Dead Radio

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 56,000 MILES
Car is stored for winter. Had replaced battery last summer due to being totally dead in spring. Took it out this year - battery dead again. Charged it up and there is no power to radio at all. The clock works but no radio. Reset the fuse but did not solve the problem. What do I try next? How do I know if it is a bad fuse?
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 AT 10:01 AM

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It's uncanny how everything always comes in "twos". I just covered this problem with someone else this morning. The main problem is you're letting the car sit too long. Unless specified differently by the manufacturer, the electrical system is allowed to draw up to 35 milliamps, (0.035 amps) to maintain the memories of the numerous computers. Chrysler says at that rate, a good, fully-charged battery will still be strong enough to crank the engine fast enough to start after sitting for three weeks. That is now the industry standard.

There is always a fuse to remove or a cable to unplug when the car is going to be in storage for more than three weeks. They are delivered to the dealers that way, then we had to enable the circuit as part of the "new vehicle prep" that every car goes through. The common way to disable the system so the car can be stored is now to pull out a pair of fuses in a yellow holder. Those are labelled for the Air Bag system, but they are also the "IOD", (ignition off-draw) fuses.

Very often fuses will blow due to the current surge when reconnecting the battery or when connecting jumper cables or a charger. There's a fuse box under the hood and one inside the car. The smaller fuses have a pair of test points on top to make testing each one with a test light a quick job. Turn on the ignition switch and anything related to the circuit that's not working. Test for voltage on both test points for every fuse. If you find 12 volts on both test points, that fuse is good. If you find 0 volts on both sides, that circuit is turned off. You're looking for any fuse that has 12 volts on one side and 0 volts on the other side.
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 AT 3:00 PM

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