Thank you for taking the time to read this. Last year, I installed a car stereo head unit in my car. I did the installation myself rather than having it done professionally. I am no expert in that arena, but it did not seem too difficult. I used a wiring harness adapter to hook it up. I really don't think I crossed any wires when connecting to the adapter, but it is a possibility.

After perfect functioning of this stereo for six months, I am now experiencing intermittent flickering of the car stereo LED lights while I drive. Often times, it seems as if the lights dim when I step on the gas, and return to standard brightness when I let off of the accelerator. Sometimes it just seems random.

Has anybody else experienced this? I realize it may be hard to diagnose this problem with the given information, but any starting points to investigate would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • 2
    Do the lights flicker ON and OFF or is it only a dimming effect as if someone is playing with the dimmer switch on the instrument cluster? Also, does this happen only when the radio is on/off/all the time?
    – cinelli
    Mar 22, 2013 at 17:30
  • It is only a dimming effect. It only happens to the radio. All of the other internal/external lights on my car are not affected.
    – Jeremy G
    Mar 22, 2013 at 20:05
  • Pull the head-unit out if you could and double check the connection to the wire to enable the lights. The color codes of these harnesses seems to always be different depending on who made the kit. But this could easily be found out with a Google search. Make sure the wire is connected properly. And while you're in there it might not be a bad idea to double check all the connections that were made to ensure that nothing else is coming loose.
    – cinelli
    Mar 23, 2013 at 5:23
  • Just as you suggested, the wire was coming loose. Thanks for the idea!
    – Jeremy G
    Mar 27, 2013 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


I've experienced the same first set of symptoms due to an aftermarket stereo installed in my car by the previous owner. One of the wires came loose and was shorting out against the metal in the center console. The circuit was fused, but it had a slow-blow fuse and eventually on a long drive (after a couple weeks of weird dimming lights and loss of power) the fuse melted (along with portions of the wiring harness that may already have been melting).

I'd inspect the wiring to make sure nothing is chafing and shorting out in a similar manner. It took me a couple months to repair all the damaged wiring in my car, I hope you're not having the same problem.


So Brian's and cinelli's comments inspired me to take the head unit out. It turned out to be a very silly problem. The wire for the LED illumination came unwrapped from around the corresponding wire of the harness adapter, due to poor securing with electrical tape. I reconnected those wires, this time with a wire twist cap. Now it works! Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions.

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