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Hello! I am a newer 2002 1.8 owner and have only owned it for about a month. When I bought the car I didn’t have a working radio, so I bought a new one and installed it with my electrician friend. After I installed this radio there have been numerous problems.

The first problems I noticed were 1: The running lights would come on with the car. 2: I would hear a whining noise when the car was running and when accelerating it would get louder as if I had a turbo. Disconnecting the radio solved both of these problems, there seems to be no problems at all with our wiring but everything beyond the new harness is a mystery. One morning I went to go to my car to go to school and it wouldn’t start, the battery was completely dead. I charged it up after I got back from class and it ran fine, I unplugged and plugged back in the radio since it was like completely dead and wouldn't turn on and the next morning the car was dead again. This obviously sounds like an alternator problem but I disconnected the positive battery end as the car was running and it ran fine. I also went and got the battery tested at a shop and the battery is fine with no dead cells, it held 12v fine. I unplugged the radio because I was scared of it being a culprit and let it sit overnight. So the fourth day I went and checked my car and it was dead once again, so I started the car up after charging the battery and now the battery light was on (would come on when accelerating and went off and occasionally turned on while idle, the whining was back but seemed to be after accelerating). I popped the hood and it was the alternator, it was clicking as well. I went out today and bought a new alternator and installed it myself, the car appears to be running fine and it is charging the battery up well. I plugged that radio back in just to see what would happen and after connecting it the running lights and everything would come on again.

Any advice on fixing my problem? I will update further if the battery dies out again.

Thank you!
 

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you probably need an alternator, and to track down the parasitic drain on the battery. something is staying connected and draining the battery while its parked. If the lights came on when you installed the radio, I would suspect something in that harness, you got a power lead back feeding into the light circuit somehow
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just installed a new alternator today. I see what you're saying about something still being connected while it is parked but I can't find it, I would suspect it being in the harness too but we can't seem to find anything wrong in the harness.
 

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as my son recently learned, put an amp meter on the positive side of the battery cable, its easier with two people. start pulling fuses one at a time, until you see whats drawing amps. once you know where to look, you can download the factory service manual here on the site, and figure out why. Dont do like my son tho, and pull EVERY fuse, then put them back in one at a time until he found the problem circuit. One fuse SHOULD dramatically decrease the amperage draw. that will be where the issue is
 

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as my son recently learned, put an amp meter on the positive side of the battery cable, its easier with two people. start pulling fuses one at a time, until you see whats drawing amps. once you know where to look, you can download the factory service manual here on the site, and figure out why. Dont do like my son tho, and pull EVERY fuse, then put them back in one at a time until he found the problem circuit. One fuse SHOULD dramatically decrease the amperage draw. that will be where the issue is
This.

Sounds like you have some bad wiring, especially if you can't replicate the issues without the radio hooked into the circuit. When testing the battery voltage you should be seeing 12v when off. With the car running and all the power circuits (lights, fans, radio((if functioning properly))) on you should be seeing a stable 14.5v +/- .1v at the battery.

Also if you haven't already, check your negative lead. Had some issues with that on my QR25. Good luck bud, out of everything I despise wiring diagnosis the worst.
 

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Did your buddy tie in the power source for the radio and the wire for the radio back lights together with the car panel lights? I think it's a blue? Wire in the radio harness.
I'm not real good with the audio stuff but since that's the last thing electrical you did that would be the first place to start. Did you put a amp in as well?
 
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