Aux In Car Not Working? Try These 13 Fixes

Aux In Car Not Working

There are few things worse than loading up the car for a road trip, getting everyone all packed in the vehicle, only to have your musical vibes shut down by the aux port not working.

With Bluetooth on the rise, the aux port in cars is used much less; however, they are still used and probably will be for quite a while.

An aux port is typically used for transferring audio from a device to speakers or a more extensive system, and this provides the user with a direct connection rather than a virtual connection such as a Bluetooth connection.

Here you will find some helpful fixes for your vehicle’s aux port.

1. Aux Port Damaged

It is very possible that your vehicle’s aux port could be damaged, and with how much activity our vehicles usually see, this should not be too surprising.

Also, depending on where your vehicle’s aux port is located, it could be very susceptible to damage such as spills, dirt, or a careless pet step.

Some vehicles have the aux port on the dashboard/center display, while others may have it in the center console or even on the backseat side of the center console.

Perhaps, you are fond of off-road adventures, and as fun, as it might be, this can also cause damage to your vehicle’s aux port; not only can it bring an abundance of dust, but it can also shake connections loose.

Fix 1 – Replace Aux Port

If you believe your vehicle’s aux port to be damaged or broken, you will want to replace it (view on Amazon) with a more reliable one. There are a couple of ways to go about replacing your vehicle’s aux port, one of the best ways is to take it to a professional such as a car stereo store.

The aux port itself typically ranges in the price of between $16.49 and $79.99, depending on what kind of aux port you opt for, and for a professional installation, you are looking at around $200. (US) with, of course, the peace of mind of having a professional install it.

Another option is to opt for a portable aux male FM radio transmitter, this part typically comes in at the lower end of the price range of $16.49, and it is straightforward to use. If you do go for one of these little devices, make sure it has a 3.5mm auxiliary port.

All you need to make a portable aux FM radio transmitter work is an automobile auxiliary power outlet (also known as a cigarette lighter); all you need to do is:

Steps To Use Portable Male Aux FM Radio Transmitter:

1. Take your Portable Male Aux FM Radio Transmitter and plug it into your vehicle’s auxiliary power outlet (cigarette lighter.)

2. Plug your 3.5mm audio jack into the aux port on the transmitter, and plug the other end into your music device.

3. Switch your vehicle’s radio over to FM radio, tune the radio to a suitable station then tune the transmitter to the same channel.

That is it, and you are ready to go with your Portable Male Aux FM Radio Transmitter.

Note: The Portable Male Aux FM Radio Transmitter is the cheapest option; therefore, you might experience poor sound quality. The device typically needs a strong FM signal to work at an optimal level.

Now, if you do not want to hassle with an FM Modulator and would instead install an auxiliary input on your own, you can do so with a couple of tools and some electrical know-how.

You may be performing this task on an older vehicle, and it could be from the 90s or even the 80s, which is ironically when aux inputs came onto the scene so folks could listen to their CD player or cassette player in their vehicles.

Note: You can prescribe the method of mounting the jack by drilling a hole in an inconspicuous spot, as most ports are surface mountable.

If your vehicle has an original head unit with AM and AM/FM, you can easily add an aux in port to these types of stereos, also, do not throw them out either, as many collectors will pay good money for them since they are becoming rare.

Remember, you will also want to get the best quality manual for your vehicle that you can manage; this would preferably be a workshop manual typically issued for professional mechanics; this manual will give you the most accurate and descriptive information.

Important Note: Be sure to disconnect the vehicle’s battery before performing any kind of electrical work on the car; you can do this easily by disconnecting the negative battery terminal (the side with the black indicator or the negative symbol.)

1. First things first, you will need to remove the stereo from the vehicle and open the case; this will expose the inside of the head unit. Be sure to use your manual or workshop manual to ensure you remove the stereo correctly.

2. Now, you will want to correctly identify which wires run from to the volume control portion of the “pot,” the pot is the cylindrical part mounted to the computer board, where all of the wires from the tuning buttons or knobs connect to.

3. If you have a wiring schematic, this is where it will be helpful; if you do not have one, then with the stereo sitting upright, typically, the wire on the bottom terminal is the input, the middle terminal is the output, and the top should be the ground terminal.

