How to fix a hole in a car audio speaker

Even the highest-quality audio systems wear out over time, especially if you like to listen to your music at a high volume. If your car’s speakers seem muted or if they are not working at all, you need to check if one or more of your speakers are blown, so that you can have them repaired or replaced.

Part 1 of 2: Listen to your speakers

The first step you should take before replacing a speaker is determining exactly which of your speakers has sustained damage. You can do this simply by listening to them. You should be able to easily identify a speaker with an issue by the sound it makes.

Step 1: Turn up the volume. Turn on your vehicle’s radio, and turn up the volume.

Listen for any distortion in sound quality, such as a hissing sound. If a speaker is blown, the distortion should increase as you turn up the volume.

Listen to each of your speakers to determine which of them are blown.

Step 2: Test your system’s range. Select a song from your CD or MP3 player that has a full range of sound, especially a strong bass.

Under-performance, such as no high frequencies or bass, is a sure sign of a blown speaker.

Step 3: Check the treble and bass. After checking the system’s ranges, assess the treble and bass on your system.

  • Tip: Make sure that each one is right in the middle of the range. Otherwise, the lack of sound may come from the settings rather than a problem with the speaker.

Step 4: Listen for sound issues. Listen to the overall sound from your speakers and check for any crackling or rattling noises. You may also hear a shaking sound.

Rattling from the woofer can indicate a fully blown speaker. Popping may indicate that your tweeter has gone bad.

  • Tip: Touch the large speakers to see if you feel any vibrations. This tells you they are working actively. Smaller speakers may not create vibrations even when they are working.

Part 2 of 2: Inspect the speakers

Materials Needed

Once you have identified which speaker or speakers are having issues, you can check them further with a multimeter.

Warning: Always practice safety while working with electrical equipment to avoid any chance of injury. Do not use or connect tools into a speaker that is still connected to power.

Tip: This is also a good time to check their connections to see if there are any loose connections or other problems. The fix could be as simple as tightening up a loose wire.

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.

  • Tip: A typical multimeter usually measures voltage, current, and resistance.

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 on 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.

  • Tip: Check all of your speakers at the same time so that you can identify any issues correctly and replace them all at once, if necessary.

Extensive damage may mean you need to replace your entire speaker system.

Listen to your speakers periodically and if you notice any difference in the audio quality you can identify any speaker problems early on and fix them.

If you are not sure about the cause of the problem, you can ask an expert audio technician to check your radio system and diagnose the problem before you spend the money to replace some parts or entire speakers that were perfectly alright in the first place.

Next Step

Schedule Car radio is not working Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Car radio is not working Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews. LEARN MORE

Stock car speakers aren’t always the highest quality available. When you bought your car, you may have chosen a model that didn’t have the upgraded sound system, or maybe the sound from your car speakers is just not up to par with your expectations. There are many reasons why you may want to replace or enhance your car’s speakers, including:

  • The sound quality is poor.
  • The speakers aren’t loud enough.
  • You’ve blown the factory-equipped speakers.
  • You want to amplify your car’s sound system.

Whatever your reason, you can always replace your car speakers or add more speakers to the sound system.

How to replace car speakers

Decide on your purpose for buying new speakers – If it is to replace blown or low-quality speakers, you need to know the exact size of the ones you will be removing.

Determine the correct speakers and placement – You can either go to the parts department at your manufacturer’s dealership or you can find the exact fitment by researching your car’s speakers online. Services such as OnlineCarStereo can tell you which parts will fit your car’s original speaker locations precisely. Or visit an automotive electronics store. A representative can assist you in locating the correct speakers for your vehicle. You’ll need to decide on where they will be located.

Tip: You will want to choose surface-mount speakers in this case unless there are factory-designated locations for additional speakers.

Gather the correct materials – To remove your factory-mounted you will need the following: New speakers, Screwdriver set, Socket set with ratchet (¼” drive) and a Trim removal tool set (recommended: ABN Premium Trim Removal Tool Kit).

