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Strange battery/radio problem?

 
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:21 PM
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Strange battery/radio problem?

Whats up guys, I just recently purchased a 1998 5th gen gorgeous prelude. Everything with it has been going fine, the lady had reciepts and everything for any and all servicing that had been done to the car, so I know everything was in good working order as well as still completely stock.

So yesterday I was driving back to my house after a day out with no more than an average amount of driving and my car started acting weird. I noticed the radio was cutting out along with when I was shifting and after a few stops I noticed that it was definitely cutting out as soon as the clutch engaged (I should also mention that by cutting out i mean the battery seemed to completely cut out, the radio went off, the needles of the guages dropped like the car went off...everything) was when the problem started and as soon as I had the car back in gear the radio came back.

That was last night, today I got in my car to drive to work and now my radio is saying some kind of error, and I will get the exact code on my way home, i didnt write it down, and wants some kind of code that I dont know what it is.

Sorry for the life story but I want to be as detailed as possible. I'm not entirely too handy with cars so I'm hoping someone out here can help me out. Thanks for readin.

-Zack
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:22 PM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

I should also mention that while I am getting no radio the gauges seem to be acting fine now. Strange...
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:48 PM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

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Originally Posted by SicktheDuck View Post
(I should also mention that by cutting out i mean the battery seemed to completely cut out, the radio went off, the needles of the guages dropped like the car went off...everything) was when the problem started and as soon as I had the car back in gear the radio came back.


-Zack
Just so you know your battery only starts your car. Once the car is running the alternator powers everything. Could be your alternator is shot. Just a suggestion, Im no mechanic.
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lol pfft. 3rd gen ludes are lighter then 3rd or forth. therefore. less weight. faster accel. especially if i take out the vtec and turbo that. and in my opinion 3rd gens look better then 4th gens. 5th gens are alright but 4th gens are preeetty lame
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:43 AM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

sounds like a wire problem.. are you battery terminals clean? any cracked wires?
also check for loose fusees...
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:41 AM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

The code you're talking about is the security code for your radio. It should be in your owner's manual at the back or front.

About the power cutting out, check for loose wiring around the clutch pedal. It could be a loose cable behind the clutch pedal. So whenever you press the clutch, it pulls and cut the power or short circuit something.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:25 AM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

Load test the battery.. take it to any auto parts store. Or, for that matter, save your self some headache and just replace the battery. That way you will eliminate one BIG problem in the troubleshooting step. I would assume it is still the same battery? Those things just Dont last forever.

If you Do go this route and notice everything works well, for a while, than you know it is your charging system itself. You can take the alternator in to most auto parts stores and they will load test it to make sure it is operating up to par. Again, they DO wear out over time.

What type of climate do you live in? Have you noticed an excessive amount of residue around your Battery terminals? what about the ground wires? Any corrosion or a white substance?
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:16 PM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

I sell batteries for a living and I concur with lilmsprelude. Go anywhere that will check your battery and alternator for free and get that knocked out 1st because it is free and painless.

If you want you can test it yourself ghetto-style. Here's what I do in a jam: grab a volt meter and establish a baseline voltage on your battery (12.7V+ is 100%) if your battery is less than 12V off the bat then there are definitely problems which I will get into. If you crank the car and the voltage drops to 0 really fast then you have a bad cell. A good battery will sustain over 10V under full crank load. If your battery is dropping below 9.5V under crank then your battery is sulfated and will need to be replaced soon enough anyway. Once the engine turns over and is running if your alternator is working the voltage on your battery will rise (13.8-14.5V is typical of most alternators).

If your battery started with less than 12V then it is not recharging. This could be the alternator not doing its job, a bad connection or the battery might have a bad cell, but there are too many variables to tell you 100% what it is at that point.

Corrosion is not indicative of failure but weak connections can cause some freaky issues. You always want your terminals to have maximum surface area for optimal conditions so corrosion = bad and could prevent your car from starting at all, or worse yet cause a fire.

I can be extremely specific if you want as far as how corrosion occurs, how to prevent it and how to clean it if you already have it but we will get to that if necessary. I can also explain battery maintenance and any terms you don't understand such as sulfation, bad cell, etc. Feel free to ask, that is my specialty.

The clutch thing is weird though, it inclines me to believe that it is neither the battery nor alternator but a wiring issue, but the information I gave is valid nonetheless.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:51 PM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mortifiedvictim View Post
I sell batteries for a living and I concur with lilmsprelude. Go anywhere that will check your battery and alternator for free and get that knocked out 1st because it is free and painless.

If you want you can test it yourself ghetto-style. Here's what I do in a jam: grab a volt meter and establish a baseline voltage on your battery (12.7V+ is 100%) if your battery is less than 12V off the bat then there are definitely problems which I will get into. If you crank the car and the voltage drops to 0 really fast then you have a bad cell. A good battery will sustain over 10V under full crank load. If your battery is dropping below 9.5V under crank then your battery is sulfated and will need to be replaced soon enough anyway. Once the engine turns over and is running if your alternator is working the voltage on your battery will rise (13.8-14.5V is typical of most alternators).

If your battery started with less than 12V then it is not recharging. This could be the alternator not doing its job, a bad connection or the battery might have a bad cell, but there are too many variables to tell you 100% what it is at that point.

Corrosion is not indicative of failure but weak connections can cause some freaky issues. You always want your terminals to have maximum surface area for optimal conditions so corrosion = bad and could prevent your car from starting at all, or worse yet cause a fire.

I can be extremely specific if you want as far as how corrosion occurs, how to prevent it and how to clean it if you already have it but we will get to that if necessary. I can also explain battery maintenance and any terms you don't understand such as sulfation, bad cell, etc. Feel free to ask, that is my specialty.

The clutch thing is weird though, it inclines me to believe that it is neither the battery nor alternator but a wiring issue, but the information I gave is valid nonetheless.

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People say the biggest difference you can change to your system is to add a subwoofer. Which is true, it is the most noticable difference. But running an amplifier to a good set of speakers makes the BEST difference.

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:17 PM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

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Old 09-03-2009, 04:36 AM
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Re: Strange battery/radio problem?

Wow, thank you everyone for the awesome help!

Fortunately I read around the website and fixed the problem with the radio being locked. In doing so I had to disconnect the battery so, taking the advice of you kind folk, went ahead and bought a new one. Things are back to perfect now :)

Again, thanks everyone for the input and help. I appreciate it.
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