The easiest way to tell if a car stereo is having problems is if the radio isn't coming on, or if one speaker isn't working. Learn about scanning devices that can be used to diagnose internal stereo problems with help from an ASE-certified mechanic in this free video on troubleshooting car problems.
Good afternoon my name is Tom Brintzenhofe, Certified Master Mechanic out of Reading, Pennsylvania. Today I am going to talk a little bit about how to troubleshoot a stereo system. The easiest way I could tell you if you are having a problem and your radio doesn't want to come on, check your fuses and make sure your fuses are o'kay. If you don't know where your fuses panel is check your owner's manual and it will tell you exactly where it is and which fuse you want to be looking for. Other than that you might have yourself a speaker that doesn't work. Typically if you adjust your stereo into that one speaker that doesn't work and you are still not getting any sound out of it you want to take the door panel off or depending on where your speaker is located you can actually check and make sure that your speaker is hooked up. If it still isn't working, typically the chances are you probably have a bad speaker. Other problems you might have with the stereo itself you might want to be careful with because a lot of these newer vehicles we'll say from 98 and up they have the diagnostic capabilities that the same thing with diagnosing your engine. You have to be careful with them. A lot of them have theft deterrent systems in them. If you go taking the stereo out to take a look at it you unplug it, you plug it back in, hey guess what it doesn't work any more. It will lock you out. So you have got to be very careful and the only way to really diagnose an internal problem with these newer radios is if you happen to have the scanning device to be able to get inside them and see what is going on because unfortunately you just can't in there and poking and prodding and playing around with them but outside of what I said in the beginning there is really no other way of diagnosing stereo problems but hopefully that sums it up on how to diagnose stereo problems.