Radio/antenna problem in 1997 C280

I got my car back from the dealer last Thursday. They had installed a couple of new bulbs (a tailight bulb, and one in the dash), replaced some bushing, etc. -- minor stuff.
When I left the dealership, I had the radio on. I noticed that at one point on my drive home, the antenna went down, then up, without any input from me. Attributing it to gremlins, I paid it no mind. Later that evening my wife drove the car, and when she arrived home she told me the same thing had happened to her. The next morning, the radio would turn on, but the antenna would not go up, and there was no sound, even from a CD source. Later in the day, when I started the car, the radio worked fine.
I took the car back to the dealer on Friday, and they did some poking around, but wanted $150 to really check it out. I passed. The radio worked fine for a couple of days. Then, when my wife used the car this weekend, the radio was out again (i.e., radio would turn on, antenna down, no sound).
This morning on the way to work, it worked great.
This afternoon, on the way home, no joy!
Any idea what could be wrong with this thing? Is it something I can fix, or is it better left to the dealer?
Thanks!
Seth Shapiro Snohomish, WA
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Check the fuse first... Otherwise, it is possible the wiring harness got loose from the radio... if not, then it is on the way out.
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I like the harness loose from radio theory, since you said the dealer mucked around under the dash...
Marty
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Is this something I can diagnose and/or fix myself?
Thanks.
Seth
On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 10:25:10 -0700, Martin Joseph

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Maxwell wrote:

Your symptoms do sound like one of the wiring harnesses to your radio is loose. If memory serves correct, antenna power and pre-amp out are on the lower one of the three. You will need a slotted DIN radio removal tool, about $10. Insert into the slots, pull the radio, and look at the connection blocks for the wiring harness. Each has a tab that should snap into place.
Good luck, and if caught or killed, all members of this Usenet group will deny all knowledge of your actions. ;->
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Got my car back from the dealer (again) this morning. Had a problem with the ASR light on the dash coming on intermittently. Tech could not replicate the problem, but replaced sensor and so far, so good.
When I left the dealership I turned the radio on (hope springs eternal!) and the antenna went halfway up, then immediately halfway down. When I turned the radio off and on again a couple of times, I noticed a very short sort of "skritch" sound coming from the back (seemed like the antenna area), but antenna did not budge.
This afternoon when I left the office, I again tried the radio. This time the antenna went all the way up and the radio played for about 10 seconds. Then the antenna went down by itself and I couldn't get it to come up again.
It seems to me that this indicates that the wiring harness is connected to the radio, and something is wrong with either (1) the radio, or (2) the harness. I don't believe it's the antenna itself, because the "no antenna" problem is accompanied by a "no sound" problem, even when I switch to CD source. My conclusion is that the radio is not sending a signal, or the harness is not communicating it.
Being a layman, I can't begin to diagnose this any further. Can anyone share some additional ideas? I'm hoping it's the harness, because I believe that's covered under Starmark. If it's the radio, replacement will be an out-of-pocket expense.
If it turns out to be the radio, can you please recommend an aftermarket model that will work with stock CD changer?
Thanks very much.
Seth
wrote:

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NEW SYMPTOMS MAY HELP WITH DIAGNOSIS
Got my car back from the dealer (again) this morning. Had a problem with the ASR light on the dash coming on intermittently. Tech could not replicate the problem, but replaced sensor and so far, so good.
When I left the dealership I turned the radio on (hope springs eternal!) and the antenna went halfway up, then immediately halfway down. When I turned the radio off and on again a couple of times, I noticed a very short sort of "skritch" sound coming from the back (seemed like the antenna area), but antenna did not budge.
This afternoon when I left the office, I again tried the radio. This time the antenna went all the way up and the radio played for about 10 seconds. Then the antenna went down by itself and I couldn't get it to come up again.
It seems to me that this indicates that the wiring harness is connected to the radio, and something is wrong with either (1) the radio, or (2) the harness. I don't believe it's the antenna itself, because the "no antenna" problem is accompanied by a "no sound" problem, even when I switch to CD source. My conclusion is that the radio is not sending a signal, or the harness is not communicating it.
Being a layman, I can't begin to diagnose this any further. Can anyone share some additional ideas? I'm hoping it's the harness, because I believe that's covered under Starmark. If it's the radio, replacement will be an out-of-pocket expense.
If it turns out to be the radio, can you please recommend an aftermarket model that will work with stock CD changer?
Thanks very much.
Seth
wrote:

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I suspect is it is a bad radio... any head units that you like can be installed in the car. Just find a shop who is familiar with your car so they don't destroy the wood trims. Nowdays, you can get a pretty decent radio for resonable prices of under $200 and even less when onsale.
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