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9 Proven Reasons Why Car Stereo Stopped Working No Power


Driving can be more joyful if you’re listening to your favorite songs. It can help you feel energized during your trip. So, you should have a car stereo for excellent car audio. Sometimes your head unit decides to suddenly stop working.

So, why does your head unit have power but wont turn on? Most head units stop working due to power issues, either from the car’s battery or from a blown fuse.

All car radios have a fuse to prevent damage in the event of a power surge. If your radio suddenly stops working, the first thing you should do is check for blown fuses and then replace them if necessary.

However, there are some other instances when your “car stereo stopped working no power.” With this issue on hand, you can’t enjoy music from your car radio. Don’t worry, because this post will help you with what to do to solve the issue with your car stereo unit.

9 Reasons Why A Car Stereo Stopped Working With No Power

Reasons Why Your Car Stereo Won't Turn On

If you observe that your car stereo won’t turn on with the car’s ignition, there is no power going to your car radio. Keep in mind that there are several reasons why car stereos don’t work or turn on.

These may be caused by a loose wire or a blown-out fuse. The following are some causes why car radios stopped working:

#1 Blown fuse 

One reason your car stereo won’t turn is a blown radio fuse. If you change the battery, but the audio unit still doesn’t work, you can check the car radio fuse inside its fuse box on the engine compartment. You can also check the car stereo’s second fuse.

If there is a broken power wire, there can be a damaged fuse. It should be replaced with the proper amps. Thus, it can break the circuit, so there will be no power going to your aftermarket car stereo.

#2 Loose faceplate 

Car radios stop working if there is a loose faceplate or if it’s not correctly attached. With this, the metal pins connecting with connectors on the back don’t give secure connections. It will not power on the car radio since the screen and lights of the buttons don’t work.

You can fix the issue by cleaning the connectors. Using a clean, soft cloth, wipe the and reconnect the front to know whether the car stereo CD player is already fixed.

#3 Check your power and ground wires 

Remove the car CD player deck from its din slot. Then, check the wires on the wiring harness. You should ensure that the wires are connected to the proper wires.

You can also use a multimeter to measure if it gets 12 volts with the ignition key. You may solder and heat shrink wraps the power connections for excellent durability.

The switch wire and the yellow wire on your head unit and its fuse need to be 12 volts. You can find this out by using the multimeter’s testing leads.

#4 Problem with antenna or tuner 

Your car stereo won’t turn on if there is a problem with the antenna or tuner. The car radio will not get enough power if the antenna is the issue. If there is a damaged antenna or tuner, the car stereo will not work since it requires a signal from the functioning antenna.

The car radio has no power if the tuner is not in good condition. If you don’t know how to diagnose a damaged antenna or tuner, you can ask for help from a car radio specialist.

#5 Wiring complications

There is a chance that your aftermarket car stereo doesn’t have enough power supply due to wiring complications. It is a common problem, especially if the systems are not connected properly. Your car radio can operate smoothly if the power wires are installed correctly.

The wiring should also be connected to the steering wheel controls for the well-being of the sound system. Most car radios have wiring defaults that start from band ground wire that can get rusty.

Another wiring complication in an aftermarket stereo is losing wire connection or short circuits. Check out if the wiring harnesses and the two power wires units work properly.

For this, you should set the DC settings on your multimeter. Then, place the positive probe on a constant wire and the negative connector on the ground terminal.

#6 Problem with the speakers and their wiring 

Car speakers are connected directly to your stereo unit. So, if the wires are not routed or attached correctly, one or more speakers can be damaged or cut out easily. Additionally, the speakers will deteriorate and will stop working. If you have old speakers, it may be less effective over time.

Factory wiring tends to deteriorate and sometimes requires a replacement. If you added an amplifier to the sound system, make sure there is a good ground presence and that you don’t have a loose connector.

#7 Stereo head unit anti-theft technology is on 

Your aftermarket car stereo may stop working if it is in anti-theft mode. Some models of car stereos come with an anti-theft mode. It can render the audio unit useless until you follow a specified procedure.

The best about this case is you will see a message on your radio screen.

If the anti-theft security measures are the reason why your sound system is not working, you should type a particular car radio code to get it back to normal. This issue can be caused if the radio is disconnected from the power supply for a longer time. It also happens due to a dead battery.

The disconnection makes the car stereo automatically switch to anti-theft mode and stop working. Most audio units have anti-theft settings that you reset with the push of a button.

