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Old 01-10-2004, 10:40 AM
Amberlei Amberlei is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 653
Can a car stereo cause a car battery to die?

I recently had a new stereo and speakers installed in my truck. Since then, the battery light has come on intermittently when the truck is running. Last night, the lights dimmed, the battery light came on,and a few minutes later, the truck died. The battery is new, less than a month old, so I assumed it was a problem with the alternator or the alternator belt. Today, I took it to a mechanic who said that both the alternator and the belt are fine, and that there's a good possibility that the stereo was the culprit and since he didn't work on electrical systems, my best bet would be to go back to where I'd had the stereo installed. I called Best Buy, where the stereo and speakers were purchased and installed and was told that there was no conceivable way that the problem could lie in that direction. The person I spoke with there offered to reinstall my old radio, but said that there's nothing else he can do. I don't know what to do now. Is it possible the stereo is at fault here and the gentleman from Best Buy doesn't know as much as he thinks he does?
Old 01-10-2004, 10:58 AM
CheekyMonkey613 CheekyMonkey613 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 557
Same thing happened to me. I went through 3 batteries. VW told me that they would no longer honour their warranty, because it was obviously due to something I had added on.

I ended up having to bring the car to a car electric expert guy. He ran his little machine on the car and found out that they (stereo installer guys) had wired one of my amps wrong. The light in the trunk remained "ON" all of the time. That was the culprit. I got the stereo system rewired and the problem was fixed.
Old 01-10-2004, 11:00 AM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Yes, it's possible there is an unintended low-resistance path to ground caused by a faulty installation or a defect in the stereo itself. I'd have someone who is conversant with automotive electrical systems have a look at it.
SnUgGLypuPpY -- TakE BaCk tHe PiT!
Old 01-10-2004, 11:10 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 20,446
If the stereo is of the "really freakin huge" variety then the excessive power drain might just be because the stereo draws too much current. A lot of times if you put too powerful of an amplifier in your vehicle you end up needing a higher capacity alternator as well.

I agree with all of the others. Have someone who really knows what they are doing have a look at the thing. You either have a fault or too much current drain, and either way you're in danger of making smoke.
Old 09-14-2010, 02:16 PM
koockierodriguez koockierodriguez is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
I had a stereo installed back around the first of the year....already had problems when i got home! Was sitting outside in the car programming the way i want it to sound. 5 minutes in, i go to start the car to move it and it didn't hardly want to start...thought nothing of it but thought it was just a powerful stereo! Not knowing much about this stuff. Well the next day, i go to start my car, dead battery! Charge it and take it back to Sound Station, nothing could be found wrong...a few days later again...take it to them again and everythings fine again! Later i have the battery (which is brand new) and the altenator checked--both good!!! So took it back to SS to have them take it out and reinstall it, the intenna worked with my car switch b4 and not with the that helped with only the battery running dead so fast while listening to the stereo in idle! Still to this day, i still am having the same issue with the battery....
My starter had gone out and had that changed...thought it was the problem but it's still the same thing!!! Last night i decided to pull both fuses to the stereo and see if the car battery will run dead while there out! One fuse was under the hood and the other i pulled was inside the car...I want to know, if these fuses are pulled, will it stop the battery from dying if the problem is the stereo???? Thanks!

Last edited by koockierodriguez; 09-14-2010 at 02:17 PM.
Old 09-14-2010, 03:23 PM
bryanmaguire bryanmaguire is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 408
the suggestion here might be useful


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