Speakers Blown Out? How to Tell If a Speaker Is Blown in Your Car

If the speaker in your car doesn’t sound as crystal clear but sounds distorted, fuzzy, or not as loud, you might have a blown speaker. Find out how to tell if your car has speakers blown out by following the steps in this article and video.

Why Are My Speakers Blown Out?

Inspecting a blown out speaker

If you hear crackling, no sound, or a lower-than-normal volume from the speakers, common causes include:

  • Altered audio settings
  • Blown speaker
  • Physically damaged speaker
  • Defective wiring or electrical connectors

How to Check the Audio Settings

Before removing the door panel to physically inspect the speaker, check the audio settings. Someone may have adjusted settings so that no sound is coming from the speaker on a particular side. Every radio is different, but generally the radio can have settings like “balance center” and “fade” that control the sound from the front, rear, and side speakers.

1. Find the Balance Center Settings

Balance center settings to check if a speaker is blown

Scroll through the settings and find the balance center settings, which allows you to adjust speakers on the left and right side. If the settings for a speaker are too high, it can cause the speaker on the other side to have no sound.

2. Find the Fade Settings

Adjusting the fade settings to test for a blown speaker

Scroll through the settings and find the fade setting, which allows you to adjust speakers at the front and rear. If the settings for a speaker are too high, it can cause the speakers on the opposite end of the car to have no sound.

3. Adjust the Settings to One Speaker to Test It, and Listen for Sound and Distortion

You can test each speaker without removing it from the door. Once you have found the balance center and fade settings, you can set them to a specific speaker and listen for sound. For example, if you want to test the driver side front door speaker, you can set fade to the front and the balance to the left side.

Listen to the individual speaker and hear how clear it sounds. If it does not work, you know there may be something wrong with it and can remove the door panel to inspect it further. Listen for a crackling sound. If the speaker is starting to deteriorate, you may hear fuzzy and unclear noises like squeaking or buzzing.

Go door to door, and check each speaker. To test the sound, use music or audio with low or high tones.

Find out how to test and fix a blown speaker yourself with quality auto parts and tips at 1aauto.com

How to Check and Tell If a Speaker Is Blown

Steps on how to check and tell if a speaker is blown or damaged

  1. Remove the Door Panel

    After testing, if you hear no sound or crackling from the speaker, remove the door panel to access it.

  2. Visually Inspect the Speaker for Wear, Damage, or Deterioration

    Sometimes you can visually look and see an issue with the speaker, like a cut or deterioration. It’s common for speakers to deteriorate if they are older, like around 20 years.

    If you find one that looks badly damaged or deteriorated, you might want to replace all of the speakers. The speaker should be in a solid, whole piece and not have cuts or loose parts.

  3. Inspect the Electrical Connectors, and Remove the Speaker and Inspect the Wiring

    If you don’t see any obvious problems like deterioration or damage, remove the speaker and inspect the connectors.

    Remove the speaker and wiggle the connector. See if the electrical connector is loose. If the connector is loose, plugging it in might fix it.

    If the speaker has corrosion, it may not sound right or work at all. Remove the electrical connector and check it for green corrosion, which is a sign moisture is collecting inside and causing a disconnection. Also, check the back of the speaker for corrosion.

  4. To Test the Speaker, Connect One That Works

    You can hook up a different speaker to the connectors, and different speakers from a different car may even work.

    Test the speaker and see if the replacement works. If it does, you know the speaker needs to be replaced.

  5. Test the Speaker’s Wiring

    One quick way to tell if the speaker is blown that we don’t recommend doing too much of is to take a 9 volt battery and put one wire from the speaker on the negative side and one on the positive side. Put the wires to the battery. If speaker is blown, it won’t work in any way. If the speaker is working, you’ll be able to see or hear the internals working.

Should I Replace Only One Speaker?

If you’re replacing a speaker with an original (OEM), you can normally purchase a single speaker. If you’re replacing the speakers with aftermarket parts, you’ll normally have to purchase them in pairs. Replacing blown speakers in pairs will improve the overall sound in your car.

Learn How to Do More Than Fix Speakers Blown Out

Learn how to do more than diagnose blown speakers. Find out how to replace and diagnose parts on hundreds of models with steps from our expert mechanics in our how-to videos.

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Speakers Blown Out? How to Tell If a Car Speaker Is Blown - 1A Auto
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Speakers Blown Out? How to Tell If a Car Speaker Is Blown - 1A Auto
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Hearing buzzing, distortion or nothing from your car speakers? Find out how to tell if your vehicle has speakers blown out with steps from our expert mechanic in this article
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1A Auto
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