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Car Radio Repair

While people generally love to watch TV in their homes, they enjoy listening to radio while driving their cars. Car radios often develop defects even though they are sturdily built.

But radios are becoming complex gizmos with the passage of time as they are being fitted with tape recorders, CD players and much more.

It is difficult for a layperson to meddle with them, but anyone can repair a simple car radio, remove it and put in a new one in its place.

A simple car radio, basically, has only two external wires. One wire connects it with the source of power supply and the other with the antenna.

Tools needed: Electrical contact cleaner, screw driver, wrench, soldering iron, solder, denatured alcohol, and a car radio maintenance manual.

But first, how to remove the radio from the car so that you can repair it?

Most car radios are held by brackets secured with screws and nuts that are hidden under decorative plates. You can unfasten the plate, unscrew the nuts and bolts and pull out the radio. You can also remove the electrical wires connecting with the antenna and the speakers.  

How to clean the components of the radio

Most problems that a layperson can resolve occur due to the accumulation of dust, dirt, grime or moisture.

You can clean the major components of the radio such as speaker jacks and power cords by blowing uncanned air upon them.

Dip a cotton swab in denatured alcohol, put a few drops of electrical contact cleaner on it and rub it on the radio parts. If any component is broken, you can mend it with a soldering iron and solder.   

Common problems with a car radio and how to resolve them

1. The radio stops working.

1. Check the car battery to see if its charge is full.
2. Check the wiring under the dashboard of the car. Plug the wire/s, if any, has been disconnected.

 2: Radio produces fuzzy sound

1. Disengage the radio from the car and look for the volume control.
2. Spray electrical contact cleaner over the volume control.
3. Shake it from side to side and move it around several times so that its components get lubricated.

3. Radio produces crackling sound

1. Check the connection of the antenna. Quite possibly the connection may have become loose. Make it tight.
2. Check the battery for its ground connection. Make it tight if it has become loose.
3. Check the filter for noise suppression. It may be located on the alternator or somewhere close to it. Replace it by following instructions in the radio maintenance manual.

4. The radio produces a clicking or a high pitched whining sound which grows louder as the engine runs at a higher speed.

Repair: You need to fix a new noise suppression filter. It comes with a replacement instructions manual and can be bought from any auto-parts shop.

5: Radio produces ticking sound that remains constant even if the engine gains speed.

Repair: Check the wires of the spark plug or ignition coil capacitor of the car. If either or both the parts are defective, replace them with new ones.

6: Damaged external antenna

The damaged antenna may need to be replaced.

1. Loosen the nut on the car’s fender where the antenna is fixed and pull out the antenna. If you cannot locate the nut on the fender, you may find it inside the fender.

2. Follow the instructions in the radio manual of the car and install new antenna.

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