All through the '90s, GM had a 100 percent failure rate on their cd players, so it wouldn't surprise me if they hadn't made any improvements. Most people bought aftermarket replacements because since the '94 model year, GM will not allow us to buy radio service manuals or parts. They are too selfish and they want all that guaranteed repair business for themselves. You are tied to the dealer and GM's grossly over-priced repair centers. It is not uncommon to pay over $450.00 with shipping two ways, removal and reinstallation by the dealer.
Many people bought high-quality aftermarket replacement radios. In an effort to prevent you from doing that, GM now builds the Body Computer into the radio so you MUST have your old radio fixed. Without that radio, you won't have cruise control, power windows, and all of the other things it takes a computer to run now that it didn't in the past. Got'cha.
The aftermarket industry is always coming up with ways to get around the B.S. GM pulls on their unsuspecting customers. One of those is called a "radio relocation kit". It is a long harness that lets you mount the original radio in the trunk, then cut the speaker wires to connect to a new radio.
You have to be careful too if any work is done at the dealer that involves connecting their scanner to access information from any of the car's dozens of computers. There is a "lock" selection under one of the drop-down menus that, when pressed, electronically locks EVERY computer on the car to that Body Computer in the radio. You will never know if that was done until that Body Computer fails and has to be replaced. If that happens, EVERY computer on the car will have to be replaced with it because they all wait to turn on until they get the coded signal from that Body Computer. Got'cha. There is absolutely no valid reason for designing a car like that, but it's just one of the very many ways General Motors has found to separate you from your money after the sale. That "lock" programming can not be undone. A failed Radio / Body Computer that has all the other computers locked to it can render your car not-worth-repair since there can be up to 46 other computers that have to be replaced and programmed. None of those other original computers will work in a different car either so they are worthless to the salvage yards. Quite the scam GM is pulling, but they've been getting away with this kind of stuff for years. It's coming back to bite them though because they have been steadily losing repeat customers who have been tricked in the past.
My best recommendation is to do an internet search of radio repair shops that claim to be able to repair your radio and provide a warranty. The repair involves installing a new cd mechanism which will likely also fail in a few years. They typically do not repair the old mechanism. If you get your same radio back, there is a good chance you can just plug it in and the engine will start and everything else will work. If they send you a replacement radio, you will have to tow the car to the dealer to have the radio programmed. I could be mistaken on this, but from what I've heard from a number of angry people is the engine won't start until the radio is programmed to the car.
Thursday, October 27th, 2011 AT 8:09 PM