10 Reasons for Car Speakers Not Working


When you are ready to go on a trip, no matter how long or short, faulty speakers are the last thing you want to deal with. With so many possibilities, you might be wondering where to start.

Several things can be behind car speakers not working, including blown fuses, a non-working head unit, damaged signal wire, and even the speakers’ position. Troubleshooting car speakers is generally a straightforward process that anyone can do, provided you have the time.

This article will cover 10 reasons for car speakers not working, including how to identify if each reason is your specific problem.

Blown Fuse

Fuses are designed to protect your speakers from overvoltage because the last thing you want is for your investment in sound to burn out. Generally, when there is excess current, the fuse will blow, cutting off the speakers and protecting them from damage.

One of the first things you should check when your car speakers are not working is your fuses. A blown fuse will prevent all power to the speakers when you try turning them on.

When you replace the fuse, it must be with one of equal rating. After you replace the fuse, pay attention to it. If it blows again shortly after being replaced, you may have other electrical problems.

Damaged Signal Wire

If the speakers are not getting a proper signal from the head unit due to a damaged signal wire, you could end up with no sound. Everyday use of your car can lead to wear and tear of your car speaker wires, eventually leading to damage.

Run a new wire from the head unit to the speakers to test for a damaged wire. As this is just a test, do not run the wires through the car; simply extract the speaker and the head unit to swap out the wires and run them straight from one to the other. If the speaker works, you have a damaged signal and need to run a new wire through your car.

Positioning of Car Speakers

Based on where you have installed your car speakers, they could be in a position to receive severe damage. You will need to evaluate if this is the cause of why you have no sound. Additionally, if they are in a bad spot, they may have sound, and you cannot hear it. You must carefully consider where you place your speakers for the best results.

Speakers also have magnetic fields. Placing them too close together will cause the magnetic fields to interact, pushing against each other. This interaction will ultimately cause the speakers not to work correctly.

Wires Are Pulled Out

There is also the potential that your wires have been pulled out. This likely happened because they were not fully installed from the start. You will need to check each end to ensure a firm connection.

When installing your speakers, be sure to provide enough wire length, so they do not become easily unplugged. This mistake is commonly made, allowing routine adjustments to the sound system to result in the unplugging of the speakers.

Wires Are Not Connected Correctly

Speaker wire may be color coded or see-through. The see-through wire will have one copper and one silver wire for you to tell the difference. The wires are negative and positive and must be connected in the correct order for the speakers to work. However, if you make a mistake, you will not cause any permanent damage to your audio system.

Read the manual to determine which wire goes where. If you don’t have the manual, you can  try swapping the wires around and testing to see if the speakers begin working.

Wires Are Loose

Loose wires can also be a problem for your sound system. If the speakers do not have a firm connection, it can cause spotty output. Bumps in the road can result in the speaker going out. Eventually, a loose wire can work its way out.

This is an easy fix if it is a problem. Check all your connections and ensure they are secure. Check both ends of the wire, not just the speaker end.

Failed Amplifier or Preamp

If there is a problem with your amplifier or preamp, one side of your car’s sound system may stop working. Check this by ensuring your speakers are on the correct amplifier channels and swap the RCA cables on the right and left speakers with the radio off.

When you turn the radio on, if the left speaker was not working before and now the right speaker is not working, but the left is, you have a preamp problem. If the issue does not swap sides, it is an amp problem, and you will need a professional.

Software Issue

Your car stereo must have downloaded the latest firmware to work correctly with the installed speakers. The software needs to be compatible with the speaker brand and model, or you will not have successful results when trying to play music.

Read your manual and ensure you have the right speakers for your stereo. Then, download the latest firmware to your radio.

Problems With Antenna or Tuner

If you have a problem where you can listen to everything but the radio, there may be a problem with the tuner. The way to fix this is by buying and installing a new head unit; however, this is rarely the problem.

Generally, the antenna causes all the problems with the radio signal. Because it is constantly exposed to the elements, it has a high potential of becoming corroded. Additionally, because of its placement on the car, it can become loose during driving.

Check your antenna for signs of rust or looseness. Tighten it down and, if necessary, replace it.

Problems With the Head Unit

Problems with the head unit can also cause the speakers not to work. First, you should verify that the head unit is not in the anti-theft mode that would prevent operation. If that’s fine, check all your settings, including volume and fade.

You will also need to try all input settings to determine if the problem is isolated to one setting or if it is across the board. Check all onboard fuses and look for loose wires.