4. Now, you can unsolder the input wire from the pot, and typically most head units will have a light blue input wire. This wire will be connected to the Aux-in jack, and a new lead wire will be run to the pot.

5. Using the multimeter or manufacturer schematic, you will want to identify the function of the pins on the Aux-in port.

6. Next, decide where you would like the jack to be, you would usually want it nearby the radio, but you can install it in the glove box so that it helps preserve the integrity of the jack.

7. This is where the solder comes into play and makes sure you connect wires up correctly. Solder a jumper wire from the input on the pot to the terminal that will get power when a 3.5mm plug is connected to the circuit.

8. Next, solder a jumper wire from the ground terminal on the pot to the ground terminal on the Aux-in port. (It is not necessary to remove the existing ground wire.) Solder a jumper wire from the old input wire to the remaining terminal on the Aux-in port.

9. Now, all you need to do is reassemble your radio, be sure to route the wires safely, then install the jack and reconnect the battery. If the head unit plays music in mono, you must plug a mono-to-stereo adapter in to get better quality playback.

This task can seem intimidating, but it is doable and will save you from having to pay for professional installation.

Fix 2 – Contact The Dealership Or Manufacturer to Get It Repaired

There are many car manufacturers that offer after-purchase repairs and maintenance, and this could be the solution to the problem.

With that said, many dealerships offer and do mechanical repairs for their customers, so if you got your vehicle through a dealership, you could look into what repairs and services they offer.

If you just recently purchased the vehicle and had this problem before, then got it repaired, and now it is occurring again, you may want to look into the lemon law.

Also, look over your warranty and see if this problem may be covered; if it is, you can get it repaired with little to no cost to you; it is worth checking.

Fix 3 – Use Bluetooth Instead

When encountering these issues with your vehicle’s aux-in, you may want to consider using a Bluetooth connection to listen to your music on your drives.

Especially with the new Bluetooth 5.2 out now, Bluetooth is conquering the wireless communication landscape, and for a good reason, it is easy to set up and easy to use, and you do not have to worry about any of those pesky wires getting tangled on things in your vehicle.

Also, if you get a phone call on the road, you can safely take the call, typically without even having to take a hand off the wheel.

Not only is Bluetooth helpful and handy, but you can also install it in your car even if your vehicle does not have a Bluetooth receiver.

All you need is your phone or music device and a Bluetooth transmitter, and you can have wireless music any time on your travels or simple drives to work.

If you may have picked up a Bluetooth transmitter and are not sure how to go about setting it up, we have the four simple steps right here:

1. Start up your vehicle, then plug the transmitter either into the auxiliary power outlet (cigarette lighter) or into the USB port.

2. Next, simply plug the transmitter into your phone’s headphones jack.

3. Then, set the station on the transmitter and then set the station on the vehicle’s radio.

4. If the audio is coming through a bit fuzzy, then simply change to another station.

That is all there is to it; now you have Bluetooth capability in your vehicle, and you can jam your music as you see fit.

2. Bug

It is very possible that you may have a bug in your head unit/center display, and we do not mean a literal bug, though that is not out of the realm of possibility.

All joking aside, if you are not familiar, a bug is a term for an error, malfunction, and or glitch; basically, anything the system does that it is not programmed to do can be considered a bug.

Luckily, there are ways to fix this bug issue, typically consisting of restarting the system in order to encourage the system to re-evaluate its processes and mend the matter.

Fix 1 – Perform a Soft Reset

An excellent answer to this bug problem with your vehicle’s infotainment system is to perform a soft reset. As previously mentioned, this helps the system restart and reassess its processes.

Also, it helps re-process any requests for the system, such as plugging into the Aux-in. Luckily, this is a relatively simple process and can be done in a couple of minutes.

1. Turn your vehicle on but not running, only to where the power is engaged. You will need to listen closely to this process.

2. Start by pressing and holding the power knob for ten seconds until you see the center display power off.

3. Let off of the power knob and wait until you hear the fan kick up, much like a PC exhaust fan.

4. After, the display and the logo of the vehicle should come up.

That is how you perform a soft reset on your vehicle’s infotainment system, which should clear up the bug problem; if not, read further for more fixes.

