Most car models come equipped with inbuilt stereos and speakers. These car stereos are usually well-designed, however, all systems malfunction sooner or later. One common and rather weird issue is that your car radio may turn on randomly by itself.
There are a number of reasons why your radio may turn on by itself. These issues include the radio getting old and faulty, faulty wiring, incorrect installation, or a blown fuse. To fix this issue, you nee to begin by determining the exact root cause of the issue and address that.
Let’s take a look at the three major causes of car stereo problems:
- Old Age: The first one is old age, which is an inevitable problem.
- Wiring: The second is faulty components or wiring. When the components are not correctly matched, the proper sound output is inhibited, this could lead to malfunction.
- Incorrect Installation: The final cause, which happens to be quite common, is incorrect installation, also referred to as “user error”. Regardless of the root cause of your car radio’s problem, you should quickly get it fixed to avoid any long-term issues.
- Blown Fuse: An electrical issue can cause the radio’s fuse to blow
Why Does Your Car Radio Turn On by Itself?
The power source of your car radio typically links directly to the ignition switch. What this implies is that the power source may not be turned off when you shut off the ignition.
Another likely cause is loose wires touching and causing shorts, leading to your car radio turning on spontaneously.
There could be an issue with where the switch is positioned inside of the system as well.
Outlined below are the major causes of this issue coupled with some light advice and quick fixes.
1. Blown Fuse
A fuse ensures that your car stereo gets the required operating voltage. The fuse is also designed to protect its circuit from any instance of shorting. A poorly working or blown fuse might push your stereo into an on-off cycle which can be quite frustrating. A fuse can blow due to some electrical issue like an electrical short.
Before you replace the fuse, it is important that you inspect the electrical system to ensure that there are no lingering issues. If the issue persists when the fuse is replaced, it will simply blow again.
2. Memory Wire Malfunction
If your car radio exhibits this malfunction specifically when you start your car, try to replace the memory wire and see if the problem goes away.
If you can’t detect any issue with the memory wire with a visual inspection, check it for its voltage reading through a multi-meter.
It is advised to entrust these repairs and replacements to a well-trained mechanic or automobile engineer to avoid worsening the issue.
3. Head Unit Wiring Malfunction
Sometimes every component of the car stereo is working perfectly fine except for some wires of the head unit.
Therefore, start troubleshooting when your car stereo keeps resetting. Inspect every wire coming out of the head unit, and see if it’s properly taped. Often, you may figure out the issue this way.
Car Radio Keeps Turning Off By Itself
Another common issue raised by car owners is about the car radio turning off. This problem is known as a Sound cut.
Sound cuts normally occur when the amplifier is getting overheated or a speaker wire has become loose.
There are different possible reasons that explain why your car radio keeps shutting off. It could be anything from a wiring error to a malfunctioning head unit.
Here are some potential signs that signal this problem and some basic troubleshooting techniques you can try.
1. Wire Shorting
This occurs when the wires at the back of your radio’s wiring harness get loose enough to start touching each other. When this happens, both wires get shorted out.
This can happen if the copper from the wires comes in contact with other wires they should not be connecting with. For example, the black ground wire touching the red power wire when going over bumps can make your car stereo shut off automatically.
2. Loosely Connected Wires
This is also another similar problem related to the first part of troubleshooting. This happens when the power and ground wires do not make proper contact with each other.
This can cause problems such as not getting enough power to the stereo, when the power output gets too low your radio will go off. So check that all wires are connected firmly with each other to ensure that they are secure.
3. Loose Front Panel/Face Plate
Nowadays, most car radios on the market come equipped with a detachable front panel you can take with you after you park your car.
While this definitely helps in terms of security, it also leads to certain problems. The front panel is designed with a gold metal component that connects it to the radio.
When the metal contacts are not correctly placed or pushed in, the electrical connection will not happen properly. This might lead to intermittent power shortages that might make your car radio seemingly go off by itself.
Head Unit Keeps Turning On/Off
If you are finding that power cuts out in your recently installed aftermarket head unit, it’s highly likely that the head unit is not receiving 12V.
Another cause for a powerless head unit could be that your amplifier has switched into protection mode. This can happen in one of two ways.
One, the power produced by the alternator is too much for the amplifier and the amp has to protect itself from damage. Two, the battery is unable to provide the audio system with constant voltage.
How to Fix This Head Unit Issue
Use a voltmeter to check if the power wire is sending 12V to the head unit. If the power wire is doing so, then the problem is with the head unit itself.
Hopefully, that is not the case. Before you give up on the unit, check these possible solutions:
- Change out the power wire.
- Check for blown fuses and replace if necessary.
- Check the battery.
- Contact an Automobile expert.
One of these should fix your head unit and get it back to life. If your head unit has a faceplate, like a Kenwood or Pioneer, you may need to clean the contacts between the head unit and the faceplate. Please check out our guide on the Kenwood faceplate display not working.
