How to Turn On an Amplifier without a Remote Wire

How to Turn On an Amplifier without a Remote Wire?

The amplifier is the head of an audio system. The health of an amplifier directly impacts the health of the sound it generates. The amplifier has set prerequisites to work on, and you can’t change them. 

It works through the remote wire but in some factories, but what if the car stereo has no remote wire? Will you be able to turn it on and off?

Installation of an amplifier may sound easy, but it doesn’t take a second to become the finickiest task on the earth. It is tricky whether you have to set up the factory audio system or opt for an external amp.

It would be best if you always had quality devices, little tech knowledge, and of course, an informative guide to make things crystal clear. 

Yes! In case your audio system lacks remote wires, you can still turn it on and off with some easy and efficient applications. 

In this article, we have shared what the remote wires are, how it works, how to turn on an amp without the remote wire, and how to connect it back to the system.

What is the car remote wire?

The remote wire is also termed as the “Turn-on wire” of the car stereo system. However, an audio system is swamped with many wires with the variable assigned functions. 

The car factory system always comes with a remote wire that makes it turned on. Still, if you are designing your car’s audio system, you can find an easy-peasy alternative solution without worrying about purchasing the remote wires. 

It is noteworthy that an amplifier is connected to both the antenna wire and the remote wire, which carry the current of 12Volts. 

Why does a car amplifier need a remote wire? 

Similar to the human body, it needs blood for survival and the veins to transfer the blood from one organ to the other, car audio systems also need current to flow in the wires. 

As soon as you turn on the engine, the current gets signals to begin flowing to the audio system and the remote wire efficiently starts to transfer the voltage to an amplifier and turns it on. 

The remote wire serves as an integral part, or you can say a bridge between the car’s engine and an audio system that maintains the flow of charges at best. 

Amplifiers cannot be turned on for many hours connected via remote wire, you have to find the other solution to make it turned on and off, you might consider reading our post on how to fix car stereo that turns on and off repeatedly. Especially when you are not driving or away for some minutes or hours, you may find it problematic to continuously turn on and off via remote wire as it might cause damage to the system. 

Due to continuous turn on and off of the remote wire, it raises certain technical issues of which overheating of the amp, fuses, and the radio is observed mostly that may further lead to loss of activity. 

Building your car stereos can save your pocket. You can skip the “Remote wires” because there are several ways to make it done with some being easier while some may need you to have a little technical background or technician support. Before diving deeper into it, let’s understand how the radio wire works because this is how you will find a way to figure out the substitution. 

How does the remote wire work? 

Push the button and it is on! Sounds simple, right? But in reality, a cascade of reactions among charges takes place systematically to make rhythm and helps an amp get started and run. 

The remote wire connects the entire stereo with an amp. The tuning on of an amp works as the barrier has been removed that was halting charges to travel thru the wire. 

As the turn-on button is pressed, the avalanche of the charges make their way to an amp that operates it. The wire turns on one piece of audio equipment by switching to another device. 

Suppose the wire is connecting different devices as well, for example. In that case, if you switch on the stereo with the remote, the amplifier, which is connected to it will get turned on, and when you turn one device off, other will not work, so it is easy to conclude that remote wire has gotten a crucial role with your audio system. 

If you are buying an aftermarket stereo, it comes with several wires that have to be connected with different stereo devices to make them all functional together. These wires link various devices, including batteries, capacitors, amplifiers, speakers, and tweeters. They maintain the flow of an equal number of charges in all.

Why does the car amp stay on without a remote wire?

There are several for an amplifier to stay turned on even when the remote wires are detached. It could be an amp itself, it may trap some charges that make it keep working. 

Your car’s amplifier can be a little weird as well, it doesn’t need a remote wire to work so it’s fine to remove it and use other ways for switching on and off. 

The aftermarket stereo you choose doesn’t only rely on the remote wire, it has three different connections to get powered on. It is connected with the ground wire, the battery, and the remote wire. 

While many amplifiers come with the remote and not with the remote wire, the remote will help you adjust various frequencies, bass, and volumes. Also when the wires are incorrectly connected, the amp fails to turn-off. The remote wire can also be loose, making it difficult to perceive the signal of turning off. 

How to turn a car amplifier on and off without a remote wire? 

Since we already know how the remote wire works and makes an amp turn on and off. Most systems come with a remote wire, but there is always a manual switch on and off option for them if they don’t. 

You can have other options as well, though the cheapest and the easiest way is to get some connection wire or accessory wire used by the head unit of the system and get it plugged into the cigarette lighter or the ignition switch.

This other connection only works when the ignition key is switched on. When you stop the engine of the car, and it shuts off, the car’s sound system will too get turned off. If the car’s engine is not working, the amp will also not work. 

But many times, people want to turn off the stereo even when the car is on, the simple solution is to have an inline switch, which makes it easier for you to manage the switch easily. 

When the head unit is on, we normally leave an amp to stay on with the accessory wire and if you want to turn that off, you’ll have to flip stop the flow of current to off. 

This is how you can get rid of the remote or if your system lacks it, you can introduce an alternative solution to get that done quickly. 

The only thing you require is to understand how an amp works with remote wire work. You can create any power generating point within the system, which can be operated via an ignition key.

If you have removed the remote wire and want to connect it back to the system later at some point, we have a step-by-step guide for you to follow. 

How to connect the remote wire to the car amplifier? 

Following are the steps to reconnect the remote wire to the car amplifier:

  1. Firstly, you will have to remove the stereo, and for this, you may require some necessary tools including a socket wrench, screwdrivers, and plastic pry tool to get it done finely. Once the stereo is removed, you will see numerous wires in there. 
  2. You’ll see a blue wire with the white stripes on it. It is the remote wire, and all you’ve to do is to connect an end of it to the amp. You can also connect it to the fuse if you want, but make sure the fuse is situated near the stereo. 
  3. After making the connection carefully, run it. Switch on the radio and check if it is an amp with the remote wire working or not. Depending on the distance between the car amp and the remote wire, it may take some milliseconds. 
  4. Connect back the detached stereo of the car to the dashboard with screwdrivers.

Checkout this video on how to turn on an amplifier without a remote wire –


The remote wire is one of the main wires of an audio system, which makes the sound system on and off with no additional effort, just a click and it works. But car audio systems usually don’t come with the remote wire and then you need an alternative solution. This article discusses how to turn on and off the amp without remote wire by building another connection with the help of an ignition key. 

About Brenda Smith

Brenda Smith is an Audio consultant and part-time automotive content writer. She has an Audio engineering degree from a reputed university of Tampa, Florida. Being a great audio enthusiast, she works with her audio consultation startup and writing automotive content as a part-time writer.

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