Radio plays when car is off - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-12-2013
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Radio plays when car is off

Hello Everybody,
Well my little Blue Demon, SLK230 1998 98000 miles, is given me more fits. Saturday I went to a pool party and everything was fine when I parked. Well about a hour later one of the other guest said “your car is playing music” . I was puzzled . Yes the little Blue Demon was playing Lady Gage pretty as you please. It had never acted like this and it wouldn’t stop other then turn off the radio itself. (which you should have to do).
So long story not so short. Could the ignition have gotten stuck on accessary. If so what do all you wonderful people think I should change. I just keep dumping money into this little monster, but I love it J.
As always thanks way way ahead of time my friend.
Oh if you all have a DIY that would be great
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#2 Old 08-12-2013
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I have that problem with my sl, you can either change out the ignition lock or make sure your in the off postion before removing the key. I do the later.
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#3 Old 08-12-2013
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The new ignition lock will cost you anywhere around $150-250. The installation is the same. A good indy can do the job in around an hour. Or you can try DIY but you will need a special tool for removing the tumbler from the lock.
Maybe this will be of little more help to understand:
http://autorepair.about.com/library/faqs/bl668h.htm
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#4 Old 08-12-2013
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I would love to say your car is haunted..but sadly im sure the boys are right !


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#5 Old 08-12-2013
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I'm not sure I completely understand your situation, but the radio in my car will play with the ignition off and the key out. It is almost automatic for me to hit the radio ON/OFF button whenever I pull out the key. There are times when I haven't had the radio on and when I do that, I turn the radio on accidentally. I have always caught it and never left the car with it on. Could that have been what happened to you?

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#6 Old 08-13-2013
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The person who owned before must have hated this car. You could tell it was treated like ****.
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#7 Old 08-13-2013
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Your car is possessed by Lady Gaga!!!!
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#8 Old 08-14-2013
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I could only hope it was. But really i need help and i don't want to go to the stealer. Oh to add to things the dash lights are/were on too.
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#9 Old 08-14-2013
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Not sure if this will help you any but here goes, bear with me:

This is a very common fault on Vauxhall Corsa cars here in UK. My wife had a corsa (before we got the SLK) and the first couple of times it played the radio through the night we were baffled. We googled everything and found a very simple solution.

Leave a cd in the CD player. It doesn't need to be on or playing, just leave the CD in there and turn the unit off.

Somehow when the radio thinks "I'll randomly turn myself on", because a disc is in the unit, it doesn't.....

Sounds freaky I know, but she ran her Corsa for 5 years like this.

Vauxhall are aware of the problem, they say the only fix is a new head unit.....?????

SO your SLK may be different, but it's a "free DIY fix"....
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#10 Old 08-14-2013
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Radio circuits

Normal connection for a car radio is to permanent power to retain station presets, etc, and ignition to turn on and off the radio on the key.

Generic configurations that do not apply in this case:
It is possible that a car radio is wired in so that the ignition option is not kept separate from the permanent power, and so the radio will stay on all the time.
You can also get car radios that can be turned on and run for 30 minutes without a key in the ignition. (This function may also break, so it does not timeout, but that would not illuminate the dash. In the case of the Corsa, Vauxhall radios often have this function, and having to check the CD probably increased the load and made the radio ignore the erroneous start-up pulse)
As mentioned above, the ignition might fail to remove the position 1 connection when the key is removed.

One SLK specific option; if you have a SmartTop fitted, there is a relay driven by the unit that keeps power on for the roof to operate even once the ignition is removed; this drives fuse 7, which also drives the radio "ignition" circuit. You relay might be broken (stuck closed).

The most likely one for me is that when the radio was fitted, the wiring was not done well, and the yellow and red wires have touched together, which means the permanent power is now driving the ignition circuit back through the harness, and illuminating the dash.

So, start off by removing the radio, and see if the dash continue to light up.
Check the quality of the wiring behind the radio. (You could also look for bits of Gaga ) Extend the search back a few inches beyond the connectors, until you are sure you are dealing with original Mercedes wiring.

Check for a Smart Top, and see if the relay is stuck by unplugging it. You can also activate the SmartTop, and would expect to feel the relay click in my fingers, to confirm it works as expected.