Locate your factory-mounted speakers – Most speakers are located behind panels to prevent damage and to cover them up, blending them into their surroundings. They will be covered with a grille, most commonly plastic with dotted holes through.

Tip: Always replace speakers in pairs for the best clarity and sound from side to side.

Remove the panel covering the speaker – Locate all the fasteners for the panel. Trim panels use screws, clips, or a combination of the two. Each panel varies depending on the car manufacturer and the location. Remove any exposed screws with your screwdriver or ¼” ratchet and socket set. Commonly, Phillips-head screws are used in trim applications along with 8mm and 10mm bolts.

Pry to remove panel – Pry lightly on the panel once the screws are removed using a trim removal tool, or trim stick. Start at the edges and work toward the middle. If there is a lot of tension on a particular spot, check for screws that you may have missed. If there aren’t any more screws, pry harder, being as careful as possible not to crack the panel.

Tip: If any clips broke when you were removing the panel, you will want to find replacements before re-installing the panel, otherwise the panel will be loose and rattle.

Disconnect any wiring – As the panel is coming loose, disconnect any wiring harnesses or additional fasteners that you may have uncovered. Remove the panel and set it aside where it will not get scratched or broken. The back seat is a great spot to place panels.

Remove the screws on the speaker – There will be 4-6 screw or bolts holding the speaker in place. Use the appropriate screwdriver or socket to remove the fasteners. Typical fasteners are Phillips-head screws and 8mm bolts.

Warning: When you are removing the last screw, take care to make sure the speaker doesn’t fall. It can damage the wiring if the speaker drops and pulls on the wires.

Disconnect the wiring – On the backside of the speaker the wires will be connected either with a female blade connector or in a wiring harness connector. If it is a blade-style connector, just pull the connector until it released from the speaker. If the connector is a wiring harness connector, press the release tab and pull the two sides of the connector apart. Set aside the old speaker or discard it.

Install the new speakers – Installing your new speakers is essentially the reverse order of removing the old speaker.

Connect the wiring to the speaker – If there are blade-style connectors, press them onto the appropriate male blade on the speaker. One wire will be black which attaches to the negative or (-) blade. The other wire attaches to the positive or (+) blade.

Tip: If the wiring is a harness connector, press the two ends together. There is only one orientation where the connector will fit together, though lining up the lock tab will help you find the correct orientation.

Fasten the speaker back in place – Line up the holes in the speaker’s frame with the holes in your vehicle’s body panel. Start all the screws into their respective holes in the speaker, then tighten them evenly.

Warning: If the speaker’s frame doesn’t fit flat against the body panel, make sure the speaker isn’t too deep. It may be “bottoming out” in the panel (meaning it won’t fit), and an alternate replacement will need to be found.

Install the cover panel or door panel – Install the screws in the reverse order they were removed. For any clips you pried free, press firmly to snap them back in place.

Overall, the process of replacing or adding speakers is relatively straightforward, and if you follow the guide above, you should be able to complete the task successfully. If you want to install additional car speakers next, that is also a simple process.

However, if you run into any questions along the way, you can always Ask a Mechanic. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable performing this job on your own, you can call one of the certified technicians at YourMechanic to come to your home or office.

Recommended Posts

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It’s easy!

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Recently Browsing 0 members

No registered users viewing this page.

Recent Topics

2021 Volkswagen Passat Rline

  • 1
  • 2
  • knuconceptz
  • jimworx
  • secondskin
  • fi
  • stevens audio
  • nvx
  • odyssey
  • audiocontrol
  • ampereaudio
  • 47 comments
  • 990 views
  • Aaron Clinton
  • 21 hours ago
  • New to the group

    • 3 comments
    • 23 views
    • Aaron Clinton
    • Monday at 04:16 PM
  • GCON 10 in .84 ported?

