There are various reasons why a Kicker amp goes into protection mode. It could be due to issues with the power supply, overheating, short circuits, or external or internal breakdown.
In such situations, knowledge about how to reset a Kicker amp in protection mode will come in handy.
You should also troubleshoot your device to identify the underlying issue with your Kicker amp and understand why it keeps reverting to protection mode.
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Steps to Reset a Kicker Amp in Protection Mode
Here are the ways to reset your amplifier when the Kicker amp is stuck in protect mode.
1. Switch Off The Automobile Engine and Ignition.
Right after you start your engine, you may notice your Kicker amp has its protection light on.
To reset it, you must first turn off your ignition and automobile engine to thoroughly examine the external and internal parts of the amplifier.
2. Disconnect The Amplifier.
The next step that you need to do is to disconnect the device from the automobile battery or power source. Loosen the positive wires from the amp.
Now, with it disconnected, thoroughly check the wiring, including the speaker wires as well, to identify the cause of the Kicker Amp being on protection mode.
There should be no breakage or electrical faults on these components, and the positive and negative speaker wires should not touch each other. Make sure you have the correct gauge as well, since excessively small wires may overheat.
You might also require an additional battery if your amplifier demands higher voltage and power than your current battery provides.
3. Let It Cool Down.
Let the amp cool down for 3 minutes after diagnosing and solving the issue. Once the device’s temperature has stabilized, you can proceed to restart the amplifier.
However, if the issue persists, return to steps one and two to re-diagnose the problem. Double-check for any overlooked details. If the problem still arises, request assistance from your amplifier’s service provider.
What is Protection Mode and Why Does It Happen?
Now that you know how to reset the amplifier, you should understand why it goes into protection mode.
To start with, did you know that manufacturers design modern devices with built-in safety features?
When the amplifier goes into protection mode, it means that the device has something wrong with it, and to safeguard itself from further damage, it switches to a state of shutdown.
To understand this issue further, here is a list of reasons why your amplifier goes into protection mode:
- Mismatch of Amp RMS and Speaker Impedance
- Thermal Overload – low power supply, too-small amp, inadequate airflow
- Electrical Fault – high voltage, bad wire connections resulting in a short circuit
- Internal or External Malfunction – such as blown fuse, faulty head units
Troubleshooting to Get Amp Out of Protection Mode
Moving along, as you already know the reason why this shutdown happens, let us review the step-by-step procedure on how to bypass protection mode on an amp.
However, it is more correct to say we should resolve the problem activating the protection mode rather than ignore or “bypass” it altogether.
The first thing that you should do when troubleshooting the protection mode is to inspect your power source, especially if the amp turns off when the bass hits. Try setting the volume lower and see if shutdowns stop, or upgrade your amp if you want something more powerful.
The next thing that you should do is to examine your wiring, cables, and jacks. Ensure they go into the right terminals.
If the device goes into protect mode when RCA is plugged in, this means that your RCA shield is damaged or the transformer may have shorted.
Check RCA connections for damage and looseness and measure the voltage on RCA jacks (it should be under 10V).
If ventilation is the problem, add a cooling fan to keep the amplifier cool.
Lastly, you need to reset the amp gain. When you hear static sounds and audio interference, it may come from an improper amp gain that can put the device into protection mode.
To avoid and fix this, you must adjust the amp gain accordingly.
Having the best amplifier adds satisfaction and enjoyment, especially on long trips when you want to enjoy your music. However, it can also be a pain in the ass when your amp goes into protection mode.
Now that you know how to reset a Kicker Amp in protection mode, you will have a better understanding of how to diagnose the underlying issues and prevent them from happening again.
Always remember these three things: power source, wiring, and amp gain. Once you know the basics, it will be easy for you to troubleshoot your amp.
Sam Stephenson is a writer who grew up in Washington, North Carolina. He was 2010 and 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor / Virgil Thomson Prize winner and a 2019-2020 Guggenheim Fellow in General Nonfiction. His books have been published by W.W. Norton, Alfred A. Knopf, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux