Your Car Speakers not working but Subwoofer is? There’s a simple fix for that!
On a rare occasion, your audio system will have desync, thus, the speakers will not work but the subwoofer will still output audio.
This could be caused by both hardware and software issues and we will review all of them, along with solutions, in this guide!
To fix when the car speakers aren’t working but the Subwoofer is, supply the car’s audio AMP with power. Next, connect the RCA cables correctly and factory reset the radio receiver. Finally, adjust the gain levels and fix the power block!
There’s more to this problem than just that, so keep reading to find out!
One of the main reasons that the car speakers would stop working but the subwoofer will still output is that you’ve blown the speakers out.
Listening to music in high decibels with a lot of distortion being caught could harm the system of the speakers and damage the device!
In addition, the reason could be related to inappropriate wire installation!
Let’s summarize with a list of what’s causing your car’ speakers to stop working:
- The power to the External Amplifier has been distorted
- The RCA Cables Setup in your audio system is incorrect
- There has been a problem with the Gain Levels of your system
- The Car Battery is low or a specific Radio Issue occurred
It is essential to determine if this problem envelops all of your speakers, or just one or two.
If only a few speakers are impacted by the issue, they’ve probably been burned out.
Let’s proceed with the solutions for your car’s audio system issue!
To maximize the efficiency of our upcoming solutions, make sure that you follow the correct order of the steps and test your speakers repeatedly after attempting a fix.
This is the only way to figure out any additional signs of the problem and resolve the problem prematurely.
Let’s jump right in!
The car’s external audio amplifier is a small circuit board that wires up with all of your speakers.
If there has been an issue with the power delivery, all of your speakers will stop working.
However, the subwoofer would still output, due to the fact that it is wired on a separate line that connects to the Mono Sub Amplifier.
Don’t worry about this amp for now!
The power adapter of your signal amp is the red cable. Ensure it is installed securely!
To take out the signal amplifier (under the car’s dashboard) uninstall the screws on each end. Once the amp feels loose, pull it towards you and expose the back panel.
Take a look at the red wiring (the power cable) and make sure it is installed securely into the port!
Alert: Avoid touching live wires without the vehicle’s battery being disconnected.
The next and most important thing is to create the RCA cables’ set up correctly.
The role of the RCA cables is to individually connect each of your speakers to the car’s 4-channel external amplifier so you could turn them on, control their volume, etc.
Note: The car’s amplifier is usually located under the dashboard and has ports installed.
There are screws you should undo so the device could come loose!
- There should be a total of 9 cables connected to the amplifier.
Those cables are 4 RCA cables of the speakers (in blue and yellow color), a ground wire, patch cables that connect with the receiver, and a power cable.
What you should pay attention to is the 4 RCA cables of the speakers.
Make sure that all of the RCA cables connect to the “RCA” labeled port on the amplifier!
Alert: If you notice visual damage on the RCA cables, contact your mechanic for help!
Although this is unlikely, there could be an issue with the system’s gain levels.
If you’ve lowered the frequency of your receiver too much, it could be insufficient for the speakers to start working, but the subwoofer would still be booming.
That’s a common practice!
- Simply turn up the Volume from your car’s receiver!
Play music or stream through a connected device or the receiver directly.
Measure if the vibration of the subwoofer would still increase while turning up the gain levels because that means that the Mono sub amp is okay.
If by turning up the gain levels, your subwoofer remains at the same state, then this might be an issue more complex for you to handle!
Note: If your stereo is wired up okay, you will see the gain levels on the screen!
A complex, yet effective solution is to attempt to replace the speaker’s wires by yourself!
This may be a challenging task, but if the issue is in the wires, then this should resolve the problem with your sound system.
You might need some help with this solution!
Follow these steps to replace the speaker’s wires:
- First, purchase 4 sets of RCA cables (standard, for vehicle audio systems).
- Get in your car and locate all of the 4 speakers (or more if your car has multiple).
- Grab the appropriate Screwdriver and undo the panel of the speakers.
- Pull each and every speaker out until the RCA cables are exposed.
- Next, uninstall the External AMP of your car (follow the steps in solutions #2 and #1).
- Disconnect all RCA cables plugged into the external amps.
- From your speaker’s installation holes, pull the old RCA cables away.
- Connect the new RCA cables to your amp and then lead them to the speakers.
- Once you can get a hold of the RCA cables, secure them into the speakers!
Note: When unplugging the old RCA cables from the amp, avoid damaging the conductors on the device.
If the ports get damaged, you have to replace the whole amp!
The power block is the device that connects the car battery’s power terminal and splits it up into two separate power cables.
One of the power cables goes into the 4-channel amp (that connects with your speakers), and the other cable goes into the capacitor > mono sub amp.
An inappropriate cable connection with the power block will cut the power to the amp!
We’re separating this from the other solutions because the cable setup within the power block is different and needs to be paid attention to separately.
The power block is situated underneath the steering column and you should gain access to the device.
Once you’re in reach of the power block, make sure of the following:
- The car’s battery power fuse connects securely and tightly
- The split power adapters are also installed securely and have no damage
In most cases, one of the power block’s power adapters would get damaged after long usage. It’s your task or the mechanics’ to identify the issue and replace them!
Alert: If you’ve noticed damage on the power block, do not touch or interact with the device!
Rather than a wiring problem, this issue could be based on something more simple, such as a software problem with your car’s radio or receiver.
What you should do next is perform a reset on the receiver to flush things up and reset the speakers that are not working.
Here’s a guide on how to reset your car’s receiver:
- Locate the Power Button on your car’s receiver.
- Press the power button on the radio once and wait for the device to turn off.
- Hold the power button for a few minutes until the radio lights up.
- Wait for the device to reset.
Notice: For this reset to work, the radio must be plugged in.
Although this may be rare, your car’s mono and external amps could be refusing to work due to a car battery issue.
What we suggest next is to recharge the vehicle’s battery and then check if your sound system and all of the speakers will start working.
Here’s how to recharge your vehicle’s battery:
- Prepare the battery by popping your car’s front trunk.
- Turn off all of the car’s electronics (including the receiver).
- Remove the Negative and the Ground wires and then the Positive.
- Clean the battery’s power terminals.
- Get the battery charger and connect the wires to the proper terminals.
- Disconnect the charger once the battery gathers up enough electricity.
Note: If you’re worried that your car’s battery may have gone faulty, get a replacement.
Hence, the fix when your car speakers aren’t working but the subwoofer is, would be to re-configure the RCA cables setup and replace faulty speakers. We’ve also learned that the car’s battery has to be charged and issues with the power block are solved.
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In this guide, we’ve learned what to do when Car speakers not working but subwoofer is and why is that happening.
Repairing your car’s audio system may be very difficult if you’re inexperienced, so getting a mechanic to help you is recommended.
If you noticed that your car’s speakers are blown out or damaged, then consider purchasing these 2-way JBL Coaxial Speakers for your new setup!
Popular with both their quality and sound, these speakers are definitely one of the best replacements possible!
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.