Car Stereo Display Not Working – 5 Causes & Ways To Fix It 2022 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Is your car stereo display not working? Different factors can cause a malfunctioning car stereo display.

While the audio line/system doesn’t seem to develop serious problems, it’s almost not uncommon to see the stereo display not working for one reason or the other.

If your car stereo display is having this same problem at the moment, chill your nerves.

After reading through this piece, you would be going home with a deserved solution.

Both possible problems and solutions will be extensively discussed in this article.

Why Car Stereo Display Not Working – Possible Causes

Your car stereo display can stop working for numerous reasons. We will run through the possible problems that can be responsible for this anomaly.

Bad Fuse

Like any normal electrical equipment, a car stereo also employs fuse(s) to protect its circuitry from any sudden damages, mostly damages caused by shorting.

Anytime there is a surge in voltage, the fuse goes out. That way, the internal circuit of the car stereo will be fully protected.

With that in mind, you also need to understand that a fuse may experience partial damage in such scenarios.

When that happens, incomplete power will be transmitted to the car stereo.

This can lead to the car radio screen blank problem. That means you can have a working stereo without any display.

Faulty backlight

If your fuse is in good shape, but the radio light is not coming on, you might want to verify if the backlight of the front panel is good or not.

Most old-fashioned car stereos come with a display that is lit with a small-sized LED lamp, which is installed at the panel’s back.

You need to check the backlight thoroughly as that could be the source of the problem.

Connector issues

If you are sure the car stereo is functioning well, but the display is not working, it’s possible that the fault could be the connection.

Stereos displays are fitted with electrical connections that are affixed to the board via a lead or through connectors.

If your car stereo electrical connection to the board has been made possible with a connector, this problem can likely develop.

That is because the connector can easily go out of its position.

Dimmer setting

A good number of car stereos now come with a knob that lets you manage the display’s brightness anyhow you, please.

So, if your display is supposedly not working, you can check the knob to see if someone else had turned it to an extremely low value.

When it is set at lower values, you may think it is not working.

A bad main radio unit

This may not be a regular occurrence, but it’s something that can also happen.

Your radio unit may start to malfunction due to old age or debris that may have settled on its top.

These are possible reasons that can cause damages to your radio unit. As you drive the car around, it’s accumulating dust.

The dust can find its way to the radio unit.


The tools required to fix car stereo display problems might differ according to the severity of the problem. Some of what you may need to include;

  • Soldering iron
  • Lead
  • Connector
  • Fuse
  • Lead sucker

These are some of the basic tools you will need when addressing a problem of this nature.

Step by Step Solutions of Car Radio Screen Blank Problem

The surest route to solving car stereo display issues is first to identify what the problem is.

The moment you can establish what is responsible for the issue, you are 50% done.

Troubleshooting should not give you any issues as well.

Therefore, let’s run through the various solutions.

Bad Fuse 

If the issue is a bad fuse, you can count yourself to be fortunate. That problem has the simplest fix.

There is only one solution to this: to change the damaged fuse and get a new one.

Faulty backlight

An easy way to get around this problem is by changing the LCD or backlight.

There are no specific rules as to how this should be done. Get a backlight or LCD light that is of high quality.

If someone is trying to sell a cheap backlight or LCD light to you, I’ll advise you to pass.

Never go for cheap backlights. They don’t last the test of time.

You would end up buying another one because it will surely get bad due to its low quality.

Backlight is not something you want to be changing every once and again.

When you install a high-quality backlight, you would not need to buy another one anytime soon.

Connector issues

Carry out an inspection on the connector to see where the disconnection is coming from.

Check for carbon buildup, loose or broken wires.

After fixing the wires, make sure you get the carbon layers cleaned and restore the connector.

You must understand that car stereos have delicate connections.

As the car goes through many bumps, the car stereo can be disconnected from the board.

All you have to do in that case is to re-solder it.

Suppose you have experience with soldering, fine. Otherwise, you can hand the responsibility to a pro.

Dimmer setting 

If, after checking everything and nothing is wrong, you can verify where the dimmer setting knob is facing.

The car stereo display might not be showing because the dimmer setting has been tampered with.

