Car Speaker Replacement: How to Replace a Car Speaker Diaphragm Car Speaker Replacement: How to Replace a Car Speaker Diaphragm

What You'll Need
Speaker diaphragm
Allen wrenches
Socket wrench
Wire cutter
Stripper tool
Retaining clip remover
X-acto knife

A ruptured or torn diaphragm could lead to the need for a car speaker replacement. The diaphragm is the surface area of the speaker that actually produces sound. On a woofer, the diaphragm is the paper cone area, and on a tweeter it may be a dome constructed from an aluminum type of material. There are some car stereo speakers that are constructed in such a way as to allow for the replacement of the diaphragm only. However, the way most car stereo speakers are made will necessitate the replacement of the entire speaker, rather than replacing the diaphragm only.  Fortunately, damaged speakers can be easily replaced or upgraded to improve the quality produced by the system.

Step 1 – To Remove a Dash Speaker

Locate the speaker that needs to be fixed. This can be either a dash or door speaker.  To remove a dash speaker, use a screwdriver to loosen the screws holding it in position. Lean forward towards the windscreen; remove the screws and the grill.

If the grill is held by a friction fitting, remove it by gently prying up. Take care not to scratch or crack the surrounding dash area. If the grille is held by plastic studs or screws secured from below, consider removing the entire dash panel to avoid damaging it. You will need to disconnect the wires from the speaker terminals before you can remove the speaker.

Step 2 – To Remove a Door Speaker

Use a screwdriver to remove the grille. Loosen the screws and lift the speaker from its position. If it is secured using friction fittings, pry it out to remove the grille and unmount the speaker. If there is a sealant or foam on the speaker, cut it using an X-axcto knife and gently remove the speaker. Before removing the speaker, disconnect the wires that are connected at the positive and negative terminals on the rear of the speaker.

Step 3 – Install Speaker Diaphragm

If you have already made sure that your speaker allows for replacement of the diaphragm only, and have obtained a new diaphragm, install the new diaphragm in the speaker by applying adhesive and mounting in place. Leave it to dry set properly before reinstalling it in the car.

Step 4 – Reinstall Dash Speaker

Take care not to confuse polarity when installing the speakers. The positive terminal is the larger of the two, it is marked with a “+” or colored with a dot. Use the wiring harness to attach the speaker. Make sure the grille is well positioned before fastening the screws or fixing friction fittings.

For dash speakers avoid using electrical tape to fix or secure the connections. The area is subject to high temperatures, which might affect the connection over time.

Step 5 – Reinstalling Door Speaker

Carefully unplug the factory wiring harness and attach it to the speaker’s terminal. Make sure that the polarity is correct before plugging the other end of the harness into the factory wiring harness. Prepare the surface by using a heat gun at the mounting surface, apply adhesive and position the speaker. Make sure it is strongly bonded to the surface before positioning the grille. Secure it using screws or friction fittings.

If the car’s system doesn’t have a wiring harness, solder or crimp the connections. Turn on the stereo to test the stereo. Make sure all wires are secure and are fitted in correctly. Attach the grille and use screws to secure the speaker in place.

Need a new car stereo? Check out our Car Audio Buyer's Guide. If you're looking to boost sound quality, also check out our Car Amplifiers Buyer's Guide .

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