So your car radio is on but has no sound?

The journey home after a demanding time day work is meant to be a time of relaxation and means to unwind before going home. It can be quite annoying, to say the least when you try to turn on your radio to be greeted by total silence. However, there is no need to worry as issues with your radio can be quite easy to rectify with only some technical experience required.

Here are the 4 Main Reasons Your Car Radio is on but has no sound:

  • A wasted fuse
  • A Defective audio speaker or Wiring
  • Flawed Antenna 
  • Anti-theft disturbance

A Blown Fuse

Like all safe electric devices in the modern era, car radios are actually tied to a fuse. The fuse acts as a safeguard that prevents excess electrical current from burning the circuitry causing damage or even starting a fire. If you believe that the Radio Fuse is the cause of the problem, all you will need is a tweezer, your car handbook, and of course a new fuse.

Any person that is familiar with the basics of electronics understands the operation of a fuse. A fuse contains a small thin wire that can only handle a certain amount of current running through it. In the event that the wire has too much electricity running through it, the wire breaks stopping any more current from passing through it. This means that if too much electricity going to your car radio your fuse would prevent any more electricity from getting your car radio. If this has happened it would be that no more power would reach your radio even if you try to turn it off or on.

It is important to know that if you have not got any electrical experience or qualifications it is a matter of safety that you hire a professional to carry out any electrical work. That being said if you can manage to diagnose the problem yourself, this could save you the bad experience of being ripped off by a bad mechanic or contractor.

How to find a Car Radio Fuse

In order to check your Car Radio fuse, the challenge will be finding where it actually is. Most modern cars have forty or even more different electrical fuses inside them. Your car radio fuse might be located near the instruments of your dashboard, under your back seat, or might be underneath the hood of your car. You should be careful not to try to change a fuse in your car with a high amperage as some of your car fuses will be a very high amperage (30 or higher), this enough to cause serious electrocution or even death.

Your car radio fuse is likely going to be a lot less than this. If you are struggling to find the radio fuse or not sure which one is which, you should check your owner’s manual which will contain all of the information in relation to what you need.

How to Check Your Car Radio Fuse Has Blown

Once you have successfully located your car radio fuse and are 100% certain that you have the right one you can remove it by pulling it out. Your Radio fuse, like all of the fuses in your car, is transparent. Inside the fuse you will be able to see a piece of metal, this is the metal we discussed earlier that breaks when too much current passes through. If the metal in your fuse is separated i.e. the metal is not connected in the center then your fuse has blown and needs to be replaced. If your radio fuse has one single piece of metal then a fuse is not the issue with your car radio.

 

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On the left is a functioning fuse and on the right is an example of a blown fuse.

Cqdx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How To Change a Car Radio Fuse

The fuse is the cheapest part of your Car Radio to replace and thus is the best thing to start with. Knowing how to change a radio fuse yourself is incredibly beneficial as will save you excessive installation costs. The majority of the time replacing the fuse will bring the sound back to your radio. An added benefit is that it is incredibly simple to change a fuse yourself and might even come in handy if another electrical device needs a fuse changed in the future.

Changing a bad fuse is a necessity that will prevent your radio from blowing up once again. If however, your brand-new fuse explodes too not long after you have installed it, the chances are that there is a more serious issue at hand you should considering taking your vehicle to a specialist.

Check the fuse Requirements

It is very important for your safety that you know the exact fuse requirements for your Car Radio. Check your car manual to find any information relating to the amperage requirements of the radio fuse. Failing to insert the right fuse will only further damage to your radio or at the very least waste a new fuse that you could have used elsewhere.

If you cannot find any information relating to the fuse, you can remove the old fuse with tweezers or fuse puller and read the Amp information directly off of it or check to see if there is an informational diagram on the inside panel of your vehicles fuse box. This information will be either on the top of the fuse on its steel nub or on the side of the fuse. It is important to note that if you put it in a fuse that can handle a higher amp rating the Car Radio might work again however this could cause a fire or damage the other electrical parts of your car.

Changing a fuse

Now that you have determined what your fuses requirements are and you know that your fuse is what is preventing sound you will need to buy a replacement. We have sourced some car radio fuses from some of the most reputable brands in the industry. Here is a kit that contains 140 standard fuses for your car, so that you will have spares if something else goes wrong with your vehicle.

Now that you have your new fuse, all you need to do is replace the old one, Remove your blown fuse with a fuse puller, tweezers, or simply your fingers and pull it upwards away from the fuse box. Plug in your replacement of the same color and amperage into place.  It doesn’t matter which direction your car radios fuse is plugged in but it is standard practice to put the fuse so that the line is facing the direct current. To know for sure which side is the positive current you can use a multimeter.

What to do if your new Car Radio Fuse Blows:

If you change your Car Radio fuse and the new one blows very soon after the replacement it is a sign that there is another electrical issue at play with your radio or other components. This would mean that the lack of sound from your radio although technically is a fault of the fuse, there is excess current that is actually blowing the fuses. In this case, you will need to bring your car to a qualified Technician in order to get this issue fixed.

Defective Speaker

If there is no sound coming through your speakers when you turn your car radio on then one of the first things you are going to assume that needs to be repaired is your car’s speakers. Similar to switching out a negative fuse, you do not need to have to be an electrical genius in order to repair a damaged audio speaker.  That being said the replacement parts that are needed to repair or replace your car’s speakers are quite expensive and you should double-check that there couldn’t be any other issue at hand prior to the repair. 

