(SOLVED) Amp Not Turning On With Remote Wire

Norvan Martin

An amplifier is an essential element in any car audio system, as it amplifies signals sent from the head unit to speakers for high-quality sound reproduction.

In a car audio system, amplifiers are often turned on by a remote wire. Remote wires are responsible for turning amplifiers on and off, and if they stop functioning correctly, your amp won’t turn on. Troubleshooting an amp that won’t turn on with its remote wire requires taking a systematic approach with some knowledge of car audio systems in mind.

The remote turn-on wire usually comes from the radio, in which case the amplifier won’t turn on if the radio isn’t on. So if there is no power at the remote terminal on the amplifier, the next step is to check for power at the corresponding wire where it connects to the radio.

Here, we will outline steps you can take to diagnose and resolve remote wire issues so your car audio system is back up and running properly again.

What Is The Remote Wire?

Before we dive into troubleshooting, let’s first understand what a remote wire is and its function.

Where Does The Remote Wire Go On A Car Stereo

A remote wire is a small wire connecting an amplifier with the head unit or receiver of your sound system and is often colored blue; its function is to switch on/off your amplifier when the signal from its head unit is sent through it to activate it.

Reasons An Amp May Not Turn On With The Remote Wire

There can be several reasons why an amplifier may not turn on with the remote wire. The most common reasons are:

1. The Remote Wire Is Not Connected Properly

Issue: The number one cause for amplifiers not turning on with remote wire connections is loose connections. Of course, the remote wire should properly connect the amplifier and head unit terminals, or else no signal will reach it and cause it not to activate properly.

First, you need to locate the remote wire on the amplifier so that you can check it. If connected incorrectly, the amplifier will never receive this signal, leading it to shut off completely and not turn back on at any point during use.

Fix: To start the repair, verify all connections. Ensure the remote wire is attached to both terminals of both the amplifier and head unit and that no loose connections or wire damage exists (replace the damaged wire with a new one as soon as possible).

2. Faulty Remote Wire

Issue: Another possible explanation for why an amplifier will not turn on when connected by a remote wire is that its remote wire may be broken or damaged in some way; such damage prevents signals from reaching its amplifier, leading to it not turning on as intended.

Fix: Check it for signs of wear-and-tear damage before replacing any necessary pieces if any are identified. Use a continuity meter or multimeter to check if the wire is ok.

3. The Head Unit or Radio Isn’t Functioning Correctly

Sometimes the issue might not lie with either the remote wire or amplifier itself – but rather with your head unit itself. If it is misbehaving and failing to send signals through to the amplifier, it its not turning on as intended.

Be on the lookout for any signs of dysfunction with your unit; should there be any, repair or replace as soon as possible.

4. Amplifier Is Defective

Issue: Once all other possible explanations for non-working amplifiers have been eliminated, the issue could lie within its circuitry and may prevent powering on.

When this occurs it would be prudent to have a professional examine and repair it as soon as possible.

Fix: Check your amplifier properly. Disconnect its remote wire from its power terminal, and connect a jumper wire between its remote terminal and power terminal; if your amplifier turns back on after doing this test, your problem could lie with either its remote wire connection or with it.

Should that fail, seek professional repair service immediately for this particular model of the amplifier.

5. Check Voltage

Issue: Use a multimeter and check if there is voltage present on the remote wire.

Fix: If no voltage can be found in it, inspect the head unit for signs of malfunction.

6. Check the Ground

Issue: If the amplifier still won’t power on, another possible culprit might be its ground connection.

Fix: Look out for any signs of damage or corrosion and make sure it securely links up with an appropriate ground source; any looseness could prevent an amp from turning on.

Step 5. Check Fuse

Issue: The final step is to check the fuse. If the fuse is blown, it can cause the amplifier to not turn on.

Fix: Check the fuse and replace it if necessary.


Remote wires play an integral part in turning on amplifiers. When troubleshooting an amp that won’t turn on, one of the first places you should check is its remote wire; ensure it is connected correctly, not damaged, and has voltage before moving onto other steps such as checking amplifier ground fuse wiring, etc.

Following these steps can quickly help troubleshoot and get your sound system operational again in no time – failing which it would be wiser to consult a professional repairman about repairs for the repair of an amplifier.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin