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Why does stereo turn off briefly when engine turns on/off on 2000 Mailibu Response


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I have a 2000 Malibu Response lx, and have the radio switch on the dash turn on to provide power to the head unit.  The ignitiion switch does not need to be on for the stereo to work.  However, when I'm listening to bluetooth while the motor is running, the bluetooth will disconnect when I turn the engine off.  I'm guessing it's because the power was briefly turned off to the head unit.  

So how can I make sure the power to the stereo is not interrupted when turning the engine on or off?

The radio switch on the dash has four wires, 1) a white wire with tiny blue strip, 2) a orange wire at the top.  3) At the bottom it has a blue wire on one side, and a 4) black wire on the other that appears to go to all the switches.  I'm guessing the blue and the black are for the lights, and the orange is the power coming in, and the white with blue strip is what goes to the stereo?




Edited by vernonreeve
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So the HU comes On even with the ignition switch Off.

Is the BT built into the HU or an external module? If modular, the BT unit may be wired via a different path.

In any case, this is probably a case of the voltage dropping during the engine Off/On cycle for some reason. Try this. A heavy gauge battery-direct 12V supply and ground wire, like 12-gauge. All HU and BT constant and switched 12V direct to the battery. Then re-check. If successful, then interrupt the HU battery-direct switched 12V wire with a relay that is controlled off the factory dash switch. A relay will hold its function even with a voltage dip down to 8 volts.


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Yes, the HU comes on when I turn the switch on the dash on, even with the ignition switch off.  I tried wiring directly from the battery, to the switch (unplugged the orange wire and plugged in wire from battery instead).  But the head unit still turns off when I turn the key to on.  When I turn the key to the on position, the dash goes through it's buzzing sound as the gauges are activated, and somehow this turns off the head unit briefly.  The orange wire with black stripe that goes into the switch on the dash always has power.  The white wire with blue stripe gets power when I turn the dash switch on.  I'm guessing the white wire goes to the fuse panel, and then to the HU?  

What does BT stand for?

I'll have to wait until someone can help test the voltage so I can see if there is a voltage drop when I turn the ignition key on (without starting the motor).

The head unit has a plug with about 12 connectors that plugs into a matching plug from the wiring harness, so it's hard to tell which of those wires is the power to the head unit. 

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I'm interested in the ultimate resolution.  I have a new to me '98 Sunsetter that has this same issue w/ BlueTooth.  running an Alpine head unit.  When the head unit does that power cycle thing, I drop the BlueTooth connection momentarily - which is not a big deal, but it then "pauses" the music I'm listening to, until I manually press play on my smartphone.

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