Why Does My Radio Shut Off When Brake Is Applied? (Solved)

Two of the things that you almost always use when you are driving are your brakes and your radio or head unit. While the bakes are indispensable for the car to work, some people just cannot drive well without listening to music or looking at what is on the head unit’s navigator. However, why is it that the radio or head unit shuts off from time to time whenever you apply the brake? What is the underlying problem here?

Find out why your radio shuts off when breaks are applied

The reason why the radio or the head unit shuts off when you are applying the brake can be due to a bad alternator. Your car’s alternator is what supplies the energy to all of the electrical components. So, when you press the brake, a bad alternator will force the radio to shut off to divert power.


Some people might not think that there is a connection between the brakes and the radio precisely because these are two different components that may not have a connection between them.

However, you have to understand that stepping on the brake means activating the brake lights, which might divert power from the radio or head unit. This is why it could be a bad alternator problem. To learn more about why brake lights only work when the pedal is pressed hard click here.


Why does my radio shut off when the brake is applied?

When we are driving, we can never not use the brakes because of how important it is for us to have a way of stopping the car during certain situations. The brakes are always an integral part of any vehicle precisely because of how they keep you safe while you are driving. Of course, they also keep everyone around you safe.

Another useful part of the car for those who are enjoying long drives is the radio or the head unit. In most cars, the radio or the head unit is not an important part of what makes the vehicle function normally. But they are very important for those who want to keep themselves entertained while driving. The head unit can also be useful for navigation.

If you look at it, you would instantly think that the brakes and the radio are not connected to one another in any way. After all, the brakes are almost mechanical in the way they function. Meanwhile, the radio or the head unit is electrical and digital. Of course, the way these two components function is very different from one another.

As different as the brakes and the radio may be, why is it that there are some instances where the radio shuts off whenever you are stepping on the brake pedal?

What is causing this problem, and what is the connection between the brakes and the radio?

Even though brakes are almost always mechanical in the way they function, you also need to consider that stepping on the brake pedal will turn the brake lights on.

Brake lights are electrical in nature and require electricity to work. This is the same kind of electricity that the radio or the head unit needs to function regularly.

So, while the car’s battery does indeed normally provide enough electricity for all of the electrical components that the vehicle has, there might be instances when a bad component in the electrical system can lead to problems regarding how the electricity is distributed throughout the entire car. We are talking about the alternator.

The purpose of the alternator is to make sure that the electricity from the battery is distributed well enough throughout the entire vehicle while also charging the battery in the process. So, a damaged alternator may lead to problems regarding electricity distribution.

In this case, because the brake lights and the radio both function on electricity, a bad alternator may cause some problems regarding how these components function. A bad alternator might focus more on providing the electricity that the brake lights need when you step on the brake pedals. Stepping on the pedal will trigger the brake light switch on. And when the brake light switch has been triggered on, the power that the radio or head unit needs to work might end up getting shifted over to the brake lights due to a bad alternator.

So, when you look at it, the connection between the brakes and the radio is actually electronic in nature. But a bad alternator might end up forcing the radio to shut down when you are stepping on the brake pedal precisely because the brake lights will force electrical power to shift to them and away from the radio or head unit.

What can cause electrical troubles in my car?

There are some cases when a bad alternator is not the only reason why there are electrical problems in the car. Your alternator may be the most common reason, but it isn’t usually the only reason.

First off, the battery is what provides the vehicle with the electricity it needs to run. If you have a bad or a discharged battery, this can cause all sorts of electrical problems because the car might not even turn on in the first place. You can tell if you have a bad battery if the car struggles to start even though you have enough gas left in the tank.

Another cause of electrical troubles in the car is bad wiring. All of the electrical components in the vehicle are connected to one another through a series of wires. So, if one of the wires in the car becomes too worn out due to wear and tear, the components connected to it might experience electrical troubles.

Lastly, a blown fuse can also cause electrical troubles. When a fuse gets blown, it really is not the fault of the fuse, but the fact that the fuse got blown might have something to do with bad electrical components that caused the entire circuit to short out. So, if a fuse often gets blown, you have to have your car’s electrical components checked out.

Do brakes often cause electrical problems?

Normally, brakes should not cause any electrical problems in the car. Remember that the brakes are almost entirely mechanical in the way they function. That means that most of the components that make up the brakes are mechanical.

The only part of the brake that runs on electricity is the brake lights, which are triggered when you step on the brake pedal. As such, because the brakes almost do not have anything that is related to the other electrical components in the vehicle, it is close to impossible for the brakes to cause electrical problems in your car.


My stereo turns off when I step on my brakes

Radio shuts off everytime i press the brakes, what can it be?

My radio turns off when I brake