Car Speakers Won’t Work In Cold: 7 Reasons & Solutions

QIf your car speakers won’t work in cold, this article will help you understand why this happens and what you can do about it

The function of car speakers relies on weather conditions. If you stay in cold climates, then there is a possibility that car speakers won’t work in the cold. A frozen voice coil is one of the most common reasons car speakers don’t work.

Some car owners park their cars always in humid regions. The water or moisture particles convert into ice in excess cold temperature. If the temperature goes below 0 degrees Celsius, the speaker’s voice coil starts to freeze. 

The ice can put more pressure on speaker components like speaker cones and permanently damage them.

So this indicates that the cold temperature is not a problem for car speakers. But freezing temperatures and moisture can create a severe problem for car speakers.

Car Speakers Won't Work In Cold

How Does Cold Temperature Affect Your Car Speakers?

The car speaker is an electronic device that comprises of mainly four components. Let’s talk about all seven components and how they are affected by frigid temperatures.

#1. Magnet

The magnet in the car speaker produces a magnetic field linked to the voice coil. These coils are attached to the speaker cone. When you power the speakers, current flows through them and causes a change in a magnetic field. 

It finally causes the speaker cone to move forward and backward and produce vibrations, and we hear these vibrations in the form of sound. 

The larger the magnet used in the speaker, the larger it will create an opposing magnetic field, and we hear a louder sound.

Hot temperatures are not good for magnet because it lessens their magnetic strength. But the cold temperature will reduce the atom’s vibration rate inside the magnet, and thus it enhances the magnetic strength. So, it indicates that cold temperature is, in fact, good for car speakers.

Also read: Car Shakes on Cold Start – What Can You Do?

#2. Speaker Cone

The primary responsibility of the speaker cones is to produce sound vibrations. It usually comprises paper, plastic, or sometimes metal. These materials no doubt expand and contract in cold temperatures but not to the extent that they will damage the speaker badly.

#3.Voice Coil And Wires

The voice coil and speaker wires are made from copper, and it has no adverse effect when exposed to cold temperatures. The cables may get stiff in the winter season, but they will not cause any damage to car speakers.

Some car owners park their cars at -35 degree celsius. But the car speakers work properly after switching them on.

Again when the cars are transported in trucks, they don’t have a heating system. But still, the car speakers work fine after getting down from the truck.

Frigid temperatures can make some speaker parts stiff, but it does not have a deadly effect on this electronic device.

Car Speakers Won't Work In Cold

#4. Ferrofluid

Ferrofluid is a viscous fluid used in woofers or large car speakers. The fluid keeps the vice coil cool and enhances its performance. But the excess cold temperature can cause the fluid to be vicious, and thus, the device will work slowly.

However, it’s not a significant problem. You can get rid of this issue by warming up the speaker slowly.

#5. Surround

The surround is another device component, usually attached to the speaker cone. The primary function of the surround is to determine how much distance the cone will move while operating the car speaker.

They are mainly composed of foam which can become stiff and crack in cold temperatures. 

However, if you are not constantly moving the speaker here and there, there are fewer chances of the surround getting damaged in cold weather.

If you still think that the surround of the device has gone stiff, then slight warming up of the speaker will resolve the problem.

#6. Adhesive

Adhesive or glue is used in the device. But the frigid temperatures can cause the glue to crack. The available speakers in the market are usually unaffected by temperature fluctuation and mainly cold temperatures.

#7. Speaker Enclosure

Speaker enclosures are usually made from either wood or metal. Wood is an insulator and cannot conduct electricity. So, the cold temperature will not affect the speaker enclosure.

Also Read: Tweeter Capacitor Positive or Negative

Does Moisture Accompanied With Cold Temperature Bad For Speakers?

Yes, when the moisture gets accompanied by cold temperatures, it can become a severe problem for car speakers.

Some car owners park their cars in enclosed spaces with less ventilation. Remember, these areas increase the relative humidity in the air. The outside chill temperature can cause the excess moisture in the air to condense, which can badly affect the speaker.

It can corrode various metal parts, and thus the speaker will stop working. A short circuit can also occur inside the speaker because of condensation. But if you dry the moisture quickly, it will not have much bad effect on the electronic device. Prolonged moisture exposure is bad for car speakers.

Car Speakers Won't Work In Cold

Additionally, when the temperature goes below freezing point, the condensed moisture will start to form ice, preventing the car speaker from working correctly. Some car owners even park their cars outside during the rainy season. There is a chance that some water droplets can seep inside the car speaker, and when the temperature drops below freezing temperature, the water droplets will convert into ice inside the speaker.

So, if parking a car in excess chill temperature, keep it in a well-ventilated space. It will not raise the moisture particles in the air.

Your primary aim should always be to keep moisture from the car speakers. You can even insulate the speaker by wrapping it in a thick cloth to avoid moisture. Additionally, park your car in a shaded place to avoid rainwater seeping inside the vehicle.

How Can I Protect Speaker In Cold Temperatures?

