Aftermarket car stereo in 'Protect' mode: How to fix it



Several times a month I have customers coming in because their radio is in 'Protect' mode. This can happen to a radio for several reasons. First lets talk about why this can happen.

Your radio has a protection circuit built in with a fuse. This is because there is a small amplifier that sends additional power to your speaker channels. If this circuit sees a bad signal coming in,
instead of allowing the radio to fry itself, it goes into protect mode. Or more simply put, it shuts itself down. Makes sense right, I mean you don't want your car to burn to the ground because of your radio right?

You may or may not care about why this is happening, all you want to know is how to fix it.
Because if your radio is in 'Protect', then you probably don't have any sound. The easiest way to fix this situation is to reset the radio. 

Most aftermarket radios have some sort of reset button on the front of the radio. Some of them have the button located behind the faceplate. What you are looking for is a dimple that is the size of the tip of a ball point pen. Once you locate the dimple just grab a pen or anything small enough to fit into the impression. 

Once you find something small enough just press in and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. That should reset the radio. You aren't done yet though. You need to get your car into your local trusted car audio shop to figure out where your problem or bad signal is coming from. 

If you don't address the problem, the radio will just go back into Protect mode again. And most radios only let you reset out of Protect mode 2 or maybe 3 times before they shut down for good. Then you have a brick for a radio. So if you can, drive around for a few days with no sound and keep that stereo in Protect until you can get it looked at. Hope this post helped you with your issue. Please share and like if it did.