Subwoofer Stopped Working But Amp Is On – Causes and Fixes

Subwoofer stopped working but amp is on, but you don’t have to spend money trying to replace it just yet. You can easily solve this problem to get your car speakers working perfectly again.

Subwoofer Stopped Working

In this article, we’ll explain why your subwoofer would stop working. In the end, we’ll explain the troubleshooting steps to solve the issue.

Why is Your Car Subwoofer Not Working When the Amp Is On?

Your car subwoofer not working but speakers are on is because you failed to set the appropriate volume, or the vehicle has developed wiring problems. It could also be the case of incorrect inputs, a blown fuse, bad cabling or the speakers themselves could be faulty.

Wrong Subwoofer Connection to the Head Unit

A wrong connection in a car audio system is one of the most popular reasons a subwoofer will go off, even if there’s power. When the wires are not connected properly, they can easily fall off when the car shakes due to bad roads or an accident.

This problem usually happens to first-timers fixing aftermarket sound systems in their vehicles. They may forget to tighten screws or connect the wires to their appropriate ports. When this happens, the subwoofer doesn’t get the right signals from the head unit and stops working. A wrong connection is a minor problem that can easily be prevented if you follow the directions in the subwoofer’s manual.

Subwoofer With Wiring Problems

If you realize that your subwoofer works with another amplifier but fails when you connect your amp, the fault may be from the wiring. Faulty or substandard wires can affect the sound quality and obstruct the subwoofer’s work.

Car Subwoofer Not Working

They can block signals from the head or fail to carry the adequate electrical power the subwoofer needs to work. They’ll appear fine on the surface but are broken or damaged.

Setting the Amplifier, Gain and Other Inputs Wrongly

The amp has power but no sound because the settings may be wrong. For starters, if you turn the volume knob down, you won’t hear any sound and you’ll blame the subwoofer. However, that is the least of your problems. Another knob you shouldn’t forget to check is the gains which ensure the bass produced by the subwoofer matches with the main speaker.

The gain knob also adjusts the output levels from both components; thus, it acts like a volume knob. If you turn it down, the subwoofer will produce low or no sound. Therefore ensure that the knob is somewhere in the middle to match the bass levels from the main speaker. Also, if your sound system has a bass knob, check and turn it up a notch.

Some subwoofers have mute buttons installed; check yours to see if it is muted. Many people forget to check these “simple” knobs and immediately assume the worst when their amps are not working. However, if you try these simple methods and the subwoofer fails to work, proceed to the next steps.

A Blown Subwoofer Fuse

A subwoofer’s fuse protects it from electrical current overload, which can damage it. Thus, it is not uncommon for it to blow. When the current supply is too much for the subwoofer to handle, the fuse sacrifices itself by blowing up. This act cuts the electricity supply to the subwoofer and prevents it from damage.

Therefore, check the fuse if your car subwoofer suddenly stopped working; that could be the problem. However, some subwoofers have complicated wiring, which we’ll make getting to the fuse quite difficult. Whenever you encounter such issues, we advise you to contact a professional electrician.

A Malfunctioning Subwoofer

If your subwoofer stopped working while driving, then it’s possible some of its components are damaged. It could be the terminals, the voice coil or the speaker’s cone. Any of these components directly affect the speaker’s performance; thus, it won’t work if any or all suffer damage. For example, the voice coil converts electricity to mechanical energy, making sound waves for you to hear.

The voice coil vibrates the speaker cone to produce the exact sound for your ears, and it does most of the work in the subwoofer unit. Thus, it can easily break down due to the amount of stress the speaker cone is subjected to. Ensure you check all the internal parts of the speaker to ensure that the internal components are working fine.

Switching on Protection Mode

Some subwoofers feature “Protection Mode”, which protects them from damage during an electrical surge. This mode works like an electrical fuse by cutting off excess power that might damage the speaker. When it is switched on, the “Protect Mode” limits the amount of electrical power coming to the subwoofer. It does this by setting a threshold above which power to the speaker is truncated.

Thus, it can stop the speaker from working if it detects power or even vibrations. Next time your sub doesn’t work, check to see if you’ve accidentally turned on the “Protection Mode”.

When the Sub and the Amp Are Not Grounded

Always check the grounding of your sub and the car amp, whether it is a new one or you just purchased them from stock. They’ll produce a hissing sound or get damaged if they are not grounded. You can test the grounding by purchasing a multimeter and connecting it to both the amp and the sub. However, the first thing to do is to disconnect the grounding of the car battery.

