Cones of car speakers are often damaged and have a crack or puncture. Many people are wondering how to repair cracked cones in car speakers, so I made a short article about fixing damaged cones.
To repair the paper speaker’s cone, cover it with elastic glue and then cover the glue with thin paper patches on both sides of the cone.
To repair plastic or Aluminum cones, use either thick cartons or foam patches and stick them on both sides of the damaged place using rubber cement glue.
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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 do Cones in Car Speakers Get Damaged?
Damages to the speaker cones happen every day in hundreds of cars, and I also had the “pleasure” of dealing 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 buzzing 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 damage to the subwoofer is when something sharp hits it 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 it should be.
For example, when you play low frequencies, let’s say 60Hz through the mid-bass speaker that should run at 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 humidity and dust 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 are treated with tremendous pressure when vibrating at the speed of a few hundred or thousands of times per second. Imagine how much air each speaker pushes and how high the forces related to these moves.
Speaker cone repair is not difficult, and although not all of the damages can be repaired, a 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:
#1. 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.
#2. Clean the speaker’s cone using a wet cloth.
Do it gently so as to not cause more damage.
#3. 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 a patch that will cover the entire crack or hole, but leave a bit more material around to overlap with the cone.
#4. 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 cone, it can be any glue that stays flexible 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.
#5. 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 glue, you can remove it using a tissue, but do it before the glue dries.
#6. 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 typical car speakers.
When you have finished with glue, leave the speaker for a couple of hours in a ventilated place to allow the glue to dry completely. A good way is to leave the speaker in the garage overnight.
#7. Paint the patch if you want the colour 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 in 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:
#1. Remove the speaker from the car and 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.
#2. 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 (link to Amazon). It is durable, fast-drying, and vibration resistant, which is crucial for speakers.
#3. Prepare two carton patches
Patches made from cartons of plastic and aluminium can be larger than 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.
#4. Cover a cracked plastic cone with a thin layer of glue.
Cover the cone with glue and make sure it is fully covered. Then, cover the patch entirely with glue and stick it 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.
#5. 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 on the bottom side. That should keep both patches closer to each other, making repaired cone stronger.
#6. 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 in the garage. The next day when the glue is dry put the speaker back in 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 damage 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. Glass fibre for example is more durable and will have a longer lifetime, especially inside the cabin where your speakers will work in various conditions and temperatures.
Can You Repair Cracked Speaker Cone?
The short answer is, yes, you can repair a cracked speaker cone.
But, depending on the severity of the tear and location, it may not be worth your time and money to do so.
Also, when a speaker cone has been damaged, it can result in a loss of bass response and distortion even after the repair.
The crack may also cause the voice coil to rub against the magnet, damaging the voice coil and causing even more problems.
If the tear is small and located near the edge of the cone, you’ll likely be able to fix it with some glue and patience.
But, if the tear is bigger or located in the middle of the cone, you’ll probably be better off replacing the speaker.
How to Repair Cracked Speaker Cone?
If you’ve decided that it’s worth repairing your cracked speaker cone, here’s what you’ll need to do:
#1. Clean the area around the tear with isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any dirt or debris that could prevent the glue from bonding properly.
#2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the edges of the tear. You can use super glue, epoxy, or another adhesive designed for plastics.
#3. Press the edges of the tear together and hold them until the glue dries.
#4. Once the glue has dried, you can apply a thin layer of silicone sealant to reinforce the repair and prevent further damage.
#5. Allow the silicone sealant to dry completely.
What Causes Speaker Cones to Crack?
There are several reasons why speaker cones can crack. The most common cause is simply ageing.
Over time, the materials that make up the cone will break down and become brittle.
This can happen even if the speakers are never used; exposure to air and humidity can cause enough damage to eventually make them crack.
Another common cause of cracked speaker cones is physical damage. This can happen if the speakers are dropped or hit by something hard.
Finally, cracked speaker cones can be caused by excessive heat. This is most likely to happen if the speakers are used for long periods of time at high volumes.
The heat can cause the materials in the cone to break down and eventually crack.
What Are the Risks of Repairing a Cracked Speaker Cone?
There are a few risks associated with repairing a cracked speaker cone.
#1. First of all, if the repair is not done correctly, it can cause further damage to the speaker.
#2. Another risk is that the adhesive used to glue the patch in place can be toxic. If it is not used correctly, it can release fumes that can be dangerous to inhale.
Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and follow the instructions on the adhesive carefully.
#3. There is also a risk that the speaker will not work correctly after it has been repaired. This is usually not a big problem, but it is something to keep in mind.
#4. The patch may not be perfect. It may be visible and may not match the surrounding material perfectly. This is to be expected, and it shouldn’t affect the speaker’s performance too much unless the speakers are loaded with lots of power, or they are subwoofers.
#5. The repair may not be permanent. The materials that make up the cone and the surround are designed to flex and move; over time, they will break down again, and the patch may come loose.
If this happens, you can simply repeat the repair process.
#6. Finally, remember that cracked speaker cones are often caused by age or wear and tear.
Even if you repair them successfully, they may eventually crack again. If this happens, you may want to consider replacing the speakers instead of repairing them.
Can Repaired Speaker Cone Work as a Brand New One?
The short answer is, unfortunately, no. Speaker cones are designed to be lightweight and rigid, and once they’re damaged, they cannot be repaired without compromising the speaker’s sound quality.
If your speaker cone is cracked or torn, the best action is to replace the speaker.
But if you don’t want to replace them, there are a few ways you can temporarily fix a cracked speaker cone.
Is It Worth Replacing Damaged Speaker Cone?
When a speaker cone gets damaged, it is possible to replace it.
This is a process where the old cone is completely removed, and a new one is put in its place. The new cone must be carefully chosen to match the size and shape of the original.
Reconing a speaker is not an easy task, and it should only be attempted by someone with experience.
It is also important to note that reconing a speaker will void the warranty.
It is often worth it to recone a speaker because it can significantly improve the sound quality when compared to the repaired cone.
How to Fix a Ripped Subwoofer Cone?
Subwoofer cones can be repaired in the same way as standard speaker cones. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, the surround must bin good condition. Otherwise, the speaker will not work after repair.
Second, the cone must be made of paper or plastic. If the cone is metal or from glass fibre, the speaker will have to be replaced.
Repairing cones for the subwoofers also involves attaching the new cone with a generous amount of glue and allowing it to dry for at least 24 hours so the bond can be set.
It is essential to ensure the surround is not damaged and to use the correct type of glue; if not, the repair will not hold, and the cone could come loose, causing even more damage.
This is especially important for the subwoofers where the amount of vibrations and the air pressure is extremely high.
When Should Cracked Speaker Cones Be Repaired?
If the damage is minor, such as a small tear or hole, then repairing the cracked speaker cone is definitely worth it.
However, if the damage is significant, such as a large hole or a large crack, it is better to replace the speaker.
What Is the Best Glue for Repairing Speaker Cones?
The best glue for repairing speaker cones is rubber cement, epoxy or silicone to create a firm bond between the patch and the cone.
How Do You Repair a Tear in a Plastic Cone?
To repair a small tear in a plastic cone, you will need a sharp knife, scissors and a piece of duct tape, or other strong adhesives.
Cut the duct tape to size and attach it over the hole, then allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours before using the speaker.
For a larger hole or crack, you may need to use a patch made from another piece of plastic or duct tape.
Apply glue to both the patch and the surrounding area, then press the patch firmly into place. Allow the glue to dry for at least 24 hours before using the speaker.