Miswiring DC Offset Error In Kenwood and Other Stereos
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If only your car stereo had human feelings to respond to yours, it would have been easier to fix immediately whenever issues arose. For Kenwood users, the most dreaded issue is “miswiring dc offset error.”

Whenever you see this error, it is likely that one of your speaker terminals is grounded – meaning the terminal is touching the car chassis. You need to ensure that all the speaker wires are properly insulated and are not touching ground.

Miswiring DC Offset Error In Kenwood and Other Stereos

If you check for grounding and the issue 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 dint find a grounding issue as the error can still be rectified. So miswiring DC offset error in Kenwood, JVC and some other stereos? What’s this?


Causes and Fixes For Miswiring DC Offset Error

1. Wires Shorting

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

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 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 which 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.


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 setup the unit in a way it won’t become problematic in 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 circuit 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 the connector B and connect it to the speaker connector in your vehicle.
  • The next step is to take the connector A from the wiring harness and link it to your vehicle 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 reset
  • Carry out the initial setup
  • When mounting and wiring the unit, be careful not to mess up with 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
  • 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” to appear 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
  • 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 circuit, 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 equally 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).



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.