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Old 09-09-2009, 06:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2003 Impala radio displays the word TRACK

Tuesday a bad water pump was replaced on one of the City's 2003 Impalas (police package, 3.8L VIN K). Everything went smoothly and the unit is back on the road.

However, this morning the officer returned for help. The radio display now shows the word TRACK. The time of day is on the left side of the display and TRACK is on the right (where the radio station would normally be displayed).

The main problem is the radio does not function: it will not turn off, it will not let the user change channels, it does not play any audio at all. The unit in question is a GM factory RDS radio with cassette only (no CD). The red light next to the cassette port is NOT flashing.

Pressing and holding the TUNE/DISP button to enter program mode does not help. After a few seconds of holding TUNE/DISP, the word TRACK will begin flashing. Letting go of TUNE/DISP causes TRACK to stop flashing and return to a steady display of the word TRACK. Pressing any other button while continuing to hold TUNE/DISP also causes TRACK to stop blinking and return to a steady display of the word TRACK.

The vehicle's battery was disconnected for the water pump service, then reconnected afterwards. The clock was successfully reset from 12:00 to the correct time after being reconnected, but the radio was not tested at that time. The radio has NOT been removed from the vehicle.

A thorough review of the audio section of the owners' manual reveals nothing, as the TRACK message is not even listed as a possible radio message (only CAL ERR and LOCKED are listed as possible messages).

The police department wishes to avoid a trip to the dealership for two reasons: unit downtime and a diagnostic labor charge. The Shop's OTC Genisys scan tool does not have any functions related to radio programming (unlike GM's Tech 2).

Does anyone have any ideas of what should be tried? Thank you very much.

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you guys using the radio to pipe audio in from your police radio? If so, I'd take a look at the digital input on the back of the radio. Or if there's anything plugged into the digital input in the trunk, the problem may be there.

It's also possible that the digital input is totally shot or grounded causing that flag.

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Old 09-17-2009, 05:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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re: 2003 Impala radio displays the word TRACK

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderson75 View Post
Are you guys using the radio to pipe audio in from your police radio? If so, I'd take a look at the digital input on the back of the radio. Or if there's anything plugged into the digital input in the trunk, the problem may be there.

It's also possible that the digital input is totally shot or grounded causing that flag.
Thank you for the reply, wanderson75. I'm sorry for not replying sooner - one of the City's two garbage trucks failed and I've been doing nothing but working on it since my initial post.

No, the police radios the City uses have their own speakers and are not tied into the Chevrolet radio in any way. That's a good idea, though, and I see how that could pose a potential problem.

I guess I'll have to call this problem "fixed" for now. The officer told me that one evening he decided to disconnect the battery to see if it would change anything and it "solved" the problem - when he reconnected the battery (it was just a disconnect and then immediate reconnect, no long duration of battery disconnect) the radio was fine (fine = full functionality).

At next startup in the morning, however, the word TRACK and complete lack of functionality had returned. The officer said he pressed the TUNE/DISPL button 3 times in quick succession and full functionality was restored.

Whether or not that was the correct repair I may never know, but I'll definitely keep it in mind - and wanted to report it here - in case it can ever help anyone else.

Thanks again!

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