How To Test Car Speakers? A Complete Guide
The speaker is the most critical component of a car audio system. It is quite annoying to find the car speakers getting blown. If you are a music lover, you would want to stay updated on the speaker’s status. It is important to keep testing the car speakers from time to time to check their working and effectiveness.
Testing the car speakers not only helps keep them working efficiently but also allows for finding any issues with their working and wiring. In this guide, we show you different ways you can test your car speakers. We have outlined the entire procedure with step-by-step instructions to make it easy for you to follow.
Testing Car Speakers – A Complete Guide
Let us proceed to a step-by-step guide to test car speakers.
Disconnecting the Speaker
The first step for any component’s diagnosis is to switch off all the parts of the audio system. This will make sure there is no chance of a short that can damage the components. To remove the speaker from the enclosure, disconnect the wires. Depending on the car model, you can either unplug the positive and negative terminals or twist the connectors to release the cables.
Then, you should disconnect the wires from the amplifier or radio. You just need to remove the wire from the rear of the amplifier or digital receiver in the car. Look at the wiring mechanism to ensure that you don’t cause any damage while disconnecting the cables. You can proceed to test the speaker once you disconnect it from the audio system.
Testing with a 9 Volts Battery
One of the most effective methods to test car speakers is to use a 9-volt battery. You also need two conducting cables to connect the speaker and battery together. Alternatively, you can use a battery connector with the battery to make it easy. Identify the terminals of the speaker and connect the cable leads of the connector to the speaker.
Make sure you connect the positive terminal of the battery to the positive terminal of the speaker and vice versa. Remember that you have to do this quickly. We don’t want to apply the voltage from the 9-volt battery to the speaker for a long time. Bring the terminals in contact with the battery for a moment and take them off.
If your speaker is working properly, it should move and make a static sound as the terminals touch the battery. Current from the battery results in a movement in the drivers of the speaker. If your speaker doesn’t move or create any sound, it means it is not working.
Testing the Wire Polarity
Identifying the correct polarity of the speaker wire is necessary to be able to test the component. Some speakers come with color coding or markings to indicate polarity. The goal is to ensure your speaker is ‘in-phase’ which is a state where the terminals match when you connect it to the receiver or amplifier.
Though out-of-phase connections don’t do any damage to the speaker, making sure it is in phase ensures the best performance. If you don’t find any hint on the wires about polarity, figure them out by checking the way the speaker reacts. Bring the wire closer to the battery and observe the speaker.
A Polarity Tester is an inexpensive tool to have for speaker installations and troubleshooting.
If the speaker moves out, the wire polarity should be right. If you see the speaker moving in and then out, you should reverse the wires on the battery and check again. The movement can be too subtle depending on the drivers of the speakers so you should keep a close eye. Once you test the wire polarity, you can use tape and a pen to label them for future use.
Testing with a Multimeter
Using a multimeter lets you test the speaker for continuity. For this method, you need to use a digital multimeter with a continuity setting. This setting can be found under the resistance setting on the device. You can identify the setting from the ohms symbol.
Touch the leads of the multimeter to the speaker terminals. Connect the positive and negative leads of the multimeter to either terminal on the speaker to read resistance values. If your speaker is rated at 4 ohms, the multimeter should show resistance in the range of 2 to 3.5 ohms. If you see no or low resistance, it means the speaker is not working or has a short. A very high resistance also indicates a malfunction. Your speaker might have an open or broken connection.
Listening to the Speaker
This method is inclined towards diagnostic and should help you figure out any faultiness in the speaker. The process, however, needs a keen ear and can be done well by somebody who loves listening to music. It involves listening to the speaker carefully at different volumes.
To test the speaker, set the treble and bass levels to the 12 o’clock position (Medium) and listen carefully. If you find any lack of range, it means your speaker is not equalized well. Next, you can listen for distortion. To do this, play a song with headphones and make sure there are no scratches. Play the same track on the car speaker and look for any crackling noise.
If you notice any muffling, it means one of your car speaker is blown. To find out which of the speakers has a problem, you can consider isolating them using the fading or panning function. This will help you laser target the specific speaker that has a problem.
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Testing your car speakers can help you spot problems and improve the quality of your performance. Once you find the problem, you can identify if it can be solved or if you will need to replace the speaker. Distortion can often result in damage to the speaker. So consider looking for any tears, holes, or splits to identify the cause. We hope this guide gives you a good idea of how you can test your car speakers to keep your in-car music system running smoothly.