Fix 2 – Perform Master Reset

Another viable option to fix the bug problem with your vehicle’s infotainment system is to perform a master reset. This reset is somewhat similar to the soft reset, except this one is a little more impactful with its reset.

Keep in mind that performing a master reset will erase your system settings, and they will be reset to the factory defaults.

This can sound severe, but it can really help the infotainment system reassess its processes, and it can also help get rid of that bug causing trouble within the system. Not to mention you can adjust your system settings after performing the master reset.

1. Start by turning on your vehicle, do not start the car, only to where the power is engaged.

2. On your vehicle’s infotainment display, go to and select “Settings.”

3. Then proceed to and select the “General” option.

4. Scroll down until you see the “Master Reset” option, and then select it.

Fix 3 – Perform Cycle key

This is another good way to refresh your vehicle’s infotainment system and clear out any bug issues that may be occurring.

It is similar to the other resets we reviewed in the past segments, but it can help nonetheless. Performing a cycle key can help the infotainment system restart and reassess its processes.

1. Start by turning the vehicle entirely off; the vehicle’s engine should not be running.

Note: A lot of newer vehicles will keep the radio/infotainment center on, even when the vehicle is off, that is, until a door is opened.

2. Go ahead and open the driver’s door only and lock the door.

Note: If your vehicle is equipped with an Intelligent Access System with push-button ignition, you will need to exit the vehicle along with your keys before locking the door.

3. Next, you will want to close the driver’s door.

4. Wait at least two minutes, and make sure the radio/infotainment center turns completely off.

5. Then after, you can unlock the door, enter the vehicle and start it up.

That is how you perform a Cycle Key; as previously stated, this will help the infotainment system reset in a gentle manner, as you are essentially imitating what you would normally do when leaving your vehicle.

Fix 4 – Wait For A Few Days

On certain occasions, patience can pay off, and this could be one of those occasions. You may have to suffer radio stations for a couple of days, but sometimes when experiencing issues like this, it can be best to give it a few days to work it out on its own essentially.

Not to mention, if you use your vehicle throughout these couple of days, you are powering the infotainment system on and off continuously, which can help it to realign its processes in a way.

On the other hand, you could even turn off the infotainment system by pressing the power button (not the vehicle’s ignition button) and then let it be for a few days while you still use the vehicle; this can help the infotainment system “refresh” in a sense, then after a few days turn the infotainment center back on by pressing the power button.

3. Loose Connection

Sometimes we can be quick to assume something will work right away; however, that is not always the case. When you are connecting something, especially in the instance of plugging a device in, you will want to make sure it is appropriately and securely plugged in.

All it takes is one loose plug to disrupt an entire system. Not to mention, if you have kids in the vehicle or pets, they could very easily loosen a plug by accidentally snagging the cord and pulling on it.

This can also damage the Aux-in port, so be sure that any loose or hanging wires are secured. Also, it can always help to let your kids know to avoid loose wires, not only to preserve the plug but also for safety.

Fix 1 – Re-insert Aux

You may be familiar with the all too common question of, “Did you try unplugging it and re-plugging it?”

In this scenario, this question could be appropriate, as an excellent method for a loose plug connection is to reinsert it. So, be sure to check the Aux-in connection, and if you are not trusting it, or even if you are, you will want to unplug it entirely and then reinsert it.

This could be the very simple answer to a complicated question. Do not be discouraged either, and it is all too easy to plug and forget, that is until it will not allow you to forget.

Fix 2 – Replace Aux Cord

This whole time the problem could be with your aux cord; as great as aux cords are, they can still break, short out, and or wear out.

Luckily, there are more than enough aux cords out there to choose from, and you can even find an aux cord with a 3.5mm plug for less than five dollars on Amazon.

Also, there are more premium cords you can choose from, with some reaching the price of $15.99 boasting a ridiculously long cord, in the scenario that you might want to plug your aux cord in and carry your device ten feet away.

To contrast that excess, there are also smaller, shorter, more portable aux cords as well, so that you can take your aux cord anywhere.

