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Need Help With Radio


chris07
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I have a 97 es300 and the LCD was blackened out on the radio so took it out to try and replace it with a 2000 radio. I plugged the new one in but got no power (I'm pretty sure I wired it right but not 100% positive) So then I just plugged my old one back in for the meantime but then this one didn't have power either, totally dead. Sat around and thought for awhile and realized I forgot to disconnect my battery. Therefore I can't think of anything other than it locked up due to the anti-theft deterrent system considering it was working perfectly fine before.

I'm not the original owner of this car so I'm not sure if the codes were changed or not. I called the local Lexus dealer and they said bring it in and they'd clear the code for $35. So I took it there and the guy tells me its not the code, my radio is dead and I'll have to get a new one. I think thats total BS and that the dealer is just trying to make some money. Is there anyway I could test my radio to prove them wrong?

I only have one lexus dealer in the state so I called another one about 3 hrs away. They said they can't pull any codes and that I'd have to bring the car in because they have to hook something up to the engine.

So at this point I'm pretty lost on what to do. Can anyone please give me any ideas on what I can try? I've read on other threads that you can clear the code yourself but couldn't find an exact how to on that. Could i even do it if my LCD is blackened out?

Any help or input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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It shouldn't make any difference whether or not you disconnected your battery before removing the old radio. As soon as you unplug it from the wiring harness, it automatically locks itself until the code is entered. And AFAIK, even if the OEM radio is locked due to the anti-theft system, it shouldn't appear totally dead. Even tho your LCD is blacked out, the little red LED on the face of the radio should still be flashing on and off if it's getting power. Sounds to me like maybe you have a blown fuse which would explain why neither radio is working now? If that's not the problem and if it were mine, I don't think I'd spend much more time or money trying to get the original radio working again since you were planning on replacing it anyway.

GL!

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It shouldn't make any difference whether or not you disconnected your battery before removing the old radio. As soon as you unplug it from the wiring harness, it automatically locks itself until the code is entered.

GL!

Thanks for the quick reply! The reason I think it was because of the battery is that I have unplugged my radio before with the battery disconnected and had no problem. And I don't think the 97 radio has a red LED on the radio itself, I know it has a red security one on the climate control (which does still work fine). I already checked the fuse, there should be only one correct?

If I did get another radio, would I still need to get the code reset? Does the radio itself lock up or does the car lock up the radio function? Thanks again!

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Thanks for the quick reply! The reason I think it was because of the battery is that I have unplugged my radio before with the battery disconnected and had no problem. And I don't think the 97 radio has a red LED on the radio itself, I know it has a red security one on the climate control (which does still work fine). I already checked the fuse, there should be only one correct?

I think the LED you describe on the climate control is for the car's security system. The second generation ES has a second LED (just a little rectangular one) on the lower left side of the radio face. I guess that was changed with the third generation.

As far as I know, there is only one fuse for the radio.

If I did get another radio, would I still need to get the code reset? Does the radio itself lock up or does the car lock up the radio function?

If you did find another radio on Ebay for example (I've seen a few there) you would have to inquire with the seller whether or not the code is an issue before you buy or bid on it. It is the radio itself that controls its own security system, not the car.

But having said all this, something just came to mind about Lexus doing away with the radio anti-theft system at some point. I'm sure I've read that somewhere in the darkest recesses of the LOC forum database.....somewhere :(

So, since you don't have the little flashing LED on your radio, does that mean that your radio doesn't have the anti-theft system? That would explain why you didn't have a problem before when you disconnected it from the car's wiring harness.

Was the radio's LCD working when you bought the car? If it has the anti-theft system, the letters "SEC" would appear in the display on the right side every time you turned on the radio, and then it would go out again. If you didn't see this (assuming you did see your LCD working at one time) then that would be another indicator that your radio doesn't have the anti-theft system. So, maybe your radio IS dead? If I were you, I'd do a little forum searching and see if you can pinpoint when (on which model year) Lexus abandoned the radio anti-theft system in the ES300.

I might even do a little searching myself. If I find anything, I'll report back here.

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