HELP! My Subwoofer Stopped Working


A subwoofer or a sub is meant to reproduce sounds that usually range from 20-200 hertz. Like most speakers, they have cones with a diameter of 8-21 inches that helps the sub move air and reproduce the low frequencies. But if you got into your car one day and found your subwoofer not working, here’s possibly why.

Why Your Subwoofer Stopped Working

There are many reasons why you might experience the car subwoofer not working’ problem. But here are the main culprits and what you can do about them.

1. Driver Magnet Failed

As mentioned before, all subwoofers have a cone that is attached to the permanent driver magnet. It is located under the cone and is not by itself an electromagnet. But it is closer to the coil of wires that together act like an electromagnet.

Now, when the current and voltage enter the circuit of this electromagnet through the incoming signals from the source, it works with the permanent driver magnet and drives the cone. This causes the amplification of sound.

But if the driver magnet fails for some reason, its interaction with the electromagnet will get cut off. That’s because it will change the number of magnetic poles in the circuit and sound will not be reproduced accurately, if at all.

2. Magnets near the Speaker

Now you know that the circuit already has a magnet. You should know that when there is another magnet in the vicinity, the lines of force surrounding the first magnet tend to change. When this happens near an audio system, the output sound gets distorted. This is another explanation for the sound system acting funny.

3. Cone Seal Failed

Now, the subwoofer needs the air near the speaker cone to move at a specific frequency if the sound is to be reproduced as desired. Usually, the cone pushes and pulls the air back and forth and makes sure that the end result is according to plan.

To make sure this happens, the cone is stuck to the sub enclosure with different materials. If this seal is broken and the cone happens to move, the pushing and pulling of the air won’t happen as per plan and this will cause the sub to malfunction.

Instead of moving back and forth within the cone, the air ends up moving all over the enclosure too. Add to that the fact that the speaker’s resistance also gets affected because the seal is broken and it is moving too much.

This might also lead to the speaker colliding with other components. So you might want to get a handle on it as soon as possible.

4. Because of a Short Circuit

Another reason for the sub not working might be a break in the circuit. In fact, short circuits are the answer a lot of users find when they Google ‘my subwoofer stopped working’.

This is usually why the wires that carry the signal to the sub don’t deliver on the promise. You should check the short circuit on the sub’s terminals to make sure that the current is not reaching the sub.

And even if the sub does not stop working entirely, short circuits in the sub’s coil can prevent the electromagnet from producing the required power. This will affect the performance of the cone, which is at the heart of the entire operation.

5. Not Enough Power

Speaking of the lack of adequate amount of power, you must check the subwoofer’s coil to make sure that it is getting enough amperage. If not, the field that should be created for the permanent driver magnet to perform will be weak and hence the sub won’t perform the way it was designed to.

Solutions for Your Car Subwoofer

If your sub stopped working in your car, the solution is sometimes just four simple steps. Lets see them.

1. Check the Speaker Wires

You must start with the sub’s wiring that connects it to the speakers, amps and receivers. They must be connected to the right points and must be firm. Typically, the wires from the sub’s back go into the sub’s output that usually runs to the amplifier or receiver’s back.

If the sub is connected to speakers, you must check the entire length of the wire for faults. If the wire is damaged or worn out at any point, you must replace them right away before using any of the equipment. And even after replacing them, it is wise to perform a few basic tests for the sake of safety.

2. Check the Fuse and Outlets

Every good subwoofer has an LED for standby mode. This glows when they receive power. So, if this LED is off, you must make sure that the sub is connected safely to a surge protector, wall socket or power strip. If you notice that the prongs are not properly connected, you can assume that the equipment is not getting enough power.

You must also check the switches at every point, from the ones in the wall to your power strips and whatever other sources of electrical power exist on the way. Sometimes, it’s just one faulty switch. You can verify this by plugging the sub into a different source of power.

You must also check the length of these wires for damage and wear and tear like we did in the previous solution. While you’re at it, also check the fuse of the sub. You might have to remove the plate at the back for this. Call a professional if you don’t know what you’re doing.

