Troubleshooting a Car Stereo When the Sound Cuts Outby Daniel SmithUpdated July 19, 2023
It can be frustrating to turn on your car stereo and find out that the sound has cut out. Try troubleshooting and fixing the problem at home before taking your car into the dealer or auto repair shop. Wiring, fuses, speakers and antennas can often cause a loss of sound. Checking these areas might save you money.
Check Wire Connections
One of the most frequent causes of a loss of sound is loose or disconnected wiring. Remove the stereo cover. Unscrew the mounting screws. Gently lift the radio out. Follow the wires from the back of the stereo. Make certain each wire is connected.
Frayed or Damaged Wires
Check the condition of each of the wires. Replace or repair damaged wires, which can cause you lose the sound completely.
Sometimes the only problem is a loose speaker wire or no connection to the car speakers. Check the speakers and make certain they are connected to the stereo.
Check for a faulty speaker if the wires are all connected. Use a voltage meter to check for faulty wires that aren't making a connection. It is possible the speaker has blown and must be replaced.
Examine the fuses in the fuse box. Replace any blown fuses. Often the sound will return with a replacement fuse.
Check Radio Wattage
If your radio wattage is too low for the speakers or the car, it will cause a loss of sound. Read the car owner’s manual for the appropriate radio wattage recommendation. Replace the radio or install an amplifier to give it the appropriate radio wattage level to restore sound.
Check Radio Antenna
Another problem could be a faulty antenna if you're not receiving as many radio stations as you used to. Check its condition, and replace it if necessary. That should restore stations and the stereo's sound.
Video: Car Amplifier Troubleshooting: Sound Cuts Out When I Turn The Volume Up
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- It helped to hear that 90% of the returns you look at have no problems. I thought that I blew my amp, or that the protect mode was messed up, because whenever I tried to increase the vol. it shut down and all I was left with was my subwoofer thumping away. I took the time to diagnose it myself and narrowed it down to my rear right 6". Realized that the rear wires weren't run behind the window guides and every time it was rolled down, it was pulling on the wires and shorting them on the door panel! Nice install mistake. --- Thanks for the advice - you've been a reliable source of info.
Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.