Thursday, July 16, 2015

Car Toys Sequel

The local representative from Car Toys called about the situation with the installation of the new radio. In all fairness to him, I wasn't exactly nice and polite during the conversation as I don't like having spent $223 to find their work was the problem which caused the primary battery in the VW Syncro to die.

Anyway, the rep. explained why their technician installed the wire harness to the fuse box and the igntion to the radio. It's the standard setup with new radio on older cars. But, and a really big but, that assumes the car has only one battery.

The rep. explained the new radios require wriring through the ignition to control when the radio is on and off, to prevent the radio, namely the face, from being on all the time (like they can't be on for how long before it's damaged?).

The rep. explained new radio require two power sources, one for the constant power when the ignition is off and one for the radio when it's on, hence requiring the wire harness from the radio to the ignition and fuse box which the old radio didn't have.

That's because the VW Syncro has twin batteries, one primary when the igntion is one and one backup when it's off. The Syncro has a relay triggered by the ignition to switch batteries, but both are charged from the alternator when the engine is running.

And that's what their technician didn't know and screwed up, and why their technician who did have the knowledge and experience, and was there, didn't help or better do the work on the Syncro. It's why the primary battery died.

When the radio is off the backup battery runs the radio, both constant and when the ignition is on or off, it doesn't matter. VW wired the radio from the fuse box from the backup battery, the radio is not in the primary battery circuit.

When their technician wired the harness he connected the constant power to the backup battery (existing power source to the old radio) and the radio control to the primary battery so when the ignition is on, both batteries are powering the radio. Not smart.

When the ignition is off though, somehow the wire harness maintains the connection between the batteries through the radio, which was the drain the VW service technician found when he did the diagnostics on the Syncro, and removing the fuse broke that connection.

Now the radio's constant power and on/off power are through the backup battery as they were supposed to wire it in the first place. The rep. offered to fix the wire harness if I want, but since it's in the system between the fuse box, ignition and radio, I'm not sure if it's worth it for them to have their shot to screw it up again.

Anyway, that's the story to date. If you like Car Toys, fine, but for me, I'm not happy with their work. I like the radio, just not their service and not sure I'll go back for them to fix what they broke and cost me real money to solve.

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