How To Tell If Your Car Amplifier Is Blown? 7 Common Signs

When the car amp is blown, it will disrupt the whole car audio system. You should first detect the sign, identify the cause, and think of a solution to solve this problem. 

But how to tell if your car amplifier is blown? We will reveal some tips right here. You can come up with the right solutions accordingly. Now, let’s jump in! 

Blown Amp Symptoms 

The most common causes of a blown car amplifier are incorrect installation, a short circuit, overheating, and defective components. 

There are different degrees of stress between a car audio system and a home audio system. Multiple parts of a car audio system manufactured by several firms may not perform well together.

Car owners may integrate audio components in ways that impose more pressure on the system than it can manage. Hence, they will face several causes that we have mentioned. 

Each case has specific signs, which we will discuss in detail now. Only when you check the symptoms can you identify the exact cause.  

The car stereo isn’t working 

This sign is obvious, but it’s the most crucial factor in helping you detect a bad car amplifier in the audio system. But if the car amplifier isn’t turning on, that means you should not replace it immediately. 

You need to check if you have connected the components correctly. Check for blown fuses and the power supply too. These problems may cause your car amplifier to stop working.  

The car stereo isn't working

The protection mode is on

Some amplifiers feature a protection mode to avoid harm to internal components of the audio system. If the light of the mode turns on, something must be wrong with the amp, the cable, or the speaker. 

If you detach the speaker wire but still see the protection mode light, one of the speakers may have problems. A blown speaker can also be the cause. 

The speaker wires are in contact with each other. Otherwise, the impedance may be lower than it should be. These two issues will cut out the amp at a lower or higher volume. 

You have a blown fuse for no reason

Fuses sometimes blow without a clear sign before that. Many reasons, such as an overheating speaker or too much heat buildup, might lead to a fuse explosion. 

Nevertheless, if the fuses on your car amplifier keep blowing, we recommend getting it fixed immediately. 

There are three different types of amplifier fuses in-car audio systems. Thus, you need to identify which fuse breaks down before addressing the situation. 

Many car amplifiers feature an internal fuse that may blow to avoid severe damage. However, if you have installed your amp professionally, you may struggle with another inline. 

Yet, if the fuses don’t stop blowing, you may have a blown amp. In this case, consider fixing or replacing it as soon as possible. 

The car amp fuse may affect the whole sound system

The sound gets distorted

Whining, humming, and buzzing sounds in your amp’s tone suggest distortion or even a blown speaker or amp. Besides, car amplifiers may also have distorted sound due to poor installation. 

If the noise is persistent after you have gone over your stereo system and cleared all potential sources, your car amplifier has probably blown.

There is a power loss

It may signify that your amp is blown if it abruptly stops running at greater volumes. The power supply may fade or even get lost. You can detect this issue immediately, and it’s a strong indicator of a bad car amplifier.

You smell burning

When enjoying the music in your car, you can also smell burning. The smell is a very reliable indicator of a blown amplifier and may occur at higher volumes.

The burning smell may signify significant mounting issues, overheating, or a blown amplifier. Cheaper amps typically waste power supply since they are more likely to blow and emit a burning smell. 

If you want to reduce the likelihood of this mishap, you should spend a little more on your car amplifier, which helps you stay clear of such problems.

The car stereo system becomes overheated

Another typical sign of a blown amp caused by a bad ground connector is overheating. If the amp’s power connections are too short, overheating may develop because there isn’t enough power supply for the car amplifier. 

Ensure the ground wire fits the power wire to prevent your car amp from overheating and blowing. Moreover, you must have those wires connected properly to prevent future harm.

Another solution to avoid overheating is to invest in a high-quality car amplifier. Overheating and blown amps often happen to lower-quality amps. 

The components of the sound system may get overheated

How Do I Fix Blown Amp? 

The symptoms warning that your amp is blown may come from different sources. We will split the causes into different sections and discuss the solution afterward. 


Check if the blue wire in the car audio system is connected properly. This wire tells the car amp when to work once you turn on the CD player. The car amp won’t switch on if you do it right. 

Protection mode 

If your car amp turns to the protection mode, there must be something wrong with the amp itself. In this case, look closer at this component to perform some remedies. 

Remember to remove the power wire and turn off all switches before checking the amp. Otherwise, the power supply may go through the cables while you are working. 

Next, remove the amplifier’s cover using a screwdriver. Place the amp on a flat surface so you can observe it clearly. 

You may need to replace it with a new amp. But if you are not confident in your mechanical skills, we advise hiring a professional for this task. 

Blown fuse

If your amp is blown, the blown fuse may be the first reason to consider it. After confirming the source, move on to the solution. 

The fuse design might vary, making it challenging to locate the blown one. Some blown fuses will appear dark, with a break in the center, or will form a black patch.

Amp fuses can be black clip-style or glass tube-style in design. If it’s blown, you need to remove and replace it straight away. 

To ensure you acquire the right replacement fuses, we suggest verifying the manufacturer and model of your damaged car amplifier.


Your car amplifier is blown for multiple reasons. You should check the whole car stereo system and the signs of overheating and burning smell to determine the cause. Then, follow our tips to address it. 

Hopefully, our guide can help you handle your faulty amp with ease. If you have any problems with your car audio system, our inbox always welcomes you. 


Will an amp still turn on with a blown fuse?

No. The amplifier cannot turn on if the fuse is blown since the electrical circuit supplying mains electricity is open. So in this situation, you need to handle the fuse before working with your amp.

Do amplifiers lose power over time?

Yes. Depending on how you treat them, amplifiers gradually lose their power over time. Most users don’t realize the change because it occurs gradually.

Most devices last 20 to 30 years before they need an upgrade. During that time, the sound quality will stay pretty much the same.

Can a blown amp drain your car battery?

No. The fuse works as a conduit for the electricity. Simply said, a headlight won’t work if a fuse blows. It may occasionally induce an open circuit that drains energy, not the battery.