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Why Won’t My AUX Cable Work in My Car?

Why won’t my AUX cable work in my car? The car’s AUX port is prone to breaking down, resulting in an inability to play your favorite tunes from your smartphone. At other times, it could work occasionally or give you a scrappy output. 

The above issues can be a considerable inconvenience given the cardinal role of the AUX system in entertaining you while driving. 

This guide will cover why an AUX cable may fail, the troubleshooting measures to undertake, and the resolutions. Let’s get right into it!

How Does An AUX Port Work?

The AUX port is a terminal usually located on the front or side of a car’s stereo system.

 The terminal is 3.5mm in diameter, ideal for pairing with the AUX cord’s 3.5mm audio jack

Also, the port features electrical contacts to facilitate the connection. 

It connects with an auxiliary cable to deliver an audio signal from an audio device to the car’s speakers.

 For instance, say you want to play music from your smartphone/mp3 player on your car stereo. 

You’ll connect one end of the AUX cord to the source device and the other to the car’s AUX terminal. 

Next, when you select to play music from the source device, it will transmit via the cable to the car’s speakers. 

Why Won’t My AUX Cable Work in My Car?

It is typical for the car’s AUX cable to fail, and the issue has numerous possible causes. We’ll look at the leading causes below to help you fix the problem. 

Loose Electrical Contacts inside the Port

Car AUX Port. 

Car AUX Port. 

Frequent plugging and unplugging of the audio jack onto the AUX port can lead to tear and wear of the terminal’s electrical contacts. 

If the damage is significant, a loose port can barely hold the headphone jack, leading to a loose connection. 

Poor or no contact between the jack head and the AUX port interrupts the audio signal transmissions. 

It could also result in no signal; in such a case, the entire AUX system fails. The solution is to repair the AUX port (this requires a technician) or replace the AUX system. 

Water in the Port

Water may sometimes find its way into the AUX port when you’re wiping the car’s interior. It may result in electrical shorting of the port’s contacts, thus affecting its conductivity. In turn, this affects the audio signal transmission. 

You can resolve the problem by repairing or replacing the damaged AUX system. Also, as a precaution, ensure the AUX port is always dry. You can use a volatile cleaning agent like Spirit to wipe the car’s interior instead of water. 

Broken AUX Jack

Car Audio System. 

Car Audio System. 

The jack may also be broken, leading to malfunction and thus hampering normal signal transmission. Sometimes, the pins in the jack can twist or break during use.

 The problems are common in cases where the jack is regularly plugged and unplugged. 

Always ensure you’re gentle when engaging and pulling out the jack.

 Also, it would be best to leave the jack plugged in even when you’re not using it to prevent damage. 

It is possible when you have an AUX cable dedicated to car use. 

Incorrect AUX System Installation

Always check if you have correctly plugged the AUX cord into the port. Inserting it halfway will result in a low output signal and poor audio quality. 

Also, unprofessional installation of the AUX system may cause it to malfunction. 

In addition, check out if the AUX cable is in good shape. A broken cable is a poor signal transmitter. 

AUX Port Corrosion

Car’s stereo system controls. 

Car’s stereo system controls. 

Earlier, we highlighted that one of the major effects of water on the AUX port is causing electrical shorts.

 But it also leads to corrosion of the electrical contacts, lowering their conductivity. 

The result is poor to no contact, thus yielding poor to no audio signal transmission. 

Hence, it is essential to dry the AUX port routinely.  

Dirty AUX Port

It is one of the most common causes of an AUX port malfunction. When driving, dirt, debris, and dust enter the car’s AUX system and may affect the electrical contact’s conductivity. 

Therefore, you must clean the AUX port regularly to remove such dirt. 

The ideal cleaning agent is compressed air, which is non-corrosive and doesn’t cause electrical shorts like water. Remember, water damage also causes corrosion. 

Another Device is Connected via Bluetooth

AUX mode on a car. 

AUX mode on a car. 

