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Car Stereo Volume Goes Up and Down Erratically

I have a 1986 Toyota Truck with Kenwood amp about 16 years old and a Kenwood deck about 7 years old. The volume goes down so low I can't hear it and then gradually goes all the way up until it is blaring. My question is, would the deck or the amp cause this kind of erratic volume control? This is a beater pickup truck that I don't use alot so I am trying to avoid spending unnecessary money. thanks

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Prolly buy a truck and a amp from this century

Posted on Aug 30, 2008

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Many head units that use push-button switches have this problem. The switches stick and the volume changes by itself. This can also happen with rotary encoder type volume controls but it's not quite as common. If this is your problem, the switches ae likely available from Kenwoood parts.

Posted on Oct 05, 2007

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I got a pyle 1800w amp and a 1500w kenwood subs but as i increase the volume in the headunit it goes on protect mode why the other problem i got is as increase the volume in the headunit the bass of the...


The protection modes in these units ****. Most new units have them. What I do is turn down settings on deck and turn up amp as much as possible. Then the protection won't turn on because you won't have to turn it up as high.

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1986 Toyota pickup stereo wiring COLOR CODES NEEDED


Car Radio Battery Constant 12v+ Wire: Blue/Yellow
Car Radio Accessory Switched 12v+ Wire: Gray
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Radio shuts off at volume of 16 or more


Maybe a protection component cutting in.
If you have speakers that are too powerful for the radio it may shut down to protect the amplifier from overdriving the speakers. That produces too much heat in the amp chips/transistors and they either have a overload cut out protection circuit or they burn out.
Even if the speakers are the stock fitted ones the wattage could be bigger than the amp in the radio can handle.
There's probably no way of knowing how powerful the speakers in the truck are but you could try the radio with another set.
Max 50 Watts for that radio. If you don't have the manual for it, it's available here:
http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Support/Car_Entertainment_Owners_Manuals/#_

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4 Answers

Volume turned up, kenwood shuts off briefly...


I had this same exact problem when my last older Kenwood Marine stereo cooked itself while I had it up loud for a few weekends on the lake. (smelled like it had burned inside). I went out and bought a new Kenwood KMR-550u stereo deck. (I do not have an additional amp). I hooked it up to the exact connections where my older Kenwood stereo unit had been hooked up, as I never had a problem with this for the past three years until it failed after smelling of burning elelectrical. I had chalked the problem up to heavy rain we had one day. Every time I turned up the volume, sometimes up to 27 out of 35 possible, or 29, or 32, the stereo would suddenly shut off as if I had turned it off. After a few seconds the stereo would come back on, but unless I was quick enough to turn down the volume it would do it again right away. Of course on a boat, we were beached in a cove and the engine was not running when I encountered this. I searched the internet finding hundreds of similar complaints and several dozen theories of all types, but only a couple that pointed me towards the power (voltage) idea as the problem. I put a volt meter on the positive & negative wires powering the stereo. I watched as I gradually turned up the volume, the voltage on the power wire gradually decreased from 12.5 volts, down into the 11 range, and as it hit 10.9 or 10.8 volts it shut off typically around a volume of 32. The red power wire in my boat that never seemed to have an issue with my old stereo until it fried was determined to actually be inadequate for the power flow for the new Kenwood, and probably was the culprit of my failed older unit. I offer this sound advice: Run a new pair of positive & negative wires directly from the battery (with an appropriate fuse of course (the deck has a 10 amp fuse in it's back so I would use that at the battery) to the stereo. Check the voltage as you turn the volume up into the high 20's and low 30's to ensure you are still getting voltage in the mid to high 11-12 volt range. The stereo is designed to require a minimum of 10.8 volts to operate, and when it drops below that it protects itself and shuts down.

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