A common problem with the car stereo in 2003-2007 Honda Accords, is that the radio starts glitching out. It may work intermittently, or suddenly start working when you go over a bump. Another common problem is that the radio works when it is cold, and stops working when it is warmed up, or vice versa.
One reason for this is that the solder joints on the motherboard start to crack and fail over time. This makes it so that the radio works intermittently – very annoying!
In this post, we’ll go through an inexpensive and relatively quick method for re-melting the solder joints in your car stereo to fix the intermittent radio problem!
Tools and Supplies:
- Intermittent radio
- Small screwdrivers
- empty tuna can
How to Bake your Car Stereo in Oven to Repair Cold Solder Joints
The first step is to remove the radio from the car. If you’re not sure how to remove the radio, watch this YouTube video on how to remove the radio from a 2004 Honda Accord.
Once the radio is removed, take off any extra pieces such as heat-sinks and especially anything plastic.
Next, if there is a CD player or cassette player, remove that from the assembly as well.
We want to bake only the motherboard, if possible. This is where most of the cold-solder joints occur.
Next, inspect the motherboard, looking closely at the solder joints to see if you can find any cracks or pits Find the 2R2 inductors, these tend to be especially problematic. Find regions where pins going through the motherboard appear to have incomplete solder, as shown below as well.
Note: If you are skilled at soldering and have an appropriately small soldering iron, re-melt the solder to make a better joint.
The goal with baking the radio in the oven is to soften the solder joints so that cracks are repaired. To do this, put the radio on a cooking pan.
I set it on top of an empty tuna can, to raise it up a little bit and provide more uniform heating.
Setting the oven temperature is critical. Most solder melts between 360-370 deg F, so set the oven to higher than this, but not too much higher. We don’t want to damage the other electrical components.
I set my oven to 380 deg F.
Go ahead and put the radio in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The first time I did this, I put it in for 10 minutes, and that wasn’t long enough.
Baking your radio may produce some electrical burning-type smell. That is normal. If this smell bothers you, make sure the room is well ventilated, or use an oven somewhere other than your kitchen!
Once the radio is done backing, remove it and allow it to cool. Slow cooling is better than fast cooling.
Once the radio is cool to the touch, reassemble it and put it back into the vehicle.
Good luck, I hope this helps you and you get your tunes back. If not, consider replacing your radio with an aftermarket Android touchscreen radio unit…