Below are a few tips to protect the electronic device from cold temperatures.

#1. Avoid Providing Power Supply To Speakers In Excess Cold Temperature

You should never provide a power supply to speakers in cold temperatures. It is because there can be condensed water droplets inside the speaker. Providing water can connect the positive and negative terminals, otherwise called a short circuit.

#2. Pack The Speakers When You Are Not Using

Sometimes you don’t use speakers. It’s best to pack the device at that time and keep it in a safe place. Packing the speakers will have two benefits. The first is it helps in keeping the device warm. Secondly, it will prevent moisture from entering the speaker.

#3. Always Keep Speakers In A Normal Temperature Room

If you are storing speakers, always try to store them in a room, usually at a normal temperature.

Car Speakers Won't Work In Cold

#4. Cover Your Speakers

Are you keeping your car the whole night outside on chill winter days? If yes, try to cover the speakers with a thick cloth or tarp. But never cover the device too tight because it aids in growing moisture over the area.

#5. Use Dehumidifier

If you reside in high-humidity areas and thinking of keeping speakers inside the house, then it’s better to use a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will help in preventing moisture particles from inside the device.

#6. Buy Speaker Cover

You can purchase a good speaker cover. It will help keep the speakers warm or insulated on chilly winter days.

#7. Dry Up Your Speaker

If you see condensation inside the speaker, then you must dry the speaker instantly. The moisture can cause the cones to damage and break. It can corrode the metal parts.

#8.Warm Speaker Slowly

You should warm up your speaker slowly. A sudden increase in speaker volume can cause cones to crack on cold days.

How Can I Say That My Speakers have been Damaged Due To Moisture?

Below are a few tips indicating that the speaker is affected by moisture particles.

  • If you observe water spots inside the speakers, then it indicates that the device is affected by moisture.
  • Observing white or rust inside the speakers, mainly on the metal surface, indicates that the device is affected by excess moisture.
  • If you touch the speaker damp, it indicates that excess water vapor has condensed inside the device.
  • If you hear a popping or hissing sound while switching on the speaker, it can be because of excess moisture.

Car Speakers Won't Work In Cold

How Will You Fix A Permanent Frozen Speaker?

#1. Detect the Speaker Which Is Not Working

Your first duty is to identify the speaker which is not working properly. Play music and listen to the sound of every speaker n car. If the speaker is frozen, it will not play the music or produce strange noise.

#2. Remove The Speaker

Now your second duty is to remove the frozen speaker from the car. You will find door speakers behind the door and rear speakers behind the grills. Remove the screws and take out the frozen speaker.

#3. Remove Wires

You now have to disconnect all the wires connected to the speaker.

#4. Use Hair Dryer

You can use a hair dryer to dry the car speakers. Use the dryer at a low setting and by keeping a few distances away from the device. Using a very high setting can have a negative effect on the speaker.A heat gun can also be used to warm up the speaker.

#5. Place Speakers On Paper Towel

Now put speakers on a paper towel for a few minutes. Allow them to dry thoroughly before connecting them to your car. Slight moisture can create corrosion and prevent the speaker from working effectively.

But if the device has been frozen for a long time or metal parts have been severely corroded, it’s better to replace it with a new one.

Car Speakers Won't Work In Cold

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. Does cold weather affect subwoofers?

Yes, cold weather can affect subwoofers. The cones and surrounds in the subwoofer can have cracks when the temperature goes below freezing point. It can in even cause the stiffening of copper wires.

We recommend you start the car so that all the components, including the speaker, will warm up in the cold season. Additionally, shake off the ice from the speaker and allow the device to play a low-volume sound.

#2. Does cold weather affect the sound?

Yes, cold weather can affect the performance of the speaker. The part of the device becomes brittle or tight on exposure to the frigid temperature. 

That’s why the speaker will not work effectively. Additionally, the air in the winter season is usually denser. That is why the sound waves will find it challenging to travel in the air. So, the sound coming from the speaker, mainly in the chill winter months, will not be that clear.

But this does not mean a speaker will not work when the outside temperature is too cold. When the cold speaker returns to its normal temperature or warms up, it will produce a good sound.

#3. How long does it take for speakers to warm up?

You can warm up your speakers by playing music. It takes almost 5-10 minutes for a speaker to warm up and play sound normally.

Don’t increase the speaker’s volume at a time in cold temperature months because it can damage various components.

Wrap Up

Speakers play an essential role in the car. They entertain us while we drive from one place to another. But they are temperature sensitive i.e cold weather, along with moisture, can deadly affect the device. 

So, your prime work should be to keep the car in a well-ventilated space. If the space is too humid, it can take its toll on speakers.

Again try always to warm up the speakers for a few minutes. A sudden increase in sound volume in the device, mainly on chill winter days, can cause severe cracks and permanently damage the sound device.

When the speakers warm up, the water particles inside them will dry. The copper wires or any components will no more remain stiff. So, the device will work effectively, and you can listen to the good qualitative sound.

Thank you for reading this article.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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