#8 Dead car battery 

Your car stereo unit may not work due to the car’s dead battery. There is also an instance that your car battery is incompatible, making it dead for the car stereo. Disconnect the negative battery post and test your battery with a voltage meter.

Remember that the red wire represents the positive, and the black wire represents the negative. Check if the lights or wipers work correctly. If they don’t work, the battery is completely dead. With this, you should have a new battery installation.

#9 Detecting old radio speakers 

As mentioned above, old speakers can be less effective and damaged. So, you should know how to detect old radio speakers, so you can have the best listening experience with your sound system.

Usually, one symptom that your speakers are old is when you can hear crackling sounds. It can happen due to wear and tear.

If you have faulty speakers, it can impact the normal function of your car’s audio unit.

What to do if the car radio won’t turn on?

If your car stereo doesn’t turn on, it can be caused by a power line problem. The black ground wire needs to be attached to the metal ground. Poor grounding or a bad electrical connection are two of the most common problems why your head unit won’t turn on.

You can start to check if there is a blown fuse. Find out where the centralized fuse block is located on your vehicle. If you see a blown-out fuse, replace it and try if the new switch blows.

If it blows off, it suggests a short circuit in the power wires. You can ask for help from a qualified electrician to fix the problem quickly. Try to find out what is causing the blowing fuses on your vehicle.

After you verify that there are no blown fuses, then proceed to check for ground loops. If none of these suggestions work, then you should take your head unit to a local shop to get a bench test. To extract the head unit, you need to release the metal caps on the mounting bracket.

What to do if the speakers don’t produce sound? 

If you turn on your head unit and the speakers have no sound, there can be a problem with the amplifier. It can depend if the speakers are powered by your audio system or if you have an external amplifier.

Some amps are fused inside, while others are fused in-line. You can check if there is a blown fuse and replace it if necessary. You should see if the wire connection is broken, cutting off the sound.

Resetting the car stereo is also an option that can solve this issue. Head units produce an electronic signal that is transformed into air vibrations, which come out of the speakers.

When there is an electronic device that is interfering with the signal, the sound will be cut off. To reset your head unit disconnect the battery of your car, then plug it back in so the radio turn on again.

Why your car stereo won’t turn on but has power? 

Even though there is a stable power supply, there is a tendency that it will not turn on. These can be caused by the following factors.

The fuse is blown up 

Another reason your car stereo is not working even though it has power is that the fuse is blown up. Usually, the built-in fuses can be found on the stereo’s back sides.

Meanwhile, in some models, the fuse box is placed beside the power wire or other system wires.

If there is a blown fuse and a melted wire, your car audio unit will not work. Use a multimeter and test light to determine the fuse’ condition.

Set the multimeter into Ohm; if there’s a reading, it can be blown. So, you should have a new fuse to make your car’s audio system function again.

Incorrect head unit wiring 

Your car audio may not work correctly if the head unit has incorrect wiring. If the head units are connected poorly, the car stereo can be faulty.

Make sure the head unit wiring is in the best condition. Improper head unit wiring will not allow you to listen to your favorite radio station from a faulty car stereo.

The protected mode is enabled 

If your model car has a “protect mode,” it can be the cause of why your car head unit is not working correctly.

If there is a power outage, the anti-theft mode of your car stereo unit is turned on. You can turn off the mode with a retrieval code.

Faulty pigtail connector 

If your car stereo is in good condition but doesn’t work, there can be a problem with pigtail wiring. It is the multiple-wiring network connecting the step to the battery.

The pigtail connector should be plugged in properly to avoid a power outage with car stereos. Your head unit loses power when this happens, and it is a simple thing to do.

Make sure that you verify that the head unit pigtail is working correctly on the newly installed car stereo. Otherwise, you will get no radio sound out of your new head unit.

An issue with the power button 

If your power button is not working, the head unit will not work correctly, although it has a power supply.

Check the power button by pressing it a few times. If other buttons are working, and the power button is unresponsive, try another solution.

You can check the owner’s manual to turn on the aftermarket radio without using the power button. If it doesn’t work, you can replace it. Your audio system may have power symptoms if it doesn’t turn on.


To sum it up, there are many factors why your car stereo stopped working. You can apply the tips mentioned above before you ask for professional help to solve the issue of your car stereo.

By addressing the issue of your car stereo, you can enjoy listening to relaxing music again while driving.

Last Updated on: February 3, 2023

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