Gearheads: Door speaker all of a sudden quit. Quick fix? Need answer fast.

So I’m all set to go on vacation for over a week this Thursday. I’ll be driving up to northern PA, then back southeast to Rehoboth Beach. I’ll be alone, so I anticipated spending a lot of time listening to my music library.

Last Sunday, however, I noticed that something was off with the sound in my SUV (2006 Honda CR-V). I was listening to the Dethalbum, and I could barely make out Nathan Explosion’s voice. I set my balance all the way to the left, and sure enough, my door speaker’s out.

Long story short, I called the only reputable mechanic that’s convenient on my way to work and asked if they could look at it tomorrow. They’re booked.

Is there something I can do to check it out myself? If I can’t get this fixed, the drive’s gonna be a whole lot longer. :frowning: Thank you.

While there might be something amiss with the stereo, I suspect the input method.

You can start with the stereo and see if other inputs play correctly. Is the entire left channel off, or is it just the front or back speaker? It could be a connection that is loose/broken. If the whole channel is off, then there may be a problem with the head unit (stereo).

If it is only the one input source then you need to look at that.

What is the source of your music?
Cassette tape
MP3 on CD
Wired Aux input (iPod, XM/Sirius, Phone)
FM broadcast Aux input

Most of the source files are likely okay, but you should check it on another player (home or other auto).

The input method would be my focus. If you are listening through a wired connection, then the wire may have a break in it somewhere.

If all the above are confirmed as working correctly then you may need to wait for someone to look at it.

I have grave doubts that this is something that can be resolved quickly.

First though, are both left speakers silent? Adjust the front/rear fade and verify that the right channel works both front and rear. Then with the rear clearly audible on the right, adjust the balance to see if the left rear works.

If there’s no sound from the left, front or rear, then there’s a problem with the audio unit in the dash. Fixing that requires removing said unit and sending it out for repair, or replacing the unit.

If there is sound from the left rear, it’s still more likely that the problem is in the main unit, but by adjusting the fader to the rear only, you can have stereo sound for your trip – problem solved, for now. While it’s theoretically possible that the failure is in the left front speaker, it’s rather unlikely. The speaker is well protected from any possible damage, and speakers seldom if ever just up and die.

It’s conceivable that the wire to the L.F. speaker is broken where it goes through the door hinge area. Accessing and fixing that is somewhat of a pain, and I wouldn’t advise pursuing it to someone who is not experienced in that particular type of repair. ETA: Also, in my experience it’s power window wires that break first in this area. I don’t recall ever having to fix a speaker wire through the hinge.

The left front speaker can be accessed by removing the inside door panel (which again can be a challenge for someone not experienced), but would only be productive if the speaker has crapped out or its wire has come off, both of which are extremely unlikely.

Walkman type CD player and headphones?

With a datapoint of one - when this happened to me it was as simple as the wire in the door. Sadly I would agree with the above, if it has failed in the hinge it will be a total pain to fix. Not difficult, just painful - right down to skinned knuckles, and in order to get right, not something you want to try yourself if you don’t know what you are doing.

Yeah, I had an Audi A4; living in a colder climate, eventually the wire harness to the driver door (one that got the most “exercise”) failed. The speaker stopped working.Intermittently, the power would fail, the window didn’t work, the LED’s on the door handle flashed on and off, the locks, mirror adjustment, and window buttons, etc. stopped working. Power everything sucks when it fails.

The wiring harness is a flexible wrapped set of cables between chassis and door. Is there a grommet to stop the cable being cut by the edge of the holes in the metal door or chassis? If that falls out, the insulation will scrape off. (I suspect incompetent Audi service for losing the grommet).

Not surprising, probably the driver door gets opened several times more often than the passengers’. Usually, the simplest answer is the answer. This wire is moved and flexed every day. No surprise if it eventually breaks.

Thanks for the replies so far.

The power on the rest of the door seems to be working just fine. When I adjusted the balance to the left, the door speaker failed, but the dashboard tweeter worked as normal. The head unit is a the stock tape/CD/AM/FM unit that comes with the vehicle.

If you can pull the speaker, tap a 9v battery across it’s terminals (or tape some wires to an AA and tap those). If the speaker cone moves, the speaker is ok, and the problem is in the wiring. If not, it’s the speaker and needs to be replaced.

My '98 VW golf lost all 4 speakers one at a time. It turned out to be the wiring. My 2005 Subaru Baja lost all 4 speakers, but it was the speakers themselves. I don’t use the radio very much, so I don’t understand my terrible luck with the speakers/wiring… but one of the two is the most common cause of problems.