Hello, Allpar Forums member or visitor! If you were a member, you would not see this ad!

Register or log in at the top right of the page...

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

WEIRD radio problem - 2012 Caravan

Discussion in 'Minivans · Pacifica' started by ex-Gooserider, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Messages:
    29,875
    Likes:
    3,255
    Still sounds like an antenna problem to me.
     
    ka9yhd likes this.
  2. ex-Gooserider

    ex-Gooserider Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    1
    Two things today - neither helped much...
    1. I stopped by the local O'Reilly's Auto Part store and asked them to check to see if I was throwing codes - didn't have any showing....
    2. I disconnected the battery for a few minutes, but not the hour that Rick suggested... No change when I hooked it back up... Still plays CD's, but no AM/FM, and still seeks and tunes to stations... That it tunes into and shows a stereo indicator and the metadata on FM stations seems to me like it rules out the antenna being disconnected - any time I have used a radio, including this one when it worked, if I got a stereo indicator, I got audio, and if the signal was marginal, I'd loose the stereo LONG before losing the station audio completely....

    So I'm thinking more and more like it is 'replace the radio' time...

    I could try to just replace the unit with what I have, but if I'm going to do a replacement, I'd like to upgrade to have at least a backup camera, GPS would be nice, though I could live without it. I don't have any use for (but will tolerate, especially if I can DISable them, any sort of blue-tooth or other smart-phone connectivity, and I absolutely do NOT want any sort of "Internet of Things functions - I remember U-Connect, I don't want my car cracked....

    I see the following options -

    1. Is it possible / practical to pull one of the fancier radios out of a wreck? I'm not seeing them on e-bay in a quick search, but may not be looking in the right place...

    One of the relevant questions is also whether or not the van is likely to have the wiring for the camera in place? I know that some vehicles have all the needed stuff built into the wiring harness by default, just because it's easier to do that than have different harnesses for different trim packages... Is this one of them?

    2. I don't need super fidelity, or high power audio - so the fancy Alpine or other big name brand sound systems seem like a bit of a waste to me - but I'm seeing lots of listings on e-bay for aftermarket radios in the $2-400 range - are these tolerably decent and reliable?

    Thanks,
    ex-Gooserider
     
  3. Oklahoma Wolf

    Oklahoma Wolf What sanity?

    Joined:
    May 2, 2004
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes:
    40
    To get factory backup camera, you'll need an RHB or RHR out of a 2011 or newer Caravan or Town and Country. Must be one of those vehicles to insure compatibility. The wiring may or may not be there for the camera, and the camera itself will be missing.

    These can get expensive - you may well find that aftermarket might be cheaper.

    Alternatively, I don't know if the 2008-2010 Caravan models will work because the high speed CANBUS was redesigned, but decks like the REQ with 6 disc DVD changer may play nice enough to behave. It would be a gamble though.
     
  4. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,349
    Likes:
    2,007
    Auto parts stores are only going to have a Generic OBDII code reader. There are two kinds of codes in modern vehicles, the government mandated and standardized codes (OBDII) and manufacturer extended codes.
    OBDII is for emissions, but since just about everything that could malfunction on the engine and a few on the transmission will effect emissions it falls under the standardized and published OBDII protocols, i.e. codes. So its cheap and easy to make a code reader with that "known" information. The manufacturers have extended the technology and have computer chips in everything all talking on a Car Area Network (CAN). But since that part wasn't government mandated and standardized, the manufacturers all keep that information secret, and thus its very hard to produce a tool that backwards engineered to read those manufacturer codes. The manufacturer does provide them to their dealerships at a reasonable cost, and in states where there are laws prohibiting anti-competitive practices like that, the manufacturer has to offer the tool to sale to anyone which they just can't seem to get the price of that tool under $15,000.

    So basically, you very likely do have a code in your radio telling you exactly what is wrong with it (but perhaps not, there is no guarantee) but the only way you're going to find out is if you bring it into the Dealership to have them fix it or pay a diagnostic fee for them to provide you the code they read. Perhaps you can find an independent shop that has one of the third party but still very expensive tools that is capable of reading all the manufacturer extended codes on a 2012 Chrysler. Non of the auto stores are going to have a code reader capable of doing that.
    Did the radio dump all of its pre-sets? If all of the radio pre-sets were gone, that's a good sign all power was drained from the unit and it was forced into a hard reboot.

