Parasitic draw coming from radio

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May 4, 2011
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I am having some challenges with the electrical on my rig. It turns out I have a parasitic draw from my radio that is using significant electricity even when the radio and rig is off. The keys are also out of the ignition. Here is what is happening....

- I have a "universal" harness
- The radio is wired correctly. One wire to the battery, the other to the ignition. The wires are clearly labeled so I am certain I have this wired correctly.
- The radio DOES NOT turn on or off with the ignition (stock ignition switch). I cant figure out why.
- I have to turn the radio off manually.
- Even with everything (radio included) completely off and the key out of the ignition, I am drawing around 100 mA.
- This constant draw beat the heck out of my battery so I had to replace it.

Any suggestions on how to remedy this? I purchased a new harness that connects to the radio (Apline). I hope that will solve the parasitic draw problem but what do I do about it not turning off/on with the ignition?

Thanks for you help or any advice you may have.

Josh
 

89GASHOG

 
 
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The Last Frontier
Josh,

Did you know Andre the Giant? :D

I discovered the same issue with my old Eclipse radio/CD player that someone else had wired. Putting a switch on the ground connection, which was dangling in a convenient manner under the dash, has apparently solved the problem. So, maybe you could figure out how to do something similar-put a switch in the wiring somewhere.
 

kevos37

Just another day not in Paradise
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Josh,

You mentioned the radio is an Alpine. Is it new or used?

Kevo
 
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You mention that the radio does not turn off with the ignition, that leads me to believe that it is not wired correctly to the ignition. It should be wired to a wire or pole that only has power when the key is on or in the accessory position. In this configuration it would turn off when the key is off. Since it doesn't it apparently is wired to an always on wire which means the radio is never off which it probably leading to your battery drain. Once corrected the wire to the battery will only provide power to keep the radio memory from going away and should be a minimal draw.
 
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X2
If it is digitial and hold stations it has a contant power supply.
If I disconnect that wire, would it work correctly? I suppose I could snip it and see how it goes. What does that do for my balance, bass, treble? I have it balanced just right to blast Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. ;)
 
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Josh,

Did you know Andre the Giant? :D

I discovered the same issue with my old Eclipse radio/CD player that someone else had wired. Putting a switch on the ground connection, which was dangling in a convenient manner under the dash, has apparently solved the problem. So, maybe you could figure out how to do something similar-put a switch in the wiring somewhere.
I wish I knew Andre!

I have thought about putting it on a switch. Not a bad idea. Ideally it would work the way its supposed to so I am giving it my best shot.
 
Joined
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Location
Sacramento, CA
You mention that the radio does not turn off with the ignition, that leads me to believe that it is not wired correctly to the ignition. It should be wired to a wire or pole that only has power when the key is on or in the accessory position. In this configuration it would turn off when the key is off. Since it doesn't it apparently is wired to an always on wire which means the radio is never off which it probably leading to your battery drain. Once corrected the wire to the battery will only provide power to keep the radio memory from going away and should be a minimal draw.
I triple checked this. My rig harness labeled the wires nicely. One says "radio ignition" and the other says "radio constant". On the harness coming out of the radio, the red wire goes to the ignition and yellow states it goes to the constant.
 
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I triple checked this. My rig harness labeled the wires nicely. One says "radio ignition" and the other says "radio constant". On the harness coming out of the radio, the red wire goes to the ignition and yellow states it goes to the constant.
Which wire are you using in your setup ? Red or yellow ? Also, the wire you are using for power, where did you attach it ?
 
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I am using both the one labeled "radio ignition" and "Radio constant". They are both red and come from the fuze box. They attach to the Alpine harness which has a red and a yellow. Red is ignition and yellow is the constant.
IMG_2996.JPG


View attachment 1789624
 

mrboatman

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If you disconnect the Yellow wire your radio will work fine. When you turn off your key your clock and any saved radio stations will go away or not retain memory. So you will have to reset the clock and reset your radio station every time you turn your key on or start your truck.
JP
 
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If you disconnect the Yellow wire your radio will work fine. When you turn off your key your clock and any saved radio stations will go away or not retain memory. So you will have to reset the clock and reset your radio station every time you turn your key on or start your truck.
JP
That is not very good. The whole issue is to keep these and the clock on . The issue is parasitic draw. I believe just one radio may draw > .025 a. New cars draw around .080 a. So, a battery should be able to live with a small draw and recharge will bring it back. My newer vehicle draws 45 ma and a month can go by without a start and it is go to go.
 
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Maybe the red wire that is supposed to be hot only when the ignition is on, is connected to a fuse that is always hot, instead of a fuse that is only hot when the ignition is on. There is no way that the radio would remain ON if the ignition wire wasn't still getting 12v. I agree with the earlier post that stated that the station memory and the clock function is a minimal drain, maybe 10 milliamps and would take several weeks to pull down your battery.
 
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Yellow to 12+
Red to Acc switched (ignition)

Is standard. If the Red isn’t switched it’ll kill your battery. I’d try disconnecting the Red and testing to see the load.

The yellow needs to be connected for the radio to work. It will work if the yellow is connected to a switched source with the red, but all the settings will be lost (as others have mentioned).
 

ginmtb

'74 FJ40 - my first!
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I ran a new homerun from my radio to the fusebox. That way you know for sure the power is setup correctly. Until I did that I had problems with parasitic draw and my battery dying regularly.

There should be an open slot on the backside of the fusebox that you can run the ignition wire to. If nothing else to test it. And of course, make sure your grounds are good!
 
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