What To Do When Your Car Stereo Stops Working

The car stereo has become so much a part of your driving experience, that driving without one is almost unthinkable. So what do you do when you turn on your car's ignition and the stereo just won't turn on?

Double Check the Problem

The first move, which is rather obvious, but necessary, is to check that your radio is actually tuned correctly. Next, try your other audios (CD and Mp3) player to see if they are working properly. If these are ok, the problem is not the speaker.

Audio Connections

Check your audio connections. For this, you'll have to remove your stereo from the dashboard. You will need special tools which can be easily found at your local DIY store. Check your audio connections to ensure that they are firmly fixed. Before you start, make sure your car is turned off and the key removed from the ignition.

Blown Fuse

When your car stereo won't come on, a blown fuse is by far the most common culprit. You can check the fuse physically or use a voltmeter. To do a physical check, go to your fuse panel.  Depending on your car model, this is located under the hood or below the steering wheel. The drawings on the fuse panel cover will help you identify the car radio fuse. Remove and examine the fuse for a broken filament. If the fuse is blown, replace it with the correct amperage.  


Check the voltage of your wiring. The yellow constant wire should bring in 12v at all times while the red accessory wire should bring in 12v when the ignition is in the ON position. The ground wire may be affected by the constant movement of the vehicle, so make sure it is well grounded.

Speaker Wires

A broken connection in wires leading to the speakers may be responsible for poor sound. You need to be able to identify at what point the connection is broken. For this, you may need the services of a car stereo repair expert.

Blown Speakers

A blown speaker will produce poor indistinct sound. This cannot be repaired and has to be replaced.

Final Thoughts

Problems with your car stereo are most likely due to a blown fuse or broken connections; however, the stereo itself may be at fault. If you are still unable to identify the problem, visit or call an auto repair service for proper diagnosis and repair.

Contact a company like Hillis 66 Service for more information and assistance.