    • 2 comments
    • 96 views
    • Aaron Clinton
    • Friday at 12:39 PM
  • Audio Legion

    • 4 comments
    • 197 views
    • Aaron Clinton
    • Friday at 12:25 PM
  • enclosure ideas for fi neo 4.x

    • 2 comments
    • 97 views
    • Aaron Clinton
    • Friday at 12:24 PM
  • New Member Check-In

    • 2 comments
    • 92 views
    • How to fix a hole in a car audio speaker
    • CommonHuckleberry
    • July 14
  • Recent YouTube Posts




    Loudspeaker coils can exhibit a variety of problems from compete failure to moving off centre. Find out how to fix these problems.

    One area of failures and faults with loudspeakers occurs with the coil. Everything from the coil becoming open circuit to the coil becoming off centre and gringing agaisnt the magnet.

    Speaker coil faults and problems can often be fixed, sometimes very easily.

    Speaker coil repair

    There is a variety of issues that can occur with speaker voice coils, and sometimes it is possible to repair them. Typically the larger more expensive loudspeakers can be repaired more easily – smaller ones tend not to be repairable unless you are lucky:

    • Speaker coil off centre (1): Even though modern loudspeakers are very good and seldom go off centre, sometimes this can occur. Moisture or dampness on part of the cone may cause this. This manifests itself by a grating noise as the speaker is used, or the rubbing can be heard if the cone is manually moved in and out. Occasionally on smaller speakers with no adjustments it can be possible to repair them by easing them back into the centre. Gently hold the cone – remember it is made of paper and can damage easily. Ease the cone so that it moves back to the centre. It may be necessary to repeat the action after a while, but this method can occasionally work.
    • Speaker coil off centre (2) : On larger units where the speaker coil goes off- centre it is possible to repair them. It is possible that there are fixings that enable the magnet to be moved very slightly. The operation needs care and patience, but often it is possible to move the magnet so that no gating / rubbing can be felt on the speaker cone.
    • Spider adjustment: Some speakers, especially older ones have a spider that holds the cone and coil in place. There can be a centre fixing screw that can be slacked off . With this done, the speaker coil can be centred so that the coil does not rub on the magnet. Re-tighten the screw being careful not to misalign the spider and check for the correct operation.
    • Speaker cone detaches from voice coil: Another issue that has been seen is that the voice coil becomes detached from the cone. Heat and age can cause the glue to deteriorate and wit the constant vibration this can cause the two to detach. It is sometimes possible to gain sufficient access to re-glue the voice coil. Use a slow drying or curing glue and ensure that this is placed between the coil and the cone. Apply evenly all round so that as it dries or cures it pulls evenly on the cone and keeps the coil in place in the centre.
    • Replacement of the coil: In some instances it is possible to replace the coil. An exact spare must be obtained – some companies offer replacement speaker coils for units requiring repair. Specific instructions for that speaker may come with the replacement coil. In any case careful disassembly of the magnet and coil area of the speaker is required. The operation may require the glue fixing the coil to the cone to be carefully dissolved or removed, the speaker coil replaced and the assembling re-assembled. Correct alignment is essential and care must be taken to ensure this otherwise the coli will rub and vibrate on the magnet causing distortion.

    When a speaker cone is damaged there are easy methods to repair the cone and bring the loudspeaker back to life

    It is very easy to puncture a speaker cone. When this happens, the drive unit can buzz or crackle when sounds are being reproduced. It is a most unpleasant sound.

    The buzz or grating sound is caused by the small fragments of cone around the hole vibrating. A further issue is that if the speaker is used with an enclosure, the hole will cause loss of pressure and cause the backward wave to emanate from the front causing cancellation. This will change the sound from the overall speaker system. When this happens the speaker needs replacing or repairing.

    Speaker cone repair

    Sometimes it can be possible to obtain and fit replacement cones. If no other method is available one last ditch method to save and repair the loudspeaker that has worked well in the past uses a small patch.

