Over the years, many Dodge RAM owners have reported their radios to stop working. In some cases, these radios would restart back after some time. But in others, they would keep starting and stopping intermittently.
It mostly happens due to a blown fuse, system glitch, dead battery, or loose wiring connections.
We’ll discuss all of these issues here in detail.
- Dodge RAM Radio Not Working – Reasons and Solutions
- Dodge RAM Radio Not Working – 7 Things to Check
- Frequently Asked Questions
Dodge RAM Radio Not Working – Reasons and Solutions
No power at all:
- Check the fuses: Consult your owner’s manual for the specific radio fuse location. A blown fuse is a common culprit, and replacement is usually straightforward.
- Confirm accessory power: Ensure your key is turned to the “accessory” position, providing power to the radio without starting the engine.
- Battery check: A weak battery can sometimes affect the radio. Try jump-starting or getting the battery tested/replaced if needed.
Power on, but no sound:
- Mute button: A simple and often overlooked check! Ensure the mute button isn’t accidentally engaged.
- Fader/balance: Make sure the fader isn’t set to focus sound solely on the rear speakers or vice versa. Check the balance setting as well.
- Speaker connections: Loose or damaged speaker wires can silence the radio. Check for frayed wires or loose connections at the speakers and radio harness.
Display issues or unresponsive buttons:
- Soft reset: This often resolves glitches. Consult your manual for the specific method, which might involve holding down certain buttons for a few seconds.
- System update: Check if a software update is available for your radio system. Updating can sometimes fix bugs and glitches.
- Factory reset: As a last resort, consider a factory reset to restore the radio to its original settings. Remember, this erases all saved presets and customizations.
If none of these solutions work, or you’re uncomfortable tinkering with electronics, it’s time to seek professional help. A qualified mechanic or car audio specialist can diagnose the problem and perform repairs. Remember, attempting complex fixes yourself might worsen the issue.
Bonus tip: Before diving into repairs, note down any error messages or unusual behavior the radio displays. This information can be valuable for technicians when diagnosing the problem.
Dodge RAM Radio Not Working – 7 Things to Check
1. Check for Error Codes
Modern vehicles have an onboard diagnostic system that generates error codes when it detects a module is not working.
These error codes make the job of mechanics and vehicle owners easier, and they don’t have to spend a ton of time diagnosing the actual cause of a problem.
Therefore, if your Dodge RAM head unit is not working, you should check for radio-related error codes using an OBD scanner.
An error code consists of an alphanumeric sequence, such as P1450. Therefore, you’ll have to check the owner’s manual or search online regarding what that error code means.
2. Reset the uConnect System
The radio-related problems are challenging to diagnose as you usually don’t get an error code.
In such cases, you have no option other than checking each component individually.
So, the first thing we’ll do is reset the uConnect System.
For those who don’t know, uConnect is the connectivity and infotainment system in the Dodge RAM vehicles. By resetting this System, you can often solve radio issues, such as unresponsive touchscreens, connectivity issues, etc.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Put the vehicle into accessory mode. If you have a push-button car, press the start button twice without having your foot on the gas or brake pedal.
- Press and hold the volume and tuning knobs simultaneously for about 30 seconds.
- Release the knobs, and the Uconnect system should reboot.
- Turn off the vehicle and then restart it.
- Wait for the System to restart and check if the issue is resolved.
The method above is called a soft reset. If it doesn’t work, you can also try a hard reset.
Here’s how it goes:
- Turn off the vehicle and open up the hood.
- Use a wrench to disconnect the negative battery terminal. Make sure that this terminal doesn’t touch any metal surface.
- Wait for at least 10-15 minutes to allow the System to reset completely.
- Reconnect the negative battery terminal.
- Start the vehicle and see if anything changes.
3. Check Fuses
If the uConnect system reset doesn’t solve your issue, it indicates that the problem is with the hardware.
So the first thing we’ll check in this regard is the fuses.
The fuses protect a vehicle’s electrical components against short circuits and damage. If there’s any current overflow in the circuit, a fuse melts away (also called ‘Blown’) and opens up the circuit. The opened circuit doesn’t allow the power to reach that component, which causes that component not to work.
Therefore, if the radio gives you a blank screen, you should check the fuses first.
We’ll have to check both the in-line power fuse and the radio fuses.
For the latter, you’ll have to go through the fuse box diagram for the vehicle and understand which fuses correspond to the radio. That’s because the location and number of fuses will vary depending on the model number.
For example, the 2011 Dodge RAM 1500 has two fuses for the radio. One is the main radio fuse, and one is for the hands-free module that uses a mic for Bluetooth.
In addition, some Dodge RAM models have an in-line fuse on the wire attached to the positive battery terminal. You’ll have to check that too.
Once you’ve located all these fuses, you can test them using a multimeter or a test light.
If any of them is blown, replace it with a new fuse of similar amperage.
And if all of them are working fine, pull them out of their slot, wait for 20-30 minutes, and then replug them again.
4. Check the Antenna
In some cases, all the functions of the car radio work except the AM/FM radio signals.
If this is happening in your vehicle, you should check the Antenna.
Specifically, check the Antenna for any physical damage and ensure it’s tightly and securely connected.
5. Check Radio Wiring
The car stereos come with different wires connected at their back – in the form of a harness. These wires must be connected to the vehicle harness for the radio to work. Loose or damaged wiring connections can cause a car stereo to malfunction.
Therefore, pull the radio out of the dash panel and physically examine its wiring connections.
Make sure that they’re not loose and physically damaged. You can also use soldering or butt connectors to secure these connections.
6. Check Speaker Connections
Similarly, if the radio is working and you’re not getting any sound, you’ll have to check its speaker connections.
Most car audio systems have four speakers. Therefore, you’ll need to check the resistance between the positive and negative connections using a multimeter for each speaker.
7. Use Electronic Cleaner
This method applies to button-based radios.
If your car stereo is working fine and the volume knob is unresponsive, that can be due to a fault in its dial. It mostly happens due to dirt or debris accumulated in the dial.
To solve that, clean that dial with an electronic cleaner.
You can check out the video below for more information.
So these are some solutions you can follow if your dodge RAM radio is not working.
If you’ve tried all the methods above and your dodge ram radio is still not working, I recommend checking the battery.
As the radio is powered by the battery, it will get unresponsive if it is dead.
To confirm that, you’ll have to check the voltage between the battery terminals using a multimeter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you unlock the radio on a Dodge RAM?
You can unlock the radio by entering its 14-digit serial code. You can find this code in the owner’s manual.
Why is my Car radio locked?
There can be different reasons why your car radio is locked, such as entering the wrong codes multiple times, anti-theft features, and electrical issues,
Why won’t my Car radio screen turn on?
It mostly happens due to blown radio fuse, loose/disconnected wiring, faulty radio, or weak car battery.
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