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
1 Driver side front speaker works fine once a headlite or signal is
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
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!
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
(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.
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
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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