    Most speaker cones are made of paper, and so a repair using some tissue paper works well. It may also be suitable for other materials, but assess the break and material to find a suitable alternative if necessary.

    Take the tissue paper and cut it so that it covers the hole, with a small overlap around the hole. The tissue paper is sufficiently light that it should not affect the operation of the speaker unduly.

    It may be worth testing the tissue paper and the glue together first to make sure that the tissue paper does not shrink – this could distort the cone.

    This tissue paper can be glued to patch the hole. Make sure all the tissue paper has glue and that there are no lose edges otherwise these could create a buzz. If possible repeat the process on the under-side of the cone if it is accessible so that the repair is secured from both sides.

    Use a flexible glue and then the rigidity of the cone will not be affected too much. Also use the minimum glue consistent with creating a firm bond, otherwise the mass of the cone will be altered and its performance changed.

    Leave the loudspeaker until all is dry and the test it out.

    Active Member

    Is this possible?

    I live in rented accomodation at the moment and obviously can’t drill into the walls, is there a way to mount speakers (Probably QA 1010i’s) to the walls without drilling holes?

    Bald Monkey

    Novice Member
    • Sep 1, 2009
  • #2
  • You could try Blu-tac but then I doubt they’ll stay up for long!

    Seriously, if you don’t want to ‘fix’ to the walls how do you expect to fix the speakers to the walls.

    Maybe you should consider tall speaker stands or just fix them carefully with screws and then repair the walls when you leave with some filler and paint, it’s not difficult. Ask your landlord they will probably be fine with it so long as you do it neatly and make good afterwards. Got to be better than ‘no nails’ ‘vecro’ or ‘blu-tac’ which won’t work as well and will probably take a good chunk of plaster away with them

    MAX1210

    Well-known Member
    • Sep 1, 2009
  • #3
  • Distinguished Member
    • Sep 1, 2009
  • #4
  • Active Member
    • Sep 1, 2009
  • #5
  • SteveCritten

    Distinguished Member
    • Sep 1, 2009
  • #6
  • Are you serious Toby!!

    Try some sky hooks.

    I am a landlord (just a couple of houses) and I would not refuse a simple request like this. Just do it and then if something is mentioned say you will fill and repaint when you leave.

    BlueWizard

    Distinguished Member
    • Sep 1, 2009
  • #7
  • OK, let’s say you glue the speakers to the wall . then what? How do you remove the speakers without damaging the walls? Which is more damaging, a big chunk of the wall torn out or a couple of small screw holes?

    Also, you don’t need to attach the speakers with railroad spikes? You don’t need screws large enough to mount a Mini Cooper to the wall. Small reasonable sized screws will do the job.

    The next though is, what will the screws screw in to? If you have typical sheetrock or wallboard, they have a limited strength. If you can be sure of screwing into a wooden stud or vertical wall board, then it is not a problem. Also screws don’t hold that well in common sheetrock/wallboard. Likely you will have to use anchors to give the screws something more solid to grab on too.

    If you have plaster over lathe walls, that represents separate problems. Usually you need a small Mason drill bit to make holes in this.

    Active Member
    • Sep 2, 2009
  • #8
  • OK, let’s say you glue the speakers to the wall . then what? How do you remove the speakers without damaging the walls? Which is more damaging, a big chunk of the wall torn out or a couple of small screw holes?

    Also, you don’t need to attach the speakers with railroad spikes? You don’t need screws large enough to mount a Mini Cooper to the wall. Small reasonable sized screws will do the job.

    The next though is, what will the screws screw in to? If you have typical sheetrock or wallboard, they have a limited strength. If you can be sure of screwing into a wooden stud or vertical wall board, then it is not a problem. Also screws don’t hold that well in common sheetrock/wallboard. Likely you will have to use anchors to give the screws something more solid to grab on too.

    If you have plaster over lathe walls, that represents separate problems. Usually you need a small Mason drill bit to make holes in this.

    i was thinking this.

    thought about just using speaker stands maybe?

