How to Stop Car Door Rattling From Speakers (and Subwoofer)
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Imagine that you are driving your car, rejoicing in the ride. Your favorite song starts. You feel super relaxed and cheerful.
However, a moment brings you back to the harsh reality – something is impairing overall the feeling the song gives you. You start to listen more carefully and notice some rattling. It is coming from one of the doors in your car.
Oh no! Well, it is time to think about this problem and solve it as fast and painless as you can so that you can continue enjoying music in your car.
What Causes a Car Door to Rattle?
If you want to fix a problem, first you have to understand why it happens and what may cause it. Let us start from the sole beginning.
If you bang a drum, you can see that its skin vibrates. If you pick a string on a guitar, you will also see it vibrate. As expected, you will hear sounds from both instruments.
Hence, the sound is produced by vibrations of various objects. The bigger the vibration, the louder the sound.
These vibrations are then transferred to the surroundings, as sound travels in the form of sound waves. When we hear a sound, our eardrums vibrate because of the sound waves that reach our ears.
In order not to have distractions when listening to music, you need to have surfaces that are acoustically dead. As you have read, sound travels as waves.
These may have a physical effect on the objects that they reach. Now, a surface with dead acoustics is the one on which vibrations of sound waves do not have any impact.
Therefore, should there be any rickety objects in the door of your car, they are expected to rattle under the influence of the vibrations from the music which you choose to play. And there you have the problem.
Mind that clanging may not be heard when the volume or the bass are set to low setting. The factors that determine whether you will hear clanking or not are the unsteadiness of the items in your car door and the frequency of the music that is played.
How to Stop Car Door Rattling from Speakers
We will present several options that may be possible solutions for this issue. They are simple and easily done by any man, and we believe that you will not need a handyman or a car mechanic to help you fix this issue.
Solution 1: Check the Car Door Pockets for Loose Items
One of the things that may happen is that you have put something light in the pocket of the car door. Under the vibrations of the sound, these things may move and hit the panel of the door.
You might find some odd change, girls’ hairpins, pens, and many similar objects actually jangling here. Take them out and try playing music. If you do not hear any more jangling, you have been lucky not to have a serious problem.
Solution 2: Check whether a speaker prompts rattling
The next thing to check is as simple as the speakers themselves.
In many situations, even though it seems that clinking originates in the door, it can actually be from one of the speakers. You can check this by changing some settings, and these are fade and balance.
Fade is used for controlling whether the sound is played to the rear speakers or the front speakers. Balance is similar, and it organizes balance between the left and right speakers in a car. These settings will help you find out which speaker, if any, is the source of the problem.
If a speaker clatters, you can open it and repair the clatter. What is most usually the problem here is screws that have become loose, but the issue may also be that a speaker is blown or that car panel vibrations occur.
Firstly, check whether any of the screws have gotten screwed out of their places. The door panel should be taken off in order to reach a speaker that may be problematic.
Ideally, you should adapt the fade and balance settings so that the sound is played only on that one speaker. Then, you should play some music while holding the speaker tightly in place.
If clinking isn’t heard anymore, check for any badly attached screws inside that speaker. Make them tight and check the sound again.
We will discuss how to fix the other two issues in solutions 3 and 4.
Solution 3: Check for Blown Speaker
If all the screws are held tightly and the jingling sound is still heard, you may have the problem that a speaker is blown. In this case, you will probably find that either the outer or the inner cone of the speaker is torn.
Speakers usually have the outer cone covered with plastic or foam covers. Take the cover off and inspect the outer cone. If you find that it is torn somewhere, you can just place some duct tape on the tear and seal it in this way.
If this cone is good, you should then check the inner cone. In order to do this, you need to take the whole speaker out.
Loosen the screws, take out the speaker, and examine it thoroughly. If there are any torn places on or in the inner cone, seal them with some duct tape and put the speaker back. Play some music and see if rattling has stopped.
If it hasn’t, read solution 4 for instructions on what to check next.
Solution 4: Acoustic Seals
This is especially important if you have had your speakers installed after buying the car, that is if they are not original to the car model. In this case, they may not fit perfectly and that may be the reason for rattling.
In this situation, you will need some foam seals for speakers, which will prevent the speaker vibrations and stop the irritating noises.
A set usually consists of three parts: two foam rings – one to serve as a stopper between the speaker and the baffle plate and the other to be put on the outer side of the speaker, and a small cushion to be placed at the back of the speaker.
All these parts are there to take in vibrations and to make the speaker stand firmly in place.
Before buying the foam set, you should check which speakers you have in order to buy the set whose size fits the speakers that you have in your car.
Solution 5: Install Bass Blockers
The majority of the side speakers in cars are not created for listening to loud sounds of low frequency. If you play them, you will probably hear some rattling when the volume is up.
A subwoofer is a good choice that solves the issue.
In this case, you should use some bass-blockers and put them after the receiver and before the speaker. They will direct the low frequency sounds towards the subwoofer, thus leaving the sounds of higher frequency to reach the speakers.
An even simpler option would be to just turn down the bass sound in the settings.
Solution 6: Check Car Body Panels for Vibrations
Any of the panels of the car body ( for example, the dashboard or door panels) may move due to the vibration of music and make the irritating noise.
First, when you start inspecting speakers, you will probably have to take off the panel from the inner side of a car door.
Before you start working on the speakers, it would be good to make sure that the sound of rattling does not happen on the door panel.
If you see that the rattling stops when the panel is not in place, then you have found the problem and you need not look anywhere else.
To solve this, simply build in a mat for damping of vibration and that will be it. You can buy some previously cut sheets or buy them in bulk if you want to use them for the whole car.
Also, if you choose to, you can put some mats that deaden the sound and improve how you hear music in your car even further. These mats also diminish the outer noise, thus making the music from the car even more enjoyable.
We have reviewed some of the best sound deadening mats over here:
- Dynamat vs FatMat: Which is a Better Sound Deadener?
- Noico vs Dynamat: Which is Better to Reduce Noise in Car?
- Dynamat vs Hushmat: Which Is A Better Automotive Sound Deadener?
Solution 7: Have a professional solve the problem
If none of the solutions above work, it is definitely the time to go and see a person who knows more about cars than you.
A car mechanic will surely deal with this successfully.
Final Thoughts: On Stopping Car Door Rattling
Though jingling and clanking may seem like a persistent and unsolvable problem, it is actually not.
As you could see, there are things that you can do to solve it even if you are not a professional. And, in the end, if nothing works, there are experts who can help you.
You might also like: Sound Deadening Car Doors – Simple Step-by-Step Guide