5 Reasons your Car Stereo Stopped Working by Carlsen Subaru, Serving San Francisco

Car Radio Problems Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting problems with your car radio can be almost impossible for an amateur. The system of wires, speakers and electronic components running all over the car is extremely complex. But, when something goes wrong with your car's audio system, you need a fix, or your commute can get really boring, really fast.

The expert technicians at our service center in Carlsen Subaru have the experience, the tools and the know-how to fix just about any problem you're experiencing with your car radio. To give you an idea of what might be involved, we'll describe below the five most common reasons that a car stereo will stop working.

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Problem #5: Sound Cuts In and Out

One problem you might experience is a speaker or speakers that are cutting in and out as you drive along. A bump in the road might cause the speaker to cut out, only for it to come back on its own a few seconds or minutes later.

This problem is usually caused by a loose speaker wire. If the wire to the back of a speaker comes loose, bumps in the road can temporarily interrupt the circuit, until another bump moves the wire back into contact with the speaker.

This can also be caused by an overheating amplifier. Whenever the amplifier is working hard, it creates a lot of heat. If there's not enough airflow, the amplifier will overheat and stop working periodically in order to cool down. If your sound is cutting in and out at random, a technician will need to examine the speaker wires to ensure they're properly connected and ensure the amplifier is getting proper airflow.

Our certified Subaru Service professionals at Carlsen Subaru will keep your vehicle radio system in top condition!

Problem #4: Stereo Has No Power, Won't Turn On

While this could be caused by a faulty head unit or a weak battery, the most common reason the car itself works fine but the stereo won't turn on is a blown fuse. In order to protect the vehicle's delicate electronics from power surges, every electrical component shares a circuit with a fuse -- much like the fuses in your breaker box at home. If the system starts to draw too much power, the fuse will blow, interrupting the current and protecting the electronics from further damage.

Fixing this problem could be as simple as replacing the blown fuse! It's also a good idea to have the components on that circuit checked out to ensure the fuse won't blow again in the future.

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Problem #3: Sound Quality is Bad

Over time, the components of your car stereo could become damaged and cause a drop-off in sound quality. Usually, it begins with a blown speaker. A blown speaker will still produce some sound, but the quality of your favorite music will be muddy and lack clarity and bass response. To fix a blown speaker, you'll simply have to have it replaced with a new one.

Problem #2: Radio Won't Tune In

If the stereo turns on and seems to be working, but the radio won't pick up a signal, you probably have a problem with the antenna. In many modern cars, the antenna is integrated into the body of the car or even in the windshield glass. However, older cars with retractable or removable antennae are more likely to experience problems. If the antenna was broken off or won't extend, you'll have trouble getting good reception. Visit us to have a new one installed.

Problem #1: Unwanted Sounds from the Speakers

Have you ever noticed that the background hum of your favorite station changes pitch as your engine changes RPMs? That's called alternator whine. It's a common occurrence, but it's not supposed to happen. If one of your audio system components doesn't have a good ground connection, it can transmit alternator whine through the speakers and into the cabin. To get rid of this cross-talk from the alternator to the speakers, a technician will need to check the audio system to ensure every component is well grounded.

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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