Stereo Problems



  • I decided to replace the old stereo in my MX3 (old Clarion cassette thing) with a new one, I bought an Alpine CDE-103BT.

    After going to great lengths to get the old one out, I put the new one in only to find it doesn't work. I plugged my old one back in but that doesn't work either…

    I'm not sure if it's the fuse that's gone because all of the other electrics are fine.

    I'm thinking it's maybe the ground, the ground wire goes really deep into the dash, it's definitley attached to something as I can't seem to budge it.

    Can anyone tell me where the ground goes on the default stereo? Any other help would be much appreciated.



  • get yourself a multi meter. makes life a lot easer when working on car lectrickery



  • All modern cars use a negative ground, that means the main - negative terminal on the battery is connected to the engine and the main chassis of the car body so to make a good earth for any electrical equipment just run the negative cable directly to metal work within the car that isnt painted.

    Did you get a mazda to ISO cable converter so you do not have to cut the cables as the stereo should come with an ALPINE to ISO connector block.
    That is the easiest way to connect a stereo and you do not have to chop wires
    LINKY for one here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MAZDA-CD-RADIO-WIRING-HARNESS-ISO-ADAPTOR-LEAD-CT20MZ01_W0QQitemZ350281401047QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Cars_Parts_Vehicles_Terminals_Cabling_ET?hash=item518e6602d7

    Now if the ISO block does not work then there is a fault in the wiring somewhere,
    get a multimeter/ volt meter and earth the negative onto the body somewhere, I usually jam mine into the rod that comes out to hold the door from opening too far or jam it in the top of the cigarette lighter as the metal bit you see inside at the top is earthed (the live is at the bottom in the middle)
    You will see with the cables in the dashboard most come in pairs of the same colour usually green, grey or blue one will have a thin black line on it that will be the speaker cables and the black line one is the earth cable speaker.
    That just leaves a few others

    Next test the other cables left for ANY voltage without the keys in the ignition
    Note which one has voltage - you have now found the main supply - this connects to yellow - permanent live / memory on any modern stereo
    Next test the cables for voltage with the ignition lights on
    Note the cable that now has voltage and this connects to red - ignition on your stereo, this stops you leaving the radio on and flattening the battery when you leave the car
    this should leave a couple of cables untested.
    Check these again with the ignition on and the lights on as the old clarion had a backlight that came on with the main lights when you find this one, remember NEVER to connect to this one again (if you do not do the light test you will think that is the earth cable but when you turn the lights on you will blow the right hand fuse for your lights)

    That should leave you with the earth, if it still does not work then take a length of cable and a blue snap lock connector.
    Take the ashtray out and then try and pop out the cigarette lighter (only if the lighter works) and connect to the cable with no voltage with the ignition on ( that will be the earth)
    Still no luck, take some of the console near the gear stick out find some of the bare metal frame that holds the console, use a ring connector on the end of the cable, drill a hole and put a screw into the frame to screw down the ring connector below, that will give a great earth for a radio.


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