My radio problem starts with the sliding door in a minivan. The automatic side door stopped working, so I checked the system and the problem wasn't caused by the motor or switches. It was something with the board. I took it out and thought I'd replace it. But at $600 used, I didn't bother. The kids went back to opening that door manually. The radio problem was yet to come.
Next thing to go was the rear hatch controller, which I also decided not to have replaced since I knew the estimated cost. Then the CD player in the radio stopped working. It wouldn't even give my wife back her favorite CDs. I'm definitely hating automotive electronics at this point. I figure I need to get a new van soon.
Now comes the weird part. Ford issued a recall on the torque converter. It's something mechanical that I don't quite understand. But when you're working near the starter you disconnect the battery to prevent accidentally shorting the contacts or anything else. So the shop had my van’s battery disconnected for almost the entire day.
A few days after we got the van back my wife thanked me for fixing the CD player. I said it wasn't me, and went out to check it myself. Sure enough it worked like nothing was ever wrong with it. That got me thinking about the battery. I figured the electronics needed to be completely powered off to let it reset.
So on a whim I pushed the rear hatch button. It worked too! Now I only regret not leaving the sliding door's controller in place! I know I'd had the battery disconnected for other work, but never for an extended period. That was what it needs for everything to reboot.
This entry was submitted by Tom Rutledge and edited by Rob Spiegel.
Tom Rutledge graduated from the University of Western Ontario as a mechanical engineer.
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