One of the worst things that can happen if you're on a long drive is your car radio not turning on. Believe it or not this happens to a lot of people for a number of reasons. There are a few easy things you can do in order to check what the problem is and fix it. Some of these steps will require additional tools or special knowledge.
Check your car radio connections
Almost all car radios come with faces that detach for security. However, this security measure can over time cause a number of problems. The most important is that the connections on the face will wear and not longer connect properly. This should be the first thing to look at if your car radio does not turn on when you want it too.
Cleaning your car audio connections
If you find that the connections on your radio's face are still fine the problem may be that they are dirty. While you might think a bit of dirt can harm the connection it does cause major problems. Dirt build up can create a film thin film on the connection which disrupts the flow of the current needed to power the radio.
When in doubt reset
If you find that the connections for you radio are working perfectly then try resetting the unit. The position of the reset button will vary depending on the unit. It is best to check your manual best you start looking for the reset button. While you are looking at the manual you may find that there are other operational instructions which could also be leading to this problem. It is best to note that not all car radios come with a reset button so this may not be an option you can follow.
Look at how much power the radio is getting
If your car radio is not turning on at all then it may not be receiving any power from your car's electrics. For this method you will need to have either a power probe or a test light. These tools will tell you if there is any current getting to the radio. It is important that you check the radio fuse before you do any other testing. The radio fuse is in the car's fuse box but you need to check you manual to find out which one it is. The problem may just be a blown fuse which simply needs to be replaced.
When all else fails
If you have done all you can but cannot find the problem then you do have a final option. When all else fails it's time to take your car to a radio specialist. These people will be able to find out what is wrong and fix it. With this solution you will be able to find out if there is a fault with your radio unit that cannot be fixed.
If you find that your car radio is not longer working then you can do something about it. By checking certain aspects you will be able to determine what the problem is. If you are not able to then you should consider going to a professional.