In this day and age, although there are many great features in the latest cars, such as heated seats and lane change assist, the most used and perhaps most loved feature has to be the stereo. This timeless feature provides much-needed relief and comfort during long commutes, and family trips. It can take a great amount of time, and money to get your car stereo running efficiently, and that’s why it can be quite frustrating when your stereo sends you error messages, instead of the latest musical hits.

If you have a Kenwood, in particular, and it’s in protect mode, you probably tried googling for a solution only to see a “radio reset code” troubleshooting method that didn’t provide you with many answers. The reason the reset code method won’t solve the problem is because you don’t need to change a setting, but rather you need to give heed to a warning that you have a damaging problem with your installation. In order to learn more and save your stereo system, follow along below.

Kenwood Protect Mode

If you take a look at the KAC-M1824BT manual, you’ll be surprised to learn that protect mode may be activated when your stereo’s speaker has a short, or when your unit has become overheated. It’s also possible that protect mode was activated by speakers of the wrong impedance, or by a malfunction in the receiver that sends DC power instead of an audio signal to your speakers. Now that you know what problems may be causing protect mode to activate, you can work on troubleshooting a solution.


If you were listening to your stereo and it abruptly started having problems, despite you not having tinkered with your car or your stereo recently, then it’s likely you’re having an overheating problem. Overheating tends to occur when users crank up the volume on the stereo while driving all day. If this is the case with you, then it’s more than likely you have an overheating problem. Luckily, this problem is easy to fix, and often isn’t something to worry too much about.

All you need to do to fix an overheating problem is turn off your receiver for a few hours, in order to let it cool down. The protection mode warning should be gone once your stereo has cooled down. If the warning still isn’t gone, try pressing the reset button. If that doesn’t work either, then disconnect the power lead from your receiver for at least 30 seconds, and then reconnect it.

Short Circuit

If you recently installed your receiver or new speakers, you may be experiencing a short circuit. Short circuits are known for causing protect mode to activate. You should check to see the ends of the wires, in order to ensure that they’re not frayed or touching each other or any close by metal parts, such as the terminals for another speaker. If you notice this occurring, then you’ve found your problem.

You should also check to see if any of the car’s wiring might be causing the speaker wires behind or receiver or amplifier to short circuit. If you find that neither of these observations lead to any results, then you should follow each wire from beginning to end, in order to search for areas that might be frayed or damaged. If there’s a chance that the wire has made contact with metal, then it’s likely that’s the problem. You can easily fix this by insulating the damaged area with heat shrink and then routing the wire away from the area that initially caused the damage.

Ask for Help

If you find that none of the troubleshooting methods are working for you, then you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. IT’s best to visit a professional dealership in order to get the problem sorted out. More often than not, the problem lies with the installation. However, there can also be a fault in the receiver itself. Whatever the case, it’s best to take your system to a professional. If you tinker too much with your system, you may end up damaging it further, or causing other harm. It’s always best to be safe than sorry, in situations such as this. The situation should be handled by a professional who knows what they’re doing.

If your unit is still under warranty, then you have nothing to lose when it comes to visiting a professional dealership. The problem will more than likely be fixed free of charge. If your system isn’t under warranty, feel free to compare the cost of the repair to the cost of a replacement unit. Please ensure that you only visit an authorized service center, as third-party repair shops may not provide the best service.