    It is really looking like something fried internally in the radio and is preventing the signal from the tuner to make it to the amplifier. You can't rule out a software glitch, unless you're sure you've hard rebooted the radio, which you may or may NOT have done. Perhaps a battery disconnect for a good hour might be worth the piece of mind before replacing it.
     
  5. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,349
    Likes:
    2,007
    But an aftermarket radio with back-up cam might require more work to run wiring and mounting the aftermarket camera. So it may end up being more in labor for the extra options. Plus an aftermarket back up cam might be unsightly since its universal and not designed to fit in a designated spot on a particular model.

    If the wiring is pre-existing in the vehicle (often it is, sometimes it is not) plus you throw in getting a cheap barely used OEM radio off eBay from someone that went aftermarket in their Chrysler vehicle, it could come out cheaper.

    i.e. the more you load up the options you want the number of variables and possibilities go through the roof, if you're not watching what your doing and researching it well, it could be very expensive.

    If you're only going to go with new items, yea, aftermarket is going to be cheaper. It might not be as seamless as the OEM, but you get much more bang for the buck with the aftermarket.

    Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are cool features coming in aftermarket radios now, granted they add $100 or more on the price, but still much cheaper than you can get it in an OEM radio. If you have a smart phone with GPS and NAV, you can use the Carplay or Android Auto to nav on your Radio Head Unit, like the more expensive NAV head units that cost many hundreds of dollars more. And even a slightly used OEM NAV radio is going to be very expensive as well.

    The other problem, the Chrysler OEM radio is a weird shape. The face plate is the exact same height and slightly wider than the aftermarket standard "Double DIN" size. So that deceives into believing that aftermarket "Double DIN" stereos will fit no problem, you'll just need a cheap adapter kit with plastic spacers to fill in the empty space on the side of the faceplate. Then when you get the Chrysler OEM radio out, you find its different shape than you assume.

    BTW, aftermarket Double DIN is the larger radios that have the nice lcd and touchscreens. Single DIN is the squatter radios that are just tall enough for digital number displays.

    The Aftermarket Double DIN radios are almost always a perfect box shape, that's the standard. The Chrysler OEM radio is different, the body behind the faceplate is actually smaller than the faceplate. This means, despite the front of an aftermarket double din radio being smaller than the front of Chrysler OEM radio, the body of an aftermarket double din radio behind that face plate is actually larger than the body of the Chrysler OEM radio behind the face plate. Thus when you go to push the aftermarket radio into the dash of your Chrysler vehicle, it won't fit. It really depends on the particular model, in the past, Chryslers would require a lot of cutting up the dash to get a double din radio to fit. Later models seem to have more than enough room in the dash, with a metal support ring that is screwed in, to support the back half of the radio. Of course the larger aftermarket radio can't fit the support ring, but it can be easily removed. Then it only depends on how well the aftermarket radio can be supported without a ring like the OEM radio.
     
    #25 Rick Anderson, Feb 22, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
  6. ex-Gooserider

    ex-Gooserider Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    1
    I'm thinking in terms of junkyards for the radio and backup camera - my assumption is that there will be enough people that have cracked up their cars that it shouldn't be that hard to find a reasonable replacement, especially given how common the minivans are.... Given that most crunches are front-end, backup camera has pretty good odds of surviving, and I'd expect the radio would as well given all the attention being paid these days to preserving the integrity of the passenger area...

    Any way to tell if the wiring harness is there or not? I'm not even sure just where the factory camera goes, or I'd open things up and look to see if there's a place to plug it in...
     
  7. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,929
    Likes:
    2,568
    The first thing I'd suggest is to get another RES radio to pop in and see if it behaves the same as this one. They are going for not much on ebay from what I can tell.

    As far as upgrading to a touchscreen radio, there are a few options. You need a "HIGH SPEED" version of the radio for it to work in your van:
    - RBZ - touchscreen, hard drive
    - RHR - touchscreen, hard drive, GPS, built in bluetooth module
    - RHB - touchscreen, hard drive, Garmin GPS
    (They are all compatible with having a backup camera.)

