Honda Accord speaker poss. elecrtical rpoblem...help!

Good morning all! I was hoping someone could offer some guidance and if
not this is good for a laugh...
I got a 96 AccordLX Coupe used one month ago. The car was in an
accident, had the passenger side door replaced and the sound system is factory. All power controls work flawlessly with replaced door. The only problems were the curb light in passenger door stayed on overnite and drained my battery, the door indicator was always lit and the front speakers didn't work. After removing the bulb and ignoring the indicatomy next step was to replace the front speakers.
One day the driver side speaker engaged after I signalled! A few days later I had the passenger door open and that speaker kicked in though at half strength. I was curious to what extent my electrical problems are so I plugged the curb bulb back in and observed the following symptoms:
1 Driver side front speaker works fine once a headlite or signal is engaged.
2 Passenger side speaker will start up and be loudest when door is open, though never to full strength. When door is closed it becomes very faint. Also it will be slightly louder when overhead light is set to center. Overhead light glows dimly on center setting while this speaker is active and door is closed.
3 Curb Light on passenger will behaive normal until radio is on or overhead light is set to center. Turn the radio on and the light will glow or pulsate (even if car is fully turned off!). Centering overhead light will cause curb light to do opposite (on when door closed, off when open).
Until the overhead light came into play I had suspected all problems were related to a grumpy 10-year-old factory radio. Now I don't know where to start. I'm hesitant to install new speakers until this problem
is rectified. Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks!
ShawnCVD
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I don't have a schematic in front of me, but if I had to guess it is probably a bad ground connection somewhere. Your lights probably are finding a return (ground) path through your radio.
Inspect and tighten all ground connections first to see if that helps.
You could try to find the loose connection using jumper cables: don't use the positive side at all but only tie the negative side to a solid ground (MAKE SURE IT IS GROUND unless you want to weld things together!! use something like the negative battery terminal or something beefy/metalic on the frame or engine).
Basically, we want to bridge what should be tied to ground. If something is already tied to ground, tieing a extra wire from it to ground will not make any difference. If it is supposed to be tied to ground but isn't, the following procedure will expose that:
With this other side of the cable, experiment and tie it to other supposed grounds throughout your car and see if you can find the loose connection that way. If the car starts behaving normally, you're on the right track. (frame, wheelwells, radio bracket, door, bolts, nuts, etc - pretty much any exposed metal normally tied to the frame -- obviously use common sense: For instance, don't tie it to the bolt that hold the alternator wire to the alternator or the other battery terminal. While those are bolts, they are not normally tied to the frame electrically)
One word of caution: since a fair amount of current might be flowing where it isn't supposed to flow, I would turn the key off first, make an experimental connection, turn the key on, if it doesn't help turn the key off, move the wire, turn the key back on, etc.
Hope you find it - a problem like this can be a pain to find. Let us know how you make out. Remco
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:
Hum, the symptoms suggest that there is a ground wire in the doors that is no longer connected to grounded.

This suggests that the stereo output is single sided; i.e.: one side is signal and the other ground (AKA: non-bridged). If the ground wire in the door is disconnected the audio signal (AC) can only go thru the speaker if there is somewhere for the signal to return to ground. In this case it appears that the AC part of the signal is going thru the light bulb and switch (once it is turned on) to the battery +12v side to get to ground.
It is possible for the AC to go thru the batter because non-bridged stereos have a capacitor that blocks DC. Normally it blocks DC in the output stage from the speaker (which is an AC device). In this case the capacitor is reverse biased and blocking the DC from the battery. Most audio DC blocking capacitors do not like to be reverse biased. You should fix the ground or the capacitor(s) may pop.

AC going thru the lite. The light bulb is a resistor and is reducing the current => reduced sound.

This agrees with the disconnected ground (there is some other higher resistance path also).

Yup, the audio signal is going thru the light bulb to the battery +12v to ground.

Sounds like a ground wire problem.
I'd be willing to bet that the curb light is weaker than normal because it is going thru some other bulb to ground.

I'd strongly guess that the stereo is working okay and who ever worked on the car missed the ground wire (and who knows what else).
A mechanic with some electrical knowledge or an auto stereo shop with a smart installer can probably check the ground for you. Have them connect a wire from the ground side (non +12v side) of the curb lite to a known ground point. This should be a totally safe test: connecting ground to ground. But I'd still be cautious since it is possible there are other wires miss wired.
With the ground jumper in place see if things work correctly (might need to ground both sides).
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BTW, just connecting this wire is not the way to fix this problem: it might have too much current for the curb light ground wire to handle. Find the loose or disconnect ground wire and fix that.
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