Radio quits and then starts working again - fades in and out


Asked by Jun 03, 2013 at 10:44 AM about the 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier Base Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

One day the radio faded out to nothing but after a few minutes came back, then it quit completely (lights still work on it though - power to it is good).  Loud hum/ buzz coming from rear speakers. No sound coming from front speakers. Unplugged rear speakers stops the hum/ buzz. Tried replacing the amp. Doesn't fix the problem.  The radio started working again but then intermittently fades out and then back in.  Any ideas?  Hoping it is not the radio head itself as it is a real pain to remove the dash to get at it.

6 Answers


The head unit is more than likely going bad.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I would check the ground connection from the black cable---other end what bolts to the chassis...disassemble and wirebrush clean for reliable steady ground.~

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the replies but if the ground was bad wouldn't the whole radio lose power (even the display)? As it stands now there is no sound but display works fine. Also do you have any guidance on where the radio ground is located? Not sure if I need to pull the dash off to locate it or if it is in a different location. Thanks!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Good point mikeyo, unless the dashboard skeleton is welded to the frame/chassis, there will not be reliable...presumably the skeleton of the dashboard has good ground (you could test that with a multimeter) and the sleeve that the stereo slides into (if a pullout) has a stud that is connected to this skeleton---that's where the ground is...the only wires in town are the battery to chassis connection~...except speaker wires, power antenna, and Power connections (thru your stereo connector)~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

probably this connection, connector to unit just needs to be unplugged and re-plugged..simply solving this problem~

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Thanks judge_roy. I'll give it a shot.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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