Head Unit Will Not Turn off: 6 Steps to Follow

Turn off button

Your head unit might not turn off because of a faulty wiring connection or the automatic delay feature that eventually powers off the head unit.

Continue reading to learn more about why your head unit might not be powered off and potential solutions to fix the problem.

Your guide to finding out how to turn off a head unit

If you notice your head unit not turning off even after you have turned off your vehicle, you need to do something about it. It is because keeping the head unit on may lead to the drainage of your car’s battery.

Thus, leading to many other expenses and issues in the near future. If your battery is fully drained, you may not even be able to start your vehicle up again. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you’ll know it’s a nightmare!

This usually happens when people leave their headlights on too long, which is more prevalent in older vehicles that do not automatically compensate for this.

This quick guide will help you find out the reason behind this and even a simple fix.

head unit
Head unit staying on even when engine is off

Why Does Head Unit Not Turn Off?

It is essential to diagnose the problem before going ahead with the solution. So, look for the below issues:

1. Faulty and Incorrect Wiring 

Messing up while wiring everything is a widespread issue. Hence, it can be the reason why your head unit is not turning off. In this case, you need to fix the wires properly to make sure that the head unit turns off.

 Sometimes, there might be an issue with a faulty ignition switch as well.

2. Delayed Turn Off 

Many cars have this feature where the head unit turns off after turning off the ignition but after a delay. So, before you go ahead with any other solution, make sure to check with the manufacturer regarding the head unit.

You can just test it! Turn the ignition off, exit the car and then lock it. This should power off all electronics to save the battery, especially in newer cars.

For instance, if your car has an annoying beep when you leave your headlights on and exit the car, you’ll know its an older model and won’t automatically power off your electronics for you.

Easy Fix For Turning Off the Head Unit

As mentioned above, the primary reason for your head unit not turning off is the faulty wiring. Here’s what you need to know to fix the wiring problem:

  1. Your car’s radio or head unit is supposed to have mainly two power wires and one ground wire.
  2. Keep in mind that out of the two power wires, one remains hot all the time (P1) whereas the other only (P2) does when the engine is running.
  3. So, now, if you connect the main power wire to the one that is hot always, P1, your head unit won’t ever turn off.
  4. In order to fix this problem, you need to rewire the head unit to receive the power from P2 so that it only gets power when the engine is running.
  5. So, start rewiring the wires according to this. Also, make sure that you’re following a proper instruction manual or guide for the wiring process.
  6. This will help you in quickly fixing up your head unit that’s not turning off.

Keep in mind that there might be something wrong with your vehicle if you have done the wiring correctly. In this situation, take your car to the nearest garage to get a better understanding of the problem, preferably to an auto electrics garage or your dealership.

If the head unit is faulty, you’ll have to get it replaced, which may be a better option if it’s old an old unit. Newer head units have unique features such as Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto, which will drastically improve your in-car experience.

Android Head Unit Fix

A potential solution for an android head unit is to set the stereo to turn off with the ignition. This can be done through the car’s settings.

  1. Go to Setting
  2. Then Factory Settings (Password: 8888)
  3. Then Engineering test debugging (Password: 26959910)
  4.  Select direct shutdown mode

This should then resolve the issues and allow the unit to be only powered on and off via the ignition. Watch the video below by Alex Hus for a visual explanation of the process.

If the head unit is frequently on, it could also cause it to overheat, so this should be looked into quickly.

Final Thoughts

Not turning off your head unit can lead to a plethora of problems! For instance, it can drain your car’s battery.

So, make sure that you inspect the issue quickly and accordingly, follow the instructions mentioned above correctly, and reassemble the wires if needed.


I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system!


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