How to Get an Amp Out of Protection Mode?

An amp can go into protection mode for several different reasons, it can be caused by insufficient ground or to prevent any damage to the transistors. However, it is annoying if your amp goes into protection mode frequently.

So, in this article, we share with you the reasons along with the solutions for Amp going into protection mode. Stay with us.

get amp out of protect mode

Reasons Why an Amp Will Go into Protection Mode

Here are major reasons why your amp would go into protection mode:

Wrong Wiring of the Amplifier

The most common reason why your amp goes into protection mode is wrong wiring. You need to double-check if the ground wire is properly connected or not as it plays an important role in providing a good connection between your amp and the car battery.

Another reason may be because you have used the wrong gauge of wires for the speaker outputs. Using a wire gauge that is too small for the speaker outputs can prevent the amp from getting optimum power.

Faulty Parts

A faulty part in your car audio system can also cause an amp to go into protection mode. It could be a bad capacitor or a broken fuse, both of these components are responsible for providing power to the amp. It is essential to check for any faulty parts and replace them immediately.

Overheating of the Amp

Your amp can also go into protection mode if it is overheating due to excessive usage or environmental conditions.

Make sure that your amp has proper ventilation, as this will help in reducing the heat produced by the amplifier. You should also make sure that the amplifier is running at its optimal temperature.

Incorrect Gain Settings

It’s also possible that you have set your gain too high which can lead to clipping and distortion in the sound. This, in turn, could cause your amp to go into protection mode. You should check the gain settings and make sure they are set properly.

Overloading the Amp

If you’re pushing your amp too hard, then it could cause the amplifier to go into protection mode. This usually happens when you are playing music at a very high volume or when you have miscalculated the power capability of your amplifier.

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Amp Out of Protection Mode

Now, let’s consider solutions to get an amp out of protection mode.

There’s no one size fits all solution to get your amp out of protection mode but trying these steps below can help you get out of it.

Step 1: Turn Off the Car Engine

This should be the first step as you haven’t diagnosed the major reason why your amp goes into protection mode. Turn off the car engine and remove the key from the ignition. Turning off the car engine prevents any occurrence of electrical surges.

Step 2: Turn Off the Amp

The next step is to locate the amp and turn it off. This is very important before you start disconnecting any part of the amp.

Step 3: Feel the Amp for Overheating

Carefully feel the amp with your palm for overheating. Most amps will go into protection mode if they get too hot to prevent permanent damage to the hardware.

If your amp feels too hot, overheating is possibly the reason why your amp gets into protection mode.

A lack of airflow is the major cause of overheating in amps. If you cramp your amp underneath the seats or in a confined space, your amp may overheat frequently.

Try to reposition your amp so that it receives more airflow from all sides. In many amps, there is a fan for cooling. Check if it’s in working condition or not. Sometimes, all you need to do is just clean the fan so that it can efficiently cool down the internals.

If possible, set up a 12-volt fan to blow over the amp. Turn on the amp and use it to see if it goes into protection mode.

If it no longer goes into protection mode, that means you’ve fixed the problem.

But if the amp still goes into protect mode, something else is responsible for the issue. In that case, move on to the next step.

Step 4: Set Your Amp’s Gain Properly

Almost all car amps have a feature called ‘gain.’ This feature measures the amp’s ability to amplify any audio signals it receives. If you look carefully at your amp, you should see the gain knob.

The gain knob matches the input of the amp to the voltage level of the head unit. Setting the gain too high will result in a distorted and louder signal in the speakers. This may not only damage your speakers but also cause the amp to go into protection mode.

To get your amp out of protection mode, you need to set your amp’s gain properly. If possible, reset the gain and set it afresh. Setting the amp’s gain properly will not get your amp out of protection mode but also remove annoying background noise.

I’ll recommend that you always start with a lower gain setting and then increase it slowly until you reach your desired sound level.

Step 5: Disconnect and Check the Speakers and/or Subwoofer(s)

If your subwoofer or any of your speakers is blown, your amp may react to this fault by overheating. Subsequently, the amp will go into protection mode to prevent damage.

To determine if the subwoofer or any of your speakers is blown, disconnect all the speakers from the amp.

Either the speakers and/or subwoofer are connected using RCA cables or speaker wires, carefully disconnect them from the amp. You don’t need to disconnect the power cable, ground wire, and remote wire.