If none of these work, get back to us, and we'll have to start looking at how to take the lock cylinder out of the car, or finding a connector so you can confirm the incorrect connection.
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#11 Old 08-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livefreeordie View Post
I have that problem with my sl, you can either change out the ignition lock or make sure your in the off postion before removing the key. I do the later.
OK, so the key slot is worn so you can remove the key before you have reached position 0?
So being careful to reach zero (park, foot off brake, etc) is a good procedure, and much cheaper.
Nice!
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#12 Old 08-14-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offdepp View Post
I could only hope it was. But really i need help and i don't want to go to the stealer. Oh to add to things the dash lights are/were on too.
Hmm... did you try turning the ignition switch slowly and see if the problem stops?
Also I remember that my OEM radio can be simply turned on without key in the ignition. I simply pushed the volume button and it was turning on. Have you tried going into settings and see if there's auto on/off feature?
Livefreeordie says he had similar problems when his SL ignition lock was going bad. You might one of unlucky ones =(
Have you tried pulling out the radio to see the wiring? You have OEM radio, correct? You don't need special tools, though you can purchase them. My pocket Swiss knife and my wife's nail file worked just perfectly fine! Stick them in two flat holes on a radio and pull the radio out.
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#13 Old 08-14-2013
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i call possession
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#14 Old 08-15-2013
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Since you did not indicate what radio is in your car, I will have to assume that you have "stock" M-B radio. As stated above, the radio can be turned on without the key. It should play for 1 hour, then turn off automatically. Your symptoms could be caused by a couple of like things, 1) on/off switch in radio is failing or shorted wire, 2) ignition switch is closing circuit to position 1 (Accessory). You could test this way: When Lady Gaga turns herself on, check to see if you have power to the cigarette lighter, if you do then it is very likely the ignition switch, if not it is very likely the radio on/off switch. The radio is right below the cup holder, it may have gotten a beer bath sometime in its life.
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#15 Old 08-15-2013
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Question

What CarolinaBluetec described is very logical. Try performing the procedure he describes. Btw, have you got a chance to pull the radio out?
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#16 Old 08-15-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBluetec View Post
Since you did not indicate what radio is in your car, I will have to assume that you have "stock" M-B radio.
<SNIP>
The radio is right below the cup holder, it may have gotten a beer bath sometime in its life.
Funny thing is, my assumption was the reverse; since it was prepared to play Gaga, it had to be a non-MB unit, since the quality filter would reject Gaga music (except Radio Gaga)

"Beer bath"? Nice idea. Better than Beer rinse. But I'm not sure that is PC. How about "Cola cascade"? Now that's an alliteration you can get your teeth into (but not for too long, since they'll dissolve! )

The radio itself is unlikely to be the cause of the lamps in the car being on; there will be a diode in the ignition line to prevent the radio ever causing the security of the car from being compromised.

Good work disconnecting the ignition switch; good to decrease the options. Of course, we have all been thinking old-skool, that the ignition switch actually provides the power for the ignition circuit, but chances are there is a relay which actually switches the power. (I wonder if the relay is sticking?)

From discussion, it appears that the radio circuit is never turning off now, and so everything (except the engine) continues to run when the ignition is turned off. Can you please catalogue the live items (wipers, indicators, fan, roof operation, etc) that you would expect to be turned off, so we can see which circuit(s) are remaining live.

But my money is still on the wiring behind the radio allowing the permanent and switched powers to be touching.

Last edited by Tolak; 08-19-2013 at 03:08 PM.
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#17 Old 12-31-2013
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Update

OK
I have purchased a parts car.
I have moved over the computer in trunk... nothing changed
I have even unplugged the ignition switch and everything still stays on but the engine.
I am about to shoot it with my 45... you know us texas folks
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#18 Old 12-31-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offdepp View Post
OK
I have purchased a parts car.
I have moved over the computer in trunk... nothing changed
I have even unplugged the ignition switch and everything still stays on but the engine.
I am about to shoot it with my 45... you know us texas folks
Still sounds like a stuck relay.
In this case, we are looking for the relay that controls the accessory supply (for the radio).
I don't have my diagrams to hand; but you might find that teh fuse map will give you a fuse that will definitely disconnect the supply to the radio. (This only cures the secondary of the relay, ie removes its power supply, and does not resolve the why the removal of logic to the primary does not occur, or the relay does not release.)

Of course, a relay that is on all the time will be hot, and so you should be able to find it quite quickly. If the relay is latched/stuck, then it may be cold, since the primary power is not engaged, and hence the coil does not make the relay hot.

But Happy New Year hunting to you!
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#19 Old 01-01-2014
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wow great info
i will try thanks so much
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#20 Old 01-01-2014
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There is a relay that controls the accessory circuit. Is possible that the contacts are fused together. If he has disconnected the ignition key completely and the power is remaining on to all the accessories, it has to be the accessory circuit relay. Somebody far more knowledgeable then I would need to tell him where to look for that relay, I know it exists. There is no way the ignition key itself handles all the current to run all the accessories. So far I am becoming an R171 kind a guy!
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