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A Guide for Beginners on Troubleshooting Car Amplifier

Is your car amp not working properly? Find out how to diagnose your car amplifier right here. 

Car amp optimizes the sonic performance of an automotive audio system. It is the reason why some car audio system has clear and crisp sounds. If you have never dared to install a car amp, you should.
Any sound equipment wears down over time, including car amplifiers. Take note that even a good quality car amplifier can have problems, including distortions in the sound and failure to power on. However, it does not mean that these issues can’t be fixed. Below are the most common car amp problems and a comprehensive guide on how to fix them.

1 It Doesn’t Power On

If the car amp doesn’t power on, the first thing you need to do is check the voltage on the power wires. Make sure that the voltage on power wires remains at 12 volts when the vehicle is off and around 14.4 when on. If there is nothing wrong with the power wires, check the voltage on the remote turn-on wire. The voltage at the remote turn-on wire should be at least 5 volts. 
If the voltmeter shows both wiring system has the correct voltage, try to check the in-line fuse and the amp fuse. These two should measure about 12 volts. And if one of them blows, you’ll have to replace the damaged fuse. 
One of the common reasons why a car amp doesn’t power on is because of the issues on the ground wire continuity. Thus, take time to diagnose your car’s ground wire continuity. If there is a poor connection, or one of the wires isn’t connected, you should secure the connection.

2 When Protect Light Stays On

Begin by troubleshooting the wiring voltage and continuity similar to the steps on how to check when the amp has no power, and then unplug the speaker wires. 
If the protect light turns off after unplugging the speaker wires, one of the wires may be poorly connected or touching a metal that results in short-circuiting of speakers. 
Also, inspect the RCA cables. A grounded and burnt RCA cable can contribute to this problem. If one of the RCA cables is damaged, you’ll have to replace it.

3 If the Car Amp is Clipping

Clipping is the term used to identify a type of sound distortion. It occurs when the amplifier ‘clips’ the audio waveform. It is an indicator that the amp is overworked by one of the speakers or subwoofer. Chances are the amp can’t provide enough power, which consequences the sound distortion. 
There are only two solutions to this problem. You have to either upgrade your car amp to match the power of the speakers or downgrade the speaker system. Experts always suggest buyers choose car amps that match the current speaker system of the automotive.

4 The Car Amp has No Sound

Inspect if the speaker system is turned on and increase the head unit volume. Power on the amp and check if all the speakers produce sound. If no sound is coming out of one of the inputs, the problem is on the head unit and not the amplifier. 

If there is still no sound from the amp, disconnect the speakers and try other speakers. If it works fine, then replace the damaged speaker.

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