If your car radio turns on, but no sound comes out, common parts you should check include; blown fuses, Wiring shorts, Faulting input, or Damaged speakers/wires. It could also be a simple solution, such as the source or audio output device.
Why Does My Radio Turn on but No Sound?
When your radio turns on but with no sound, it can be very frustrating, but this is a common problem with many radio and car models.
Common issues can include:
- Blown fuse
- Wiring short
- Faulting input
- Damaged speakers or wires
We have specific guides for different types of cars and stereo receiver models and include:
Getting no audio is quite a problem for many stereo radio receivers.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few usual culprits for the problem.
Before diving into more technical problems, we will first determine which component could be responsible for no sound being played and suggest if some “silly” mistakes could be as simple as flipping a button to get your radio up and blaring again.
Quick Silly Solutions for Radio Turning on but no Sound
- Is your audio output volume turned up? (Eg: Your phone is plugged in, but your volume is off on your mobile)
- Are all the wires connected?
- Are you on the right source? (Toggle across: AUX, radio / Tuner , USB, Bluetooth)
- Is your source working? (Try changing songs, CDs, or radio channels)
Hopefully, it is only one of these issues, as they’ll be quick to fix and cause no lasting issues to your car’s audio system.
If not, we need to figure out which component or components are causing no sound.
Components Causing No Sound. Which one?
The best way to diagnose the component causing the issue is to start at the speakers or source of audio/sound and work your way through to see if you can fix the problem as you go.
As shown in the diagram below, you can check your components in the following order.
This way, you can rule out working parts:
Source (Phone or Radio): Check, does the sound play when not plugged into your car stereo?
Is the volume turned up?
Change the radio station still not hear anything?
Cable (AUX or USB): Is the cable plugged in properly or loosely connected? Does it work with another device?
And so on…
Radio Turns On But No Sound (More Complicated)
When a radio turns on, but no sound comes out, it can be confusing as you can see that it is turned on and lights are flashing, or you can see dialogue on the screen.
The good news is it will not be fully broken as it’s still receiving electrical power.
The bad news is you’ll have to figure out where it’s broken or disconnected in the components chain.
The following are common fixes for cases where the radio turns on, but the speaker produces no sound.
Before attempting any of these fixes, make sure that the problem is not with the speaker itself (broken amp, blown fuse, etc.)
Without further ado, here are the things you can do if your radio is not working:
Some reports stated that a master reset helps in fixing the no-sound problem.
The method will vary depending on your car or stereo model.
Before endearing on a complete master reset, do a soft reset, just turning the ignition off and powering down the car.
Some new models will also mean exiting the car, locking it to power it down entirely, just like switching off your phone.
If your car is a Ford with SYNC radio, you can check out our article on conducting a Ford Sync master reset.
There are also reports that updating software to its latest version gets rid of the problem.
Depending on the model of your car, this method can vary. You should consult your car’s manual or search YouTube or Google for “how to update YOUR CAR MODEL stereo software”.
If your stereo is using Apple CarPlay see our guide on how to update an Apple CarPlay Stereo.
Unplug And Plug The Fuse
Another solution could be to unplug and replug the fuse clip.
You can find this fuse clip, usually below your steering wheel and at the level of the pedals.
It should have a plastic clip around it. Then, plug and unplug the radio fuse, arrange the wires neatly, and try your radio.
Audio Control Module
Unfortunately, if none of the fixes above worked, the problem might be other components, such as the audio control module.
This is the part of the car which tells the functions and features available at the moment.
So you might have to reflash it or replace it entirely.
Getting professional help is recommended in this situation since there are experienced in installing new car components, especially if you don’t know about car electronics.
Specific Model Radio Turns on But no Sound
Generally, the steps we’ve outlined in this article will be very similar for all makes and models (such as a ford F150 radio not working), with only slight differences or things that are more problematic for specific models.
You can quickly check our “silly solution” to see if it’s just a loose wire or a quick fix that anyone can do with little technical know-how.
The more complicated fixes, such as changing the fuse or conducting a master reset, may be too complex for some people.
We recommend consulting your car dealership if it’s something more complicated and nefarious.
If you’ve recently had a new third-party stereo installed, you should check with the company that installed it, as it usually comes with a warranty.