Is your Wrangler making odd noises? Worse yet—is the audio system failing to work properly? This can be terribly frustrating, but fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to figure out what the issues are prior to bringing it in to have it fixed.By Jeffrey Bausch – November 19, 20

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-present).

There are plenty of reasons why the audio in your Jeep Wrangler might sound a bit funny. Nine times out of 10, it’s related to something technical, which can turn some people off from trying to diagnose the issue themselves. Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps you can take to easily determine the cause of your Wrangler’s audio issues, without the risk of having to take the entire system apart. Read on to learn how.

Scenario 1 – No bass

It may not be working properly.

In order for the bass in your car to work properly, air needs to be pushed and pulled at the same time in the speakers—so as one pulls, the other pushes. To facilitate this set-up, speaker terminals have positive and negative designations, which must be connected similarly to the head unit or stereo AM—positive to positive, and negative to negative.

  • Check to ensure this is the case in your car. If so, turn the bass balance for the system from center to right speaker, then center to left. If the bass disappears in the center position, reverse positive and negative on just one speaker. This will allow both speakers to push at the same time.

Figure 1. Test the bass on the speakers.

Scenario 2 – No sound

Check the fuses in your Wrangler—there should be two: one to retain memory of the stations and settings, and another to turn the unit off when the car’s not in use.

  • If this doesn’t work, check to make sure your stereo is properly coded. You can hard-reset it by disconnecting the battery from the vehicle, and then reconnecting it after a few hours (this is good to do overnight).
  • If this doesn’t work, check the speaker wiring for short circuits and shorts to earth on the actual speaker terminals (remember, the latter items cannot touch any metal parts on the vehicle).

Figure 2. Checking the fuse box.

Scenario 3 – Distortion from one side of the speakers

Start off by checking that your balance and fader controls are aligned properly. If they are, move on to check the wiring for breaks or short circuits, and to make sure no bare wiring is touching the car either.

Figure 3. Speakers mounted on the roof.

Scenario 4 – No display

This can be a bit frustrating, but it usually means there are bad solder joins or blown dial bulbs. Worse yet, chances are a circuit board located inside the system might be broken. To determine if this is the issue, reset your car’s stereo system and check the fuses. If there’s nothing to note, this might require a replacement.

Figure 4. A full replacement may be necessary.

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