Speaker Making Noise When Car is Off? Learn How to Fix it

Car speakers making noise after your car engine has been turned off is an unusual but not unheard of problem. If you spend a lot of time in your vehicle it can quickly become irritating.

The types of noises that car speakers will emit generally sound like white noise or static hissing sound, however depending on your setup popping and other noises may also be heard.

car door speaker

What Is Causing The Noise?

Here are a few different factors which could potentially be causing your car radio to make noise when your engine is off.

  • Radio receiving power when the car is off - if you can turn your car radio on when the car engine is off and the key is not in the ignition then your radio has constant access to a power source which can cause problems.
  • Electrical Interference - anything which can transmit or distort your electrical signals such as power cables, mobile phone or something plugged into your car USB port can interfere with the sound. In theory, although it is rare, anything which can transmit an electric signal can potentially cause your car speakers to make noise even if the car is turned off.
  • Speaker wires - low-quality wiring (between your radio and your speakers) can cause strange noises if your radio has a constant power supply.
  • Grounding - poorly grounded radio will emit a lot of static noise if your radio is making excessive static noise then ensuring the grounding wire is properly fitted, or swapping it for a thicker one should make the difference. However this is generally only a problem when the radio is turned off, poor grounding rarely causes problems when the radio is on (unless there is electrical interference occurring).

How To Stop Your Car Speakers From Making Noise When The Car Is Off

First, find out if your car radio can turn on when the car is fully turned off with no key in the ignition. 

If it can turn on this means that there is power going to your radio at all times.

For most cars if you ensure that you turn your radio off before turning the engine off this will fix the issue.

If this doesn’t work for your car then a bit more investigation is required, find the answers to the following questions:

A quick test to work out if it is your radio unit itself that is causing the noise it to disconnect your radio from the battery when it is making the noise. If the noise stops instantly then it is likely to be an issue with your speakers, if the noise instead fades away then the problem noise is being caused by your radio unit - the easiest way to solve this is to replace or to get an electronics specialist to run some diagnostics on it. 


Also Read: 16 Of The Best Car Sound Deadening Materials


If you’re keen on properly diagnosing the issue yourself then you will need a circuit tester, this will allow you to work out if your radio has been incorrectly wired up (this is the most common cause of radio noise when the engine is off).

A circuit tester will allow you to make sure that the radio is not receiving power from the ignition wire (it shouldn’t be - if it is, ask a specialist to rewire it correctly for you).

If you still haven’t worked out what the cause of your problem is then disconnect each of your speakers one at a time, keeping an ear out for how the sound changes, you may find that you have one problem speaker.

If you find a problem speaker first check all the wires are properly connected, if that doesn’t fix the noise swap the wire for a good quality wire. If you still have no success then replace the speaker altogether.

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Welcome to Soundproof Panda!

My name is Dan and I live very close to an internationally famous stadium which generates an awful lot of noise that I'd rather block out!

This site is my place to share what I've been learning on my soundproofing journey.
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