How To Get Car Amp Out Of Protection Mode in 8 Simple Steps

Among various audio components in cars, amplifiers are one of the most important components. The basic objective of it is to receive pre-amp audio signals, amplify them and forward them to the speakers. Without an amplifier, you can’t get high-quality sound in a car.

Many people believe that amplifiers are only needed for premium audio setups. But practically, any small pre-installed speaker has a small capacity amp. These amplifiers work simultaneously with the other vehicles’ other components; malfunctioning in them is also a very common issue.

That’s why it becomes important to know how to get car amp out of protection mode, because it comes to be handy in many real life situations.

Those who are too worried about this topic can bring fruitful results from this article as we will discuss each step of the method to treat this problem.

How To Get Car Amp Out Of Protection Mode


How to get car amp out of protection mode? (An Easy Guide)

But these amplifiers come with safety mechanisms that divert them to protect mode when any malfunctioning is detected. There will be single or multiple reasons behind this malfunctioning. Problems can originate from power load, a defective transistor, overheating, wrong impedance loads, etc.

The process to get your car amp out of the protection mode is not a very easy one, but it is possible. First, you need to identify the main cause or component behind the problem.

Correcting the connection wires, checking the ground wires, preventing overheating, and reinstalling the amplifier, are the most common ways to deal with this issue. 

Now, let’s dive into the actual process of how to get car amp out of protection mode.

Check the speaker wiring

First of all, you need to check the cables. You need to ensure that no cables, including power, grounding, and patch cables, are connected loosely. If these are loose, they can damage the entire audio system of the car, especially while crossing any bumpy road.

Check the speaker wiring

If you find that the connection area has some dust or rust, you need to clean them with the help of a dry cloth. Last, you need to ensure that the amp of the audio system is not in contact with the vehicle’s metal body.

 Inspect the power and ground cables

You also need to properly check the power and ground cables. A poor or loose ground cable connection can also cause the amp to not perform well, or not start. If you want the amp to work properly, the ground wire must also have a good connection.

You must ensure that there is no paint on the surface that you will use for grounding purposes.

Verify the amplifier’s voltage

Wrong voltage ratings can also be another cause that can bring the amp to the protected mode. The main reason behind it is that the wrong power is drawn from the engine batteries. And the frequency of the power drawn and the handling capability of the amp does not match. 

This particular incident mainly happens when a new amp is installed in an outlet that wasn’t designed for it. Initially, the amp tries to cope with the power drawn. But when it exceeds its tolerance level, it shifts to protect mode to save itself from that wrong frequency.

Verify the amplifier’s voltage

To solve this issue, you need to check the voltage reading of the outlet with the help of a multimeter. In general, 12V is most of the amps’ voltage rating. The amps cannot tolerate either more or less than this voltage. Else, it shifts itself to the protection mode. 

Depending upon the results of the multimeter, you can easily find whether the problem is in voltage or not. You can detect the root of the problem in the car’s power source or the amp itself.

If you find less than 12V readings on a multimeter, there can be multiple issues; such as a worn-out socket and power in the vehicle’s battery. More than 12V readings on the multimeter indicate that it overloads the amp.

Check the amp’s thermal protection

The easiest way to check the thermal protection of the amp is to check its temperature with bare hands. If it is too hot, then it is overheated. And lack of proper airflow is the main reason behind it. You need to place the amp in such a place where good airflow and air ventilation are present.

If you still find that the amp is overheated, then you need to arrange an external cooling fan. Incorrect load, blown speakers and bad grounding can also be the reasons behind this overheating issue. 

Disconnect Speakers

By disconnecting the speakers you can easily find whether the problem is in the speaker or the amplifier. To do so, you must disconnect all the speaker wiring and RCA cables and leave only power, ground, and remote leads in their positions.

Disconnect Speakers

And now simply turn on the amp. If you don’t find the ‘protect’ LED still on, it indicates that the problem is in the speaker, not the amp. In such conditions, the most probable reason is a blown-out speaker. 

Try Unplugging The Head Unit

By following the almost similar way, you can also find if there is any issue in the head unit or not. For it, first of all, you need to disconnect all the cables from the amp to any radio, CD player, or MP3 player. Now, if you find that the ‘protect’ LED gets off, you need to understand that the problem is in the wiring or the head unit.

 Impedance Load

Although amplifiers and subwoofers have a correlational function, they have separate circuits. When there is any issue in the wearing or the entire audio system of the car, these circuits become overwhelmed and these subwoofers get a lower impedance load than they used to get.

