Car Audio Troubleshooting Tips

Imagine getting a new stereo system installed in your car, but it doesn’t work properly. Car audio problems are common nowadays, the reasons for which can be varied, like loose wires, problem with the amplifier, or problem with the stereo. Such problems can also cause the speakers to produce a popping or crackling sound. However, there are some steps that can be taken to diagnose and repair these problems.

The first thing you would need to do is to find the source of the problem. There can be many things at fault, such as cables, audio amplifier, or speakers. Make sure that everything is properly connected between the speakers, stereo, and the amplifier. Disconnect the wire that connects the stereo and amplifier, but do not unplug the cable connecting the amplifier to the speakers. If the problem still persists, the amplifier might be at fault. But if the problem is solved, simply disconnect the wire from the radio. If the problem still persists, then the connecting cable probably needs a replacement.

The stereo system also won’t work if there is a loose or missing connection. Check all the cables of the stereo, amplifier, and speakers separately and ensure that they are properly connected. Torn, pinched, or exposed cables can also be a reason for the system to be defunct.

If there is not enough power supplied to the speakers, they will not produce sound. Speakers that are installed by the car company work fine with the store-fitted audio system. If different speakers are installed, they might not work due to compatibility issues, or may need more power to operate. Check their power supply by using a power meter. If they are receiving power but are still not working fine, the power provided may not be sufficient.

A blown fuse also can be a reason for the stereo to be nonfunctional. Refer to the car owner’s manual and ensure if all fuses in the fuse box are intact. If they are fine, you need to check if the car’s stereo system has its own fuses, which can be possible in case of some systems. If you find a faulty fuse, you need to replace it with a new one.

There also are chances of the speaker being faulty. You may check a blown speaker by an electric meter. Ensure that there is no power supplied to the speaker; set the electric meter to show “ohms”. Place one meter lead on every terminal point. If the speaker is fine, the meter will display 1.0 ohm, but if it is blown, the meter will read infinite ohms. A simple way to check a blown speaker is to place your hand on it and feel if there is any vibration and thump coming out at high volume. If the required thump is not felt, the speakers are blown.

If the speakers are not mounted in a correct manner, they may cause problem by producing a buzzing sound or vibrating. Such problems can be solved by simply turning the mounting screws a bit tighter. You can also place a piece of rubber between the speaker frame and the car interior.

If any of these above tips don’t seem to work, you probably need to take the help of a car stereo technician.

Tips for Buying a Car Audio Amplifier

If you want to blast the speakers of your car audio system, you will need to install an amplifier. Basically, an amplifier picks up a sound signal from a source and increases it, resulting in the sound getting louder. The difficult part is amplifying the source signal without distorting it. In order to keep them functioning, amplifiers require an adequate power supply and must also have the ability to store sufficient current to be able to deliver all the fluctuations within the music being played.

A CD player or cassette radio produces about 9 real watts at the maximum into 4 speakers considering the power it is provided from the electrical system of the car. However, in case you want more than that to power the speakers you have, you will require an amplifier. Amplifiers provide the extra power resulting in your ability to play music louder. In addition, amplifiers improve the quality of the sound at every level of volume that the music is played in.

In case you are thinking of buying a car audio amplifier, you will require taking into consideration a few factors beforehand. Some of these factors are the power, the channels, and the heat.

Power
The power is one of the most important aspects that has to be taken into consideration when you buy a car audio amplifier. Basically, there are two kinds of power ratings: RMS and Peak.

The RMS rating is a measurement how much power the amplifier will be able to use in order to power the speakers. When buying your car audio amplifier, be careful to choose one to match the ratings of the speakers and subwoofers. If you do not do so, there are high chances of damaging your speakers.

The other type of power rating is the peak rating. This is a measurement how much power that the amplifier has when there are sudden amplifications of sound. This rating is not as important as the RMS rating. Car audio amplifiers usually have a lower RMS rating compared to the peak rating.

The power of amplifiers range from around 20 watts per channel to more than 1000 watts per channel, while the prices range from anything like $50 to thousands of dollars according to the quality, power output, and features.

Channels
The next thing you need to take into consideration is how many channels they have. Amplifiers range from a single output channel to up to 8 channels. The most popular models at present are 2 and 4 channel ones, although mono amplifiers are also getting quite popular. It is the number of channels that will be the determining factor of how many speakers can be connected to the amplifier. Amplifiers have a left and right signal for each of the channels they have.

Heat Generated
Another thing you need to think about is the heat factor when you buy your car audio amplifier. Always look for ones that have a heatsink designed into them. These are metal strips that are provided on the exterior of the amplifier. The heat that is generated by the car audio amplifier is absorbed by the heatsinks.

Preamp Output
In case you want to go in for multiple car audio amplifiers for your audio system, then you will require one with a preamp output, which will enable you to connect multiple amplifiers to each other. The amplifier which has the preamp output will send the signal to the other amp.

Quality
The quality of the amplifier has also got to be kept in mind when buying one. Generally, the weight and the size of the amplifier itself is a good indication of the quality of the power output as well as the build. Usually, amplifiers that are of better quality usually have a larger and heavier heatsink compared to one that is of a lower quality, although many top quality amplifiers may not always follow this prescript.

Frequency Signals
In order to produce bass tones, large car audio subwoofers require lower end frequencies. However, make sure to not to go in for frequencies that are below or above the range that is recommended. If the frequency is too high it will cause undesirable effects on the sound quality, and if it is too low, the speaker could get damaged. Most amplifiers come with a subsonic filter to prevent frequencies that are too low, and also a crossover to eliminate the higher range of frequencies. These components will help the speakers receive the correct frequencies they require for performing at their optimum level.

