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Kenwood Miswiring DC Offset Error (SOLVED)

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The “miswiring DC offset error” is a dreaded error message that often occurs during the installation of a Kenwood car stereo system. However, it can occur at any time. This error message often signifies that there is an issue with the wiring or with the electrical connections of the stereo.

Often, this indicates that cables are not connected properly or they are connected to the wrong terminals. 

Whenever you see this error, it is likely that one of your speaker terminals is grounded – meaning the terminal is touching the car chassis. Normally, the issue is that you have shorted the speaker wire that is connected to the head unit. You need to ensure that all the speaker wires are properly insulated and are not touching ground. Use a multimeter to check resistance/continuity on all the speaker wires in the system. If you encounter a very low resistance reading (close to zero ohms) or a very high continuity, this indicates a short circuit.

What is the Kenwood Miswiring DC Offset Error?

The miswiring DC offset error may be displayed as “Miswiring DC Offset Error” or “Warning DC Offset Error” on your Kenwood stereo, which means there is an issue with your stereo or speaker wiring.

Normally, the issue indicates that the speaker wire may have a short-circuit or touched the chassis of the vehicle. In addition, the stereo or speaker wires may be incorrectly intertwined or connected to the wrong terminals.

What Causes The Miswiring DC Offset Error?

Any time you see a miswiring DC offset error on your Kenwood stereo, there is a high chance that the speaker wire has some sort of electrical short-circuit or is touching the chassis of the vehicle.

This then causes the protection mode function to be activated and this error will be shown. 

Miswiring DC Offset Error In Kenwood and Other Stereos

If you check for grounding and the issue is still not fixed, you need to continue checking other issues. Whenever that error displays, it’s obvious there is something wrong.

However, you should not panic if you didn’t find a grounding issue as the error can still be rectified. So miswiring DC offset error in Kenwood, JVC and some other stereos? What are the other causes?

1. Wires Shorting

So what is miswring dc offset error? The main suspect that may lead to the error is the speaker cord coming into contact with the car chassis or the cord getting shorted.

Miswiring DC Offset Error Kenwood wires shorting

If this happens, redo the connection properly or isolate the speaker cord the right way, then have the unit reset. To learn more, check out our guide on how to reset a Kenwood stereo.

If the speaker cord is damaged or the connections are loose, get a good speaker wire connector and fix the issue.

If you don’t notice anything with your naked eye, then sometimes, this could not be the problem, but avoid going for a unit service expert without having fully exhausted basic troubleshooting.

2. DC Offset Voltage Out Of Parameter

In case you have amplifiers linked to the head unit, there is a probability it is detecting dc offset voltage that is out of the parameter leading to HU shutdown to protect it.

In most cases, it is caused by linking a +ve or –ve speaker wire to Vcc (+12V) or GND. You can try to disconnect the RCA connectors/ cables and put power on the unit again.

To check this, you can use a simple multimeter like the AstroAI Digital Multimeter

DC Offset Voltage Out Of Parameter

If you still see the error occur, either component in the HU or capacitor is down.  On the other hand, if it functions normally, check whether Amp has a short or the RCA cables.

In some cases, you only need to check whether the RCA are loose or disconnected and then tighten them.

You can follow the procedure below to see whether your problem will be solved

  • Take a cable that is not utilized and ensure they are tapped off & reset
  • Remove a linked cable one at a time and press the reset button
  • If the error goes away after the cable removal, then the last cable to be removed must have been faulty. So, make sure you examine the cable for short.
  • If all cables apart from (Red, Yellow & Black) were removed and reset but still the error persists, the unit has an internal short which requires a professional to examine it.

3. Wire Corrosion

If you have a unit that has been operating for some time and all over a sudden “Miswiring dc Offset Error” appears, some of the obvious troubleshooting may fail to rectify the issue.

You can examine the back of the deck where you will find a bank of wires that comes from the circuit board.

Miswiring DC Offset Error Kenwood wire corrosion

Check for corrosion that bridges the gap between some wires and is the cause of the error, though is some occasions.

The reason for corrosion is led by exposure to a humid environment. If that’s the case, scrape off the corrosion and check if the unit functions.

An easy way to get rid of wire corrosion is by using a wire brush. When using these brushes, use as much force as you can without damaging the wires.

The Forney 70504 Wire Scratch Brush is a pretty good wire brush that will easily remove any corrosive material that is on the electrical wires.

Sometimes, you will need to splice the wires and reconnect them with wire connectors.

