Q: Windshield wiper clicks and engine revving heard on radio

asked by on July 22, 2016

There are some electrical issues happening with my car.

  1. The radio: It has horrible reception. The stations fade in and out (both AM & FM). Also, there is interference on the speakers coming from the engine. For example, when the windshield wipers click and the engine revs, can hear those sounds in the radio. I checked the connections by removing the radio and everything seems fine.

  2. Random starting trouble: Sometimes, before the engine will start, I have to crank it 3-5 seconds, then turn off, then try again.

A friend suggested that I check the ground wire connections to see if any have rusted out. He said the starting problem and the noises that I hear on the radio could be because of that. The manual isn't very detailed on the wiring diagram and I'm not sure where to look. Could you please explain where I should look to find the ground wires?

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Yes, corrosion on a ground terminal or splice point can cause various engine and electrical systems issues. Looking at the wiring diagrams I see nothing related between the entertainment and engine control systems that jump out at me as the cause. However, both of these systems are grounded to the chassis and a bad chassis ground could be the cause.

One way to check this would be to do a key on voltage drop test of the chassis to negative battery terminal. The voltage drop should be less than 0.1V. Anything higher than this reading would indicate resistance in the chassis ground system and all ground points should be checked for possible corrosion or looseness. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have the tools and expertise to diagnose your radio problem and starting issue.

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