Recently I noticed my speakers and subwoofers aren't loud at all anymore, my subs that use to SLAM now hardly hit harder then my rear 6x9s. with my volume at "1" the amp (V12 MRD-M501) says its getting 14.1 volts; when I turn the volume up the amp then says 11.3 - 11.5 volts and the display reading blinks this value on and off but when its at 12.2 and above it doesn't blink. I don't get it, yesterday it was all slamming and today its totally different and hardly hits anymore. Did something magical happen over night? Could it be because it was about 1-3*F out for the last few days? Please help me
my first suggestion is to head tomorrow to an autozone or advance or napa auto parts store. have them test your battery and alternator both. (maybe the starter too since all 3 are free tests done while you wait in the parking lot) this sounds like a bad part in the charging system. which part I can't say without seeing the system, but get both checked. your voltage rails are sagging which is the cause for the amplifiers clipping and sounding bad.
yup. that's the charging system. either the battery has a damaged cell (batteries in cars are made up of six series cells to achieve 12.5 volts. if one gets damaged, you generally can't keep the electrical system at 12 volts.) or the alternator gave up on ya, which will cause similar results. usually if the alternator goes it tends to make your gauge cluster act up and stuff too.. car hard to start, etc. it's just hard to tell which it is due to how closely the two are linked.
So I guess I should stop using the system before it drains my battery down shouldnt I? I hope you dont mind me asking but why did this happen all of a sudden? Does this happen (alternator just starts to crap out)? Also if they test the alternator dont they need to put it under some sort of load to see what it can put out? As I said above it says 14.1 Volts when not using the system and it drops to the low 11s when turning the volume more then 25% up; will they be able to see this while testing it with out the system on? I dont mean to be a pest.
hgmmm....well about the alternator and stuff...it could be as little as a bolt missing...which has screwed up my whole alternator before...easily fixed...coulda fell out during driving around and then really fed up while sitting over night...or could be your battery like wolf said...cell prolly got damaged somehow and also just get it checked...hope that its your battery not alternator...good luck...
yup sorry for the delay. I went to bed last night and just popped in this morning here.
as for the alternator, the load your system placed on the stock alternator probably wore it out. if it is indeed bad, consider replacing it with a higher amperage output model. this will allow for more current to handle the added demands of your stereo system and shouldn't cost much more with the core exchange than a direct swap out replacement.