If your car radio is not powering on or working the cause of the problem might be a blown fuse. Sometimes when the electrical circuits in the car are overloaded, the auto radio fuse blows to protect the radio and the electrical system from high voltage shocks. If you have an aftermarket car radio, a radio that is not the original that the car maker installed, you may need to replace two fuses which this article addresses in this car radio repair guide.


First you'll need to find the fuse and see if the fuse is blown or not. You'll need to turn off the vehicle before proceeding. Find the car's main fuse box, usually under the dashboard under the steering wheel section. In some cases it will be in the glove compartment. In some cases the fuse box is next to the steering column.


Pop off the fuse box compartment cover and inspect the back of the cover for a diagram that shows which fuses go to which electrical component. Match the fuse position on the diagram with the fuse that is for the radio.Grasp the fuse tip and pull it out. Carefully inspect the fuse. A blown fuse will look dark or blackened inside. The small wire inside may also be broken in two pieces.


Put a replacement fuse into the fuse slot ensuring it slides tightly into place. Replace the fuse box cover. Turn on the car and test the radio. The radio if it is not an aftermarket radio with a blown fuse should begin working. If the radio is aftermarket and still does not turn on you'll need to check the radio's own fuse.

Aftermarket Car Radio Replacing a Factory Installed Car RadioCredit: By Zuzu (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Before trying to check an aftermarket radio fuse you'll want to disconnect the car battery's negative terminal cable. Pry off the dash sections around the radio. Depending on the car you may need to remove screws and clips to do so. Unscrew the holding screws that keep the radio in place.


Gently pull out the radio and inspect the back of the unit for the fuse. Pull out the fuse and look closely for burn marks or a sign of a broken wire inside. Replace with the appropriate fuse and re-install the radio. Reconnect the car battery and test the radio to ensure the fuse now functions properly.


Never try to check or replace fuses with the car running. And always disconnect the battery when removing or installing a radio unit to prevent injury and damage to the radio or car. If you are in doubt, take the car to a trained service shop that specializes in car audio systems.

If you are trying to replace your factory installed car radio or an older aftermarket radio you'll find out how to do it with this helpful guide: How to Replace the Factory Installed Car Radio.