Perplexing Electronic Problem
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This is a discussion on Perplexing Electronic Problem within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hello all, First of all, thanks for taking the time to read this. I have an '03 WRX, and for ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Columbus, OH

    Perplexing Electronic Problem

    Hello all,

    First of all, thanks for taking the time to read this.

    I have an '03 WRX, and for most of the life of it it's had a Pioneer head unit with 2x10's in the trunk. Two weeks ago, some nice people decided they wanted the head unit, so they took it. They didn't take anything else and actually left the car pretty much undamaged.

    Here's the problem, and this might be completely unrelated. Starting soon after the theft, I've been experiencing some electrical problems.

    1. When starting (cold start) it sometimes takes quite a few attempts for it to turn over, similar to a drained battery, however it has always started eventually.

    2. Many times when I do get it started, the trip odometer has been reset to zero, although the center clock keeps the correct time.

    3. When coming to a stop or idling if I have the brakes fully depressed, electical systems (such as the A/C) cut out or drop in power drastically. At times the instrument panel (speedometer, tachometer) drops to zero, as if the car has been turned off, although the engine does not cut out.

    4. When at a stop/idling, the more electical systems I have on (radio, A/C, lights) the more prevelant the "cut-outs" are and the more drastic other electrical systems are affected.

    5. I notice that when I get out of the car, and use the keychain remote to lock/unlock the car, the lights don't flash like they usually do (the one for lock, two for unlock). I disabled the horn, so I don't know if that would be affected. I also notice that the "security" light flashes quickly and repeatedly when I'm not in the car and it's locked. I don't remember it doing that before.

    I removed the fuse from the power cable that goes from the battery to the subwoofer amp, but that does not seem to have solved the situation. I also wrapped the exposed lead of the blue "always on" wire I installed that went to the previous radio so that it would not be able to touch any metal and complete a circuit. I re-installed the factory radio/cd player.

    I guess I'm just not quite sure if this is an after effect of the radio being stolen, a bad battery, a bad alternator, a combination of those three or something I haven't though of.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Last edited by JacoFunk; 07-04-2006 at 04:42 AM.

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  3. #2
    Registered User Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    It's possible the battery is damaged from the electrical. Get it tested and if possible hook another one up and see if it's holding charge.

  4. #3
    Registered User
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    Jul 2006
    Albany, NY
    I'm still trying to do some more research, but the problem is definitely associated with the battery. I haven't had anything stolen yet, (which is shocking because I live in a crack infested neighborhood in Albany, NY) but when my battery dies I get the same flashing security light when the battery gets replaced/recharged.

    Occasionally I'll lose my cell phone charger and just leave my phone in the car hooked up to the car charger. Well, once in a while it drains the battery if I don't remember to take it out as soon as it's finished charging. I'm on the second time this has happened now, the first I took it to the dealership and they reset it. Now I'm trying to figure out a way to remedy the problem on my own. I'll post if I find anything worthwhile

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    sounds like the alternator...since its powered by the engine, when your car stops, the alt doesn't get as much power, so the accessories turn off...maybe Im completely wrong, but i had this happen to my truck and thats what it turned out to be.

  6. #5
    Registered User seth7685's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    get a DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter, at sears for about $30 and its worth it) and search the internet for how to do voltage drop test. As for the car check battary post, starter post, alt. post, also check all the grounds. Then check all the little grounds(wires that ground to the engine, firewall, etc.) these may not like like anything but they for make the car act funny. Clean the small ones with a wire brush even if they don't look like they need cleaning do it. If the posts are not clean mix some bakeing soda with water and brush onto the posts.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Here are a few things that come to mind. First of all, when your head unit was installed, they tapped power off of something. Check the wiring behind the dash for shorts or taps.

    Have the battery tested. Heavy demand on the battery can accelerate wear. Same with the alternator. Check it to see if it's putting out enough juice.

    Hope this helps!

    I was going to skip this thread until I read your user name. Are you a bass player or are you a fan of the late master?
    My water heater has a blow off valve.

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