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How To Turn On Amp Without Remote Wire – 5 Proven Strategies

Last Updated on: May 9, 2024

An amplifier, also well-known as an amp, is an electronic piece that enhances the version of its input signal. Generally, vehicles come with a pre-installed factory stereo. 

But unless it is a premium sound system, a head unit only has a small, integrated amplifier to boost the door speakers in your vehicle.


Regardless of whatever vehicle you’re mounting your amplifier, encountering a faulty remote turn on wire, or the absence of it, is a typical installation problem.

Will amp turn on without remote wire? You, among the many others, probably wonder about it. Please read on to find out.

How to Bypass Remote Wire on Amp

Consumers commonly face a staggering number of audio choices for their vehicles, enough to make their heads spin. High-grade audio systems have distinct components, such as an amplifier, radio tuner, preamp, and CD player, each connected with a cable.

These amplifiers can help when an incoming cue to the amplifier is not strong enough to drive the loudspeakers. You can even manage a sound’s volume and ensure that it’s free of distortion, depending on the power rating of your amplifier.

You’ll l know it’s necessary to have an amplifier if you seem to notice a warping sound at your desired volume level. Having an amplifier also comes in handy if you wish to enjoy the music from your car audio since an amp can tune in and out frequencies.

Radio waves transmit tiny audio cues when a car amp is in place. The amplifier will eventually boost these motions towards the diaphragm of the speaker level to make you hear the sound well. Typically, one would use a speaker wire to hook the car amp and connect it to the stereo.

The head unit often comes with a preamp output to bypass built-in amplifiers. But if it doesn’t have a remote turn on cable, it’s best to know how to do a car amp remote wire bypass.

On that account, here are a few steps on how to turn on amp without remote wire:

1. Utilize The Amp’s Remote Terminal As A Switched Accessory Wire

So, will the amp turn on without remote wire? If your factory amp has no remote turn on wire, you can create a new one using a default setting. To do so, set up the voltage source that only activates when the ignition switch is in the accessory or on position.

Consequently, this is how you run the remote terminal from a switched accessory wire. Some car stereos do not come with such a wire, making the installation and operation of an aftermarket radio more challenging.

Jeeps and Chevrolets usually have a data signal wire that transmits a low voltage cue to prompt the head unit when to turn on. However, aftermarket units are not compatible with this signal.

Try holding onto a cigarette lighter, and see if it ignites when the car does because that’s how you find your car’s auxiliary line. Once you locate it successfully, connect the red power line on your aftermarket harness to the positive wire.

Powering your vehicle or turning the key to the accessory or run position will turn on the amplifier simultaneously. So when you power off your car’s ignition, the wire loses its power, eventually powering off the head unit and the amplifier.

There might be some misconceptions about the numerous wiring methods since most individuals mistake a factory head unit for a commercial one. The accessory cable, also well-known as the remote control wire, comes in a blue and white stripe.

Do not confuse this line with the solid blue wiring, mainly for a power antenna wire. Although in some cases, there are users who claim to use a power antenna wire if they are without remote wiring. 

But a power antenna only has 12-volts if the stereo is on, so it turns the amplifier off once the stereo is off. If your car stereo lacks the remote turn-on wire, you may also find this auxiliary wire on the radio harness.

2. Switching The Inline With The New Remote Wire

One of the things you need to know about car amp remote wire bypass is learning how to connect a simple regulator with the new wire.

Install an inline switch somewhere in your dash area before you try running a 14-gauge wire from the battery with your amp’s wire.

Doing such will give you the option to turn on your amp without the remote wire. Connect this 14-gauge wire to the switch, then hook it to the remote turn-on to the amplifier. This regulator will turn on the amplifier and off without a remote line.

But you better ensure that the switch is off before turning off your car; otherwise, you will drain the battery. However, if you install a second battery for car audio, then this won’t be an issue. After that, connect a power or ground cable to an area in your car free of rust, dust, and paint. Don’t connect it directly to your car’s metal chassis to avoid causing noise problems.

You may try finding a bolt behind the rear seats to connect the ground wire to the amp terminal. Use a 40 to 60 amp fuse in a fuse holder under the hood within one foot or 18 inches from the positive battery clamp.

3. Connect the Amplifier to a High-Low Adapter and Attach a Trigger

When you don’t have any cable for connecting your amplifier to your car’s audio system, using a high or low-impedance converter can be your best workaround.

The head unit sends audio cues. It can be a high-level cue like the one sent to loudspeakers, or a low-level signal, a non-amplified current that the phono outputs receive. Such is the part where a high or low adapter with a trigger comes in handy.

Using an adapter allows detection of when the head unit powers on to provide you with a remote output that activates the amplifier to power up. 

The same thing comparably happens when you turn off the stereo or your vehicle’s ignition since the adapter cannot detect signals from the speaker-level wire. 