4. There’s An Issue With Your Device

There is a good possibility that this issue could stem from your device. Considering that your device is supplying the music or audio, it is a critical part of the process.

With that said, there are ways to correct this problem, and we will share them with you in the following segments.

Fix 1 – Restart Your Device

When experiencing this issue with your device, it can serve you well to restart your device. This is always a good practice when you are having problems with your device, as it gives your device a chance to refresh essentially.

Restarting your phone is an excellent habit to form; actually, you should do this at least once a week; this can help in multiple ways, such as retaining memory, preventing crashes, prolonging battery life, and ensuring that your device runs more smoothly.

As you may know, apps can run in the background, and this can lead to straining on the battery and loss of temporary memory storage.

It is straightforward to restart your phone, and this goes for both iPhone and Android: all you need to do is press and hold down the power button on the side of your phone until you see a side menu appear; then, you will want to select the “Restart” option. This will restart your device.

Fix 2 – Force Restart Your Device

If these previous fix does not work, or you may just want to be sure it does, another suitable method is to force restart your device. You may not know, but there is a difference between a regular restart and a force restart.

See, with a normal restart, your phone is powered down gradually and then is slowly powered back on automatically; with a force restart, the power is manually and abruptly cut off, and then you manually power on your device.

This can serve your instrument well, as similarly, it can help close apps running in the background that are eating up your battery life and can also help prolong your devices’ memory.

For your iPhone, follow along to force restart:

Press and quickly release the volume up button, immediately press and quickly release the volume down button, then press and hold down the power side button. Once the Apple logo appears, let off the button.

This will force a restart of your iPhone and very well could help.

If you are on your Android device, you can also perform a force restart by:

Simultaneously press and hold the power and volume down buttons for more than seven seconds.

This will force the restart of your Android device and could undoubtedly help with problems on the said device.

Fix 3 – Clear Spotify or Apple Music Cache

It is always good to clear the app cache for your applications; if you are not aware, the app cache for an app gathers and holds data and memory; this “memory” serves to enhance the performance of the app and how well it performs how you want it to.

While this cache helps improve the app and its performance, it can also ironically build up and take up storage on your device; not only that, but it can also hold bugs; of course, not literal bugs but rather, technical bugs that cause issues such as errors, glitches and or malfunctions.

Knowing this information, you can see why it is good to clear the app cache for your apps. This can also help in this situation, as this can also mend problems experienced with the application.

If you are on Android and are using Spotify or any other music app for that matter, here is how to clear the app cache:

1. Start at your Android home screen, then proceed to and open the Settings app.

2. Then, scroll down and select the “Storage” option.

3. After, you will want to select the “Other Apps” category.

4. Once you are in, locate the app in question (in this scenario, it would be Spotify.)

5. Select the application, and then on the following page, you will want to select the “Clear Cache” option.

6. This will clear the app cache for the Spotify app or whichever app you may choose on your

If you are on iPhone, you can clear the app cache by following these easy steps:

1. Starting at your iPhone’s home screen, locate and open the Settings app.

2. You will want to scroll down and select the app in question (in this case, Apple Music.)

3. In order to clear the app cache, select the “Clear App Cache on Next Launch” option.

4. This means the next time you open the app, the app cache will be cleared.

5. This will clear the app cache for the Apple Music app on your iPhone.

Remember, these tech issues are just that, temporary problems that will eventually be resolved. Sure, it can be frustrating and inconvenient to have your vehicle’s aux-in not work correctly, but it is not the end of the world.

Sometimes, a quiet drive can be something you did not know you needed. Understandably, there are those who absolutely loath driving without music playing or some form of mental entertainment.

If this is you being described, you can still most likely listen to the radio, and if not, you could make do with your phone’s speaker. It will not sound great, but it will pass for the moment.

We hope you found your answer to your tech problems here in this article, and even if you did not, you might have learned something at the least.

If you did find an answer and or learned a little something, you could pass on the knowledge to any of your friends that may be in need of some tech know-how by sharing this article with them or simply sharing what you have learned.

Remember to always stay up to date with updating both your device and the apps on it, as this can only enhance both of them.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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