Car Speaker Cuts In and Out
To solve this problem, ensure that there is enough airflow where the amplifier is mounted. The airflow keeps the amp cool at all times and should prevent sudden sound cut-offs. It’s also a good idea to check your speaker wires to make sure they are properly connected.
Lastly, no matter the scale of your car radio problem, the smartest thing to do is to contact a trusted automobile expert. However, with the right knowledge and equipment, you should be able to fix most radio problems that your vehicle encounter.
Why Does My Radio Keep Turning On By Itself?
A car radio that keeps turning itself on may not sound much like a big problem until it starts getting annoying, particularly coming on when you don’t need it.
Well, these things don’t just happen, several factors contribute to this kind of radio fault and to help you check them, here are some things you could note;
Alternator Charge Transfer
Powering on your car transfers the charge from the alternator to the car battery. But in the instance of a bad wire connection, the power transfer is improperly distributed and hence turns on your radio. To fix this, simply ensure the alternated to the battery properly.
Inability of the Radio To Tune Into A Recognizable Channel
Another problem that could be responsible for your radio turning on by itself could arise from the inability of the radio to tune into a recognizable channel.
Once a radio can’t pick a channel to settle into, it automatically repeats the process turning it on at intervals.
A Faulty Speaker
When the amplifier is faulty, it could lead to a frustrating period of silence followed by a sudden powering on as well. A good way to fix this is simply by fixing or replacing the amp.
Car Radio Turns Off After A Few Seconds
Car radio is powered by two important wiring systems; one for receiving power from the ignition button upon powering up, while the other is a wire to supply constant power to the battery.
These wirings work together to ensure a constant workflow for your radio. However, a break or damage to either of the wires will be directly responsible for your radio turning off after a few seconds. T
o deal with this fault, you will need to ensure the wires are in good working condition and are both connected.
Sony Home Stereo Keeps Turning Off
Your home stereo turning off could be a direct result of many of the common faults of the home stereo and before you panic, here are some problems you can check that may be leading to your Sony home stereo turning off;
- A short circuit from an extension box or circuit. This fault is most common with long-term extension box use. Remove the stereo from the extension box and plug it directly into the wall socket to check for this fault.
- At times the remote control may be responsible for turning off your home stereo from a compressed power button on the remote.
- Another factor to always check when having issues with your Sony stereo turning off is the fault from other components connected to the stereo particularly your power cable. A damaged cable may contribute to your stereo turning off.
- An automatic factor that can contribute to your home stereo is the auto standby mode. Check your stereo setting to confirm you haven’t set an automatic sleep timer n your stereo which could be responsible for your stereo shutting down.
Pioneer Car Stereo Keeps Shutting Off
Your pioneer car stereo is not designed to keep shutting down by itself, especially when you are still enjoying the music on the stereo.
However, several issues contribute to the stereo shutting down including; overheating of the car’s internal system which could trap in hot air; damage in the wire that was supposed to supply steady power to the stereo device; alternator and battery inadequacy among other faults could ultimately lead to the constant shutting off of your pioneer car stereo.
Aftermarket Radio Shuts Off Randomly
To keep your aftermarket radio working smoothly requires three important components. These are a twelve voltage constant, a ground, and another twelve voltage switch.
These three parts work together to ensure that the aftermarket keeps working effectively. Damage to any of these parts will eventually lead to the radio turning off at random intervals.
Car Stereo Turns Off At High Volume
The reason your car stereo turns off at a high volume could be connected to many reasons which are dependent on the wiring and the capacity of the speakers.
There are many contributing factors to this but the most common fault you can check are:
- Damage to the wiring system in your car which could have led to damage resistance and power value of the amplifier is a good place to start your diagnosis.
- Check the speaker value to know if there is any waiting problem and to know the watt value and amplifier rating.
- The impedance value is another factor to consider nothing the ohms recommendations and pairing value to know which to connect it to and how loud it needs to go. An impedance value lower than that on your speaker in your car may give you a problem going on a higher volume.
- All of the other faults pointed out above may point to one thing and that may we suggest that you change the speaker of your stereo completely to completely solve the problem.
Radio Turns Off When AC is On
Having a poor connection system on your car can cause several faults. Bad wiring for example might put pressure on another component which might overload or overwork the system.
Hence, in the case of a radio turning off when the AC is turned off could be a product of these earlier stated faults as well. To diagnose this problem, some parts you can check include;
- Your ignition system. A bad ignition can cause of system to fail at the start of another in your car.
- Your battery cell may be failing already. A failed cell is another thing to might need to check, as this might be an indication that the battery is getting weak and inefficient.
- The power supply from the alternator is another factor that can lead to failure. If the alternator is not supplying the parts of the car with enough power, it could lead to cutting out power from one to another.
On a final note, your radio/stereo can turn off for any of the many reasons stated above. This article should help you make the right decision to determine where the fault might be coming from.