Reasons Your Car Stereo Stopped Working - Subaru Service Questions in Olympia, WA

At Hanson Subaru, our talented technicians can fix what ails your car in our service center -- from the engine and transmission all the way to the electronic devices in your car. If your car's stereo isn't working like it should, trust the pros! Nobody knows your Subaru better than our service team.

Below, you'll find a quick overview of four things that commonly cause a car stereo to stop working. Find the symptoms that describe what's gone wrong in your car, then visit our service department to get them fixed by the experts. Of course, if you have additional questions not answered below, you can always give us a call. We're happy to help you however we can at Hanson Subaru in Olympia, WA.

A pile of head units, amplifiers and speakers are ready to be installed in your car.

4. Car Radio Doesn't Work: Antenna/Tuner Problems

Even in this era of mobile technology and infotainment, it's still hard to beat good, old-fashioned radio for staying connected to local news, sports and music stations. But, if your car's radio isn't working, it's smart to try a different input. Try playing a CD, streaming audio from your phone, or through an AUX cable. If you can get sound from other inputs, but not the radio, you probably have an antenna problem.

If your car's antenna was damaged or disconnected, you might not be able to get a radio signal. This is more likely on older model cars with retractable or removable antennas. On modern cars, the radio antenna is often integrated into the rear window glass or into a fin on the roof, so it's less likely to be damaged. Or, if your antenna is in good shape, there may be a problem with the built-in tuner in the head unit.

An old cassette deck from a vintage automobile.

3. Car Stereo Cuts Out Randomly: Loose Wiring/Overheating

If the audio seems to cut out at random as you drive, there may be a wiring issue with your stereo. Over time, various connections can wiggle out of position as your car travels over bumps in the road. You may find that the stereo cuts in and out when you corner, or when you hit a speed bump or pothole. That could be loose wiring being jostled in and out of place. A technician will need to find this loose wire and secure it properly.

Or, if the stereo cuts out at random after your car starts to warm up, the head unit or amplifier could be overheating. When audio components overheat, they can automatically go into "protection mode." This means they'll stop working until the temperature comes back down, so they aren't damaged by the excess heat. You can have a technician examine your stereo system to find out why it's overheating.

2. Car Stereo Has No Power: Blown Fuse/Bad Head Unit

Now, let's say the stereo in your car won't turn on at all, but the rest of your car's electronics seem to be working fine. That could be as simple as a blown fuse. Modern cars have a variety of fuses tucked away in fuse boxes that protect your car's electronics from power surges. If the fuse associated with your car's head unit was blown, the whole system won't get any power. You'll want to replace the blown fuse to restore the circuit.

If the fuse is in-tact, but the stereo still won't turn on, the head unit may simply be malfunctioning. It might not be getting enough power from the car's alternator.

A variety of aftermarket speakers have been installed in this car's door.

1. Car Stereo Has Power But No Sound From Speakers: Blown Speakers/Wiring Short

If your car stereo seems to be working right electronically, but you're not getting any sound from the speakers, there could be a problem in the wiring from the head unit to the speakers. If a wire comes loose from its harness and rubs up against the frame of the vehicle, it could cause a short. This could also cause individual speakers to stop working, while the rest of the speakers work like normal.

Lastly, if your car's speakers are sounding muddy, fuzzy and make crackling and buzzing noises over top of the audio, that's a blown speaker. One of your speakers has sustained physical damage, and will simply need to be replaced to get this problem fixed.

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  1. Hanson Subaru

    2300 Carriage Loop SW
    Olympia, WA 98502

    • Sales : (888) 490-9863

Hanson Subaru

2300 Carriage Loop SW
Directions Olympia, WA 98502

  • Call or Text Sales: 360 943 2120
  • Service: (360)943-8531
  • Parts: (360)943-2120