Cones of car speakers are often damaged and have a crack or puncture. Many people are wondering how to repair cracked cones in the car speakers, so I made a short article about fixing damaged cones.
The best way to repair the paper speaker’s cone is to cover the cracked area with elastic glue and then to cover the glue with thin paper patches on both sides of the cone.
To repair stiffer cones made from plastic or Aluminum, it is better to use either thick cartons, or foam patches and stick them on both sides of the damaged place, by using rubber cement glue.
Cones if not completely destroyed, can be fixed in a very short time at home without any special tools.
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Tip: Speaker cones are not always the most robust part of the speakers, especially in aged speakers. If you want to repair light damages and strengthen these weakened areas saving money on the new speakers, check out the best glues for speaker cones repair on Amazon.com now.
In the article below I will show you step by step how to repair different types of cones with cracks or dents, so keep reading.
Why Cones in Car Speakers Get Damaged?
Damages to the speaker cones happen every day in hundreds of cars, and I also had a “pleasure” to deal with this at least a dozen times in the last twenty years. When a speaker has a crack and cracked edges vibrate, you start hearing annoying crackle or buzzy sounds, and that means something happened to your speakers.
Fortunately, that does not mean you have to buy new speakers, but why do they get damaged?
Speaker cones in cars can be damaged in several ways:
The most common is to damage the subwoofer when something sharp will hit the speaker in the trunk. The same can happen to the speakers in the car door when they do not have covering grills.
You can also damage the cone of the speaker, especially paper ones when voice coil travel is greater than should be. For example, when you play low frequencies, let’s say 60Hz through the mid-bass speaker that should run min 120Hz. These lowest tones can damage the speaker in one edge area, where the cone is overstretched.
Another way that cones are damaged is due to humid and air conditions in the cabin. Temperature and humidity in the cabin change so often, and that does not help cones to remain in high quality for a long time. Especially older paper cones can e weakened within a few years, and if not replaced with new speakers, they can break at any time.
How to Repair Cracked Speaker Cone?
Speaker cones being treated with tremendous pressure when vibrating at the speed of a few hundreds or thousands of times per second. Imagine how much air each speaker pushes and how high are the forces related to these moves.
Speaker cone repair is not difficult, and although not all of the damages can be repaired, few steps below will allow you to fix simple cracks on your speaker cones:
Paper cones are the weakest of all types, so they break most often. The few steps below will show you how to repair a cracked paper cone:
Remove the speaker from its place.
While this can be straightforward for the subwoofers, for taking speakers out of the car door, you may need to disassemble a door panel.
Clean the speaker’s cone using a wet cloth.
Do it gently, to not cause more damage.
Prepare a patch to cover the cracked area.
In 99% of cases, you will need two pieces for both sides of the cone. Excellent material for typical car speakers can be either a paper towel or a coffee filter. Cut patch that will cover the entire crack or hole, but leaving a bit more material around to overlap with the cone.
Apply a thin layer of glue to the cracked area on the top side of the speaker using a soft paintbrush.
When you are wondering what kind of glue to use to repair a cracked speaker’s cones, it can be any glue that is elastic after drying.
In my opinion, the best glue for speaker cone repair is Tacky Glue, and If you want to try it, click this link and check the recent price on Amazon now.
When covering a damaged cone’s area, do not make the glue layer too thick especially for the smallest speakers, and do not use any kind of super glue because it is too rigid when dry.
Too much glue could lead to damaging the foam ring if the cone will not have the right weight balance and one side will be overstretched.
Cover with glue one side of the prepared patch.
Cover the patch entirely, and do not leave any dry edges that could create buzz sounds when dry. Stick the wet side of the patch with a cone and apply some pressure.
You can gently rub a finger over this area, making sure it sticks to the cone entirely. You may need to put extra glue on the patch’s edges, but in many cases, especially when it is made from a thin material, this may not be necessary.
If you see any excess of the glue, you can remove it using a tissue, but do it before the glue dries.
Flip the speaker over and do the same on the bottom side of the speaker starting from the cone.
Again, do not leave any uncovered part of the crack. In some cases, when a break on the speaker is big, and you have a powerful speaker like a subwoofer, you can add a second, bigger patch over the first one to make the cone stronger.
The additional patch will not be needed in most of the typical car speakers.
When you have finished with glue, leave the speaker for a couple of hours in a ventilated place to allow glue to completely dry.
Paint the patch if you want the color to match the rest of the cone.
Although cone painting may seem simple, do not apply a thick layer and try not to use paint that is too rigid when dry because it may crumble due to the speaker’s vibrations.
Now you are done with the repair, and it is time to put the speaker back to the car.
How to Fix a Cracked Plastic Speaker Cone?
Polypropylene, Aluminum, or Kevlar cones are more durable than paper. Nevertheless, they can also be damaged. The repair process is similar to the paper cones with few extra steps and different materials used, so let’s see how to fix a cracked plastic speaker cone:
Remove the speaker from the car
Clean the whole cone.
First, wipe the cone with nail polish remover and then tarnish it around the crack using sandpaper grid 800 or 1000. When you finish with sandpaper on both sides of the speaker, clean it again with nail polish remover so there are no debris left on the surface.
Prepare the epoxy glue.
Mix the epoxy glue and apply a thin layer on the top side of the damaged cone. The quality glue I used for my plastic cone is Loctite Speaker Repair Adhesive. It is durable, fast-drying, and is vibrations resistant, which is crucial for speakers. Also, is available on Amazon, so if you want to use quality glue for plastic, click this link and check the recent price.
Prepare two carton patches
Patches made from cartons for plastic and aluminum can be larger than for paper cones. This extra coverage will strengthen the cone even more. You can also make patches for a plastic cone from thin elastic foam.
As additional support for the damaged area, especially when they are deformed, you can use mounting tape. Just stick it to the back of the cone when fixing the front side. It will keep both edges together, and when you finish with the top side of the speaker, remove the tape.
Cover a cracked plastic cone with a thin layer of the glue.
Cover the cone with glue and make sure it is fully covered. Then, cover the patch entirely with glue and stick to the cone. If you see any gaps on the edges, you can apply more glue, then put a little pressure on the patch for a few minutes and turn over the speaker.
Cover glued are of the cone with prepared patch
Stick the patch to the cone and gently apply pressure to ensure both surfaces stick together.
When you have used tape on the bottom side, remove it.
Apply glue to the bottom tarnished part of the cone and to the patch. Stick the patch to the cone and apply some pressure on both sides.
The easy way to apply pressure is to gently press one finger on the top side of the speaker and the other finger from the bottom side. That should keep both patches closer to each other, making repaired cone stronger.
Leave the repaired speaker to dry, and install it back in the car.
When finished, leave the speaker overnight in a ventilated place. I used to put my speakers into the garage. The next day when the glue is dry put the speaker back to the car and test it.
Important! When you test the repaired speakers, do not turn the volume to the maximum right away after the repair, but increase it gradually.
How Do You Protect Speaker Cones?
The best way to protect speakers from any kind of mechanical damages is to use covering grills on them. Although this may not be possible for many subwoofers, for the rest of the speakers, you should not have a problem finding grills. If not original, then there are many aftermarket options available.
Make sure you do not put any objects with sharp edges in front of the speakers in the trunk. During a sudden break, your speaker may not survive when hit by the toolbox, for example.
It is good to use speakers with cones other than those made of paper. Fiberglass fiber for example are more durable and will have a longer lifetime, especially inside the cabin where your speakers will work in various conditions and temperatures.