How to Test Car Speakers: A Complete Guide


Checking if your car speakers are working properly seems like a complicated task. However, if you break it down to a few subtasks and into simple steps, you’ll realize it’s not as hard as it looks. 

To test car speakers, you need to start by testing your wires. Then, check your amplifier, and proceed with examining the speakers themselves. You can test your car speakers by physically observing them, listening to their sound output, and using a battery or using a multimeter.

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In this article, you’ll learn how to examine car speakers. It aims to serve as your complete guide to car speaker testing by providing you with step-by-step instructions and answering a couple of car speaker questions.

Examine Car Speaker Wires

Your best course of action is to test your speaker wires before testing your car speakers. This will save you from going back in case you find errors in your speakers for further troubleshooting.

To test your car’s speaker wires, you need:

how to test car speakers

Analog Voltmeter or a Digital Multimeter

These tools are must-haves among mechanics and car enthusiasts alike. However, if you don’t have one of these already, you can find some on Amazon at relatively affordable prices. Some examples are AstroAI Digital MultimeterWaterwich Waterproof Voltmeter, and Linkstyle Car Voltmeter.

Analog voltmeters are a bit outdated since they utilize needles to give you outcomes, but some people still prefer them. Voltmeters are exclusively for measuring voltage, while multimeters measure voltage, resistance, and currents. You can stick to a voltmeter if you’re not planning on measuring other things, but a multimeter will serve you in many ways if you’re a car enthusiast.

Of course, before the start, you need to ensure everything is switched off to prevent short circuits. Short circuits often result in blown fuses, which are easily repaired by replacing the fuses.

However, there may be other times when bigger damage occurs from short circuits, such as internal speaker component damage. When this happens, you may need to replace the speaker itself.

Detach Your Wires From the Car’s Speaker Box 

You can do this by following one of two things.

  • First, you can twist two connectors clockwise, and it will release the wires.
  • Second, you can push on both positive and negative clips to detach your speaker wires.

The suitable method depends on your car’s model and the speaker itself.

Separate Your Wires From the Amplifier or Receiver 

Similar to the methods above, you can do this in two ways: pressing on clips or twisting two connectors. Again, the method you need to use depends on your car speakers and your car model. You can find the wires on your amplifier or receiver’s rear.

Design a Closed Circuit With Your Wires

Once your speaker wires are detached from your speakers, amplifier, or receiver, you can proceed with creating a closed circuit. You’ll use this circuit to conduct a continuity test. You can find out more about continuity tests and performing them with multimeters in this YouTube clip by GalcoTV:

Designing a closed circuit for this purpose is easy. Simply tightly twist your end wires together, but don’t twist them too much so that they’ll still easily separate from one another later.

Prepare Your Voltmeter or Multimeter

You can skip this step if you’re using a multimeter since it doesn’t require calibration. However, if you’re using a voltmeter, you have to calibrate it. 

To prepare your voltmeter, start by turning it on and then selecting the ohms setting necessary to assess the wire resistance by placing the selector to the position of Ohms.

Scale Your Multimeter or Voltmeter

You need to ensure that your multimeter or voltmeter is accurate instead of faulty. To do this, usher your black and red leads together. You should get a result of 0 ohms to confirm that your tool is working properly. If your multimeter or voltmeter shows any reading different from 0 ohms, it’s faulty. 

Check out Clyde Lettsome’s detailed YouTube tutorial on repairing a digital multimeter for some guidance:

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