How to Prevent Your Car Amplifier From Overheating

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The best way to prevent a car amplifier from overheating is to buy an amplifier that isn't too cheap, as cheap amplifiers often give off most of their power in the form of heat. Keep a car amplifier well ventilated to prevent it from overheating with help from a car sound system designer in this free video on car audio tips.

Part of the Video Series: Car Audio
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Video Transcript

The amplifier quality is one big component of whether it's going to overheat or not. Cheaper amplifier's typically waste more power than they actually produce in sound, they give it off in heat. Because of that they tend to overheat faster. Higher quality amplifier's such as JL or Alpine are more efficient. They're designed to use the electrical power they pull off your cars alternator and battery more efficiently, so that all they're putting out virtually is music, they're not putting heat, there is no heat issue. Cheaper amplifiers, if that's what you have, and you're having heating problems, you want to keep it- and this is true with any amplifier, you want to keep it well ventilated, so that it has room to breathe. Heat rises, so you don't want to mount an amplifier upside down, or you don't want to mount it underneath a carpet for example, you want it to have as much clearance above it so the heat can dissipate away from the amplifier. Fans help if it's having a very bad problem overheating, that fan will blow the heat away from it, that helps. The other main component of heat problems is mix matching speakers to the amplifier. You want to match the load that the speakers present to the amplifier so that it matches exactly what the amplifier is designed to run. If it's too low, the amps is going to put out too much power, too much heat. If you match it, it's going to be as efficient as it can be and put out as much power with as little heat as possible. The other main thing is to have a proper installation. Resistance equals heat. If you have too small a gage a wire, or if your wire is not connected correctly, which typically is a poor ground. A lot of customers like to take their ground, they're scared to drill a hole in the car, they wrap the wire around a seat belt bolt, or they attach it to an existing screw that's sitting on paint. Paint does not conduct ground, it will not pass ground, you actually want the wire touching bare metal, actually, preferably sanded shiny metal. So you always want to make your own ground, you don't want to try to use an existing bolt or wrap it around a seat bolt or a seatbelt bolt, because they're not actually clean bare metal, it's painted typically, which doesn't give you a good ground. And that's typically what would cause overheating issues with amplifiers. But buy quality products you'll have less problems, because that's designed out of the amplifier to start with.

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