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The Jeep Grand Cherokee was redesigned for the 1999 model year; the 2000 models have minimal changes. This model is also known as Jeep WJ.

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Typical Jeep Stock Radio Problem Repair Options

From numerous forums on the web, I have discovered that the Jeep stock radio/CD players are prone to failing when they are 10+ years old. Has anyone discovered a repair option?

I had it in my mind that a similar repair to the Playstation 3's yellow ring of death fix, which involves removing the motherboard and heating the circuits until the micro soldering reattaches, might work for the circuitry in these radios.

Any ideas? I have another one that has failed previously, so I may test on that one to see if I can find a solution.

Cheers,

Dan

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Hello Daniel,

Often times with that generation of electronics and the abuse that vehicles get, it's the capacitors that fail. About 10 years is the expected lifetime for the kind of hot/cold cycles a dashboard experiences. Rip one apart and see if the oil has visibly leaked out of any of them. There'll be visible staining on the circuit board underneath them if they failed. Replacing the big power caps could very well bring them back to life.

Cheers

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Thanks Daryl.

I figured there may be some issues with the capacitors or the circuit solder joints. My reason for the question is that most forums involving Jeeps tend to lean toward the CD player/radio combo being non-repairable.

I'm going to tear one apart and see what I can come up with. My basic reasoning for this repair is to avoid losing the CD changer. I'd like to just pop in my CD's and drive, versus dealing with an aftermarket deck, USB thingy's, and cell phones.

Cheers,

Daniel

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I have the same problem on my 04 Grand Cherokee which I just purchased. Being a component level electronic repair technician, and noting that my screen comes on every now and then, I do not suspect capacitors but suspect a bad solder joint that is heating up and opening completely because of the damage to the circuit board. And FYI, not all bad capacitors leak. Some will just bulge on the top. My experience is that a very large number of my repairs, especially on power supplies, is poor quality solder joints.

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@alfa01,

I think if you pop one open you might be surprised at how easy to repair that generation of circuit boards are. Especially vehicle pcbs as they have to be "rugged".

The power caps and ICs are the likely culprits. Check the solder points underneath the pcb too (most pcbs of that era are through-hole). Look for the solder to be cracked away from the via. A crack will look like a clean ring around the entire joint.

Heres an example off the wiki: soldering

The other thing to look for is blown capacitors. The electrolytic will ooze out the bottom (the top if they're really bad) and you will see gunk around the base of the cap. The bigger they are, the more likely a suspect.

Also, take some pictures and maybe we can help to trace out the obvious circuits to help narrow things down.

Cheers

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In the 21st century, repair men and ladies are gone to the way side, the labor prices make these small jobs not worth the effort, everybody is just replacing their units with new, used, aftermarket or trying simple repairs themselves as mentioned here, good luck.

You can clean with alcohol but once the CD laser lens is cleaned, wipe it again with a dry cloth as the alcohol will leave a residue, just clean it a second time with a dry cotton swab. Any adjustment for the laser strength will need the help of an oscilloscope to view the tell tale pattern at the proper strength. Dry or leaking CAPS are always a problem.

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