Back to Blog

Does My Car’s Audio System Need to Be Repaired?

How to Tell if Your Vehicle’s Audio System Isn’t Functioning Properly

Vehicular audio equipment can be sensitive. A broken piece of audio equipment can make all the difference between great sound quality and distracting or irritating audio. However, it’s not always easy for most drivers to identify problems with their audio system.

Read below to learn about the most common symptoms of a broken audio system, and how to tell when you should seek maintenance from a professional.

Hear the Difference: Good-Quality Audio vs. Bad-Quality Audio

When you’re driving, you want your audio to be crisp and clear, not muffled and distracting. Sometimes, you can get so used to the sound your car’s audio system produces that you don’t realize what you’re listening to.

Wondering if you’re hearing the impact of a faulty audio system? Here’s what to look for.

Common Sound Problems

Muffled Audio

Can’t distinguish what the actual lyrics are when listening to music? Do podcast and radio hosts sound like they’re speaking into a Styrofoam cup? Is it hard to tell instruments or musical notes apart in songs?

These are all signs of muffled audio, one of the most common ways to tell that your audio system needs an upgrade.

Bass is Unclear

When your audio system begins to deteriorate, one of the first things to go will be your bass. This is particularly common for car owners who don’t have a subwoofer.

You want your bass to sound smooth and bouncy, not rough and crowded. Your ears aren’t playing tricks on you – if your bass sounds off, your audio system probably needs to be fixed.

Crackling Sounds

Your audio system isn’t supposed to sound like a bowl of rice cereal covered in milk. Your speakers are probably blown out if you hear crackling, snapping, and popping.

Common Visible Problems

Sometimes, problems with car audio systems go beyond what you can hear. Keep your eyes peeled for these indicators that your audio system needs to be fixed.

Digital Display Won’t Work

What if the LCD screen that displays the time and more doesn’t work – or what if the touch screen won’t register your clicks?

In the latter example, it’s possible that your touch screen simply needs to be recalibrated. However, these are both signs that you could have a major problem. If your regular maintenance steps don’t work, consider reaching out to a professional.

Speaker Does Not Vibrate or Move

A properly functioning audio system will show you that it’s working – what we mean is, that you’ll see your speaker vibrate or give off a slight shake as it plays music. If your speakers are perfectly still while audio plays, it’s likely that something is not working correctly.

What Causes These Problems?

Aging Audio System

Unfortunately, the quality of most audio systems fades away over time. This is particularly true with older vehicles. You can also find tears or rips in some parts of your equipment – it’s not rare for issues like these to surface over an extended period of time.

Components are Poorly Matched

Vehicle owners may choose to upgrade equipment on their own, piece by piece. While this may seem convenient to some, it comes with a set of problems – most notably, equipment can become ‘mismatched.’ When an amplifier, speaker, and subwoofer aren’t designed to work directly with each other, they may break or become worn out. For that reason, it’s always a good idea to seek assistance from an audio professional – they can help determine if your audio equipment is matched appropriately.

User Error

Accidents happen – and it’s possible that you may have misused your equipment, causing it to malfunction.

READ MORE: Risks of DIY Car Audio Upgrades

What to Do If Your Audio System Has a Problem

Contact a Professional Audio Installer

When in doubt, speak to a professional. A sound technician can determine what the cause of your audio problem actually is, and can perform maintenance that won’t make the situation worse. Audio equipment is particularly sensitive, and a minor problem can be stretched into a disaster if you aren’t careful.

Consider Upgrading Your Equipment

Is your audio equipment outdated? Give your audio experience a boost by upgrading your system. A new set of speakers, amplifier, and subwoofer can transform every car ride – you have to hear it to believe it. Plus, newer equipment is designed to be durable and give you the best audio experience for a long period of time.


Audio is supposed to make your time on the road better – but with fuzzy sounds and drowned out bass, it’s hard for you to truly enjoy yourself.

Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with crummy audio. At Audiomotive, our team of audio technicians is trained to perform maintenance in a way that improves your overall experience. Whether you need a minor tear repaired or you’re hoping to upgrade your entire audio system, we can help.

Contact us today to learn how we can help transform your vehicle’s audio system!

About AudioMotive

For over 10 years, AudioMotive has and continues to be, Ottawa’s premier vehicle upgrade experts. With more than 25 years of combined industry experience, we proudly specialize in all things related to HID lighting and mobile electronics sales and installation.