2006 Malibu... Radio Drains Battery & Says Locked


Asked by Jun 20, 2014 at 08:28 PM about the 2006 Chevrolet Malibu LS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

About 4 yrs ago, my Son called me and said battery was dead in 2006 Chevy Malibu. and that the weird thing was CD player was spinning with the car shut off. Jumped battery but had to take out radio fuse because when shut off, radio would still run! Took it to the dealer and they wanted 500.00 dollars to fix the thing!!! No way I am paying that. Long story short put fuse back in Radio plays for 30 seconds then shows "LOCKED" Why oh why is my Malibu radio draining my battery and running when car is off? I haven't had a radio for four years because of this "electrical problem" and NO WAY can I afford 500.00! Anyone help out there? Someone also said check the ignition switch? How do I do that?

6 Answers


Your Malibu most likely has RAP (Retained Accessory Power) which will allow you to listen to the radio, operate the power windows, and other accessories, for ten minutes or until any door is opened. Whichever comes first. Sounds like there's a short on the radio power circuit or the radio is not grounded properly. The "locked" message is found on "theftlock" radios. Any time power is removed from the radio it will lock unless the theftlock feature is turned off. You need a security code to lock, unlock, or disable the feature. It is possible that the radio is shorted internally. There's two power feeds. One is switched off with the ignition switch the other is hot all the time to remember your presets and clock. Personally I'd replace the radio with a good used one and go from there. A junkyard or ebay will probably have one reasonable. HTH. -Jim

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Best Answer

Sounds about right,,so js08016 i think you may have nailed it,one magic word,,,,Ignition.

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Ignition switch is $22.99 for your car at autozone,labor by mechanic,one hour charge,?

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This is all Greek to me lol. I am going to try to unlock and get the code, but even if I do reset it, it may revert back to the CD player constantly spinning while the car is off. As far as checking the ignition switch, does it have to be checked at a garage? I don't know why they made the stupid anti theft radios with lock codes, sigh. Anyhow will keep you updated.


Ok here's what happened when trying to unlock it. I put the fuse back in for the Radio, turned ignition on and heard the CD player spin with nothing in it and then LOCKED came on. Tried to unlock and nothing when pushing all buttons. Shut ignition off again, took fuse out and put in again and heard CD player spin again. My guess is Radio itself has a short or something? I don't know what to do anymore with it as I cannot afford much at all. I also don't know if garage or Auto Zone will check it for free :(


Thank you for the best answer click. To get the security code your local Chevrolet Dealer may be able to help. You'll need your vehicle identification number and proof of ownership (your driver's license and the vehicle registration or title). Since your Malibu is less than 10 model years old the security code is most likely still on file. The parts counter should be able to help you. Take a picture of the radio as well. I'm sure there were several different radio options. The picture will help determine which option you have and once you have the code the parts person should be able to walk you through the unlock procedure. HTH. -Jim

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