Car stereos are built to last for a long time, however, all systems degrade. This might be due to the passage of time, wear and tear or improper use. There are a number of reasons that explain why car speakers stop working, the first thing to do is check if your speakers are blown.
No matter the kinds of equipment that you have in your vehicle, there are two things to consider when your car speakers aren’t working:
You need to determine whether all your speakers are working or only one or two speakers aren’t working. For example, if your car speakers are not working on one side, you need this guide. If your car speakers are muffled, you will need this guide. This will change the way you approach the problem.
Why Your Rear Car Speakers Are Not Working
As such, it requires a different kind of analysis and diagnostic.
Outlined below are some things to look out for when your car rear speakers stop working properly;
The Speakers: Inspect your car speakers for signs of visual wear and tear. Check whether or not the cone moves when you’re playing music.
The Audio/Power Source: If your speakers aren’t working, you have to check the settings in your head unit. The balance or fade may have accidentally been changed to only send audio to the left/right/front or back and might be the source of your problem.
Wiring: You’ll want to get a voltmeter and use the positive and negative leads on the speakers to check that power supply to the speakers.
Check each speaker independently. If the voltmeter doesn’t read any power, you’ve found the problem. It is recommended that you consult an automobile expert or mechanic to carry out any complicated troubleshooting methods.
Amplifier: While this only occurs in special cases, if some of your speakers are not working it may indicate that your amplifier is going bad. Find the amplifier and check that there’s power coming from each output channel of the amp.
My Car Speaker Is Not Working But The Subwoofer Is Working
When your car speaker stops functioning but your subwoofer keeps working, the problem is usually in the head unit or in the wiring.
Please see below circuitry for how many car audio systems are wired:
In some cases, an issue with the wiring between the head unit and a single speaker can even cause all of the speakers in an entire car audio system to cut out at once.
There are some recommended troubleshooting techniques guaranteed to find out the particular cause of this problem.
Make Sure the Problem is Not from the Head Unit
If your head unit turns on just fine, but you don’t get any sound from the speakers, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the speakers are the problem.
However, the fact that the head unit is turning on doesn’t mean it’s working properly. Before you do anything else, you’ll want to:
- Verify that the head unit hasn’t entered an anti-theft mode that requires a car radio code.
- Check the volume, fade, and pan settings.
- Test different audio inputs (i.e. radio, CD player, auxiliary input, etc).
- Test any onboard fuses.
- Check for loose or unplugged wires.
If the head unit has a faceplate and it is not working (e.g the display is blank), ensure that you fix the faceplate before you continue.
Make Sure Your Problem Is not From the Amplifier
If you are unable to locate any issues with the head unit, then you will want to determine whether or not you have an external amplifier.
For in-built car audio systems that use external amps, the amp is the most common cause of this type of problem.
This is because the audio has to pass through the amp to reach the speakers. In the process of checking out the amp, you will want to:
- Verify that the amplifier is actually turning on.
- Determine whether or not the amp has gone into “protect mode.”
- Inspect for loose or disconnected input or output speaker wires.
- Test both inline and onboard fuses.
Although there are many common car amplifier problems that you can identify and fix on your own, you may run into a situation where the amp seems fine even though it has failed.
In that case, you simply need to bypass the amplifier to verify that both the head unit and speakers are working.
Check for Shorted Speaker Wires
Speaker wires are often threaded behind panels, under seats, and under the rugs, as such, it can be a frustrating process to visually inspect them.
Depending on your situation, it may be easier to check for continuity between one end of each wire (at the head unit or amp) and the other end at each speaker.
If you don’t see continuity, that means the wire is broken somewhere. On the other hand, if you see continuity to ground, then you’re dealing with a shorted wire
Car Door Speaker Not Working
If your speakers are mounted in your car doors, a usual point of malfunctioning is where the speaker wire passes between the door and the door frame.
Even though regular door wiring mechanisms are typically protected by hard rubber sheathes, the wires can still end up breaking over time due to the repeated stresses endured in opening and closing the doors.
With that in mind, you may also want to check for continuity and shorts with the doors both open and closes. If you find that one speaker is shorted to ground in that manner, that could cause all of the speakers to cut out.
Check On Your Speaker Wires
With the vehicle and the stereo turned off disconnect the speaker wires for both the left and right speakers at the amplifier.
Now connect the left speaker to the right amplifier output (a method that almost always works). Turn on the stereo system and make sure the balance is set to the middle position.
If the speaker still doesn’t work then the problem is somewhere between the amplifier and the speaker itself. It could be the speaker wire, any of the wiring connections or a bad speaker.
At this point, you will have to remove the speaker from the door and test it on the amplifier using short lengths of speaker wire. If the speaker works then the wiring is the problem. If it doesn’t work then it is indeed a bad speaker.
How to Diagnose Blown Car Speakers
Your car speaker may be blown out if they don’t work, try the steps below to know if your speaker is blown out;
Step 1: Disconnect the speaker
Unscrew the speaker from its mount. Remove the wires from the audio system, and with them still attached to the speaker, attach them to a 9-volt battery.
You may hear a popping sound coming from the speaker. This means the speaker is working. If there is no sound, that indicates the speaker is blown.
Step 2: Check the speaker for vibration
Remove the cover from the speaker, and connect the wires to the battery again. Watch to see if the cone moves. If it does, that indicates a problem with the connection rather than a blown speaker.
Step 3: Check the speaker with a multimeter
Use a multimeter to test the speaker. Attach the multimeter to each terminal of the speaker where the wires attach.
If the multimeter reads 1.0 ohms, the speaker is working. If it displays a reading of infinite ohms, the speaker has been blown.
Step 4: Determine the amount of damage to the speaker.
The amount of damage will determine whether you need to repair or replace the speaker. Look for any tears or holes in the speaker. You can repair small tears with a sealer that is designed for use with speakers.
Replace a speaker that has a large tear or hole.
Step 5: Repeat these steps with any other speakers.
Repeat the above with any other speakers that have sound issues. Extensive damage may mean you need to replace your entire speaker system.
It is advised that all tips given in the article should only be carried out by experienced automobile experts or mechanics, to avoid worsening a bad situation.