How to fix an Amp That Goes into Protect Mode When Volume is Turned Up

Many people ask why the amp goes into protect mode when the volume is turned up. While this mostly indicates that there is a voltage drop, several things, including a problem with the wiring, can cause it to happen. Your amp needs to be adequately powered up to give you the best output.

Unfortunately, a slight problem with your car’s electrical system can affect the amount of power or voltage supplied to the amp and causes it to malfunction. For example, if the amp continuously goes into protect mode, the MOSFETs inside and the power supply could have been damaged.

Once the power protect light on your amp has turned on, it is advisable to locate the problem and fix it quickly to prevent potential damages to the amp.

What is an Amp Protect Mode?

Amplifiers are designed to boost audio signals into something a speaker can actually play. They increase your speaker’s output to ensure that you get crisp, clear, high-quality sound.

To protect itself from damage, the amp can go into protect mode, and it will shut itself and several other components in the stereo system down. To tell if the amp is in protect mode, check if the protect mode light is on.

Though protect mode can save you from costly repairs, it can be annoying and may also cause other complications in your music system. In some cases, the subwoofers and speakers can fail to work even if the amp is turned on. However, when you fix the issues that caused the amp to go into protect mode, your system should work as usual.

What Causes An Amp to Go into Protect Mode?

Several issues can make your amp go into protect mode. These include:

  • Overheating
  • Poor installation
  • Unfastened wires
  • Power overload
  • Failed output transistors
  • Interior amp failures
  • Problems in the charging system

Troubleshooting Amp in Protect Mode When Volume is Turned Up

Most cases of amplifier malfunctions are caused by faulty installation, not the manufacturer or driver failure. If you are not familiar with your vehicle’s music system, troubleshooting this problem can be a little tricky.

To solve the issue, you first need to understand how the amplifier works and follow these tips to troubleshoot the problem. Determining the exact cause of the problem is crucial because the wrong diagnosis can fail to reveal other potential issues in your music system.

Here is how to troubleshoot if the amp goes into protect mode when the volume is turned up.

1. Amp Goes Into Protect Mode After Turning It On the First Time

An installation problem can force your amp into protect mode when you turn it on after it has been installed. If you or anybody else was fixing any component in your amp or had to disconnect it for some reason, you may want to confirm if it was correctly installed.

Inspect the ground and power cables and also ensure that the amplifier is not in direct contact with any bare metal in your car.

2. Amp Goes Into Protect Mode after Prolonged Use

If you have been playing loud music for a long time, your amp may have overheated at one point or another. Playing music at a loud volume involves pumping more power into the amp, causing it to overheat. Amplifiers go into protect mode when they get too hot to prevent permanent damage.

Your amp can also overheat due to a lack of sufficient airflow, especially if it is placed in a confined space. To prevent overheating, set up a 12V fan to blow the amp. If the amp works after it cools down, you should consider relocating it to a well-ventilated spot.

3. Amp Goes into Protection When You Drive on a Rough Road

Rough roads are bumpy and can shift several components in the car, including loose or poorly secured wires in the amp. A loose or shortened wire may cause the amp to go into protect road mode. To fix the problem, check the power cables, the ground cables and tighten any loose ones.

Other ways to troubleshoot the problem are disconnecting the amp from the head unit and speakers, testing the amp using a multimeter, and reconnecting it. While disconnected, check the voltage, speakers, and look for any grounding issues.

How to Fix Amp in Protect Mode When Volume is Turned Up

Follow these tips to fix the issues that can cause the amp to go into protect mode when the volume is turned up.

1. Fixing Onboard Fuses

One of the first things you should check when dealing with this problem is these fuses. If your amp has fuses, you should check if they are correctly plugged in. Some amplifiers may not turn on the protect mode light if the fuses are blown. If your amp goes off, you should check if the fuses are working.

In the case of melted holders, you need to figure out the cause first. This may involve consulting an amp technician. A melted holder can damage the fuse and cause the clips tempering to fail. Therefore, they will not operate correctly and will not stand the resistance from your speakers when you turn the volume up.

2. Fixing Overvoltage

When playing music at a high volume, your amp will need more voltage to maintain the high volume. If you play music at level 30 and the amp is working, as usual, turning it up to level 40 can cause it to go into protection.

When operating at level 30, the amp’s voltage might probably be at 12v or more, and when you raise that level, the voltage can most likely drop instead of going up, and this will cause the problem. If your amp is made to handle at least 10 volts, and the voltage drops beyond its average level, it will reset itself and go into protection.

Because this is a power problem, you can check the alternator or battery to know why they are changing voltage when you increase the volume. If the voltage is 12v or above, but the amp goes into protect mode, you should disconnect the speaker cables from the amp’s terminals and the signal cables from the amp. It would be best if you also disconnected the RCA cables from the amp’s RCA ports.

If the amp powers up after this, remove the signal and speaker cables, reconnect the RCA cables. If it powers down, reconnect one speaker at a time to know if a speaker is causing the amp to power down.

Also Read: Amp Has Power But No Sound From Subwoofer [How to Fix]

3. Fixing Incorrect Wiring

Incorrect wiring, a poor charging system, and malfunctioning output transistors can all cause the amp to go into protect mode. For example, when the subwoofers are wrongly wired, they will draw too much current, and the protection circuit might intervene to prevent them from getting damaged.

Normally, speakers should operate at 2 ohms, and if you run them at 1 ohm, it can cause several problems. Calculate the right impedance by setting the multimeter to ohms and checking the resistance between the output transistors terminals.

The terminals should have zero resistance. If you find any reading, remove the speakers from the circuit and check them. Check and fix every wiring in the amp and the transistors because a low ohmage issue that results from poor wiring will cause the amp to go off. Note that frequently disconnecting the amp and an inadequate power system can also cause issues in your amp.

4. Fixing Overheating

Your amp can generate a lot of heat when you turn up the volume. To control the heat, ensure that the amp has enough airflow. Overheating can also be a result of the speaker’s working range, impedance, and shortened speaker wires.

It may be vital to learn how to troubleshoot and fix car speaker problems to ensure that they do not affect your amp’s performance.

How to Make Your Car’s Electrical System Better

Improving your car’s electrical system can help prevent issues such as shortened wires, overheating, and more. A bad electrical system can be a reason why your amp goes into protect mode when the car starts. In this case, you can consider by:

  • Install a power cap in your car
  • Upgrade the battery
  • Upgrade wiring kit
  • Add a high output alternator

Final Word

Music systems malfunction when you least expect them to. However, staying ahead of the problem by learning how to fix an amp that goes into protect mode when the volume is turned up should help you steer clear of any future problems and fix them quickly before further damage is done. If you have further questions or need guidance, don’t hesitate to talk to an Audio Curious expert today!

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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