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My 2011 Jeep Patriot started having issues with the radio head unit a few months ago. The radio started occassionally cutting out and coming back on a few seconds later. The issue got progressively worse until it was happening almost continuously. I took the head unit out of the dash and inspected the wiring and found no issues. I unplugged the wiring harness from the head unit and plugged it back in and the radio started working again (like magic). I put the whole thing back together and it worked fine for a few day - then the flickering issue started up again. I repeated the process and got it working for another week or so before the flickering began again.

Any ideas of what the issue may be for things I should be checking for? I thought the head unit may be going bad but the fact that it starts working fine again after unplugging/replugging it in make me doubt that diagnosis now.

  • does it only occur when driving or nomatter the state of the vehicle – TheJavaCoder16 Mar 27 '15 at 20:08
  • Occurs in any state and recurrs even after turning the jeep on and off (even when off overnight). But unplugging and replugging in the headunit still resets it for 2 months or so. – JRulle Mar 27 '15 at 21:08
  • If you were willing to take the headunit out and inspect all wiring as well as test for constant power with a device like a multimeter you may be able to determine if it's your headunit or a wiring problem... – TheJavaCoder16 Mar 27 '15 at 21:10
  • since there is a "period" where it works fine after you unplug and plug it back in that suggests that there is a connectivity issue between either a plug connected to your head unit or wiring before or after it... – TheJavaCoder16 Mar 27 '15 at 21:12
  • I agree. I'm struggling to find an economical way to flush out where the issue is – JRulle Mar 27 '15 at 21:13
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You have an intermittent break. The problem is, tracking it down to where?

Radios typically have two +12V sources, 1 constant and one switched via wire, and a chassis ground via bolt and/or wire. The issue will very likely be found in one of these three connections.

One possibility is pin backing. Sometimes when a multi-pin connector is pushed in place, one of the pins will back out and barely make contact. Visually examine the back of the connector, and also the height of all pins in the front.

Another possibility is a loose or flaky fuse or fuse box connection, but your experience with reseating the radio connector argues against this.

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