Pioneer Touch Screen Not Turning On? Here’s How to Fix

pioneer touch screen not turning on

If your Pioneer touch screen not turning on, then this guide will get in-depth and help you!

Pioneer touch screen stereos are known for their excellent performance, but every vehicle is different and problems seem to arise from nowhere.

If your radio is working, but only the face (touchscreen) is not working, there is a communication fault or software bug you must tackle.

When your Pioneer car stereo touch screen is not turning on, press the “DISP” (display) button to turn it on or upgrade the firmware blindly.

If this doesn’t work, factory reset the stereo and inspect the wiring harness and “GROUND” wire.

Pioneer Touch Screen Not Turning On – Quick Solution Steps!

Note: Try to identify whether your radio works or only the touchscreen is not turning on!

1. Press the “DISP” Display Button

press the “disp” display button

The very first and most important step to undertake is to check whether your Pioneer car stereo model has a “DISP” button on the rear panel.

The button is typically located on the left side and is intended to switch on/off the touchscreen display. 

Pioneer touchscreen radios such as model “MVH” do include such a button, that when pressed will turn on and off the touchscreen display.

So, if you see a “DISP” button, hit it once, wait for a few seconds, and press it again to check if this works.

Note: If your Pioneer radio does not have a “DISP” button, continue reading!

2. Upgrade the Firmware *Blindly*

upgrade the firmware *blindly*

According to many Pioneer radio users, the touch screen goes black or won’t turn on because of outdated software.

The interesting thing is that the radio works, but the display won’t turn on, which can be fixed by inserting a USB flash drive that has the latest Pioneer firmware version.

What essentially happens is that the display should turn on when the firmware upgrade starts, so we’re going to teach you how to upgrade.

Here’s a complete step-by-step guide on updating Pioneer car stereo:

  1. Get a USB drive, with no less than 4 GB of available storage.
  2. Plug the USB into a Windows PC and find it in the file explorer.
  3. Right-click on the drive, select “Format…” and set it to “FAT32”.
  4. Go to Pioneer Firmware, insert your radio model, and search.
  5. Download the .rar file, and extract the folders into a new folder.
  6. Copy and paste the folder into your formatted USB flash drive.
  7. Plug the USB flash drive into the radio and verify it’s working.
  8. Wait for 30 seconds and boldly press the lower left quadrant.
  9. The touch-screen should turn on and the upgrade should start.
Important: Wait for your radio to read the USB drive and prompt you to install, so pressing the display blindly on the left side is supposed to accept the prompt.

3. Factory Reset the Pioneer Radio

factory reset the pioneer radio

If your Pioneer car stereo touch screen is not turning on with the radio, it’s proven that resetting the microprocessor works like a charm.

This is a factory reset, which will unpair your radio from all connected devices, reset all settings including equalizer, and provide you with a fresh start.

To factory reset the Pioneer car stereo, you need to locate the pinhole, which with some models is exposed on the left rear side, or hidden behind a panel.

So, if you don’t see the reset pinhole, maybe you need to open the cover of the USB port, and you’ll find the tiny hole below the USB.

So, when you find the pinhole, use a thin and sharp object such as a pen, needle, or paperclip to reach within and hold the button for 10 seconds.

This will factory reset the Pioneer car stereo.

Note: If you’ve started the factory reset correctly, the screen should illuminate in a few minutes!

4. Disconnect the Vehicle’s Battery 

disconnect the vehicle’s battery

Another quick solution for a non-responsive touch screen on Pioneer vehicle stereo is to simply disconnect the car’s battery for a few minutes.

This is extremely easy, as you only need to open the car’s hood and disconnect one of the two contact points wrapped around the battery’s poles.

Then, get back inside your car and hold the Pioneer radio’s “Power” button for ~60 seconds to discharge the stereo completely.

Keep the battery unplugged for a few more minutes and test! If this solves your issue, it’s a bug. If not, continue reading…

5. Prevent Radio From Overheating

prevent radio from overheating

If your entire Pioneer touch screen radio not turning on, then the problem is typically caused by communication failure from the head to the unit.

This sometimes happens due to intensive heat, especially if your vehicle has been parked in a way that the radio has been exposed to sunlight.

So, one way that many people managed to fix the problem is by covering the car stereo to hide it from the sun, until it cools down.

This typically takes about 20–30 minutes, so when you touch the touchscreen, you shouldn’t feel the heat.

If your Pioneer car stereo display turns on when the radio is cool, this only means overheating!

6. Reconnect the “GROUND” Wire

reconnect the “ground” wire

Well, if your Pioneer radio touch screen not working, chances are that there is a wiring problem that requires a bit more investigation than pressing buttons.

One of the primary suspects here is the “GRND” (grounding) wire, which is supposed to be tightly connected to the vehicle’s chassis.

If this wire is loose and does not establish grounding, the radio may not work properly, and your screen might appear black.

So, we’re going to teach you a quick and easy way to re-grounding.

Here’s how to dismount and inspect the Pioneer radio’s wiring harness:

  1. Disconnect your vehicle’s battery to stop the electricity.
  2. Remove the display (face) by releasing the tabs/screws.
  3. Pioneer car stereos are held in place in one of two ways:
  • Screws on both sides.
  • Clips holding the panel.
  1. Undo the screws with a screwdriver or release the tabs.
  2. Gently, pull out the main stereo’s body from the chassis.
  3. When you reveal the harness check for disconnections.
  4. Then, find the black wire, sometimes labeled as “GRND”.
  5. Verify that this wire is hooked up to the vehicle’s chassis.
  6. The black wire must be contacting a metallic vehicle part.
  7. If needed, use a knife to expose the wire’s end and re-knot.
  8. Double-check for disconnected terminals or fried wires.

If you notice disconnected terminals, fried wires, burnt odor, or black spots on the cables, know that this is causing the touch-screen not to turn on.

If so, you would need a new harness for the Pioneer radio, and you can set it up by following a diagram in your stereo model user manual.

Quick Tip: Pioneer car stereo wiring harness is replaceable without servicing!

One More Thing – Blown Fuse!

blown fuse

Your Pioneer radio touch screen might not turn on when the fuse powering the stereo is blown, so this is another thing to check.

Every vehicle’s fuses are located in a different place, on some Pioneer radios, you’ll even find them on the back, so as per the vehicle, consider this possibility.

Note: In case of a blown fuse, we recommend servicing!

Quick Recap

If your Pioneer touch screen not turning on, press the “Display” button to turn on the face and update the firmware (if necessary, do it blindly).

Additionally, you need to verify that the stereo is not overheating, perform a factory reset, or re-ground the “GRND” wire.

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