In some cars, the AUX functionality doesn’t work when you’ve linked the stereo system to an external electronic device via Bluetooth

In such systems, the system prioritizes Bluetooth connectivity over the AUX mode. 

How to fix this? Simply disconnect the Bluetooth so that you can connect via Aux. 

Insufficient Battery Power Supply

The car’s battery supply is also a critical determinant of whether the AUX system functions. 

When the car’s battery delivers a low charge, the AUX input and other electrical systems cannot optimally function. 

The system often delivers weak audio transmissions and low sound quality when the charge is low. 

You can fix the issue by ensuring the car is always charged, especially when embarking on a long drive. 

Blown Fuse

A Blown Fuse. 

A Blown Fuse. 

A fuse is cardinal to the electrical transmission in any system. Hence, when it blows up, it curtails the transfer of electrical signals to the desired point. 

When the auxiliary input fuse blows, then the entire system fails. 

You’ll have to replace the blown fuse for the system to resume operation. 

Worn Out AUX System

The AUX system may have been used extensively and has reached its maximum use life.

 A sign that this is the case is a slow deterioration in signal transmission.

 But you should consult a professional mechanic/ electrician to know if this is the problem. 

How Can You Fix the AUX in a Car?

A Car’s AUX system. 

A Car’s AUX system. 

The first step is identifying the problem of the AUX input system so that you can administer the right solution. Here are the troubleshooting and fixing steps. 

  • Start by checking if the AUX cable is worn out or is frayed at some point. If you suspect it to be the issue, use a new one. 
  • Next, ensuring the AUX port is dust- and dirt-free is essential. Therefore, often clean it with compressed air rather than water to prevent moisture damage. A small soft brush can also help dislodge the dirt from the port. 
  • Also, your system volume may be low, so you cannot have a sound output. Therefore, turn up the car’s audio volume and also that of the audio source device. 
  • Is your external device compatible with the car’s AUX system? Some smartphones require an adapter to use the car’s AUX port, so you must check if you need one. 
  • Finally, try using different source devices because the specific one you’re using may have an issue. 

Tips to Extend AUX Port Life

AUX mode engaged. 

AUX mode engaged

  • Always keeping the AUX port clean is essential, so consider regular swabbing with cotton wool dampened in alcohol. Also, if available, use compressed air to clean the port to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. 
  • Be cautious when inserting a cable into the AUX port. Applying too much force will damage the electrical contacts and affect electrical conductivity
  • There are loads of AUX cables in the market, so you may fall into the trap of going for cheap ones. Always consider quality over cost when buying an AUX cable to ensure optimal service. 
  • Employ a professional to install the stereo system. It will ensure the setup is perfect and thus minimize possible failures. 
  • Keep fluids such as water, soda, and milk away from the AUX port. 


Do AUX Cords Work in All Cars?

Almost all cars have a 3.5mm audio port compatible with the conventional AUX jack. 

But this feature may be unavailable in conventional car models, so you may have to install it. 

In the new car models, the audio input may be absent. Instead, the cars have digital connectors like USB-C.

Can an AUX Jack Be Replaced in Your Car?

Replacing the AUX jack is possible and necessary, especially if the contacts are worn out.

 But you may need to involve a professional mechanic or electronics specialist for a clean job. 

Is There an Alternative to the AUX Input If It Cannot Be Fixed?

Most modern cars have Bluetooth functionality that allows you to connect wirelessly without requiring the AUX system. 

Therefore, you can use this option or install a Bluetooth adapter to introduce the wireless connection solution. 


AUX Cables are prone to frequent failure, but most of their issues are straightforward to fix. 

As highlighted above, most issues stem from improper AUX port use or accumulation of dust/dirt on the port. 

Hence, keeping the AUX port in good shape is all about solving these issues. 

Most importantly, use a high-quality AUX cable and enjoy your favorite tynes uninterrupted while driving. 

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

For your projects, please provide cable assembly files/images/smples, etc., so that I can send you a quotation within 24 hours.

Contact me now and let’s get started on building your wire harnesses!

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