Car Radio Not Keeping Memory – Why & How to Fix?

A road trip isn’t quite complete without music to sing along and at the heart of all this is a good car radio. Most people spend a lot of time in their cars, and as such, it is important to invest in a car stereo that will allow you to make the most out of your rides.

As we have mentioned, a car radio is a critical component of the overall driving experience, but it can get quite frustrating when it starts to lose memory. If you have fitted your car with an aftermarket radio but won’t hold memory, it can cause inconveniences to you and your companions.

If you are desperate to get your car radio memory back, this article is for you. We explore some of the reasons why your car radio is not keeping memory and how to fix the problem.

Importance of car radio memory

The memory function is critical for optimal operation of the car radio. Some of the main benefits of this function include;

  • Convenience: The primary benefit of the memory function is that it allows you to save and recall audio settings, radio station presets, and other audio preferences conveniently. In addition, the user can easily access these settings without having to adjust the radio every time they get into their car.
  • Improved safety: The ability to quickly access the navigation system or your favorite radio stations allows you to avoid distractions while driving. This helps to enhance your overall safety on the road.
  • Time-saving: Generally, the memory function enables you to quickly switch between different audio settings or radio presets, which allows you to save time.
  • Customization: The ability to save and recall your favorite radio stations and audio settings enables you to customize your driving experience while making your rides more enjoyable.
  • More technology options: Modern technology has made it easy to seamlessly integrate the memory function into the car onboard computer. This means you can use the computer to control the car radio and other vehicle systems.

Reasons for Car Radio Not Keeping Memory

There are several reasons why your car radio may lose or fail to keep its memory settings. Some of the common culprits include:

A weak or dead battery

If your car battery is old or dead, it may compromise the ability of the car radio to retain its memory settings. Car audio memory settings are stored in form of volatile memory, which requires constant power (12V) at all times in order to retain the data. So, if the car audio is not receiving enough power from the battery, it will not be able to keep its memory settings.

Wiring issues

If there is an issue with the cables that connect the radio to the power source, then the radio might struggle to retain its memory settings. Such issues include a broken wire or even a blown fuse.

A faulty radio

If the radio itself is faulty or has developed some mechanical problems, it might lose its memory settings. A malfunctioning radio can be caused by several reasons including a faulty memory chip, damaged wiring and broken components.

A recent system reset or software update

If you have recently performed a factory reset on your radio, then it will definitely erase all data, including memory settings. Similarly, some software updates can make some radio memory settings to be lost.

An issue with the car computer system

As we mentioned earlier, most vehicles come with an onboard computer that is used to control the car’s audio and other vehicle functions. Any issue with the computer control system can compromise the ability of the car radio to remember preset settings.

How to Fix Car Radio Not Keeping Memory

If your radio is not keeping its memory settings, here are some steps you can take to try to help fix the problem:

Inspect the battery

One of the easiest ways to fix a car radio that’s not keeping its memory setting is by troubleshooting the battery. If your battery is dead or weak, it will strain to supply the amount of power needed by the radio to retain its memory. As such, you may want to ensure that the battery is fully charged and in good working condition.

Check the power connections

If your battery is in tip-top shape, but the car radio still can’t remember its memory data, then the problem may be caused by the power connections. Ensure all the wire connections to the radio are tight and secure and that there are no broken wires.

This includes all wires between the battery and the radio, as well as the car’s electrical system. You may also want to ensure that the power connections are clean and free from debris. Dirty connections can make the radio lose power, thus preventing it from keeping its memory settings.

Check the vehicle’s computer

If your car comes with an onboard computer, you can use an appropriate diagnostic tool to help determine the problem with your car’s radio memory. If an error code is found, it will be easy to diagnose and fix the problem.

Inspect radio fuses

Inspect the fuses and other related components, including the inline fuse and fuse box to make sure that they are not faulty or blown. If you notice any sign of damage or blown component, you’ll need to get a replacement as soon as possible.

Repair aftermarket add-ons

Check for any aftermarket add-on that may be causing interference with the radio memory. In this case, you may need to consider disabling or removing the affected add-ons. You can also try to repair the memory chip of the radio and see if it will help solve the problem.

Factory radio reset

If you have done all these troubleshooting tips but the problem persists, you can try to perform a factory radio reset. Resetting the radio can help clear bugs that may be interfering with the memory settings and improve the radio’s performance.

This is often done using the menu option on your head unit display or pressing a combination of several buttons. However, ensure to consult the user manual for specific instructions on how to reset your car audio radio.


If your car radio is not keeping its memory settings, it can be frustrating and can be a sign of an underlying problem within your car audio system. To troubleshoot the issue, try checking the battery and power source to help determine why your radio keeps losing saved settings. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to have the radio serviced by a professional or dealer.

Leave a Comment