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  #1  
Old 12-03-2005
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weird radio problem, please help

hey guys....i hope u dont mind me asking a ? about my civic....i turn to you all bucause you actually know what u're talking about....

ok, i have an Alpine CDA-9811 that was bought brand new about 4 years ago. in that time it has been used in 3 different cars, used and abused....

with that said...

at nighttime, when i have my headlights on, and the radios playing....if i switch from low to high beam, the radio shuts off, then turns right back on, playing exactly where it left off, and all the settings for bass and etc are the same....this also happens when i switch from high to low....Another time it happens is when the RPMs get low (say i dont give it enuf gas starting from 1st) and the car tries to stall out...the radio will do its restart thing. Note that this doesnt happen consistently every time....its an off-on again thing....for one trip into town it might do it, on the way back, it might play fine...

the radio is plugged into the stock Honda harness, the wires connecting the radio to the car have butt connectors, full solid connection, and have been secured with zip ties...

could this just be a power overload with my Alpine? i know its older and might just need replaceing, but i'm tyin to figure out if its the cd player or my car...
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Old 12-03-2005
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There should be two power sources to the radio. One continuous for the memory and one switched for operating. Sounds like there is a drop in voltage to the radios operating power, but not the back up memory power; otherwise the radio would not go back to its present function.

Might want to check these voltages to the radio when you turn your high beams on and off to see if there is a voltage drop. The drop may be momentary; so locate an analog multimeter; otherwise the drop maybe too quick to be read by a digital multimeter.

Are there any other vehicle accessories operating on this circuit that could contribute to this voltage drop??

OR 4x4
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Old 12-03-2005
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thanks!

now, say there IS A drop off....i'm running some HIGH power BRIGHT headlights...so i can imgine a drop off....and my Alpine is a power-hungry player...

say there is a drop off...what do i need to do to fix it?

also, after it does its stupid headlight-turn off thing...when i park the car and turn it off...then come back to it and restart it....the cd player has forgotten its presets and goes tot he start of the disc....i have to re-program everything....

???? haha
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Old 12-03-2005
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Voltage drop happening at low-to-high sounds feasable. Voltage drop when the RPM's get low is definately happening. Going from high-to-low is a little odd but I suppose it is possible. In all cases, I would suspect your alterntor is not keeping up. It could just be inadequate or it could be dying.
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Old 12-03-2005
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cool man, thanks

ill check into an alternator testing/price....
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Old 12-03-2005
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If your radio is losing its memory after you are turning the car off, it sounds like you are missing your constant 12v power source. Radios need two power connections, a constant 12V to keep power to the unit so it doesnt lose all your settings and a Switched 12V so the radio will turn on when the car is on.

It sounds like you are missing that constant 12V, that might also be the reasons for all of your other problems as well. I would start there and see if that fixes everything.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2005
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all the wires are properly connected to the cd player from the Honda harness....the electrical harness hasnt been touched or tampered with....

like i said...this isnt an all the time problem....once maybe every 2 weeks...but that one time drives me crazy when i'm in the country high/low beam'in it lookin for deer and tryin to jam....
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Old 12-03-2005
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Autozone does free alternator tests. You just have to find a way to get the alternator there to the store out of the vehicle.
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Old 12-03-2005
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As FireRanger posted.... I would have the alternator and battery checked under load at a local repair shop or go to one of the autoparts stores that perform this service to determine if the alternator and battery are working as rated.
Check the condition of the battery terminals (oxidation on connectors and cables) to ensure you are receiving the proper voltage.
Installing hi wattage headlights without upgrading the wiring can cause problems with the factory headlight wiring.....
You might consider running a dedicated fused wire from the battery to the Alpine head unit to ensure you are getting the proper voltage constantly. To determine proper gauge wires to use, research how many watts your head unit puts out and then install wiring of the next gauge up. 100W= 8 amps= 14 ga wire, 200W= 15 amps= 12 ga wire, 300W= 25 amps= 8 ga wire. The increased gauge wiring will help alleviate a drop in voltage and more amp draw due to the length of the wiring run.

OR 4x4

Last edited by OffRoad 4x4; 12-03-2005 at 03:16 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2005
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yeah...my car has a custom chitty battery relocation job to the hatch....so i dont really know if my car is getting enuf voltage at all

thanks guys for u're help...
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Old 12-03-2005
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its more likely the alternator because of the age of the car, but I'd look into redoing the wiring on the relocation just so you dont have a fire hazard down the road.
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Old 12-03-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OffRoad 4x4
might consider running a dedicated fused wire from the battery to the Alpine head unit to ensure you are getting the proper voltage constantly.

I'd suggest the exact same thing. It also may be that your battery and/or alt. are on the fritz, like other people suggested.

I just recently started experiencing a problem where if my car is off, and my stereo and windshield wipers are on, every time the wipers run, the deck turns off, then turns back on again. Since it started recently, and it only happens when the car is off (eg: battery power only... no alt) i'm thinking my battery is getting close to death...
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Old 12-03-2005
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see if the orange wire is connected on the harness it most likely is.....Disconnect it and it should stop doing that. The aftermarket radio may have a positive dimmer and the car may have a negative dimmer. Just disconnect the orange wires.
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