The Easiest Way to Fix Car Speakers at Home
Speakers might not be the part that makes the car work, but they are undoubtedly the part that makes a car fun to drive. A blown speaker can destroy the music listening experience in a car, and you can only drive so far without your favorite songs playing..
However, the good news is that car speaker repair is a simple process you can undertake independently. Before we learn how to repair a blown speaker, let’s look at how speakers work and what causes them to blow in the first place.
How do car speakers work?
For that matter, a car speaker, or any other speaker, is a device that converts electrical signals into sound. The main functional part of a speaker is the voice coil. This coil is suspended inside a circular magnet and is connected to a diaphragm.
The amplifier, which is inside the infotainment system or sometimes outside it, sends electrical signals to the voice coil. These electrical signals create a magnetic field in the coil, which moves inside the magnet and moves the diaphragm. The diaphragm’s movement then vibrates the air around it, creating sound.
That’s a pretty straightforward mechanism, so what can go wrong with a system like that? Before we learn how to fix car speakers, let’s see what can go wrong with them.
Here are some of the common things that can go wrong, causing a speaker to give a distorted sound or not produce any sound at all.
What can go wrong with car speakers?
Like any other electrical equipment piece, speakers can wear out over time. Here are some of the most common things that can go wrong with a speaker:
- The voice coil can be fried, causing the speaker to die.
- The diaphragm can be torn apart from one place or more, causing the speaker not to produce the correct sound.
- The voice coil might get displaced from its correct location, hindering decent sound production.
- The speaker’s diaphragm might not produce proper sound more freely, causing the sound output to be suppressed.
Okay, so that is what can go wrong with the car speakers, but why does that happen? There can be a bunch of reasons for that. Here are some of them. We need to know the cause before we learn how to fix a blown speaker in a car to avoid it in the future.
Causes of damage to car speakers
The critical functional part of a car speaker, the voice coil, is rated for a specific wattage and current. If that is exceeded, the coil can fail. That is the main reason for a car’s speakers going bad.
The reasons for this can include but are not limited to:
- If you listen to music with high bass for extended periods, it can overload the voice coil, and it might get fried.
- A surge of electricity in the car due to the malfunction of the electrical system can also cause the speaker to be blown out.
- If a sharp object damages the speaker’s diaphragm, that can cause the speaker not to produce the correct sound.
- Aging is also a factor. Speakers can get weak over time to the point that they are no longer functional.
Before we move to car speaker replacement or repair, we need to make sure that a speaker is faulty.
How to tell if a speaker is blown?
Here’s a little guideline on diagnosing a blown car speaker:
- Use your car’s balance and fader to move the sound output to the suspected speaker.
- Use the equalizer to move all the parameters to the middle and turn the volume to the average listening volume.
- Play a song and listen for any distortion in the sound.
- If the speaker’s sound is not normal, like it should be, the speaker has a problem that needs to be fixed.
If the subwoofer has failed, here’s how you can diagnose it:
- Play a song with heavy bass and place your hand on the subwoofer assembly.
- If you notice no vibration with the bass, the subwoofer is not performing as it should.
Now that you have diagnosed the faulty speaker, the next step is to repair it. Let’s now see how to fix a blown car speaker.
How to fix a blown speaker
Step 1 – Take the speaker out
After you have narrowed it down to the speaker that needs replacement, take it out. Here are the things that you need to take care of:
- Disconnect the negative terminal of your car’s battery. This is necessary because if you don’t do this, you might end up short-circuiting the car’s electronics.
- The next step is to disconnect the speaker’s cables, remove the screws holding it in place and take the speaker out.
Step 2 – Look for simple issues
Sometimes, the speaker’s issue can be as simple as the voice coil being moved from its place, and you can fix this very easily.
- Press gently on the speaker cone and see if it can move freely. If it cannot, use a flashlight and look under it. Make sure that the voice coil connection wires are in good shape. If you don’t do this while the coil and its connections are in good condition, try pushing the speaker cone upwards. If you can get the cone and the diaphragm to move freely without damaging anything, it will fix the issue.
Another common cause of speakers not functioning correctly is the speaker diaphragm being torn. Here’s how to repair a speaker with a torn diaphragm:
- Take a paper towel and split it to get a single ply of the paper.
- Cut it to the size of the tear on the diaphragm.
- Apply an all-purpose adhesive to the paper towel ply and use it to tie together the parts of the torn diaphragm.
Step 3 – Replacing the voice coil
If the voice coil is damaged, you will need to replace it to get the speaker to work. This is an easy task but will require a bit of time. Here’s how you can do that:
- Use a knife to cut the gasket of the speaker and access the coil underneath the diaphragm.
- Take out the old coil and detach it from the wire connections where it is soldered.
- Place the new coil and spider assembly in the speaker and solder it to the electrical connectors.
- Use glue to attach the diaphragm back to the speaker assembly.
Step 4 – Replacing the diaphragm
Follow the same steps as the previous step. You need to take care of some things when replacing the diaphragm. If you don’t do this, be careful not to damage the coil or spider when replacing the diaphragm.
- Attach the diaphragm back to the speaker’s body with care and make sure it is attached all the way.
- Use a diaphragm precisely the size of the speaker you are dealing with.
If none of that can fix your speakers, you’ll need to replace the speakers. You can find replacement auto speakers at a parts store or you can order them online. Ensure you get the correct size and power compatible with your car’s stereo system.
Frequently Asked Questions
A blown speaker gives a distorted sound. The sound is specifically distorted when there is a heavy bass.
You need to replace the voice coil, the spider, or the speaker’s diaphragm to do that.
A blown speaker puts out a distorted sound that is not very clear. This effect gets highlighted when the speaker is playing something with heavy bass.
It can be because of a blown voice coil in the subwoofer or a malfunctioning amplifier that drives the subwoofer.
Disconnect the battery, take the old speaker out of the housing, disconnect the wires and install the new speaker.
This might be because of a disturbed balance or fader settings or a blown speaker. Faults in the amplifier can also cause this problem.
Use a powerful amplifier and better quality speakers to make the car audio sound better.
The car will not put out good sound, especially the bass part of the audio will be distorted if the speakers are blown.
DISCLAIMER: All the information is provided in good faith to help you repair your car. If you don’t feel like you can undertake this repair, go to a professional.