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Listening on 141.850 mHz!
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Discussion Starter #1
Ran a search, found nothing.

In my '97 Tbird I have a 4 way Sony XM-404EQX (with a built in equalizer, pictured below) driving 4 Infinity Kappa 6x8 speakers (2 in door, 2 in back sides), head unit is a Sony AM/FM/MiniDisc. The amp was working great for the longest time until......

Had a jug of windshield solvent in the trunk, not secured, just rolling around. One morning I get in the car, front windows are fogged up. Figured what the heck, wiped ' em down. Later that morning I have to go to the trunk, I see the jug with the cap off and almost empty - it was full. Trunk carpet is soaked with it. The amp is mounted on the trunk floor right at the seat back. I didn't verify if the liquid from the jug went all the way to the back and splashed the amp. Found the cap and screwed it back on, closed the trunk.

Turned the radio on and it works, but when I turn the volume up the sound distorts and pops. I lower the volume and the radio works great. Speakers are fine - brand new.

So what did the windshield fluid do to the amp? Can I fix this or get it fixed? This happened last week, the carpet has been bone dry for a while - it dried up within a few hours in the summer heat, but the sound still pops when it's loud.

If I have to replace the amp I want one with a built in EQ so I can tailor the individual freqs. Sony doesn't make any like that anymore and I'm not positive anyone else does. Not too plentiful on the 'Bay either.

 

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yep, sounds like you need a new amp. i had a bottle of windex in my trunk last week, spilled all over but didnt hurt anything, it just smells weird. lesson learned for both of us lol
 

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Listening on 141.850 mHz!
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Discussion Starter #3
<< sounds like you need a new amp >>

Even though it sounds great at low and medium volume levels? There's gotta be a fix to this I think. Eventually I was planning on taking it to a car stereo shop for a diagnostic to see what they say, but wondered if anyone else came across this problem.

Ya, lesson learned, gotta figure a way to keep stuff from jostling around in the trunk, especially bottles of various liquids.
 

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Take it out of the car (no wires connected!), and wash it out with a hose really well.

Take the covers off, and see if the board is burnt. The fact is almost works is a good sign.

If you can still see crud inside the amp, put it in the dishwasher by itself and only use a bit of dishwasher detergent. No, it won't hurt anything that has no moving parts...


When you get it clean, let it dry in a warm spot for a couple of days, and hook it back up and see if it works. It has to be completely dry!

Cleaners are conductive, and the amp has 12V power, even if it's not on. That causes problems...
 

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Listening on 141.850 mHz!
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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm, sounds interesting, what I was going to do was something similar: open the case, take out the main board to visually inspect it, and then hit it with a good burst of CRC QD Electronic Cleaner spray that I have, on both sides, and then let it air dry, put it back together and then fire it up to see what gives.
 

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Electronic spray won't wash out a polar liquid; use water.

Don't use the dry cycle in the dishwasher; it gets too hot, and will bust the caps. (no, not that kind...)

Just be sure it's dry; it will take a couple of days to dry the transformers.
 

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Take it out of the car (no wires connected!), and wash it out with a hose really well.

Take the covers off, and see if the board is burnt. The fact is almost works is a good sign.

If you can still see crud inside the amp, put it in the dishwasher by itself and only use a bit of dishwasher detergent. No, it won't hurt anything that has no moving parts...


When you get it clean, let it dry in a warm spot for a couple of days, and hook it back up and see if it works. It has to be completely dry!

Cleaners are conductive, and the amp has 12V power, even if it's not on. That causes problems...
I thought you were joking for a second.
 

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I thought you were joking for a second.
You can wash anything electronic that doesn't have moving parts in a dishwasher; how do you think they clean circuitboards at the factory? :)

As to moving parts, It will wash out any lubricant, so don't try it with a tape deck or VCR; Also, remotes are better washed in the sink after taking them apart, the rubber gets trashed in the DW.

The only way to hurt anything is to plug it up before its dry.

If anything gets wet like this, take the batteries out, or yank the fuses ASAP.

Wash, rinse, repeat, to borrow a phrase, lol.

Cellphones apparently are designed to dissolve in pool water, so beware! :rolleyes:
 

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Listening on 141.850 mHz!
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, I plan on doing something this weekend with it. Like I wrote, at low volumes it sounds great. Turn up the volume and it pops, distorts, and cuts out. Lower the volume and it's fine again. It never did that before. I put 2 new speakers in the back thinking the speakers were bad and it wasn't so it has to be the amp. The head unit is working fine so the suspect is the amp and the liquid that got onto it.
 

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it might be that there's some condensation in there that isn't enough to conduct the electricity until the volume is turned up.
Actually, more current flows where it doesn't belong the higher the volume.
 

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Listening on 141.850 mHz!
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Discussion Starter #14
Will do, the weird thing is that yesterday the popping and distortion went away. I haven't touched it yet, didn't have a chance to over the weekend, all is back to normal. I'll still take a look at it anyway.
 

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The water evaporated, and the amp will work fine.

But, the next time you get it damp, or there's condensation, the problem will come back.

The electrolyte may also be corrosive, but that's a different problem. :)

Hey, any problem that cures itself can't be too bad, can it?

:D
 
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