3.   Check the System and Its Settings

Once you ensure that the wires and connections are in place and functioning properly, you must check the settings. This must be done with your amplifier or receiver. Make sure no one tampered with them or that they did not accidentally reset. Double check the input audio choices of the subwoofer along with the output levels.

If your device also has settings for the speaker’s size, you must check these. Start with the smallest setting and change them till you hit the right size. The size is sometimes set to a larger setting, which might also block the signal that the sub should receive.

But some receivers can work with larger settings. So, you must do this while checking the user manual for your receiver. In case you don’t have a hard copy, you can check the manufacturer’s website for a PDF.

4.   Reset the Volume and Switch on the Sub

Finally, you must check the volume settings on the subwoofer itself. After the settings and wires have been put into place, you can turn on the sub. Make sure the volume on the sub and receiver (or amp) are not too high.

You can do this by placing it at the minimum volume level and gradually increasing it to see where the sub is getting cut off. If the volume is the problem, you have a whole other problem at hand. But here are some solutions.


Closing Thoughts on Why My Subwoofer Stopped Working

If you came here Googling ‘my subwoofer just stopped working’ and it was a sudden occurrence, hopefully, you found the right answers. If not, it is time to stop experimenting and call a professional. Ideally, it should be the manufacturer because they know their devices best.


FAQ on Why My Car Subwoofer Stopped Working

Q: How to Tell If a Sub Is Blown?

A: Subs are blown when they get too much power or the incoming signal is too distorted. You know that this is the problem by simply listening to music or checking the woofer’s movement. If you’d like a more mechanical solution, get the multimeter out and check the coil.

Q: Why Isn’t the Sub Getting Power?

A: If your sub is active but does not get switched on, you must check the incoming power source. That starts with the AC power outlet and the cord connected to the sub. Check if the outlet is working by connecting it to a different power source.

Q: How to Reset a Sub?

A: You will notice a power button on your soundbar. Press and hold that button along with the volume and input buttons all at the same time. If you have a display panel, you should be able to see the reset mode activated. You can let go of the buttons then and remove the power cord. Plug it in after 30 seconds and see if the problem persists.

Q: Can Subs Go Bad?

A: This is actually not a common occurrence provided you take good care of the cables. The factor that is often neglected is also the simplest culprit. Clean the wires from time to time to make sure there is no dust residue because it can cause interference.

Q: What Does a Bad Sub Sound Like?

A: The usual signs that you have a bad sub include cracks and pops in the output. You might also hear some amount of static or just bad output of the track you are playing.

Once again, you might want to start with the lowest volume setting and increase it gradually. This will help you recognize the point in the output where the quality declined.

What to do when the car subwoofer not working?

When the subwoofer not working then panic, just kidding. First, check if the RCA cable (RCA cables) are working properly. Is there active power in the power cables (input cables)? Try to adjust the volume control and volume level. Check if the fuse blows. You need to verify connections and check if the speaker wires from the stereo system are securely plugged. Do you have an input signal from the head unit? Is the power switch one? Finally if the subwoofer works or not check for a short circuit.

What are the signs of a blown subwoofer?

  • Sound does not come out when the amplifier is on
  • The sound is not clear and there are some buzzing sounds in the background
  • The sound suddenly stopped working for no reason.
  • The sub stopped working but other speakers are fine.
  • You hear popping sounds in the background when you play music at high volume levels
  • There is crackling sound coming from within the sub itself

What to do if my subwoofer stopped working but amp is on?

If your subwoofer stopped working, there’s a good chance it was blown. To check, unplug the subwoofer and plug it back in. If it still doesn’t work, try switching the input from AUX to SUBWOOFER on the amp. If that doesn’t work, the subwoofer is probably blown and needs to be replaced.

Subwoofer suddenly stopped working what to do?

If your subwoofer stopped working, the first thing you should do is check the fuse. If it’s blown, replace it and see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn’t, then there may be something else wrong with the subwoofer and you’ll need to take it to a technician for repair.

Last Updated on January 16, 2022 by Danny Reid