In some cases, there may be corrosion between the contacts of the faceplate and the head unit. However, this normally causes the Kenwood faceplate display to stop working, but not always. This means you need to clean the contacts. 

4. Damaged IC

In some cases, the issue may be with a damaged component or an overall damaged IC. If all else fails, you can disconnect all speaker wires.

If the issue is still present, this often indicates an issue with the IC. You can open up the stereo by removing the faceplate further dismantling the device and checking if there are any corrosion/burn marks at the base of the IC.

How To Prevent The Miswiring DC Offset Error

The best approach to dealing with the miswiring-dc-offset-error and similar errors once and all is to learn accessories and installation procedure step by step so as to carefully set up the unit in a way it won’t become problematic in the future.

Also, since you cannot prevent the error from happening especially if there is something faulty at least troubleshooting may be easier fixing.

Miswiring DC Offset Error prevention

Accessories and Installation Procedure


  • Get the key out of the ignition and disconnect the battery to inhibit short circuits from happening.
  • For each unit make proper wire connection for input & output
  • Join the wires of the speaker of the wiring harness
  • From the wiring harness, take connector B and connect it to the speaker connector in your vehicle.
  • The next step is to take connector A from the wiring harness and link it to your vehicle’s external power connector
  • Take the unit and link the wiring harness connector
  • Mount the unit in your car
  • Have the battery reconnected
  • Press the button to reset
  • Carry out the initial setup
  • When mounting and wiring the unit, be careful not to mess up the process. If you are not confident, you can work closely with an expert for safety purposes.
  • You have to ground the unit to a –VE (Negative) 12V (DC) power supply. You can use a multimeter or a car oscilloscope to check this
  • When installing the unit avoid areas exposed to excessive heat, direct sunlight, dust, humidity or coming into contact with water.
  • The unit is very unique and therefore when fixing the screws, never use any but the one provided.
  • To avoid “miswiring dc Offset error” appearing when the power button is pressed ensure the wires are in the right order as the only way that can happen (when the speaker wire touches the chassis or short circuit of the car and protection function must have been activated)
  • In case the console has a lid, install the unit to avoid faceplate from hitting the lid when opening and closing. If you are having issues with your faceplate, please check out our guide on how to fix the Kenwood faceplate display not working issue.
  • Make sure the wires are not touching when the fuse blows as it may cause a short circuit. When making the fuse replacement ensure it has the same rating.
  • Shield unconnected wires using vinyl tape to avoid short circuits, also let the unconnected wires or terminals remain with the caps on ends.
  • Have the speaker wires connected properly to the terminals making sure they correspond? If you share the Negative wires or ground them to the metallic part of the vehicle the unit may be damaged or fail to function.
  • If the system is connected with two speakers, link the connectors either equal to the rear output terminals or both to the front output terminals, you have to be extra careful not to interchange rear and the front. For instance, if you link the +VE connector of the (left) speaker to a front output terminal, avoid connecting the –VE connector to a (rear) output terminal.
  • Once the unit is fully installed, check whether the brakes blinkers, lamp, wipers etc. on the vehicle are functioning properly.
  • When mounting unit to the car, avoid pressing hard on the panel surface. This is to prevent damage, scratches, or failure from happening.
  • When mounting the unit, make sure it is set in a way the cooling fan will not be inhibited from balancing the temperature as failure to do so may result in a breakdown.

So that’s how you prevent the miswiring dc offset error!

Warning: Never link the ignition wire RED and the wire battery YELLOW to the vehicle ground as it may short circuit which may cause a fire.

The wires instead should be connected to the power source running through the (fuse box).

Miswiring DC Offset Error JVC Reset

The miswiring DC offset error may also appear on your JVC stereo. To fix it, follow our troubleshooting tips below.

Firstly, do not reset the stereo initially. Check first if there are any wires shorted to ground. when this happens, many of the wires will become overstressed and the stereo’s safety system will be triggered.

If you reset it, you will only make the problem worse because you will be forcing the amplifier to run with its output shorted. 

Here are some troubleshooting steps to try first:

  1. Check if the speaker wires are disconnected or shorted
  2. Check if any of the plastic insulation melted away on any of the wires
  3. Check the antenna connection for any issues



Never assume the miswiring dc offset error (Kenwood) was caused by one single problem you know. When troubleshooting, examine the problem deeply to avoid causing more damage.

Miswiring DC Offset Error In Kenwood Stereos

Alternatively, to avoid guesswork messing up with your unit, just look for a good expert to diagnose the problem.