HomeTips & GuidesCar Radio Memory Wire: How To Fix Car Radio Not Keeping Memory

Car Radio Memory Wire: How To Fix Car Radio Not Keeping Memory

The car radio memory wire plays a cardinal role in ensuring you have a top-notch audio streaming experience.

At the heart of this audio entertainment is the car radio. But there are scenarios when the car radio can barely keep memory of the settings you made. 

It means you must input new settings anytime you turn on the radio. You can avoid this by sorting the car memory wire issue. 

Wondering how? Find out below in this comprehensive article. 

Table of Contents

Importance of Car Radio Memory

Here are the upsides of having your car radio memory function in good shape. 

  • It grants the convenience of saving your favorite radio stations and other critical audio settings. Once set, you only need to recall the settings from the memory instead of fixing it afresh every time you switch on the radio. 
  • An excellent radio memory means you can avoid distractions from searching for radio stations while driving. All your settings and navigation systems are available at the touch of a few buttons.
  • It is also time-saving. You don’t need much time switching between radio presets and stations as everything is already set. 
  • Would you like a customized driving experience? A properly working car radio memory is imperative in that case. It allows you to create your playlist and thus makes your drives thrilling. 
  • Today, fusing the memory system to the car’s onboard computer is also possible. It helps you control everything about the car radio from the computer. 

What Wire Is For Memory For Car Stereo?

A Couple listens to music while driving. 

A Couple listens to music while driving. 

Central to an effectively working car radio memory is a car stereo wire. This wire is a 12V accessory wire, usually colored red.  It joins the stereo system to the car battery, keeping it powered constantly, thus ensuring memory is not lost. 

But the red wire is not the only cable in the car memory setup. It’s simply the power supply wire, making it the most crucial in keeping the memory alive. There are others, such as the following: 

  • Black Wire– Ground Wire
  • Blue Wire– Antenna Power Wire
  • Brown Wire– Audio Mute 
  • Yellow Wire – 12V Memory (Constant Power)
  • Orange Wire– 12V Dimmer/illumination wire

There are also others, such as the speaker wires. Also important is that the cables are color-coded. So, for a seamless audio wiring experience, it’s imperative to ensure you pick the proper wire color. 

Reasons for Car Radio Not Keeping Memory

There are many probable reasons why your car radio keeps asking you to input new settings every time. We’ll look at all in detail below: 

Car Radio Memory Wire: Weak/Dead Car Battery

Car battery charging. 

Car battery charging. 

The condition of your car battery is a cardinal determinant of whether the car radio memory functionality will work. If the battery is dead, there won’t be a power source for the memory system, and thus it won’t work. 

You can also expect memory losses if the battery keeps draining so often. Why is this so? Because this is volatile memory, it requires constant powering to function. 

Car Radio Memory Wire: Wiring Issues

You must also ensure that you get the wiring right for the car radio memory to remain functional. It includes using the proper wires and connecting the polarities appropriately. Also, it is essential to replace wires with issues such as those that are broken or uninsulated. 

Faulty Radio

Car radio. 

Car radio. 

The radio can have problems that compel it to suffer memory loss. Such a radio will likely not keep the memory settings that you make. The causes of radio faults are numerous and not easy to diagnose outright. 

For instance, there could be broken wires inside the radio or a faulty memory chip. Again, if one of the memory unit’s critical components is broken, the car radio will lose settings. 

System Reset

Factory resets are critical in restoring the radio to default settings. But this comes at the cost of erasing all the memory it had in the cache. Software updates may also affect the memory settings. 

Car Computer System Issue

Controlling a car radio from the computer system.

Controlling a car radio from the computer system.

It is possible to interlink the car radio to the computer system, which is imperative for easy control. But it also means an issue with the computer system will affect the car’s memory. 

How to Fix Car Radio Not Keeping Memory

Owing to the importance of the car radio memory, it’s always essential to ensure that you fix the above issues. It will ensure you get the best experience out of your car radio. Here are the key solutions. 

Fix the Battery

Fixing the car battery. 

Fixing the car battery. 

Whenever you have car radio memory issues, check the battery’s condition. If it cannot keep power for long, then among the key things that will be affected is the car’s memory. Measure the battery voltage via a voltmeter. 

It needs sufficient power (approximately 12V) to keep the stereo memory working. Also, confirm that components crucial to battery charging, such as the car alternator, are in good condition. If the battery is not good enough, consider replacing it. 

Deal With Power Connections

If you have confirmed that there’s no apparent issue with the car battery, the next thing to check is the power connections. A certain component is probably not connected where it should, and that’s why the memory function can’t work. 

Start by looking for broken wires and fixing them. Check the electrical system for any faults that can affect the memory settings. Confirm that there are no loose connections or dirt/debris on the wires. 

You can also consider using aftermarket wiring harnesses to protect the wires from damage. 

Repair Car’s Computer System

A car’s onboard computer failure can affect the radio memory function. Hence, check out whether the computer has errors via the diagnostic tool. If the computer system is the issue, you will get an error code upon diagnosis. 

Check out what the code means and fix the error. A car electrical system expert can help you sort this out if you’re unfamiliar with the diagnostic and repair process. 

Check the Radio Fuses

A Blown Fuse. 

A Blown Fuse. 

Radio fuses must be in good shape for the memory system to function optimally. Otherwise, if the fuse box and some of the fuses are blown, then it could be the reason the radio can’t retain settings. 

So check them out and fix them immediately in case you note a blown one. 

Check the Aftermarket Add-ons

Are there add-ons to the modern radio system that could compromise the memory functionality? Check this out, starting with components like the aftermarket head unit. 

Doing away with these parts would be a good idea if they’re not so crucial. In addition, check the car’s memory chip and fix it/repair it. 

Radio Reset

Tuning Car Audio System. 

Tuning Car Audio System

If none of the above mitigation measures are fruitful, consider doing a factory reset. Sometimes, the car memory loss could be due to a software problem, which can be fixed when you restore default settings. 

The factory reset process is simple but varies from one radio to another. Check out your car’s user’s manual to see how you can reset the radio. 


Are you looking to fix a car audio system/radio memory loss issue? The insights we have provided above will be of immense help in this. 

But most importantly, ensure that you get the car memory wiring right. You may need a professional mechanic to help you in the wiring process. 

Also, if everything is set, but the car radio still cannot keep the memory, diagnose the causes from the mitigation options above. 

Hi I am Christa, sales manager of Cloom.

I have extensive expertise and experience in wiring harnesses and I believe I can help you.

And we have a very professional technical team who can clearly understand the customer’s needs and give professional suggestions and solutions after receiving the drawings.

If you also have wiring harness needs, please send me the drawing so that we can give you our quote and start our business.

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