Battery problems due to audio - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-04-2017, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Battery problems due to audio

I have a 2017 WRX, I had a subwoofer with a built in amp installed into the factory head unit, installed by a Best buy technician, after a month of installation my battery was dead and couldn't jump start my car, I had it towed to a Subaru dealership and they claimed to fix the problem by tightening the contacts and recharging battery, about a month after that it is dead once again and at the dealership, they said the radio won't turn on, does anyone know what could be the problem or has anyone experienced this before?
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 08:43 AM
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First problem is you trusted BestBuy with your vehicle. Yes I'm going to bash the f8ck out of that business as they have over a decade of history with ruining customer property with their "technician knowledge". You're car is a prime example of their illiterate personnel and poor training/customer service practices.

On to the cures,

What they most likely did was connect the "amp turn on wire" to your radio power wire, not allowing the amp to turn off with the radio (or another wire with similar function). It's supposed to be connected to the dedicated "amp turn on lead" or the "ACC lead" that turns on the radio with the key.

How long ago did they do the install? If less than 30 days, march your ass back in there, "politely" demand to speak to the store manager and have their "techs" show you exactly what they did during the install. (not anyone else, not the install bay manager either) and if they hassle you about that (say "he won't be in for another few days") then call BB corporate and request a full refund.

If your OEM radio won't turn on after unplugging the amp turn on wire from the amp, and you tried replacing the radio fuse, BestBuy fried your system and is liable for replacement under the consumer warranty law.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 01:35 PM
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-06-2017, 03:45 PM
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Thanks Mosc, I really had to try to be as "PC" as possible but my disgust for that company is quite high up there.

OP, let us know asap what they say. Where are you located? If you're around the 585 I can help ya out in person.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-07-2017, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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I contacted best buy the first time I had to take it to the dealership and they are in the process of investigating, I gave yet to hear from the dealership this time, when it was dropped off they mentioned the radio not turning on. I just hope Subaru actually fixes the problem this time permanently, seems like the first time they did not considering its the second time this happened
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-07-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Got an update from Subaru, the radio is fine, they would not touch the wiring to the amp because they didn't wire it it but suspect it's the amp, I already knew this though so it doesn't help me, I'm hoping Subaru can agree to fix the problem or I have to see if best buy with redo the install properly. Subaru will not fix the problem since it's an aftermarket part. Looks like the only option is best buy to fix their own mistake.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-08-2017, 02:33 AM
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No a solution to the amp problem but if your amp is draining your battery there should be an inline fuse in the amplifier wiring kit, Pulling that fuse should stop the flow of angry pixies into the amp entirely. I know its not a long term solution but for now it should keep you from killing batteries at least until they sort it out.

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-08-2017, 05:49 AM
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-08-2017, 09:59 AM
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-08-2017, 12:02 PM
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Kenz, it sounds like they wired the amp to be on at all times. There's 3 power terminals on the amp B+/REM/GND, B+ is straight to the battery (w/ an inline fuse), REM is the "sense" wire running to the HU to determine when to let the amp's internal relay to flip on, this is the most likely issue, GND should be connected to the chassis somewhere very close to the amp (I say should because some people don't). Knowing that the HU still works but doesn't change the amp power consumption means there's main 2 possibilities at this point:

The internal circuitry inside the amp is either defective or they shorted it by the following possibility,

The REMOTE wire has been connected to the main B+ source wire or another B+ from another harness, this is the wrong way to install an amp wiring kit as it leaves the amp ON at all times. It's also a sure fire way to void your warranty and damage the amps circuitry inside as that fat gauge wire for B+ can support over 100amps of current vs the .5amp MAX the REMOTE terminal was designed to handle, thus shorting internally and never allowing the amp to turn off.

You can check the function of this "sense" wire by disconnecting it from the amp and turning on the radio and playing something, if it worked, your sub(s) won't play with the music. MAKE SURE YOU TAPE OFF THE LEAD AFTER DISCONNECTING IT, as it sounds like they wired the "amp turn on" lead to the main power wire (the fatty) which would cause your amp to pull power at all times. If this is the case, take pics where you can, bring them to the store manager and if they don't provide a FULL REFUND in cash or to your card (not a BB gift card), call corporate and explain how they voided the warranty of your product, required you to spend more money to have Subaru verify they didn't fry the radio, and could have burned the car to the ground by half assing their job not to mention purchasing new batteries due to the faulty installation practices they provided.

Sorry to hear you got to deal with these guys like this, let us know what happens. BTW I'm not kidding about the burning the car to the ground either, BB has done it before, and shorting those leads has been known to cause fires before. Technology has helped prevent these fires in newer models but it's not an excuse regardless.
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post #11 of 16 Old 04-01-2017, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Battery leakage test showed 81mA and would jump to 110mA on occasion, is this normal for a 2017 car battery when its off? Car is at the dealership trying to see if it will die after sitting for two weeks, they say the battery is within spec but won't tell me the actual numbers they got, also the just suggest I drive the car more often as a solution
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post #12 of 16 Old 04-02-2017, 11:13 AM
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Was the amp fuse still connected for that test?
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-04-2017, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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The wire that goes from the battery to the amp was disconnected for the test, the amp was still hooked up to the radio, like th audio plugs, if that matters, the car was off so it shouldn't.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-08-2017, 11:01 AM
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Well if the amp power was disconnected and the issue doesn't persist, you either have a bad amp or a bad install. My Directed security/remote start system says it can draw ~100mA/hr and I haven't had issues with it sitting over 6 months. I had an amp crap out and draw power even when the car was off, got a new one and bam, subs and power haha. Then again I do all my own audio work so I never have to worry about someone screwing up.

Have them test it again with the amp connected. I'm pretty sure you'll have a crap ton more drain, they can test this by using an ammeter on the amps power wire. With the key off the amp shouldn't pull anything. If it does, march right back to shitbuy and show them the paperwork proving they f'd up. Demand a full refund directly from the GM. If they refuse, call corporate and give them some names.

Keep us posted.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-13-2017, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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So what you're saying is 81ma really isn't that much to be killing the battery within a week or two? Also I removed the amp out and let the car sit for a week and it started right up
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