    The Video Course teaches you everything about modern cars.

    The standard twin-speaker car stereo system has one obvious drawback. If you mount the speakers on the rear shelf, to hear the sound clearly you often have to turn up the volume to a level that is too loud for the rear seat passengers.

    Conversely, if the speakers are fitted at the front of the car – and they are usually low down in the door panels – the sound in the back can be muffled by the seats.

    All-round sound

    The solution to this problem is to fit a four-speaker system, with two speakers mounted in the front and two in the rear.

    For the front of the car you will probably find that the door panels are the best, if not the only, location available, though some cars have speaker positions built into each side of the dash.

    In the rear of the car you can again mount the speakers in the doors (or the side panels on a two-door car), or on or under the parcel shelf.

    Choosing speakers

    There is a huge variety of speakers to choose from – in general you should buy the best quality speakers you can afford.

    Make sure that the speakers you buy are capable of handling the power output of your radio-cassette or graphic equalizer – if you have a 30 watts per channel unit, the speakers must be capable of handling at least that amount and preferably a little more. But don’t put 100 watt speakers on a 10 watt radio-cassette – the amplifier won’t have the power to drive the speakers cleanly, and the sound will be muffled and distorted.

    Fader control

    Finally, if your radio-cassette or graphic equalizer isn’t specially designed to run four speakers, you will need to fit a front-to-rear fader control.

    This unit allows you to control the balance between the front and rear pairs of speakers.

    Installing car speakers

    How to fix a hole in a car audio speaker

    The Ultimate Car Mechanics video course

    Learn everything about modern cars from our new video series.

    We build a Mazda MX5 Miata from scratch

    We start by tearing down and then rebuilding the whole car.

    Every part explained

    There’s ridiculous detail on every part. Clearly and easily explained.

    All modeled in 3D

    We’ve created the most detailed 3D model ever produced so we can show you everything working.

    Super detailed explanations in the video course

    15 hours of pro-quality, HD content with subtitles

    Introduction: Fixing an Old Speaker: a DIY Guide to Improving Your Home Stereo

    Do you want a new pair of home audio speakers but can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars? Then why not repair an old speaker yourself for as little as $30!? Replacing a speaker driver is an easy process, whether you have a blown speaker that needs to be fixed or an older speaker that could use a boost in performance. This guide, perfect for DIY types, will look at the process of selecting an appropriate driver for your speaker, as well as the physical replacement. Armed with nothing more than a screwdriver (or drill) and ruler, this quick and straightforward process will have you upgrading your home stereo in no time!

    (Note: Before starting it would be helpful to refer to the speaker anatomy picture to familiarize yourself with terms that will be used throughout this guide)

    Step 1: Find the Problematic Driver

    Before you begin, you have to know which driver needs to be replaced. First, remove the cloth section covering the front of the speaker, more commonly known as the speaker grill. This should come off fairly easily.

    To test the speaker, play music through it. Music is the ideal media to test with because more frequencies will be used simultaneously, allowing you to pinpoint the blown or under-performing driver more quickly. Based on what type of driver you are testing, you should adjust your system’s equalizer accordingly:

    • Tweeter: Increase the system’s treble setting
    • Mid-Range: Increase the system’s mid setting
    • Woofer: Increase the system’s bass setting

    Run each driver test individually at a reasonably high volume (somewhere around 7 or 8 out of 10) and take note of any noticeable cracking or buzzing. Based on this test decide which driver, or possibly drivers, need to be replaced.

    Step 2: Unscrew the Old Driver

    Unplug any wires coming into or out of the speaker to ensure that it is not hooked up to any sort of power source. Unscrew the guide screws holding the driver to the box. Hold onto the driver while removing the final screw to ensure it doesn’t fall.

