How to get rid of the engine noise in the car stereo

Are you searching for the procedure to get rid of the engine noise in your car stereo? If your answer is yes, well, you have come to the right place!

Engine noise also known as alternator whine sounds like a high-pitched sound. This noise is usually produced due to the power wires and the ground wires joined with the receiver. If you hear a clicking or a whining sound, it is most likely to be the engine noise.

Generally, its pitch fluctuates with the speed of the engine. It grows higher in pitch and louder when you step onto the accelerating pedal. This noise specifies that the stereo system either has a faulty head unit, an unrepaired ground, a malfunctioning amplifier, unfitting installation, poor RCA cables, or there is an issue in the charging system of your car.

8 Steps to stop engine noise in the car stereo

You do not need any specific tools for this process. Just follow these simple and easy steps to get rid of the engine noise in the car stereo:

  1. First of all, unplug the power connection of the head unit and then replug it again. It may sound unnecessary to you but trust with this because it will prevent additional difficulties.
  2. You have to do this while the engine of your car is ON because engine noise is only generated when the car engine is running.
  3. Then, mute the head unit by turning the volume down to zero.
  4. Then, turn it up slowly and stop right when you hear the engine noise.
  5. At this point, detach all the RCA cables from the stereo.
  6. If you do not hear the noise, it means the engine noise was coming from either the RCA cables or the head unit. But, if you still hear the noise, it means the problem is either in the amp or the power wires.
  7. If it is the former case of step 6, connect the RCA cables back with the amp and disconnect them from the head unit.
  8. Now, if the noise remains, it means the issue is with the RCA cables. For this, take out the RCA cables from your car, rub them with the carpet/padding or seats of your car, and then connect them again with the amp (or replace them with the new high-quality RCA cables to avoid these types of interferences if the problem is still not resolved).

Note: Avoid rubbing these wires in the region near antennas or near power cables because it may cause serious problems. Also, try to keep the wires away from the body of your car.

  • In step 8, if you do not hear the noise by connecting the RCA cables to the amp, then the problem is with the head unit. You have to find a new ground for the system. For this, you have to locate a metal surface without any paint, coating, or grease. It is preferred to use chassis for new ground. Connect the black wire of the connection of the head unit to this metal surface for grounding it. For better results, connect another wire from the chassis of the head unit to this grounding point.
  • Now, if the noise is not audible, you have successfully resolved the issue. The head unit just needed a changed grounding point. But, if the noise is still hearable, then you have to buy a ground loop isolator or an inline power filter (or both in some cases).

GROUND LOOP ISOLATOR: It is pretty easy to install and does not cost too much. They are not much effective as they might lower down the quality of the sound. For installation, follow the instructions mentioned on the packaging or follow these steps:

  1. Unplug all the RCA cables except for the one that is making the noise.
  2. Take a copper wire and attach one of its ends to the external ring of the RCA cable connected to the head unit. Secure it with the help of electrical tape.
  3. Now, connect the other end of the copper wire to the ground of the amp. The noise will go away.

INLINE POWER FILTER: It works if the power wires are sending imperfect power to the head unit.  You will have to buy it to know whether it works for your problem or not. For its installation, go for the instructions provided with its packaging.

  1. If it is the latter case of step 6 (i.e. the problem is with the power wires or amp), then unplug the RCA cables. Again, locate a metal surface without paint, coating, or grease. Reconnect the wire to the ground.  Go through the body of your car to find out the best grounding point (chassis is preferred). Attach the ground wire to the chassis beneath the car body. Now, attach all the amp grounding points at the same connection on the chassis. The shortest grounding point is the best one. Also, the wire used for grounding should be unchanged as the power wire. A larger wire will work better in this case.
  2.  Again test the stereo, and you will be good to go.


By following these steps, you can get rid of the engine noise from your car stereo. But, just in the case if you still hear the noise, then the amplifier, the charging system, or the head unit might have problems.

You should contact your mechanic as soon as possible to have the engine system and the stereo system checked to avoid further problems. You should also install a noise filter to get this problem of the noise engine resolved.

Also, check out your gain structure if you have an external amplifier. Always check for the root cause of the noise you hear because it could not be engine noise in some cases.

Leave a Comment