Do I need to replace the whole radio in my car?
January 31, 2013 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I have a 1995 Toyota Corolla Conquest who's factory standard radio has just died (I think). It made a slight noise last night and cut out, and is now just flashing 01:00 on the clock with no buttons responding at all. I thought maybe the fuse had blown so I checked the radio fuse, but it doesn't look to have blown (something I suspected as a time keeps flashing on the display and I thought a blown fuse wouldn't allow any electronics to work). Also the cigarette lighter still works and that is connected/part of the radio fuse.

To avoid me taking it somewhere and being charged to be told "you need a whole new radio" - does it sound like I need a new radio? Buying and installing one isn't a big issue, I just want to be somewhat sure that's what I need to be doing.
posted by sunshine arakhan to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Given that the cost of labor far exceeds the cost of a basic radio, I wouldn't even consider a repair as an option in this situation. It's obviously getting power, something is wrong, replace it.
posted by HuronBob at 5:13 PM on January 31, 2013

I would double check the car manual and make sure it's not expecting a theft prevention code to be keyed in. I had a 1995 Honda and the cheap factory radio/CD player did need a 5-digit code if the battery power went out. If I didn't have it, no radio.
posted by crapmatic at 5:29 PM on January 31, 2013

crapmatic: "If I didn't have it, no radio."

My '92 Corolla had this exact same feature. If the battery had to be disconnected for one reason or another, I'd have to punch in a 5 digit code (via the station preset buttons) to bring it back. I ended up just writing it on the cover of the owner manual. If memory serves, though, it flashed a specific message ("Code" or something like that).
posted by jquinby at 6:07 PM on January 31, 2013

The dealer probably won't charge you to tell you that you need a new radio. You can probably just call them on the phone and ask.
posted by empath at 6:59 PM on January 31, 2013

I ended up just writing it on the cover of the owner manual

At least on my honda, it's written on the fuse box.
posted by empath at 7:00 PM on January 31, 2013

If you do need a new radio, visit a salvage yard. Should be cheap.
posted by drhydro at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

New radios are super cheap, feature rich, bewildering to choose, easy to install. Budget of $150 total will rock your world (and connect your iPod). Sometimes, a problem is a good thing. It's an opportunity to change things up a bit. drhydro is right on about salvage yards if you must have a factory replacement. budget then is $20.
posted by FauxScot at 2:26 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you can check for a blown fuse, you can install a new radio. I've ordered from Crutchfield in the past, because they include all the adapters and installation stuff you need.
posted by bhayes82 at 9:04 AM on February 1, 2013

New radios are amazingly cheap and will have lots of cool featurs you'll be happy you now have (a usb port for your iPod...)

On preview, what FauxScot said.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2013

« Older I'm renting a van and moving myself. Tips, advice?   |   Escapes from the Cultural Revolution from Mainland... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.