Car Amplifier Overheating: 4 Main Causes & Ultimate Guides

In operating a car, there are inevitably problems that you need to overcome. One of the common situations is a powerful car amp that will cause overheating. To help you handle the above situation, I have reviewed, researched and synthesized vehicle amplifier overheating and what you need to do.

Generally, the cause comes from the wiring or the ventilation system, especially with equipment with a large capacity. In addition, the reason can also come from an impedance mismatch with the speaker or not having enough power.

To take a closer look at the situation, we suggest the specific causes and the best ways to fix it in the article below. Let’s follow along now!

Why Is My Car Amplifier Overheating?

The Reason For Overheating - Car Amplifier Overheating

As I mentioned, you can have many causes for the condition of your amplifier; these can be summed up in the following:

Shorted Speaker

While the speaker is “blown” or grounded to the vehicle’s chassis, the amplifier still performs its power supply task. So, you will easily notice the heating of the amplifier, and it will be off for a short time after that.

Specifically, the blown speaker can still produce sound, but it is distorted and cannot hear it. They need a lot of power and cause a lot of unnecessary energy consumption. At the same moment, the amplifier itself is overactive to meet the speaker’s power needs.

Some products have much smaller live streams than those from competitors. These competitors use Rockford’s proprietary technology called NOMAD.

When you use the speakers’ amplifier for a long time, you can hardly detect the heating issue until they turn off completely.

As soon as this situation occurs, you should check it as quickly as possible; it will help you prevent further problems and potential damage.

Inadequate Power/Ground

The cause of the amplifier’s heating, even shut down, may come from the power cable or the ground cable being too small.

At that moment, your device may not have been with the minimum power required for operation. The advice for you is to use one with at least 8-gauge power and ground cable. It will help your amplifier operate more stable.

You also need to keep in mind that the ground cable length is less than 18″ and is similar in size to the power cable. You need to screw directly into the thick and strong steel part of the chassis.

Moreover, this wire must also be free of any paint or primer to perform its grounding duties to its ability.

You need to connect the positive end directly to the car battery using a high-quality battery mast adapter.

When you set up the most perfect and precise electrical cabling, the amplifier can operate with the best overall performance it can achieve.

Read more:

Low Impedance

If you’re a fan of using a subwoofer, it can also be why the amplifier’s overheating and shutdown at loads lower than the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Users will use two 4 Ohm woofers connected by parallel wires for a 2 Ohm load.

At the same time, they will continue to hook up the amplifier to that load. In this case, the amps are for equipment where the manufacturer specifies 4-Ohms, not 2-Ohms.

The amplifier is connected to a low-impedance device but trying to match it. However, this extra power causes overheating of your amplifier, resulting in a protective shutdown.

Read more:

Bass Boost

Bass Boost

Finally, you should check your Gain and Punch Bass control settings.

The gain-tuning implementation matches the electronic part(s) to each other. In general, you can do it by dialing in the controller.

You adjust the amp to the number of input signals and prescribe the ideal amount of movement to reproduce.

If the gain is too high, the device needs to work at full capacity immediately and may cause distortion and “cut.”

In contrast, the device still plays at full power when the gain is too low, but the sound intensity is louder. If you are not an expert in this area, your best advice would be to seek out an expert for the best setup.

How To Handle With it?

The problem with cars is not simple, but you can take control and see what you can do right now!

Setup Ventilation

Setup Ventilation

Adding equipment to the wind system can be a viable solution to your amplifier.

If you’re testing the heat source with the amp’s location, you should try moving it to a more open-air area.

However, after doing it and still can’t fix it, you will need to add a cooling fan to help create airflow, easy circulation, and better cool down the device.

Upgrade a better Amplifier

If your amplifier has been used for a long time and has a lot of work before, you should upgrade to a better amplifier. It will produce better quality along with better energy efficiency. At the same time, the new product will not overheat.

Check out the Wiring

Overheating can also come from damaged electrical wiring in the vehicle. When you need to move on uneven terrain, many places are bumpy and difficult to go.

At this time, the car amp can change the mode to protection and shutdown.

Besides checking for overheating, you also need to consider loose wiring. Overall, checking everything will help diagnose the causes and find the best fix.

Check out Installation Quality

Check out Installation

Finally, check that the installed amplifier is compatible with all the common components in the car audio system.

You also need to pay attention to specifications such as speaker and subwoofer power and ground connection. They help maximize the product’s performance.


Is it normal for a car amplifier to get hot?

It is not normal when the speaker amplifier heats up above normal temperature.

You need to check all the causes of the issue and find a way to fix them as soon as possible.

You can consider some common reasons such as blown/grounded speakers, inadequate power supply to the device, and low impedance (load) value.

The cause can also come from the Gain/Punch Bass control set being too high.

How do I keep my amp cool?

Keeping the amplifier cool is an easy job. You can use a cooling fan, which creates a lot of free space around the device. At the same time, you also need to adjust the wiring and fuses.

There are many types of cooling fans on the market today, but the best advice is to find a high-quality one that will help you get the job done most efficiently.

How hot is too hot for an amplifier?

If you notice your device heating up, you need to know its temperature. It overheats when this rises above 160F (or 71,111°C) or when you touch it.

The problem continues with the product that the thermal protection relays trip and cause power off to the amplifier.

What is a cross-flow fan?

A cross-flow fan is a device used to cool circuit boards or other applications. Its job is to create a wide and uniform airflow.

Airflow usually radiates in many directions with right angles and rectangles.

Because of this feature, you can easily install them in small spaces such as corners, saving space in the vehicle system.

Currently, there are two main types of AC Cross Flow Fans and DC Cross Flow Fans on the market. They have features to suit different vehicles and systems.

What is the difference between a centrifugal and axial fan?

Many people find it difficult to distinguish when looking for centrifugal and axial fans. In general, their difference comes from the direction of the generated air for these two types.

The centrifugal fan collects air at right angles using the intake, and it the blowing of air out by centrifugal force and deflection.

In contrast, axial fans extract air in a direction parallel to the shaft.


The above article has given the causes of car amp overheating and the commonly used remedies. We hope the information will be useful in your case.

We mention the causes, such as a shortened speaker, inadequate power/ground, low impedance, and bass boost. If you cannot fix the relevant problem, you should take your device to a shop with professional maintenance specialists.

If you have any questions or experiences, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section or check us at My Car Gears to see more helpful tips.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends or loved ones who might be looking for similar solutions.

Thank you for reading!