Car Audio Shuts off at random

Hello, so I have been searching and searching and cannot seem to find anything that pertains to my circumstances.

The problem I am having started about a year ago, the car audio will suddenly shut off while playing, at first I could get a few minutes, then other times 30 minutes of audio playing, now I cannot even get a minute before it shuts itself off. What happens is the audio will play then it will start to cut out for a brief few seconds and get really low so that you can barely hear it. Then it completely cuts out and you can hear a small bass thump from the rear passenger speaker.

I thought it might have been a speaker issue so I disconnected both rear speakers, the same problem presented itself, however there was no bass thump (obviously as the speakers were disconnected).

It seemed like at first when it was really cold out out (-35C) it would stay on longer, now I cannot get any more than a minute regardless of temperature outside. The deck stays on and if I push the power button on and off it will come back for a brief second and shut right back off - Although when you try to turn it back on it has that really low muffled sound you can barely hear; seems like you have to wait at least 10 minutes before you can even regain 5 seconds of clear audio before shutting off.

I should also note that when the audio does cut out I am able to drop the volume knob and it shows the audio level decreasing, however it will not let me raise the audio level until I power on and off - It just gets stuck at whatever number the audio shut off at or I can lower the volume knob (not like it makes a difference since there is no audio coming out).

This is a factory deck in a Dodge Caliber 2010 SXT with absolutely no modifications to the cars audio or any other area. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

The amplifiers in the stereo head are probably failing.

Amplifiers use watts to produce sound. And if you look up ohms law on the internet, you’ll see how voltage, current, and resistance can effect the watts.

I see a new stereo head in your future.


I think Tester is probably right, but there’s a couple things you could try first.

Make sure none of the buttons are sticking. You are eating a banana say and punch the button on the stereo and banana gunk can get stuck between the button the bezel. So use a clean rag and a little soap and water and clean off the button and knob area the best you can and make sure none of the buttons are sticking and that all of them operate freely. You may need to use a toothpick to accomplish this.

No go? Then disconnect all the connectors that connect to the stereo. It’s a good idea any time working with the electrical system to disconnect the battery negative first, but it’s your choice. Look at the contacts. See any signs of oxidation or corrosion? If so, clean the contacts so they are bright and shiny.

A radio repair tech might be able to take it apart and spray some contact cleaner on the right spot.

Thx guys. I will check the connection points and such tomorrow if not then a new deck it is. Appreciate the help I thought it was faulty wiring.

There are software updates for some of the radios that were available in this vehicle to correct an intermittent no sound from audio system. If it applies to your radio the software update disc is $13.

The radio may stop the audio if a short in a speaker circuit is detected. These radios can store faults in the memory for short circuits.

Given what Nevada_545 says, it would make sense to measure the speaker resistance, make sure none of them are shorted out. Most car speakers are between 4 and 8 ohms I think. If you find one measuring 0.2 ohms, that’s suspicious.

Look at this logically.

Watt (are) the chances that’s it’s the problem is all with the speakers?



A short in one speaker circuit will cause the radio to stop output to all speakers and a fault will be stored. I have found intermittent shorts on these vehicles but the software update should be tried first.