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The audio on OE Bose radio stopped abruptly even though it still looks like it works with all the lights lit and moving for channels and volume up and down (cd was already not working). Took to dealer who diagnosed and tried to 'reprogram' for $70 (is this a legit charge?) and said radio was broken and about $360 more for rebuilt one from dealer with installation. Agreed to this. Once they put it in they said the amp was also gone for another $450 installed. Told us it was not possible to know the amp was gone until a working radio was in. It surprised us completely since they never mentioned there was a possibility about the amp. Help, please! I want to know from an expert on this Avalanche/Bose system. Thank you.

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For a 20 year old radio, the volume and balance is almost certainly controlled by a potentiometer that has input into one leg of the fixed resistance, and the other leg (of the fixed resistance) is grounded. The movable center tap is the output to the amplifier - and its position controls the volume to that channel. If the ground leg becomes disconnected (broken wire, or a cold solder joint, or even a break in the resistor within the body of the potentiometer) then instead of "dividing" the volume, it simply provides a slight resistance inline - short answer: It goes full volume.
You can try running the control full range back and forth, and even just the old time "slap it" approach, to see if you get any static or change. If you do, that pretty well confirms the diagnosis. [If not, it just means the break is not close to touching - still almost certainly the right answer though.]
Only fix is going to be disassembly. You then may be able to find the break (and resolder it), and/or replace the volume potentiometer. Note that if you have remote volume/balance control (controls on the steering wheel), then there is some extra wiring that can likewise be involved. jk

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