One way of making sure that your car’s sound issue is related to the speaker is by checking the Car Radio fuse as mentioned above and another way is to try playing a cd or music through your Bluetooth. If no sound comes through while playing a CD or a Bluetooth media player then it is very likely that it is in fact to the speaker.

 

What you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Some Glue
  • The new audio speaker frame
  • New sound speaker Foam
  • Blade
  • Sandpaper

 

radio-on-but-no-sound
A car stereo once removed from the car.
Zuzu, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Remove the defective audio speaker

To remove the speaker, begin by removing the screws holding it in place with the use of a screwdriver. This will release the speaker from the frame holding it in place. Make sure the engine is off before disconnecting the cables from the speaker.

Removal of the Speakers Surround;

Use a blade or scissor to remove the foam from the sound speaker. Be very careful at this step not to tear the paper cone during this step. Remove any of the glue away from the speaker and remove the voice coil. You can use sandpaper to remove any excess glue if there is any.

Change the vocal coil

If your speaker has stopped working because it was too loud and has blown this step might be unnecessary. Check to see if there is any visible damage to the vocal coil as you might only need to replace the foam and paper cone. You can also check this by using a multimeter if you have one. If your Vocal Coil requires a replacement you need to get an identical duplicate to the one your car speaker currently has. Simply replace the old one with a new one, making sure that it is in the exact same location.

Connect a new Paper Cone 

Use some adhesive or glue to connect a brand new paper cone to the vocal coil, wait a few minutes to ensure that it has had time to dry and is secured correctly. If you don’t wait enough time to let it dry, the paper 

Connect a New Frame

You will now need to attach your speaker to a new frame. Place the adhesive in the same location that the original glue was located.

Attach your speaker to your car again

Place the new device back in place in your car, then reconnect all of the cables. Finally, put the screws you took out earlier back in place and securely tighten them.

Flawed Antenna or Tuner

If your Car Radio has no Sound only on the stations and works perfectly fine for CDs or Bluetooth this a sign that you have a flawed antenna or tuner that is affected your connection to radio stations. 

If you have an old-fashioned car with an antenna at the top of the vehicle you might be able to carry out this repair yourself if you really love DIY.

Unfortunately, a lot of newer vehicles have an antenna wire inside your windshield wiper this makes the repair quite difficult.  If your car is quite new you will have to go to a certified mechanic in order to have this fixed. Sometimes resetting your car radio will fix this sound issue.

 

 

car-radio-is-on-but-no-sound-antenna

Tom Raftery, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Anti-theft obstruction

If your car battery recently died or was disconnected then it is possible that anti-theft interference is the root cause of your defective car radio. To resolve this you will need to reset your radio.

How to reset your Car Radio Yourself

Resetting your car radio is quite simple and can be done without the need of bringing your vehicle into a garage. You will know that you need to reset the Car Radio when the Radios LCD Display shows the word, ‘Code’

The first thing that you will need to do is find this four-digit code in your owner’s manual. The code will be a series of button presses in a particular order. If you are unable to unlock your radio yourself you will need to remove the Car Radio Stereo from its frame as mentioned in the speaker repair guide above. Once you have removed the speaker you can take a note of its serial number which is printing on the back of the device. Call your dealership and verify the serial number and verification code match.

If you cannot reset the device by yourself, this shouldn’t be a problem for your local qualified mechanic. Don’t worry about the cost, this is a pretty inexpensive fix and won’t take very long. You might only have to wait a few minutes at the garage before your sound system will be back up and running!

radio-on-no-sound-radio-display
How Much Does a Car Fuse Cost?

A Fuse for your car is incredibley inexpensive you can buy a fuse for as little as one Dollar. Fuses often blow and we we would recommend that you buy a kit as they are cheaper(Usually 10 Dollars for 100 or more) and will save you multiple journeys to the shop.

How long will a Car Fuse last?

No fuse lasts forever. The average lifespan for a fuse in your car is ten years. 

Should I repair the speaker myself?

If you feel as if you have the experrtise your Radios sound by yourself and you have a lot of expierence in the world of DIY then you can give a try. Just be careful and take your time as a lot of people rush speaker repair which will affect the lifespan of your speaker or it might not work at all. If you don’t want to repair your car’s speaker yourself, take it to a qualifed mechanic. Make sure that you ask for your speaker to be repaired as some technians might just charge for a full replacent.

Are there any other reasons that no sound comes for my Car Radio?

Yes, there is a chance that an internal electrical component of your radio is at fault. If this is the case you might need to replace the car Radio with a new one.

How much does car speaker repair cost?

If your car’s speakers do not need tobe replaced and only need to be repaired you should expect to pay between 50 and 300 dollars including the cost of installation.

Why is there no sound in my car radio when I connect my Bluetooth?

There a few reasons why your cars sound system might not work when connected to bluetooth. The very first step you should take is to make sure you have bluetooth enabled on both your Vehicles radio and the device that you are trying to connect such as your phone. You should check your phones battery and settings as well, if your cars sound seems to cut off randomly this might be because of powersaving settings. Some newer models of phone will automatically cut off bluetooth connections to prevent battery drainage.

If your phone has successfully connected to your radio but there is no sound there may be a compatabilty issue. Although Bluetooth in theory is designed to be inter-compatible with every device this is not always the case. Different versions of bluetooth have been known to have compatibilty issues. Check to make sure that your Radios Bluetooth has the latest version of bluetooth. 

In the event that your car can play calls on your system but no music then the most likely cause is that you have an old sound system. Older cars are only capable of handling HFP (Hands free protocol) and not high quality audio such as the latest music. If this is the problem the only solution is to buy a new and updated sound system for your car.