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Troubleshooting Corvette Bose Gold Systems
1989 and older
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Troubleshooting Your Corvette Bose Gold System
1989 and Older

This Corvette Bose Gold system has six different pieces: The AM/FM/Cass in dash, four Bose enclosures with speakers and amplifiers, and a relay. You may need a voltmeter or a test light for troubleshooting. We have instructions posted to the website for Stereo, CDM, Bose Amplifier and Speaker Removal of all the equipment in this system, including the relay.

Stereo Upgrade to CD

You can upgrade to the Chevrolet Camaro 94-96 Bose car stereo with CD. It physically fits the original car stereo's position if you swap the mounting brackets. Corvette changed their wire harness and antenna connector in 1990. You need two adaptors, the wire harness and the antenna. 


Wire Harness and Antenna Adaptor
Direct plug in for installing '94-96 Camaro CD player in to '84-89 Corvette Bose audio system.
See our Youtube video at


How do you trouble shoot this system?  First, check all the fuses. All fuses are mentioned at our Introduction to Troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting the Stereo

Customers commonly send this car stereo to the shop for repair of cassettes not ejecting or playing. This is obviously a stereo problem.

Troubleshooting Bose Enclosures and Relay

Bose changed the design of their amplifiers in 1989. It is rare to see the 1988 and older Bose amplifiers in the shop for repair unless they have water damage.

The 1989 Bose amplifiers are regularly in the shop for repair. Common problems snapping, popping, squealing, loss of volume, or no volume from the speakers. When removing some Bose enclosures, you may notice a burnt electronics smell; this is definitely a bad amplifier.

Squealing from a speaker is very noticeable! This is a defective Bose amplifier.

Sound From At Least One Speaker

If at least one Bose speaker is working; the Bose enclosures are receiving their needed +12 volt signal from the relay. The Bose enclosures need troubleshooting.

Remove one working Bose enclosure with it's speaker and amplifier. Plug this enclosure into other speaker positions in the car. If the enclosure works in another location, the original enclosure from that position is defective. If the speaker does not work in another position, this is a stereo problem. Continue testing all defective locations.

No Sound From All Speakers

1988 and Older
This is commonly a relay problem. See further troubleshooting below.
We routinely see all four Bose amplifiers from this year Corvette in shop for repair. See further troubleshooting below.

Accessing rear speakers is easiest, compared to the front speakers, or the relay. Remove one rear speaker enclosure allowing access to a black connector with four wires attached to the Bose Speaker enclosure.

A voltmeter or test light is needed for this step. You must test the BLACK and ORANGE wires. The BLACK wire is ground, the ORANGE wire is +12 volts with ignition and stereo on. If the +12 volts is not present at the ORANGE wire, you may have a relay problem.

The 1989 Corvette is different from the 1988 and older Corvette Bose systems. The 1989 Bose amplifier design is not as reliable as the older amplifiers. This system can have four bad amplifiers. Testing for +12 volt power at the enclosure connector, mentioned above, removes the relay from being the problem.

If the +12 volts is present, and there is no sound at any speaker, with the stereo system on. Sometimes putting your ear close to each speaker; you may hear low volume or "white noise" (SSSHHH) sound. This indicates the loss of volume problem, commonly seen with these amplifiers.

A loud snap and/or pop sound from the speakers, usually heard when the stereo is turned on and off is a defective Bose amplifier.

The remaining two wires in the connector mentioned above are the audio signals supplied to the amplifier. If you connect another speaker directly to these two wires to check audio, with the stereo at full volume, you may hear very low and distorted audio. This means the stereo is supplying the signals needed for sound. If the audio is missing, this is a stereo problem.

Checking the Relay

A voltmeter or test light is needed for this step. After troubleshooting to a suspect relay, remove car stereo. The Pink wire from the stereo should have +12 volts with the ignition and stereo on. If the +12 volts is missing, this is a stereo problem. If the +12 volts is present, remove and replace the relay.

We have instructions for the removal of this relay posted, but it may be in a different location on some older Corvettes.

Bose Fuse Continues to Blow
(Fuse that supplies power to Bose enclosures through relay)

You have a shorted Bose amplifier. Disconnect all enclosures, replace fuse. Connect one Bose enclosure at a time. The fuse will blow when the shorted amplifier is connected. Disconnect shorted enclosure, replace fuse, and continue test with remaining enclosures.

Checking Bose Speakers

Bose speaker are rarely defective. It is a good idea to give the speakers a visual inspection for water or for physical damage to the paper cone. Swap suspect speakers to a known working enclosure for testing.

Bose speakers can not be replaced with aftermarket speakers. Aftermarket speakers are four ohm. Bose speakers are one to two ohm. Installing an aftermarket speaker in place of a Bose speaker automatically cuts the Bose amplifier power 1/4 to 1/2 it's original output.

How to Repair

Our repair facility is located in Longwood Florida. We are as close as your nearest UPS, FedEx or Post Office. Our normal turn-around time for repair of the 1989 and newer Bose amplifiers is 2-4 days with a LIFETIME WARRANTY. Car stereos have a one year warranty with a 4-8 day turn around.




(Please see before sending equipment for repair)


  We purchase BROKEN Bose system

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