Buying a good quality car audio amplifier is like shopping for any other component for your car audio system. First, you need to have a good idea what you intend accomplishing with your amplifier, and then make a thorough research of the choices available accordingly. You don’t need to buy the most expensive one if you are just installing a superior quality car audio system in your vehicle. But if your goal is taking part in car audio competition, then you will need to go in for a top quality and expensive amplifier. Make informed choices by finding out all the facts before buying one.

Build Your Own Custom Car

For car lovers, customizing is a very rewarding activity. Moreover, personalizing is a great option if you are bored with the way your car looks at the present.
For those aspiring to be a la Chip Foose, the mere mention of the word custom car is sure to give them an adrenaline rush. It conjures up the images of whacky designs, modified fenders, bonnets, mirrors and so on. A custom car is an altered or changed vehicle in two ways. The objective is to enhance the performance and make the car a style statement, thus giving it a different look from the other run-of-the-mill car designs.

Create Your Own Custom Car

Initially, you need to assemble the things you would require to customize your car. You need innovation, the accessories for making the modifications, and the blue print of your design plan. These things will generally get you started. You can also watch shows such as ‘Overhauling’ to understand what the task of giving your car a makeover will entail.

Before you give your beloved vehicle an overhaul, check out its condition for wear and tear. This will help you determine how much to modify and which areas you can work upon. To customize your car and give it a different look, one of the most easiest ways is to change its tires. Replace the normal wheels with the custom wheels. If you have a SUV or a truck, chrome and billet are good options for the wheel material, otherwise you could opt for aluminum wheels.

Custom wheels are available in the size between 13-26 inches. Pick whichever size is suitable, depending on the type of the vehicle (car, truck, or SUV). You will need to have a blueprint at hand to get a rough idea as to how the car will look after the modification. Once you choose the wheels, many people opt to work on the vehicle suspension; they either reduce or increase it. For that, you would need to get a kit.

Another area to focus on would be the body and the color. However, body modification is a tough task. So, you would need to go for an auto shop specializing in this aspect, and tell them what changes you exactly want in your vehicle. For instance, if the body of your car is a bit rough and you want to give it a smooth, suave look, what can be done is shave your vehicle. So, that would perhaps entail removing the handles, mirrors and so on. Then you can weld together the seams, grind it out and smoothen it, so as to make it ready for a coat of paint.

You can have graphics added to your car through paint. Paint the jazzy formula 1 design on your vehicle. In that case as well, it would be better to get a professional to apply paint. Choose from the shiny metallic colors to the dull and flat ones. If you just want to change the color, remove all the parts, paint them and put them back again.

A great idea to customize your car is to get the upholstery or the interior changed. You can use leather or any other upholstery that you want. You can also install a swanky music system. Performance enhancement can be done by installing new air intake or a factory exhaust.

Basically, if you have proper plan and good imagination, you can completely give your car a new look. So, use the aforementioned information to get started with this task.

Custom Car Audio Systems

mcc-039Customizing the Components of Car Audio System

A customized car audio system is not very different from a stock one in terms of basic components. It more or less comprises the same fundamental parts as its counterpart. The major difference lies in the fact that in case of a customized car stereo, each component is separately designed and purchased on an individual basis, whereas in case of a stock car audio, the entire system is designed and installed as a single entity. In case of a custom-built car stereo, you can individually buy different car audio components such as speakers, head units, sub-woofers, etc., on a one-to-one basis, and then assemble them to build your own personalized system. A custom car audio system typically consists of:
Head Unit: It is nothing but the frontal control unit that houses the CD player, MP3 player, DVD player, radio, cassette player, etc. While purchasing a head unit for your custom car stereo, you should pick one that is compatible with the maximum number of media. Also, make sure that it has an inbuilt anti-theft mechanism for added security. These days, certain head units provide advanced features like USB and Bluetooth compatibility, and can be synchronized with mobile phones as well.
Speakers: I guess there is no need to stress on the importance of having good speakers in the sound system of your car. Bad speakers can make a Michael Jackson song sound like the London Symphony Orchestra. So, if you happen to be a music aficionado and a purist, you really should be careful about what speakers you buy. Speakers come in multiple variants such as door speakers, front speakers, rear speakers, floor speakers, and specially designed boot speakers. Each variant is available in different sizes and output capacities, and is exclusively designed for performing a very specific role in the cumulative sound production.
Subwoofers: If you are the type who loves the thump, then this one is a must-buy. Subwoofers give that added bass effect to the entire sound and provide a boost to low-frequency sounds. Depending on your stereo needs, you can browse through different subwoofer models before you zero in on your final choice. Subwoofers when installed as a pair at the rear end or in the boot of the car provide excellent sound production.
Amplifier: It is an optional accessory that you should buy only if your subwoofer needs additional amplification and wattage. An experienced car audio dealer can inspect your setup and then recommend the appropriate amplifier and other necessary accessories that your stereo system requires.
Why You Should Invest in a Custom-built Car Stereo

Customized audio systems make listening to music truly enjoyable and blissful. One can make out and appreciate the delicate musical nuances, which is rarely possible in case of a stock car stereo system. At the same time, you can go about building a customized stereo as per your convenience and availability, with respect to time and money. There is a lot of variety among the various components, so you should have a good time exploring each one of them during the buying process.

Remember, when it comes to customized car audio systems, quality matters more than quantity. So, the next time you take your car out for a drive through the city, remember to turn the volume up, and let the party begin!