    Our 2011 Caravan came with the RES + RSC radio. (RES radio + Sirius + uConnect Bluetooth)

    [​IMG]

    We had three connectors:

    [​IMG]

    Comparison (RES vs. RHB):

    [​IMG]

    Because we had factory Sirius, we had the new combo Sirius/GPS antenna, so I didn't need to buy anything for the GPS to work.

    [​IMG]

    I did need to buy an adapter to get a rear camera working. I chose a device called a "Lockpick" as it allows for simple plug and play install of additional cameras.

    I chose a camera off ebay for $30, and installed it in the driver side license plate light so that I wouldn't make any permanent modifications to the van.

    [​IMG]

    Rear camera working:

    [​IMG]

    I also added a front camera, but this seems to be the only picture I have of it (It's in the lower, passenger side part of the grille):

    [​IMG]
     
    #27 UN4GTBL, Mar 1, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  8. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,929
    Likes:
    2,568
    Also, there is no rear camera harness in the van unless you have a factory rear camera.
     
  9. ex-Gooserider

    ex-Gooserider Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    30
    Likes:
    1
    Thanks for the added info Un4gtbl... My radio is a bit different as it has no Uconnect, the top row buttons that have some symbol I can't quite make out and a phone on yours are 'Seek' and 'Random' on mine. However I do have factory Sirius. Since I don't have a factory camera, presumably I don't have the harness...

    I get needing the 'lockpick' or similar unit to add cameras, but how does the one you added wire up? I have wondered about this since our first 2010 Caravan (long gone to the great junkyard in the sky :( which is a pity as some ways I think it was a better vehicle) The only light in the hatch is the plate light, which works with the headlights, not reverse, as the backup lights are in the sides... So how does one get power from the backup lights to the camera, and video from the camera to the radio?

    One of the frustrations is that I usually need to get someone else to help or do most of the vehicle work for me just because I can't REACH most of the areas where work needs to be done... Massively frustrating to have to pay someone else to do what used to not be all that big of a problem before I got hurt...

    Next stop looks like the junkyard to see what they have to say...

    ex-Gooserider
     
  10. Rickorino

    Rickorino Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    734
    Likes:
    128
    The weak link are the solder joints and I suspect a bad one.
     
  11. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,929
    Likes:
    2,568
    Yeah, there seems to have been 2 "RES" radios. Those that had the simple display, and those that had the dot matrix display (like ours)

    The "lockpick" is basically a "T-harness" for the radio. It plugs into the big grey plug from the vehicle, and then a plug from the lockpick plugs into the radio. You plug a camera into the lockpick and it then controls the power and such for the rear camera. The camera I purchased had a yellow RCA plug and a power wire. Both plugged into the lockpick, and then I just ran the wires back to the camera from the radio. The camera doesn't use any power or anything from the license plate light.

    The good news is that you have factory Sirius, so you already have the roof mounted Sirius/GPS antenna. So, if you should install a RHB or RHR radio, the GPS will work without needing anything else.
     
  12. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,929
    Likes:
    2,568
  13. UN4GTBL

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,929
    Likes:
    2,568
    *EDIT*

    There are actually 4 connectors in this picture:

    [​IMG]

    Large grey connector = vehicle harness
    Small grey connector (hidden) = uConnect harness
    Yellow connector = Sirius/GPS antenna
    White connector = AM/FM antenna
     
  14. C Davis

    C Davis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Likes:
    0
    I have been having the same issue.

    First I lost my radio (been about a year), but the CD, Sat, AUX and Bluetooth/Uconnect worked fine. Now this happens - the sound cuts out every 3 seconds. I can’t use any of the above! So frustrating! I’ve seen quite a few of these issues posted and no solutions.
     
  15. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    18,231
    Likes:
    2,660
  16. ka9yhd

    ka9yhd Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes:
    219
    You said this happened while on an exit ramp. Is there any of those sound walls either wood of concrete along the exit ramp? These walls can attenuate the signal. It is possible there is a loose connection from the antenna to the front end of the tuner. Including bad solder joints, bad connection of the connector on the end of the cable coming from the antenna. A bad connection of the cable to the antenna. And make sure the antenna is properly grounded to the body of the car.

    I agree with someone here who said to try another radio to see if it has the problem.
     

Share This Page

Loading...