Learn about Capacitors with These 5 Fast Facts


Capacitors can have many advantages like being a stabilizer for the amplifier, helping keep the amplifier cooler, as well as reducing distortion and allowing it to run more efficiently. Follow these 5 fast facts to find and install the right cap for you.

  1. A Capacitor is Not the Solution for a Weak Electrical System

Dimming headlights is a common issue many people experience when they install their new car audio systems . Often times, people believe that the solution must be to add a capacitor. In some cases, this can help with the issue, but in others the problem can be deeper than that. Then they start to get frustrated when they find out that this was not the correct solution. Their headlights still aren’t working properly. They didn’t need extra power storage, they needed a stronger alternator or even an entire Big 3 upgrade to provide more power.

  1. A Capacitor Does Not Work the Same Way as a Power Cell

Power-cells create the amperage you need to power your amplifier(s). On the other hand, Capacitors help your amps run more efficiently by regulating the voltage so that your amplifier(s) are constantly being provided with about 14.4V. Power cells also need to be isolated from the main battery so that when you shut off your vehicle, the power cell will not drain your main battery. Capacitors on the other hand do not need to be isolated from the main battery. This is because they automatically shut off when they no longer sense a change in voltage.

  1. Not all Capacitors are the Same

As you can see in our video about upgrading your electrical system, not every capacitor is the same. Certain brands are going to result in much higher quality capacitors, while others will make little difference at all. As you saw in the video, higher quality caps will give you a larger dielectric which results in more energy storage.

  1. Always Charge a Capacitor Before you Install it

This is crucial step in the installation process. You could risk blowing fuses if you do not charge your capacitor before installation. Avoid the unnecessary headache and take the time to charge it. Refer to our article: How to Charge a Capacitor for more information on how to properly charge it.

  1. Always Mount a Capacitor in a Safe Location Away from Passengers

Just like installing a battery, it is always best to keep a capacitor a safe distance away from vehicle passengers. This protects the passengers from harmful amounts of voltage. It’s also best to install your capacitor close to your amplifier to reduce the length of the wire. As stated in our article, How to Install Car Audio Capacitors, “In theory, this will optimize performance by cutting down the distance it takes the current to travel, and potentially reduce losses.”

If you have any other questions make sure to check out our Learning Center or visit our YouTube channel Sonic Electronix.


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