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Dec 27, 2016

How To Deal With Common Car Audio System Problems

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Car audio systems can be the bane of your existence when they aren’t functioning properly. They are often not as straightforward as your household audio systems, and sometimes require some ingenuity and a little improvisation in order to fix. Below are some of the common car audio system problems, and tips for fixing them.

How To Fix Car Audio System Issues

Can’t Find an Accessory/Ignition Wire

The best way to locate an accessory/ignition wire is to locate a cigarette lighter that lights up when your car turns on. Get in behind the lighter, connect to the positive wire and connect it to the RED accessory/ignition wire on your audio system’s sound harness.

The Head Unit Has Power, but Doesn’t Have Sound

A large number of cars have built-in amplifiers which require a 12 volt signal to be sent so that the amplifier can be turned on. The most common are Bose, JBL and Infinity. If your car uses any one of these systems, have a look at your AMP TURN-ON signal wire to see if it has a 12 volt blue or white wire that is located on the head-unit wire harness.

Alternator Whine

To fix this you will need to check your ground wires and possibly find a better spot to ground them. The ideal place would be somewhere on the frame or body of the car. Alternative solutions include wiring in a capacitor to help deal with any spikes in power that might be causing the wine; upgrading your alternator if your new stereo requires more power; getting a better battery if yours can’t handle your new stereo; or adding an auxiliary battery. You might need to wire in a completely separate battery for your stereo.

Head Unit Lacks Power

The first step is to check and make sure that your wiring is correct. Inspect the fuses under the dashboard, or, depending on the vehicle, under the hood. It’s a good idea to pull the fuse to ensure that the leads have not corroded and that the fuse has not been popped or broken.

It’s frustrating and nerve-racking when you have invested a bunch of money in an aftermarket sound system, and think you, or whoever you have paid to install it, have done everything correctly during the installation, only to have it not work. If your audio system is malfunctioning, or has stopped working, the above fixes might just be the solution.

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