CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Audio Not Working

Hey All,

So in my car is an aftermarket head unit (installed by previous owner). It turns on and everything, but with all radio frequencies and CDs, no sound comes out at all. This is in a 2004 Civic LX coupe.

I’m pretty handy, so if it is a self-repair/diagnosis, I’d be very happy.

Sounds like either you have no speakers, or bad wiring to the speakers, or a blown amp.

If the continuity on the speakers and wires is good, replace the head unit.

Maybe take a know working unit out there and plug it into the speakers, see if any sound comes out. Then you’ll know if it is the speakers or wiring to them, or the unit itself. One more thing to consider: Do you have the owners manual for the unit? If so, read it. You may have accidentally hit a button which turned the audio off.

Alright so I called an audio shop, they said that the previous owner might’ve had an amp installed and now that it’s gone (I couldn’t find one), the audio is out too.

Quick question, I should be able to find wires to where the amp should’ve been right? If so, what are some common areas to install an amp?

Ok, I’m getting the whole picture now. So sound has never come out of this unit since you bought the car? You might be able to follow the audio wires to where the amp was or is installed. It depends on how they ran the wires though. Might be tough to do. Aftermarket amps – especially the high powered ones – are often installed in the trunk area. Mabye take everything out of the truck, even look in the spare tire area, maybe you’ll find it, or see where some holes have been drilled.

Ok, thanks George. I’ll try and post an update in the AM.

Look on the battery for large red wire connected to the positive battery terminal. If there is one there’s a seperate amp and the fuse on that wire may have blown. If there is no large red wire, then there’s no seperate amp for the sound system and the amp in the head unit has probably failed.

Tester

in a Honda look under the front seats or it can be in the trunk.

‘‘aftermarket’’ radio ?
All bets are off now concerning anything Honda.
Look for an amplifier , they usually have their own internal fuse you need to check.
The radio head may also have its own fuse in the rear of the unit.
Also check for a separate circuit that may have been tapped for either the head or an amp and see if that has a fuse in need of tlc.

Here’s another thing about aftermarket sound and second owners ;
VERY , VERY often the first owner will REMOVE their precious high dollar amplifiers and maybe even their super-duper speakers too, and leave the next owner holding the bag.
-----check the entire system for signs of MISSING components. ( usually in the trunk )-------
If components have been removed you can opt to wire the head direct to speakers in the simple set up the head could have without the hotshot system.

Next step , take it to a sound system specialty shop ( not a Honda dealer ).

Looks like an amp has been removed, if I’m not mistaken. I’ll search for where it used to be connected.

Herp Derp… I don’t even have speakers at all. I guess they did decide to take out all their expensive equipment. At least all the wiring is in place.

Can this be a do it yourself job?

Certainly. Go to www.crutchfield.com to get your stuff. They’re also good about helping you either via email/chat or phone if you get stuck in the job. Since all the wiring is in place, the hardest part you have to do is decide what components you want.

Were it me, if I decided to install an amp (which is a good idea if you want really good sound) I’d rewire the battery-to-amp connector. I’ve seen some amazingly bad jobs at this, and I’ve seen cars catch fire when it’s wired wrong. There’s a lot of power going through that thing and it needs to be done right.

I ended up taking it to a local audio specialist in town. They installed the amp for me and inspected if I had front speaker/tested if everything was working for $225.

Well, I just looked at the amp they sold me. They sold it to me for double the price at which I could get it online. I’m going back and going to try and get some credit.

You probably won’t. You get it cheaper online because you have to install it and because online has to compete with the whole world. The guy you bought it from just has to compete with other audio shops in town, and since he installed it for you, he can charge you more. You paid for convenience and speed.

I don’t know. You agreed to the price, they did the job and now you want it for less than agreed on? They may be willing to give you some sort of discount, but they don’t owe you anything, based on what you told us.

Good luck

AND, I wouldn’t expect any refund either.
Many shops culculate their bottom line based on BOTH parts and labor .
You’ll find that a shop who gives away their parts at strait cost DOES make it all up on the labor rate.
They may have also include many job neccessary items which were not itemized on the bill; ie; wire, splices, straps, tape, solder, screws, bolts, cleaners, retainers, etc.

So, knowing what the components could have cost, you decide if you paid a fair bottom line for the total job.
If YOU were doing this job for pay, what would you honestly expect ?

Mr. Z, Stuff Happens, I Know, But I’m Curious. Did You Steal This Car Or Buy It Sight-Unseen (Unheard), As Is/Where Is ?
How Does One Own A Car And Not Know Something Like This ?

I’d like to know because I can never relax to the point you do. Is it yoga or meditation . . . coma . . . just curious . . .

CSA

. . . auction, inheritance, repaid gambling debt, divorce settlement, end of the world acquisition, found on road . . . ? . . .

Oh, I asked a family friend to buy it at auction. It was a total loss/insurance car, things like this happen from time to time.

And about me going back to the shop… Yeah bonehead comment of mines. I forgot to factor in all the stuff mentioned by everyone else!