Ask an expert
The stereo system in my 2002 Nissan Skyline has died completely.
A local auto electrician advised that he has dealt with several of these before and he says it is not uncommon and that the climate air system often fails as well!
He says that repairing this fault is usually impossible and that complete replacement will almost certainly be necessary.
The Nissan dealership advised that a new stereo ex Japan is expensive ($2400 + labour ~ $3000) because the electronics are integrated with the climate air system.
Without technical expertise in these matters I do not know what to believe or do next.
Would it be worth trying to locate a second hand replacement?
Really appreciate your advice on this.
From the "Ask Jack" archives - 22 August, 2008
Many modern electrical systems in cars are now interlinked by a Controller Area Network (CAN) data wiring system.
This allows the various computers around the vehicle to communicate with each other on a single wire allowing for increased functionality without the need for miles of additional wiring.
There is a possibility that the climate air requires the audio system to be installed/operational for it to send and receive data from other various computers around the car.
I would expect this to be the case particularly if the climate controls are displayed on the audio system's information display.
If the stereo unit is defiantly the cause of the fault, a second hand unit from a wrecker could solve this issue.
But be aware, just like the faulty unit in your car, there's no guarantee it'll last forever. The one big advantage is the cost saving over a new part.
I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a repair just yet though.
For a small inspection fee, an electronics specialist could confirm if the unit is repairable.
The largest provider in Electronic repairs for the automotive industry is 'Anything Electronics' in Nelson. They have a good reputation and a quick turn-around.
If it's a common problem it's quite possible they have seen the fault before, or have a reconditioned unit in stock.
They are worth a phone call or email or visit the Anything Electronic's website www.anythingelectronic.co.nz
Look on the internet as you can get a replacement fascia that will enable you to change the stereo to a normal after market model. the cost is about $300 for the panel which has the aircon controls as well. might be worth having a look at this as an option