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?

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car radio randomly turns off by itself

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I use the front reading lights?

The front reading lights are available so that you can have light in the cabin of your vehicle even when it is dark out. They also double as the courtesy lights when your car is unlocked. The front reading lights...

Q: DVD and CD players jammed, navigation not working.

When the DVD player and the CD player on your vehicle cannot eject a disc it is because the loading/unloading motor in the unit has failed. Besides taking the unit apart to retrieve the discs there is not much that...

Q: Door locks and unlocks, lights came on by themselves

Hello there. Random electrical faults such as this are usually pretty rare. With this many faults and systems affected, it points to only a few possible causes. The most likely would be a body control module, wiring short, or a...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.