and I was without audio as described previously in this thread for all but the last few minutes of the drive. This time it briefly flickered on after a hard left turn, then about 20 seconds later it came on again and stayed on for the duration of the trip home.

    So, I'm convinced there must be a loose or broken cable connection from the amp to the head unit. The odds that my second amp has the exact same problem as the old one are minuscule. No idea how to track this down without ripping up the carpet and pulling the dash apart.

    So, anyone want a used JBL amp that's perfectly good?
  9. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Disconnect cable from both ends (head unit and amp). Use an ohmmeter (DVM set to read ohms) to check continuity. Get a helper to shake cable while taking readings if necessary. Also, inspect both ends of cable carefully making sure all terminals are seated in the connector shells and no pins are bent or otherwise damaged.

    I'm also still wondering if you have a power problem at the amp. I would replace that fuse under the hood just for the heck of it. (they're cheap)
  10. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Thanks Dog,
    I have no doubt that's a good plan, I just don't know if it's within the scope of my skills to know what wires I'm checking the continuity of or how to access the entire cable without ripping up the entire dash and carpet.

    I think I may try replacing the fuse, that's a decent thought--or at least cleaning the connections...gotta sort out which fuse it is though.

    FWIW, in the past after the car has been in my garage (heated) for a while the stereo seems to work better (usually), but this morning, even though it had been working when I parked it yesterday, it was dead again. Really annoying.

    I've given up on the Toyota dealership, they've had a crack at it twice now, I'm wondering if the local car stereo installers do trouble shooting...
  11. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    And, on the way home it worked fine...I'm gonna start wearing a tinfoil hat.
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  12. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I wonder if you experience a short in a speaker or speaker wire if the whole amp will shut down. It would be nice if the factory amplifier had a power light and fault light so you could see if it was going into protection mode. The only way to check is to measure power at the speakers and the source of power at the amplifier. I would also try to figure out where the amp is grounded so you can ensure that the ground is solid. If they used a chassis ground I could foresee that being lose.
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  13. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    Maybe so...Darn frustrating. I have no idea where the ground would be. I look at those electrical diagrams and get nauseated.
  14. scramjett

    scramjett New Member

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    When I had my Saturn SL2, it had a receiver hitch with wiring harness that my dad had installed while it was still his car. After some damage to the left rear quarter panel caused a puddle of water in the trunk where the wiring harness happened to be, it would constantly blow the fuse for the cars running lights (all the other lights that are on when the headlights are on). I took it in to Uhaul (who did the original installation) and they found the problem was that an exposed wire was sitting in the puddle and caused a short. They basically said all they could do was pull the wiring harness to fix the problem. I told them to do that since I hated that I even had the stupid receiver hitch and had no intention of ever using it.

    You might try and find somewhere in the car that might be pooling water on a rainy or humid day and see if an exposed wire (or even just a wire) is causing a short. After the wiring harness was removed, I installed a new fuse and never had another problem.
  15. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    I'll poke around, but the car's been pretty tight up to now. And often it seems that it's not really the heavy rains that do it, but the high humidity/light rain conditions.
  16. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    I'm baaaaaccckkk!
    We've had some pretty steady and occasionally heavy rains again over the past couple of days, and right on time after about 24 hours and the car sitting in the rain for ~6 hours a went out to find the radio again not working in the car. It still wasn't working almost 48 hours later and I have about 7 hours of solo highway driving coming up this weekend, so I started my search for a cause again.

    I checked and wiggled the cables at the head unit--no change. I checked and wiggled the cables at the amplifier--no change (the amp was warm, so I know it was getting power). I had the thought that even though none of the radio functions were working that I should check my self-installed XM unit (installed ~8 years ago, when I got the car). I have it sitting against the side wall on the passenger side of the vehicle in the rear of the car when you remove that small storage pocket you can see a gap there. There is also some sort of vent that runs into that gap.

    Sure enough, as soon as I lifted the XM unit out the radio came on again. And it was somewhat positional. Rotated vertically and the radio stopped, horizontal it started...kind of odd...the cable seemed secure.

    The problem, however, is that there was some moisture in that pocket. I don't know if it's coming in through the vent or from somewhere else, but the XM unit had been sitting on the floor on top of some absorbant cushioning material and there was actually a bit of rust on the outside of the XM unit. I removed the damp material, dried out the pocket, used some aluminum foil to create some space b/w the floor and the XM unit when placed back in the gap.

    So far it is working fine. I presume there's a feedback loop from the amp or head unit (probably the head unit since that's what the XM cable plugs into directly) and that somehow the moisture was creating a short of some sort in the XM box.

    I did notice the car smelled musty this morning (my daughter noticed it too), so I'm not too happy about moisture getting in and, further, I'm not really sure where it's coming in from. The XM antenna is under a shark-fin, so it's possible that some moisture is getting in under that and running down the wire to that pocket, but it didn't look like that, it looked more like it was leaking in through that vent in the gap, but I don't know where that leads or how it would leak into there.

    Will update if anything changes, but for now, at least I seem to have identified the location of the problem, if not the complete solution to the problem...at least now I know where to go and what cable to jiggle to get things working again.
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  17. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: Check any equipment that was added after the car left the factory - its usually related to that. :madgrin:
  18. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    minor update. There's some odd positional thing with the XM reciever unit. As long as it is laying semi-horizonally it works great, some vertical positions and it shorts out again. Suspect I might end up having to replace the unit at some point if it starts shorting in the horizontal position.

    Still concerned about how all the moisture is getting into the car too...that can't be a good thing. There's even a little rust on the traction battery case.
  19. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I'm glad you found the problem. Now ditch the XM box before you short something permanently. LOL
  20. scramjett

    scramjett New Member

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    Interesting, I wonder if there is a loose connection inside the unit that sits ok horizontally but doesn't sit well vertically. Its also possible that some moisture got inside the unit and when you turn it vertically, something inside comes into contact with the moisture. You should definitely replace the XM unit, but I'd wait until you nail down the moisture problem first. Rust on the HV battery casing is probably a bad sign. Sounds like a bad seal somewhere.
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