Turn on the amp and wait for a while to see if it gets into protection mode. If it doesn’t go into protection mode, then the sub or one of the speakers is blown.

To determine which of the speakers is blown, check each speaker with a multimeter. You can do this in two ways – reading the ohms and/or reading the voltage.

Set the multimeter to ohms. After that, touch each speaker’s terminals with the multimeter probes. If the multimeter reads between 1 to 4 ohms, your speaker is not blown. But if the multimeter reads infinite impedance, your speaker is blown.

Now connect each speaker to the amp per time and turn on the car engine and amp. Touch the speaker’s terminals with the multimeter probes. A multimeter reading of less than 12 volts is a confirmation that the speaker is blown.

If all the speakers and subwoofer seem to be working perfectly, then the RCA cables or speaker wires are bad.

Replace the RCA cables or speaker wires and that should solve the problem. If the amp still gets into protection mode after the speakers and sub are disconnected, move on to the next step.

Step 6: Disconnect and Check the Head Unit

Now, disconnect the head unit – car stereo, radio, MP3 player, or CD player – from the amp. Turn on the amp and see if it no longer gets into protection mode. That means there’s a problem with the head unit or its connection.

The only solution is to stop connecting the head unit to the amp.

Step 7: Check the Ground Connection

Poor or loose ground connection can also cause the amp to enter into protection mode – most people don’t know this. If the ground wire is thin or not well connected to the amp, the amp won’t function properly and may likely enter into protection mode.

Make sure that the ground wire is thick and tightly connected to the amp. The ground wire shouldn’t move or be loose. Also, scrap off any paint on the surface that you’re making a grounding – the ground wire should only touch bare metal.

Step 8: Check the Power Cable

While checking the ground connection, also check the power cable. The power cable must be thick enough to accommodate the electrical current demand of the amp. The power cable must also be tightly connected to the amplifier.

If your amp isn’t getting the required power to operate due to poor power cable, it may not get out of protection mode.

Step 9: Match the Impedance Rating of the Amp and Speakers

If none of the steps above got your amp out of protection mode, check the impedance rating of your speakers and make sure it matches the impedance rating of your amp. Most speakers come with an impedance rating of 2 Ohms.

Connecting your speaker of 2 Ohms to your amp of 4 Ohms means that you’re forcing the amp to work harder.

The amp is forced to supply double its power as required by your speakers. This will subsequently overload your amp, make it overheat, and can cause the amp to go into protection mode.

Fixing this issue is easy. Simply ensure that the impedance rating of your speakers/subwoofers matches the impedance rating of your amp. I mean, if your car speakers are 2 Ohms, buy an amp that supports 2-Ohm speakers, and if you’ve got 4-Ohm speakers/subs, get a 4-Ohm amp.

When buying a new amp or new speakers/subs, always ensure that their impedance rating matches and that the amp can handle the total load of the speakers/subs. This way, your amp won’t overheat or go into protection mode.

Step 10: Reduce the Load on the Amp

Every amp has its carrying capacity. Exceeding this carrying capacity can damage your amp. But your amp will instead go into protection mode to protect itself from damage.

You’ll overwhelm your amp if you connect too powerful speakers, subwoofers, or head units to it. If your speakers demand that the amp work harder at higher volume, it can overwhelm the amp and send it into protection mode.

To get your amp out of protection mode, disconnect all the speakers, subwoofer, or head unit connected to the amp. Turn on the amp and see if it gets out of protection mode.

You can then connect the attachments one after the other to see which one is too powerful for the amp.

I’ll recommend that you always make sure that your amp is powerful enough to handle the power demands of the speakers, subwoofer, or head unit you’re connecting to it.

Ideally, your amp should have an RMS wattage that is the same as or higher than that of the speakers. That is, if your speaker has an RMS of 300W, use an amp with an RMS between 300 to 450 Watts.

Step 11: Replace Your Amp

If after you’ve tried all the steps above, your amp still won’t get out of protection mode, then your amp likely has an internal failure. If some internal parts of your amp are faulty, your amp may not get out of protection mode.

The only solution is to replace your amp or visit a professional repairer to help you fix the faulty internal parts in your amp.


Getting your amp out of protection mode isn’t difficult. Just follow the steps outlined above and you should get your amp running smoothly again.

Remember to check the connections, wiring, power cable, impedance rating, and reduce the load on the amp. If all else fails, replacing or repairing the amp might be your only option.

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