Car Audio Capacitor Troubleshooting

Car Audio Capacitor Troubleshooting

Are you in need of car audio capacitor troubleshooting? Well, you have come to the right place with this article. If you are a fan of a righteous audio system, a power capacitor is a must. However, over time, the power supply from a capacitor can cause issues with your audio system.

With the capacitor coming in a circular shape, you will usually find them at 3-inch diameters at about one-foot long. Over time, the positive and negative terminals can cause other parts of your car to have problems. This would be things like headlights flickering or other electrical issues in a vehicle.

Still, if you are having trouble with your capacitor, your troubleshooting will be imperative for you to figure the problems out. This way, you can have a great piece of technology that works. And you will not have other parts of your vehicle failing either. So, without further ado, let us get to the troubleshooting of your capacitor.


Car Audio Capacitor Troubleshooting: An Ultimate Guide


There are quite a few ways that you can test a capacitor. Check out this list. This way, you can see if one of them works for you.


  • #1 – The Traditional Way

Now, even though the traditional way is the best way to go, only a professional should do the test. But, you can still figure out how it works by understanding this check. First, check for warning signs on the capacitor. If not, the individual working could be seriously damaged.

Some of the warnings to keep an eye on are what is the DC power. 24V is best, instead of the 230V AC. Professionals will begin by disconnecting the capacitor completely from power. Also, take one of the leads of the capacitor as well. When the capacitors are discharged completely, you can separate the leads altogether from the terminal capacitors.

Next, remove the safety leads as well. Lastly, make sure to have the capacitor terminals short. If a spark happens, then your capacitor is not to blame for the problem. However, if you have a small spark, your capacitor may be bad. You will need to change it immediately.


  • #2 – Use an Analog Multimeter

Start by having your capacitor completely discharged. Then, use an AVO meter. With the help of OHMs, set your AVO meter to that setting. Next, connect the AVO meter to the terminals of your Capacitor.

After things are all connected, look at the readings and see if the results are one of the following:

  • Good Capacitors: If you see low resistance, you will notice the meter increasing towards the infinite side. With all this in mind, you will be in good condition with your capacitor.
  • Short Capacitors: If you have low resistance from your meter that is extra low, you are dealing with as short in your capacitor.
  • Open Capacitors: Are you not seeing any movement on your meter screen? Then, you have an open capacitor that is having deflection issues.


  • #3 – Digital Multimeter Time

With the help of a Digital Multimeter, or DMM, you can also troubleshoot your problematic capacitor. As always, keep your capacitor discharged. Next, have the Ohm range set to 1000Ohm. Once you connect the meter to the terminals, you should be able to see a reading.

What the digital meter will show are a few numbers to start. Then, you will notice the reading going to an Open Line, or OL. If you test your capacitor a few more times this way, and you get the same reading, your capacitor is in good shape. However, if no charge is prevalent, then you have a dead capacitor, unfortunately.


  • #4 – Help With Capacitance Mode

With the help of a Capacitance Meter, you can do the next mode testing. However, if you do not have this kind of meter, a multimeter can do the job right as well. Also, you can test this on any type of capacitor, but smaller ones work best with this method.

To start, turn the know to Capacitance Mode if you have a multimeter or with a Capacitance Meter. You know what to do from here. Make sure that the capacitor itself is discharged fully. Next, keep the capacitors away from the circuit, as well as the board.

Once you are in Capacitance Mode, you can connect the meter leads to the terminal itself. A value will start to pop up on the screen. If it is near the value that your capacitor has been given, then you have a capacitor that is worth keeping.

However, if you have a low capacitance reading, then you have a dead capacitor. It is now time for you to get a new one. So, change yours out as soon as humanly possible.


  • #5 – Getting Your Voltmeter On

With a Voltmeter, start by getting rid of one lead from the circuit itself. Next, look at what the range of your voltage is. You will find this printed on the capacitor.

You can now charge the capacitor for a couple of seconds. Do this by connecting the red lead to the source of the voltage, while the long, positive line goes negative to negative. Next, by setting the Voltmeter, you can use DC power to the positive battery wire with the positive capacitor lead, as well as the negatives with one another.

Look at the reading from your Voltmeter. If you notice it is close to the recommended voltage, then you have a capacitor that is in good straights. However, if you have a little reading, it is time to throw out the old and bring in the new.


Final Note

Hopefully, with these troubleshooting methods, you should be well on your way to finding the problem. Then, you can come up with a solution that you are proud of for all the world to see. Best of luck with your capacitor in your vehicle.

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