Upgraded car audio makes driving much more enjoyable. However, there are moments when you may start hearing strange noises, like a buzzing sound coming out of the amplifier.
It is nothing to worry about if this happens occasionally. If however, the amplifier is buzzing all the time, you have to investigate it. But why can car amps make buzzing sounds? Let’s find out.
There are several reasons why your car amplifier might make a buzzing sound.
- The most common reason is loose connections between the wires and the amplifier.
- Another reason could be the incorrect setup or installation of the amplifier.
- Lastly, it could be that the amplifier itself is faulty, and its internal components create electric interference waves that are causing the buzzing sound.
Tip: Buzzing noise can also happen when more than one amplifier is installed in the car, but they are grounded with the same wire.
In many cases, you can solve this by grounding each amplifier separately.
However, if this does not solve the noise issue, you can install a ground loop isolator between the receiver’s preamp outputs and the amplifiers.
In the article below, I will show you how to investigate and fix a buzzing car amplifier.
Can Any Car Amplifier Start Making Buzzing Sounds?
Any car amplifier can start making buzzing sounds. However, this problem is most often found in lower-quality amplifiers, those not correctly installed, or those with loose connections.
What Types of Car Amplifiers Are Affected the Most?
Budget car amplifiers are more likely to experience this issue than high-end models.
This is because lower quality does not always guarantee correct components or the proper setup inside the amplifier.
In Which Connection Types Is This Issue Most Often?
The most common type of connection that experiences this problem is the RCA connection. This is because it is the push type of connection, and it is the easiest to come loose.
Another type of wire connection that can quickly become loose are those working with the load from the springs in the terminals.
On the other hand, any wire connector terminals in which wires are bolted down, make connections solid.
Why Does My Car Amp Make a Buzzing Sound?
There are several reasons why your car amplifier might make a buzzing sound.
Although the most common reason is loose connections between the wires and the amplifier, and this is the obvious one when looking from the outside, the real cause is often hidden inside the amplifier.
The transistors may create an electric interference inside the amplifier itself due to too much heat.
Too much heat generated inside the amplifier often happens when the amp is installed in a dusty environment or has been working for a long time and has never been cleaned.
Another reason could be the incorrect setup or installation of the amplifier.
This is not as common as a loose connection, but it can still happen if you make a connection mistake when installing the amplifier.
Lastly, it could be that the amplifier itself is faulty, and it can happen in any equipment type. There are hundreds of separated components inside the amplifier, and any of them can potentially be damaged before being assembled.
How to Troubleshoot a Car Amplifier With a Buzzing Sound
Many think that troubleshooting the cr amplifier is a difficult task, and I agree it can be, but it is relatively easy when it comes to the buzzing sounds.
There are a few steps you have to take:
- Check all the connections between the wires and the amplifier. Make sure they are tight and secure.
- Inspect the setup or installation of the amplifier. It could be that something is not connected correctly.
- If there are no visible issues, open the amplifier and check if all parts inside are clean and there are no burning marks from overheating.
- If you have checked the amp and the problem persists, consult a professional electrician to check it or replace the amplifier.
How to Fix a Buzzing Car Amplifier
Repairing an internally damaged amplifier is not a DIY task and requires professional equipment and special tools.
However, there are some checks you can do at home, and in 99% of cases, you will have the problem fixed.
Firstly, fixing a buzzing sound coming from the amplifier requires ensuring that all wires are correctly connected, not only to the amp itself but also to the other parts of the car audio system.
For example, the ground wire that is often incorrectly placed should be bolted down to the bare chassis and not the metal covered by paint.
Make sure that all the RCA connections are tight, and if you can, use additional support for them, such as electrical tape. This will prevent them from becoming loose over time.
Another thing you should do is to clean the inside of the amplifier from dust. This will help it stay cool and prevent any overheating issues, especially if your amp is placed in a tight spot without enough free cool air from inside.
When installing the amplifier, make sure to do it correctly and according to the manual. This will help you avoid any mistakes that could create problems later on.
Let’s go through all these steps one by one:
Check All the Connections and Make Sure They Are Tight and Secure.
The most important connections for the amplifier are the power connection and the ground connection. If either of these is loose, it can cause a buzzing sound.
However, there can be one more issue related not directly to the connections but to how the wires are placed in the car.
The problem may be running the signal wires together or within the direct contact distance to the power wires.
Usually, this does not cause any problems with high-quality power and signal wires, but when you have car audio cables with a thin shielding, this can create interference between the wires, and in effect, transistors in the amplifier can start making a buzzing noise.
Inspect the Setup or Installation of the Amplifier. It Could Be That Something Is Not Connected Properly.
If you have installed the amplifier yourself, it is possible that you made a mistake during the installation.
For example, the ground wire could be bolted to the chassis with some paint leftover.
This will not provide a good ground contact and can cause the amplifier to buzz.
The most common mistakes when it comes to the amp wiring are:
- Not connecting the ground wire to a bare metal surface.
- Connecting the remote turn-on wire to the wrong terminal
- Incorrectly wiring the amp’s speaker outputs.
Clean the Amplifier’s Inside From the Dust
Over time, the amplifier can accumulate dust inside, which can prevent proper cooling and cause the amplifier to overheat.
This can lead to a buzzing sound coming from the amplifier, but also it can create the risk of further potential damage.
To clean the amplifier, you need to open it up and remove all the dirt using a vacuum cleaner or compressed air.
If you have never opened an amplifier before, it is best to consult a professional to do it for you.
Replace the Amplifier if It Is Faulty.
When all of the performed checks have not brought any effect, and after investigation or sometimes even after repair, the amplifier still makes buzzing sounds, the only way to get rid of this annoying issue is to replace the amplifier with the new one.
You can install a new amplifier by yourself, but if you are not familiar with the car’s electricity or wiring, this also can be done by a professional, as it requires some knowledge about the electronic devices.
A car amplifier can make a buzzing sound for many reasons, and this can not only reduce the pleasure of driving but also cause further amplifier damage.
- To fix the problem, it is important to check all the connections and make sure they are tight and secure. The ground wire should be bolted to the bare chassis, not the metal covered by paint.
- It is also crucial to clean the inside of the amplifier from dust, as this will help it stay cool and prevent any overheating.
When installing the amplifier, make sure it is the right one for your needs, and install it correctly, according to the instruction manual. This will help you avoid any mistakes that could create problems later on.