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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
helping a friend fix her car ~ it seems the head unit is dead - no display what so ever on the stereo or clock

everything else works on the control pannel ie climate (manual / lights)

checked the two fuses under the dash (both 5 amp) and they seem fine

even tried swapping head units and still nothing - also checked for volate and it seems i have a constant 12v (i assume for the clock & 12 for the radio) check all the connections in the back and everything was fine

any thoughts

think my next step is to head to the junk yard and swap the amp (is called an rcu??) from an another car

Thanks for any insight

Best
Bass
 

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what year is the car? is it a stock head unit? The fuse for the power to my stereo is a 30a, not a 5 - try checking the fuses again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your help golovko

It's a 99 sable with the factory head unit

she doesn't have the owners manual :( i checked the fuses under the dash and all i saw was one 5 amp for the radio and one 5 amp for the memory didn't see any 30 amp listed

Thanks again!

Bass
 

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I have the same problem- no power, no display on my stock head unit. The electronic climate control and all the lights (even for the stereo buttons) work fine. Mine is a 97 Sable, so I dont know how different it is from Bass's 99 Sable...

Z
 

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Best bet is to try to swap out another head unit. If there's no display, it sounds like something inside the HU has gone bad. I would do that before switching out the RCU.

JR
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again guys ~ i'll look at that tomorrow

as a side note i did get another head unit and the same thing happened no power or sound from the head unit

would you guys have a link that shows the fuse locations under the hood?
 

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I did put in another head unit- got it on eBay for $20, so its not that much of a loss that it doesnt work, just like the other one doesnt.

And Brad- where is that 3rd fuse under the hood? Its not part of the main fusebox, right? I've checked all those a lot, so I dunno where else to look.

Z
 

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I am having exactly the same problem with my 97 taurus GL. Radio works only occasionally and when it doesn't work there is no clock display either. I have noticed on the wiring diagram in my Haynes manual that there is a 20 amp fuse that supplies the RCU. The fuse is listed as #17 on the under hood panel, but I am sure it is a misprint because the Chilton manual list the under hood fuse #16 as being for radio, amplifier, CD changer. The fuse is one of the small fuses located between the large fuses and the relays. According to the book it is the only small 20 amp fuse on the under hood panel. If you can't find it, I can try to post a picture.

I am happy I read this post because my next step was to buy a used head. But that obviously doesn't work.
 

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I have a spare RCU that is for sale if you want to try that. Very cheap.
 

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I think I am getting to the bottom of my audio system problem. I remove the Wire connectors at the RCU to check the output of the power wire (red/yellow) with the voltmeter. Turns out there is only 1.6V gettting to the RCU through the power wire. Also removed the underhood fuse panel to check the voltage as the red/yellow wire leaves the fuse. Turns out it is 12.44V. Hmmm, seems there is a huge voltage drop between the fuse and the RCU. After leaving the fuse box the red/yellow wire appears to go into an opening in the inner fender wall, and probably a fairly straight path rear ward to the RCU. But I will likely have to tear out half of the interior panels to find the bad connection. Does anyone know where the connector would be in the harness so I only have to rip a minimum number of panels off?
 

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Today I ran a jumper wire from the under-hood fuse to the red/yellow power wire at the RCU. The digital clock came to life as soon as I turned the key. :banana: Hit the radio button and the audio system came to life. :chili: Looks like the amp has to get power before the the radio and clock will work. I then traced and tested the red/yellow power wire from the RCU forward until it disappeared behind the park brake pedal and from the fuse rearward until it disappeared through the fire wall. The voltage drop seems to be at one of the connectors in that tangle aroung the under-dash fuse panel. Tomorrow I will find the fault and have tunes again. :chili: :banana: :chili: :banana:
 

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Well, well, well! Guess where I found the break in the power. Well, well, well. That's right. In the wheel well. After the red/yellow amplifier power wire leaves the underhood fuse panel, it enters the front drivers side wheel well. Before it enters the passenger compartment, it is forced to take a rediculous zig-zag bend. At that bend I found a break in the Amp power wire as well as a break in the airbag system power wire. Soldered them back together and audio system is working again. :banana: :chili: :banana: :chili: :banana: :chili:
 
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