So the amp circuit gets surplus watts. And this is harmful to the circuit. An overloaded power supply, excessive use, or a malfunctioning device, can also cause this type of problem. In short, if there is any type of stress on your amps, these can happen.

 Impedance Load

If you don’t check it from time to time, it can badly hamper the amplifier’s overall performance, and sometimes can force it to switch to the protected mode. First, when an amplifier detects too much stress, it tries to revert to its default settings.

This process will cut off all the power supply and try to reset all the settings in their original default conditions.

In 90% of cases, the problem resolves at this stage. But if you still have the same problem, please balance the impedance loads of the connected woofers. If there is only a single woofer, doing it is very simple. What you need to do is to match the parameters of both devices.

But for multiple woofers, you need to separately calculate the impedance of all the connected woofers by using Ohm’s law. After you match the impedance of your woofers and amplifiers you need to inspect the load ratings. You need to find out whether there is any surplus or power shortage and adjust the amp’s power load based on the ratings.

Resetting Amp’s Gain

The amplifier gain measures the amplifier’s ability to boost an audio signal. In each car amp, there is a gain knob that can be used to match the amp’s input to the head unit’s voltage level.

You can easily resolve any sound distortion or background noise with proper adjustment. If you don’t adjust it, you may face many problems like overheating or signal to clip. And these problems can lead the amp to switch to protection mode.

Preventing Protection Mode in the Future 

So, getting your car amplifier out of protection mode is not a very easy process. You may need to go through multiple options to find its cause. But the good news is that you can prevent it from happening shortly if you want.

Here are some tips that you need to keep in mind when setting up your car audio system to avoid the issue mentioned above:

Preventing Protection Mode in the Future 

Choosing the Right Amp for Your System

The first thing you need to consider is that you have chosen the right amplifier for the system. Your amplifier’s power output should match your speakers’ power handling capability.

If the installed amplifier is too powerful, it can cause the speakers to overload, which can trigger the protection mode. Before purchasing, you have to check the RMS power ratings of your amplifier and your speakers.

Proper Wiring of the Speakers and Amp

Proper wiring of the speakers and amplifier is another factor that you need to consider in this respect. You need to ensure that you have connected the positive and negative wires correctly and that there are no loose connections.

Loose connections can lead to voltage drop. Also, you need to be very selective and use proper gauge wire for the wiring purpose. If you have used a thin wire for wiring by mistake, there will be a severe voltage drop that can lead the amp to switch to protection mode.

Avoiding Overloading the Amp

Finally, you must always remember that the amp must not be overloaded by any means. The amp gets overloaded when the amplifier is being driven beyond its power handling capabilities. To avoid this, you have to adjust the volume of the head unit and amplifier. If you’re using a subwoofer, be sure to properly adjust the gain controls and power handling capabilities of your subwoofer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my amp staying in protection mode?

blown speaker, loose power or ground connections, loose strands on speaker wires, overheating, and reverse polarity of power or ground wires are the main reasons an amp stays in protection mode.

Can a bad ground cause an amp to go into protect mode?

Yes, bad ground causes an amp to go into protect mode. First, it will overheat the amp, and dor this extra heat, it will switch to protect mode.

How to get kicker amp out of protection mode?

Check for any loose wires, turn off the power, check the speaker connections, ensure the ground is connected, and check the voltage supply if you want to get the kicker amp out of protection mode. If the issue still exists, contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

Why does my amp go into protection mode when I turn it on?

Heavy load on the amplifier by the subwoofer is the main reason for this problem.

Why does my amp go into protection mode when the bass hits?

Lack of power in the amp is the main reason for this problem.

Amp going in and out of protection mode: what is the reason?

Loose wiring is the main reason if you notice that the amp of your can is going in and out of protection mode frequently.

How do I reset my car amp?

To reset a car amplifier, you must turn off the power, disconnect the battery and all other cables, and wait 20-30 seconds. Then reconnect the battery and other cables, and turn on the power. Your car amp is reset now. If the issue persists, check the wiring and voltage supply and consult an expert for further assistance.


So getting a car amp out of protection mode is not very easy. But by following the processes mentioned above you can come out of it. A car amplifier entering protection mode is often caused by problems with the installed speaker wires, ground connection, voltage supply, or internal malfunction.

To get a car amp out of protection mode, one should check all connections, and ensure a stable voltage supply. If the issue persists, the manufacturer should be consulted for further assistance.

Regular maintenance and avoiding overloading the amplifier can prevent the amp from switching to protection mode in the future. 

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