How do I test a car amp at home?

I bought a car with an aftermarket sound system. Up until recently, it sounded great. However, sound stopped coming out of my speakers and I think the amplifier is the culprit. How can I test my car amp at home?

Answer
Sorry to hear that your new-to-you car is having sound system issues! Fortunately, testing the amplifier is a simple process. To see if the amplifier is the source of the problem:
  • Look for burn marks or signs of melting
  • Check the fuse box
  • Test the amplifier with an external speaker
If you notice burn marks or melting, you may have fried your amplifier. The previous owner may have hooked up the speakers incorrectly or turned the volume up too loud, and the amplifier can’t handle the power input. In either case, you’ll have to replace the amp.
When no melting or burn marks are noticeable, the issue is usually the wiring. To diagnose the issue, hook your amplifier up to an external speaker through the head unit of your car. Connect the RCA cables just as you normally would. If sound comes out, the cable is loose, which can happen over time. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace the RCA cables and try it again.
If that still doesn’t amend the issue, check the fuse on your amplifier. Most amps have a two-prong amplifier, so checking it and replacing it as necessary could fix the sound problem.
In the future, consider sound system coverage for your car. If your current provider doesn’t offer this type of coverage, shop around with the Jerry app.
As a licensed broker, Jerry can help you find and compare quotes from over 50 top providers. When you find a better rate or a company with sound system coverage, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even cancel your old policy!
Eric Schad
Answered on Nov 25, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
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