    Step 3: Detach the Old Driver

    While holding the driver securely, locate the two wires (one red and one black) attached to its back side. In newer drivers and speakers, these wires will be connected via a detachable clip, as seen in the photo. If you have an older speaker or driver then these wires will be soldered onto the driver. If this is the case, you will want to completely remove the old wires and replace the wiring with a newer clipped version. These newer wires can be found online at speaker repair websites.

    Next, carefully (again CAREFULLY!) detach these wires from the old driver. When the driver is completely free from the speaker make sure to put it in a safe place until you can properly dispose of it. The driver has a very large permanent magnet on its rear side and placing this magnet near certain electronic devices (TV’s, Computers, Cell Phones, etc.) could have a very damaging effect.

    Now, find the diameter of the driver with your tape-measure. This measurement is very important and needs to be done as precisely as possible.

    Step 4: Decide on a Replacement Driver

    While the physical replacement process should take no longer than 30 minutes, the driver selection process should be taken very seriously and could feasibly take a few days. Selecting the proper driver is very important! Picking a replacement might seem as easy as matching the driver diameter, in reality, there are many other factors that must be considered to maximize audio quality.

    If you are replacing a blown driver and do not want to upgrade, then it would be easiest to try and get a replacement driver from the manufacturing company. Make sure you know the basics, like the speaker’s model number, the size of the driver, and the type of driver you would like to replace.

    If you are trying to improve your speaker or an exact replacement is not available, then you will have to do a little more work to find a suitable driver. For any replacement driver, you must ensure that it matches the speaker’s crossover specifications. Each driver can only handle certain frequencies and wattages. For example, if your stereo system is operating at 100 Watts but your driver can only handle 75 Watts then you are in danger of damaging it.

    Find the owner’s manual or specifications sheet that came with your speaker. If you can’t find either of them, go online and do a quick Google search for these guides which will contain all of the necessary information needed to pick a suitable replacement. There are websites that allow owner’s to access these materials for free.

    Next, search for replacements, either online or at a local electronics shop. The information you found on the owner’s manual will be properly labeled on any possible replacement.

    If you weren’t able to find a manual, then you’re in a trickier situation. To be safe, select the driver that can handle the highest wattage and has the widest frequency response while still having the proper diameter. Ensuring that your new driver is compatible with the rest of the speaker is essential, so although this might cost slightly more, it is definitely worth it.

    Step 5: Insert the New Driver

    Take your new driver and make sure that it fits properly into the hole in the speaker. Next, locate the two wires that were attached to the old driver. Find the two slots where the clips slide into. These slots are two different sizes and only a specific clip will fit onto each slot. Attach the corresponding wires to each slot.

    Step 6: Screw in the New Driver & Replace the Grill

    When trying to align the new driver, make sure that the wires attached to the back of the driver are facing up. See if the screws on the new driver align with the screw holes left by the old driver. If they line up, then simply screw the new driver into these holes. If not, you will want to have a drill to secure the new driver into the speaker box. Once all the screws have been secured, place the grill back onto the front of the speaker.

    Step 7: Test the Speaker

    Now for the final and hopefully, the most rewarding step: testing your new speaker. Hook your speaker back up to your system and test it with the same music you used in Step 1. Similar to the first step, you will want to make sure you test the new driver specifically, so based on what type of driver it was, you should adjust your system’s equalizer accordingly:

    • Tweeter: Increase the system’s treble setting
    • Mid-Range: Increase the system’s mid setting
    • Woofer: Increase the system’s bass setting

    Take note of any undesirable results like buzzing or popping. Problems like these typically stem from a loose driver. Remove the grill again and ensure that the guide screws are tight and the driver is securely situated in the hole.

    Replacing a speaker driver is an easy process that can be done by any electronics hobbyist or handyperson. Hopefully your new driver passed the music test, but if not, refer to the following websites for help in selecting a driver. After you are satisfied with the sound quality, enjoy your speaker and look for more of my instructables. Thanks for reading!

    Be the First to Share

    Did you make this project? Share it with us!