Next, set the multimeter to Ohms and check the resistance of the test leads by connecting their leads and recording the value. Now, connect the multimeter ground lead to the disconnected ground wire of the car’s battery. Then connect the multimeter’s live lead to the grounding of the amp and sub. If the reading is high, the sub and amp grounding is faulty and needs to be rectified.

How To Fix a Subwoofer That Isn’t Working

To fix a subwoofer that isn’t working is a breeze, especially if the problem isn’t connected to the car’s electronics. All you have to do is to run a few checks and adjust some settings. A few simple tweaks of the wiring will have it working again.

The following paragraphs will explain how to fix a subwoofer with no sound.

Check Your Sub’s Connections to Other Units

It is essential to set up your sound system correctly to get the best out of it. Therefore, make sure that all the cables, pins, and connections go into the right slots/ports. Subwoofer connections may differ according to brand; thus, carefully follow the instructions in the manual. However, you can follow this simple guide to help you set up your sub.

Fix a Subwoofer that isn’t Working

The first step is to turn off your amp before you work on the sub to prevent electrical shocks. Then connect all the wires, ensuring they go to their appropriate slots. Now, connect the sound player to the amp via the input cables using RCA-style connectors. Next, connect the sub to the speaker, ensuring that none of them are loose or you won’t get any sound.

Fixing Subwoofer With Wiring Problems

A subwoofer with inferior or damaged power wires won’t produce any sound and will need fixing. If you just purchased a subwoofer with bad wires, you must return it for a better one. However, if your sub’s wire got damaged during its use, then they need to be replaced. Also, replace faulty components like voice coils, broken terminals, or speaker cones.

However, remember to use the same brand components to replace the damaged ones. Using other brands may not work as they may operate differently. If your sub is short-circuited, then you need to replace the wires and the fuse to rectify the problem. Check if the sub has “Protect Mode” and if it has been switched on, and turn it off.

How to Ground Your Subwoofer and Amp in Your Car

To ground the subwoofer and amp in your car, look for a neat metallic surface (without paint) near the subwoofer and fix the earth wire. If there’s any paint or debris on the metal around the subwoofer, clean it with sandpaper to access the bare metal. Now, connect the earth wire to the metallic surface using a grounding screw. Don’t forget to tighten it in place, or else the work will be incomplete.

Connect the grounding wire to the subwoofer or the amp, ensuring that you use the appropriate length and size for each part (sub and amp). Test the grounding with a multimeter to ensure everything is working well. If the resistance is low, your job is done, but if it is high, you’ll need to repeat the process again.

Troubleshooting Tips for the Subwoofer

First, ensure that you’ve toggled on the sub in the Speaker Settings. To do this, navigate to Settings, then to Speaker, and then select the Speaker SP option. Open the Speaker Option to check whether the pattern ends at 0. If it does, then the sub won’t work until you change it to 1 or 2.

If your subwoofer is the powered type, then check the back to see if the volume control knobs have been appropriately tuned. Some subs have stand-by functions, which enables them to save energy until they’re really functioning. Thus, check if your sub is on standby; it may be the reason why it’s not working. Also, ensure the sub is properly plugged into the AC Cord.

Check All the Volume Knobs

Sometimes the sub will be working fine; it is the volume knobs that may have been turned down. Thus, check the knob on the amplifier and the one on the sub to ensure that they are not turned low. If both knobs are indicating low sound volumes, simply turn them up. Also, check the gain knob, which controls the incoming amp channel volume.

Thus, if it is low, you’ll hear minimal sound coming from the subwoofer. When you find it low, just increase it to enjoy the sound.

Wrong Connection to The Amp

What Could Cause the Subwoofer to Stop Working Even Though the Amp is On?

If you own a Toyota Highlander and recently experienced your subwoofer not working despite having the amp turned on, it’s frustrating. One possible cause for this issue might be a faulty connection or wiring problem. To troubleshoot, check the wiring connections, inspect the fuse, and ensure that the subwoofer is receiving power when you turn on 4WD Toyota Highlander.


A car subwoofer will stop working for several reasons, even though the amplifier is still on.

Here are the reasons and how to fix them, as discussed in this article:

  • A wrong connection to the amp or wiring problems can impede the functions of a subwoofer.
  • Damaged components of the sub, like the voice coil, speaker cones or melted wires, can stop the sub from working.
  • Sometimes the problem could stem from the amp’s inputs and the sub-like volume and gain knobs set on low.
  • When the fuse blows, the power supply to the subwoofer is cut off, forcing it to stop working.
  • Fixing a malfunctioning sub could be as simple as turning the volume knob high or as complicated as fixing the wiring issues.

Remember, when replacing certain components of the sub, use the same brand as the one you’re replacing. If you’re in doubt, you can call on professionals to help you out.

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