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Unlike the sound quality ones produce, car stereo wellbeing often falls into the background of a drivers priorities.
That’s why, when your stereo system finally bites the dust, your driving world can suddenly feel very empty indeed. You never know how much you’ve relied on your car stereo system until it breaks. Like Joni Mitchell once sung, “we don’t know what we got till it’s gone,” and this is quite the case when you can’t play Big Yellow Taxi in your own big yellow taxi. Whilst using the word “gone” more than implies a finality, you shouldn’t give up so easily in the face of a stone-cold stereo system. It might seem dead in the water but try a few of these tips before replacing it. If they work, then it’ll be music to your ears, with a fraction of the cost of a new car stereo installation.
On paper a broken stereo would be defined as one which simply doesn’t work. Logically, this is one key effect of a broken stereo, but it doesn’t stop with a simple radio silence. You could be faced with sporadic power bursts or a pairing of audio and visual failings.
This is one of the most common – and obvious – definitions of a broken car stereo system. Usually, a stereo system which simply won’t turn on will come down to a problem with the cars fuse box.
Another common occurrence is that the stereo system turns on and off at irregular intervals. This can be doubly frustrating, just when you think new life has been breathed into your system, it dashes your hopes with another power cut. One of the main causes for this fluctuation is a problem with the ground connection.
Another irksome stereo ailment is when the display and sound stop working together. This usually comes down to the head unit – the dashboard system – not getting enough power. This can be caused by any or all the causes previously stated.
If when making an especially dramatic turn, or negotiating a speed bump, your car stereo system cuts out on you, it might be that a connection is loose at the back of the head unit. This is unfortunately the devious work of gravity.
What can you do about these problems?
Firstly, make sure that your fuse box is working. You can find the fuse boxes under the dashboard of your car, and the other under the bonnet. Use a multimeter to measure the electrical current of the fuse box and if necessary, rewire the circuits. Rewiring circuits will require you to check if the power wires, of which there are two, are not reversed. Another solution in rewiring is to check the ground head unit for rust or for a poor connection. These can be diagnosed and rectified by the owner, if they know where to look.
However, if you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, then it is always wise to hire professional electrician or a UK car audio expert to check out the problem for you.