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MisterZCherry 07-18-2012 02:09 PM

Headlights on, Radio Off
About 6 months into the Wrangler family and I usually visit this page for any questions I have and so far its been helpful. I'm on my own and my car knowledge is zilch, but growing thanks to friends and self teaching. (had to replace my master cylinder and finally learned about bleeding brakes)

Anyways I have a '97 Wrangler with a Sony Xplod aftermarket stereo and Xplod rollbar speakers. The night following the day I purchased the rig from a used car lot with no warranties, yes rookie rookie mistake, I noticed that when the headlights go on my stereo goes out completely and when I turned it up too loud it goes out as well. I've been told it could be a short or the wiring is wron gin fact I found a similar post (Problem: radio goes out when headlights go on - Jeep Cherokee Forum) and basically just wanted to know how simple of a job it is to do?

Any help, diagrams, name calling, or anything would be helpful.


eboven 07-18-2012 06:12 PM

Your radio is probably wired incorrectly, though I would wonder if/why the previous owner was ok with this operation...

Pull the radio out and check the wire connections. There should be a harness coming off your aftermarket deck, which runs with connectors into another harness that plugs into the factory plug. Look for yellow, red, and black wires coming directly off the radio. The yellow wire is your constant 12v feed, the red is the ignition 12v feed, and the black is the ground. These are the only wires that are needed to turn the radio on and off. My best guess is that they have the black wire grounded to the dash illumination wire; when the lights are off, the circuit probably rests at ground, but when the lights are on, this wire goes to 12v, so the deck looses it's ground. If the radio is turned up loudly, the poor ground connection is overloaded, resetting the radio.

If you can't figure it out by looking yourself, snap a few photos of the wiring harnesses and I can try to help you a bit more.

MisterZCherry 07-18-2012 09:26 PM

So I googled, dug into the archives of this website found diagrams after diagrams, bought my first repair manual and snatched it out today. Thanks to what you said I found out that he didn't ground it and since I had no idea what that meant prior to today I now know. It fixed the headlights and volume problem. But not being satisfied with mediocre tunes I went and bought a whole new system and wired and installed it myself so I'm pretty proud of the amount of knowledge I gained today.

Thanks for the tips!

eboven 07-18-2012 10:43 PM

Nice! Glad to help. Not grounding the radio is pretty common in older Dodge/Jeep/Chryslers; there is no ground in the factory harness. Aftermarket radio's will "seek" a ground when power is connected, and if the FM antenna is plugged in, it grounds through the shielding and will allow the radio to turn on.

What all did you get?

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