So, it’s advised that you verify the dimmer setting value before you do any other thing.

So you don’t end up wasting your time when you would have fixed the problem by simply turning the knob.

The bad main radio unit 

If after making sure you have cleaned the radio unit, and it’s still not working, you may have to open the unit and check if it’s a problem you can solve.

  • Please, if you do not have any experience with fixing such units, pass it on to a professional who can do it.
  • And when it comes to the radio unit, it is always a 50 – 50 thing. It’s either the repairer can fix it or they can’t.
  • Worst-case scenario and you may just have to settle for a new one.


There is a good chance that you would be spending some money when trying to fix your car radio screen blank problem.

As usual, how much you spend will be decided by whether you are giving it to a pro or doing it yourself.

DIY Cost 

This one is always the cheapest option and most suited for people who are fond of fixing things themselves.

When you fix the problem through a DIY approach, you may only spend money on the items and tools you would use for the job.

So how much you will eventually spend will be determined by how many of those tools and items you already have.

Professional Cost 

This is where you will be spending some more money. You are going to pay for the items to be installed and also for services.

In line with what we have discussed, it’s obvious that some car stereo display problems can be handled by you while there are others that are so severe that they need to be handled by pros.

How much you will pay for services would differ from one repair technician to another. It might also depend on your location.


When you are dealing with a car stereo, you are equally dealing with electricity.

So it is paramount that you take certain precautions when trying to fix the problem.

Let’s run through some of those tips in this section;

  • Make sure connection points are wires are dry before you do anything.
  • Ensure your soldering iron, lead sucker, and screwdriver are all properly insulated.
  • If possible, disconnect the car stereo from power before checking anything inside the unit.
  • Avoid shorting any of the components as that could cause further damages
  • If you are familiar with anything, give it to a pro to help you out.

FAQ’s Car Radio Display Not Working

My car radio is working perfectly well, but nothing is showing on the display. What can I do?

I guess that your dimmer settings need to be readjusted to the point where it can cause the display to come up again.

However, if this is too big a task for you, you can contact a reliable technician to help you out.

Where’s the car’s audio fuse located?

The fuse does not have a specific position. It can be somewhere in one car, and it can be somewhere else in another car.

It all boils down to the kind of car you are using. For example, the fuse can be seen in the radio of some cars.

In such a case, you can only access the fuse when you get the radio out first. The fuse is just behind in such instances.

If you can spot the fuse, changing it should not be a problem.

You can also get in touch with a pro if you find it difficult to locate the fuse.

What’s the most common reason for a malfunctioning car stereo display?

Most car stereo display problems can be traced to a faulty fuse. 50% of the time, replacing the damaged fuse normally fixes the problem.

This is because fuses are placed in circuits to protect them from damages that might result from voltage surges.

They are also used to prevent any short circuit between the stereo display and the main radio unit.

How can you confirm if your car stereo is working or not?

Connect the red and black wire from your stereo to the positive and negative wires of the motor battery respectively.

If nothing is wrong with the car stereo, it should just come on automatically. But, if it is having one fault or the other, it won’t come on.

You can equally connect speakers to the stereo to see if it’s producing sounds.

How can you tell if a fuse is good or bad?

Normally, when fuses have been affected by voltage surges, you will see burnt marks on them.

That is a clear indication that the fuse is blown.

It is also possible that you will spot the fuse, and you won’t see anything as such.

In that instance, you can conduct a continuity test to know if it is still working.

Connect the multimeter to the two terminals of the fuse. If it’s a blown fuse, the pointer on the meter will be motionless.

But when the fuse is in good shape, you will notice the pointer move to the other side. That is the simplest way of testing a fuse.

There is no power in my car stereo. What could be the cause?

Most times, this problem is caused by a damaged fuse. Wiring problems can also cause power not to get to the stereo.

Dust, heat, and vibrations are other factors that can equally affect the way the stereo works.

For example, wires can be loose due to frequent vibrations.


It is not out of place to see a car stereo display that is not working as expected.

Your car stereo display might stop working for several reasons.

Thankfully, we have treated most of the reasons in this post.

Always remember that if the problem is beyond what you can handle, do not hesitate to send it to a trusted technician to help you.

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