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Can Car Battery Affect the Sound System?


A faulty car speaker can ruin the whole vibe of the journey and nobody wants that. The car battery powers the sound system, just like all the other electrical components of the car.

But can car battery affect sound system of your vehicle? Well, yes. It can cause issues such as power outage to the head unit or make the amplifier go into the protection mode due to different-from-required voltage from the battery.

In this blog post, we will tell you about how the sound system of a car is affected by its batteries, the possible reasons for the discrepancies and their solutions, as well as some other causes.

Car Battery & the Sound System

All electrical components of your car are run by its battery, including the sound system. The battery supplies the power for the initial start-up to turn the car on. Then the alternator, a device that converts the chemical energy of the fuel to electrical energy, keeps on charging the battery.

The sound system mainly comprises of three components; the speaker, the head unit, and the amplifier. And from these, the amplifier is the most power-hungry. This power, as we know, comes from the car’s battery.


How does the Car Battery Affect the Sound System?

Amplifier Protection Mode:

The amplifier is the part of the sound system that ‘amplifies’ your music when you want to hear it at higher volumes. The amplifier in a car sound system usually requires at least 10.5 volts to function properly, but this should not go above 16.5 volts for safety reasons.

However, if the power coming from the battery isn’t sufficient to run the amplifier, or if it gets way too over the line, the amplifier will go into protection mode. This is like a shutdown state for the component to protect it from getting damaged or over-heated. During this mode, the speakers won’t work, or even if they do, you may hear distorted sounds.

Some amplifiers don’t have a protection mode. Their fuses blow off due to the voltage change from the battery. Hence, the fuse needs to be replaced altogether for the sound system to start working again.

Broken Down Head Unit:

The head unit, also known as the infotainment system, is the component from where you change the volume or increase the bass. This has evolved much over time from knobs and simple CD players to complete touch screens.

The right voltage needed for a head unit is typically 12 volts. This power source needs to stay direct (DC) for the unit to function properly. If there is a high level of fluctuation beyond what the unit can afford, it will stop working!

You may experience that the head unit may lose its power for a while or won’t work altogether. Just like with the amplifier, the unit’s fuse may blow due to unprecedented voltage levels from the battery.

Why does the Car Battery have too High/Low Voltage?

As we saw above, the car battery causes issues with the sound system due to fluctuations in the voltage. This makes it go pass the normal range, affecting the sound components and causing them to malfunction.

Here’s why the voltage levels may change in a car battery:

Loose Connections:

Loose connections with the battery can lead to insufficient power supply to the components. These connections disrupt the electricity flow, which then stops the sound system components from functioning in the desired manner. Contact an expert to tighten these connections so the issue can be resolved.

Faulty Battery:

Sometimes your battery itself might be the culprit that messes up your sound system. If you are using a battery that’s way too old, its charge holding capacity may have decreased over time. This leads to a low overall voltage supply.

Furthermore, corrosion may also lead to a decreased car battery capacity. And if the battery is kept without use for a long time, it can lose its charge internally. In these situations, the only solution might be to replace the battery altogether!

Irregular Alternator Voltage:

As we have mentioned before, an alternator is a component that charges the battery once the car engine has started. Due to a defective regulator, the alternator may start overcharging the battery. This, in turn, can lead to high voltage in the sound system components.

A corroded alternator may cause the battery to drain as well while the car is not running. Additionally, the alternator can also supply low voltage to the battery, making it discharge overall and decreasing its output. This can be due to alternator problems, such as a failed diode or an output connection with high resistance.

Depending on the issue, you can ask some professional to repair the alternator, or you might have to install a new one instead.

What else can affect the Sound System?

Apart from the battery, there can be other issues with the car and its components that can affect the sound system. Here are a few:


Defective wiring and connections:

Damaged wiring can disrupt the sound system’s electricity flow. Moreover, they can also cause a loss of the source signal that transfers the sound to be played through the speakers. Defective wiring can sometimes cause only one or two speakers to stop working instead of the complete unit.

Blown Fuse:

Apart from the amplifier and head unit, there are other fuses present in the sound system as well. If blown, they will disconnect the system from the power source, ceasing their functioning.

Broken Speakers:

In case you are hearing a crackling noise as you play something on your sound system, your speakers themselves may have broken with time.

So, Can a Car Battery Affect Sound System?

Whether the battery isn’t providing enough voltage for your car’s sound system or the voltage coming through is over-heating the amplifier, it does affect the sound system in certain ways. This can lead to various issues with the system’s components.

For more relevant information, visit our blog or contact us.

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