Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car radio randomly turns off by itself

asked by on

My car radio would randomly turn itself on and thus drain the battery. After pulling the radio fuse I disabled the radio, but the car battery still died. Then, I jump-started the battery and at first the car worked fine, but then the battery slowly died again. Can a bad cell in a battery cause the strange electrical system problem with my radio?

A: Great question. A battery cell problem can&...

Great question. A battery cell problem can't cause the radio to develop a problem, but a radio issue can certainly kill the battery. It sounds like your Sonic has something called parasitic battery drain. The radio may have been part of the problem, but I think there is more. An experienced technician, like one from YourMechanic, can test for, verify, and isolate the parasitic battery drain. An ammeter is used to measure how much current flow is being drawn out of your battery when everything is supposed to be shut off. If it's too high, (over 50 mA), then some specific steps are followed to trace down the source of the drain. A healthy, known good battery will need to be in the car. If you want to have this looked at, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car's location to diagnose the vehicle's electrical system and make any needed repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What does the Service All-Wheel Drive message mean?

The Service All-Wheel Drive message can appear in the driver information center (DIC) when your vehicle is having an issue with the all-wheel drive (AWD) system. If the DIC displays this alert, stop your vehicle as soon as possible, turn...

Q: How do I display the USB device info?

Your sound system can display a large amount of track information when you are listening to a USB device. To view this track information, press the Info button.

Q: battery alternator light still on even though i have a new battery and alternator

If you check the big black cable from the alternator to the battery and there is no voltage with the engine off, then that cable needs to be replaced. On the transmission bell housing, that cable has a 175 amp...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...