A car amplifier is a critical component of the audio system of a vehicle. Before the audio signal is transferred to the speaker, it is received and amplified. Without an amplifier, the audio signal may be too weak to physically move the speaker, and so no sound will be heard. Some people believe that amplifiers are only necessary for high-end audio systems, but this is demonstrably false.
Although simple automotive audio systems consist just of a head unit and speakers, the head unit has a tiny capacity amplifier. However, if you want to listen to loud music without experiencing distortion or if you want to add a subwoofer to your system, you’ll need to acquire a separate third-party amplifier.
Due to the fact that your amplifier interacts with other components in your system, any problem might result in harm to other components, such as your speaker. In the case of such faults, the amplifier is fitted with safety measures that force it to enter protective mode.
In a nutshell, protection mode is a dependable feature that enables amplifiers to safeguard themselves and other components against damage in the event of a malfunction or failure. Alarm signals are generated when an amplifier reaches this condition arbitrarily or frequently, indicating the presence of a fault.
This article will show you how to get amp out of protection mode. However, let us first examine why and how an amplifier enters protection mode.
What Is the Protection Mode in a Car Amplifier?
A car audio amplifier is designed to power one or more speakers, and the protection mode setting will turn the amplifier off if there is a risk of damage. This mode protects both the amplifier and the speakers from overheating or from receiving too much power.
Car audio amplifiers use an electronic switch, known as a transistor, as part of their design. A transistor can act like a switch, allowing electricity to pass through it when triggered. The amplifier’s protection mode shuts down by turning off the transistors in the amplifier. This prevents power from reaching the speakers, which would otherwise be damaged by lack of amplification.
An amplifier that is overheating will activate its protection mode to protect itself from becoming damaged by excessive heat. The amp will then cool down before returning to normal operation. If a short circuit occurs in an amplifier’s speaker connections, it can also activate the protection mode to prevent damage.
Why an Amplifier Goes into Protection Mode?
In simple terms, protection mode is an automatic fail-safe feature included in most amplifiers. The goal of protection mode is to prevent damage to your amp and speakers in the event of a malfunction. Protection mode can be triggered by one or more of the following:
- Speaker wires shorting out
- Speaker output wires not connected properly (shorted together)
- Unstable voltage (low voltage) from your vehicle’s electrical system
- Speakers wired incorrectly (positive to negative, etc.)
- A poor electrical connection causing the voltage to drop too low.
- Speaker wires shorted together or to ground.
- Your speakers are too small for the power output of the amplifier, causing your speakers to be underpowered and overdriven. This can be avoided by getting a smaller amp (one with less power), or speakers that have a higher power rating than what you need.
- Dirty speaker terminals, dirty RCA jacks, or loose connections. Make sure all connections are tight and clean.
How to Recognize Power Protect Mode
There are two ways to recognize an amplifier’s power protect mode. The first is by listening to the amplifier’s indicator light, and the second is by observing the status of the indicator lights on the amplifier’s control panel.
When you first turn on your amplifier, you will see a green light on the front of the amplifier. This indicates that the amplifier is powered on and ready to use. The green light will turn to yellow, and then to red, indicating that the amplifier is going into protection mode.
If the amplifier is in protection mode, the green indicator light will remain on, and the red indicator light will remain on. This means that the amplifier is safe to use, but if you touch the amplifier, the red indicator light will flash.
In some amplifiers, the red indicator light will flash once or twice when the amplifier is in protection mode.
How to Get Your Amp out of Protection Mode
To get your amp out of protection mode and stop it from entering again in the future, do these steps.
Unplug the Speakers
First, unplug the amplifier’s speaker wires from the speakers. If the amplifier has an auxiliary input jack, unplug the auxiliary input jack as well.
Unplug the Headunit
Check to see if the amplifier can be turned on without the head unit connected to it. There’s a strong chance that the head unit or the wiring is at blame if it starts out normally.
Check If Your Amp Is Hot
After unplugging the amplifier, you may need to check to see if the amplifier is hot.
If the amp is hot, it may be overheating. Turn the amp off, then unplug it and leave it for a few minutes. If the amp cools down after a few minutes, you can turn it back on.
Check Cables, Terminals, and Fuses
Check the fuses on the amplifier, the speakers, and the wiring to make sure that they are in good condition.
Make sure that the wires from the speakers are not connected to the amplifier’s speaker output jack. If the wires are connected to the amplifier’s speaker output jack, the amplifier will be unable to turn off when the speakers are unplugged.
If you find that your amp is overheating, you may need to replace the fuse. You can check your amp’s fuse location by looking for a white fuse inside the amplifier’s power switch.
If your fuse is burned out, you will need to replace it. Be sure to use a fuse that is rated for the amount of power that your amp is putting out.
If you find that the wiring to your speakers is not properly connected, you may need to check your amplifier’s wiring diagram.
Check That You Have a Good Ground
Check to see if the ground on your amplifier is good. If your amplifier has a ground terminal, plug a short length of wire into the ground terminal and plug the other end of the wire into the ground terminal on the amplifier. If you see a blue spark, you may need to replace the ground wire.
Properly Set Your Amp’s Achieve
Setting your amp’s gain precisely is critical when using an amplified automobile audio system to enjoy your music’s impact higher and hear thrilling details and notes clearly, regardless of how loud or comfy it is. If you don’t understand what “accomplish” means and what it does on an amp, read this article, where we explain everything in detail. The accomplish control’s primary goal is to stage match the input of an amplifier to the output of a receiver.
Preventing an amp from “clipping” by setting the achieve correctly decreases background noise. The amp switching into shield mode isn’t the result of you missetting the amp’s achieve. As a result of these flaws, an amplifier might enter shield mode, resulting in all kinds of issues including but not limited to distortions, background noises, overheating, speaker damage, and so on and so forth.
Check Amp’s Impedance Load
One of the most common problems we’ve seen is connecting two 4-Ohm woofers in parallel to create a 2-Ohm load and then bridging the amplifier to that load — despite the fact that the amp is built for 4-Ohms, not 2-Ohms.
Because of the increased power it is trying to push out, the amplifier heats up quickly because it perceives a very low impedance – lower than what the amplifier manufacturer recommends – and attempts to keep up with it. When it gets too hot, it shuts down and switches to the safety mode to prevent further damage. Make sure your amplifier can handle the total impedance load of your subs if you want to use one or more of them in your system.
Replace Defective Output Transistors
If your amplifier’s output transistors are defective, they may be causing the amplifier to switch into the safety mode. The best way to test this is to replace the output transistors with new ones. If the amplifier still switches into the safety mode, then you may have other issues.
How to Bypass Protection Mode on Car Amp?
To completely bypass the protection circuitry you will need to locate the remote wire on your amplifier. The remote wire is typically a blue wire that runs from your headunit to your amp. You can find it easily by tracing the power wires running to the amp.
Once you have located the remote wire, you can run it directly to your car battery’s positive terminal (or to a constant power source, such as an ignition switch). If you choose to connect it to the car battery, make sure there is an inline fuse in series between the battery + and the remote wire.
Here are the steps to follow on how to fix amp out of protection mode and you should be able to fix it. If your amp still will not turn on, you may have a bigger issue on your hands. You would need to seek professional help as there is no telling what is happening inside of your amp without further inspection.