High Low adapter
High Low Adapter

In simplest terms, a line output converter transforms factory head units’ high-level currents into low-level ones that aftermarket amplifiers can use. To execute this part, find two green and two purple wires behind the deck, and use them for the right rear and left rear speakers.

Remove about one inch of the jacket on each wire with a 6-inch cut behind the deck. But be mindful not to cut the wire underneath the colored coating. The cables with “right” and “left” marks go into the line output converter. You can afterward use a silver wire to wrap the exposed side and electrical tape to keep them together.

If you notice after doing the above procedures that your amp turns on but no sound or your car stereo won’t turn on but it has power, then there might be loose connections in your wiring. Carefully look at your cables and re-wire or call a professional to assist you.

4. Utilize Your Car’s Fuse Box For Getting The Turn-On Signal

If a remote turn-on wire is not accessible, try locating the fuse box using your car’s user manual. Generally, turn-on signals are at +12 volts direct current. 

You can use the turn-on signal from your car’s fuse if its factory radio is without a remote turn-on output. 

Thus, you can connect the turn-on lead to almost any fused-output terminal. Such an output terminal includes car stereos, provided that it only operates when the vehicle is on. When the ignition is on, the turn-on circuit gets the power supply.

Having a circuit breaker connector can be helpful to make such connections more convenient for you. Alternatively, you may purchase a circuit breaker, combine it with a wire, and run it along the remote wire path. 

It is best to utilize a multimeter before connecting the wire to the fuse. Doing such will ensure that the circuit breaker from which the signal is coming receives voltage only when the ignition is on.

This vital equipment helps you in a more efficient voltage, current, and resistance diagnosis. Moreover, this will prevent any bad ground on amp symptoms from showing up later during your amp testing.

5. Wiring The Remote Turn-On To A Switch

You can also connect a steady power wire and ground it to a switch to turn your amp on without external remote wiring. The wire connects to the amp by turning on the regulator. Consequently, it allows you manual control of the on or off function.

Likewise, you may use the reed relay contact, a rapid-acting electrical circuit, to change the amp’s power control relay. 

Using a relay has advantages, allowing users an electrical connection between two or more points, like switching the input voltage on and off. Relays enable a tiny electromagnetic current to power something that would generally require a much larger current to operate.

It generates more power from a 12-voltage source than a conventional power supply; thus, having more power supply can enhance the amplifier’s performance. Subsequently, this method is one of your best options in using the amp without the remote turn on wiring.

Nonetheless, one of the drawbacks of such a method is when you leave the regulator in the ON position: It will continue consuming the car’s battery until you turn it off.

While some would use a jumper wire from the power terminal and claim it works successfully, experts strongly advise against using it as a substitute cable. You can probably resort to it but only as a momentary solution, but not a long-term fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn on my amp?

If your car amp has a built-in speaker level input or high-level input, then you can connect it to your car audio’s output. However, if you only have an RCA cable, then you need to use your car audio’s line-level converter and connect it to the terminals.

Besides the power supply from the remote and power wires, you also need an excellent ground to operate your amplifier. Nevertheless, several home stereos nowadays lack RCA cables for connecting to an amplifier, even a sub amp or subwoofer amplifier.

What is a remote amp wire?

Connecting your amplifier to the sound system requires a remote wire. It is the white and blue wire behind the car stereo. The remote wire transmits power to your amplifier once you turn on the stereo or when you run the ignition.

Without a remote wire, you would have to open your amplifier from wherever it is in your car. Thus, having a remote wire on car amplifiers makes sense. If such wiring is inaccessible, you can use any copper wire as a substitute.

How to connect a remote wire to your amp?

If your car amplifier has a high-level input, you may hook it to your car’s rear speaker via an RCA adapter. Likewise, you can obtain signal flows by tapping into the factory speaker wires using the speaker level input.

It allows notably higher voltage levels than using a standard RCA output connection. Lastly, take advantage of the line output converter that turns a high voltage indicator into a more usable preamp current for your amplifier.

Why is my amp not getting any power?

You need to check if the wire connecting to your amplifier is in place if your car’s amp is not getting power. Hooking the amp to the head unit’s wire means the amp only turns on if you set the audio input to AM or FM radio.

It’s also possible that you have a loose or rusty power wire that causes the problem if your remote wire works just fine. But if the power and remote wires are okay, check the possibility of a faulty wire, blown fuses, or maybe, you have a busted amplifier.


A quality car amplifier allows you to maximize the factory radio, especially in sizable vehicles. Most car sound systems include wiring that sends 12+ volts to the remote turn-on connection on the amplifier.

In such cases where your car amp does not include any wiring, you can get an alternative to supply the necessary power to your amplifier. Such wiring consists of a ground wire, an inline fuse, a remote turn-on wire, or an RCA cable.

Hopefully, you find this article a handy guide when you’re uncertain how to turn on an amp without remote wire.

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