Why Is My Car Subwoofer Rattling and How Can I Fix It?

Enhancing the audio experience of your car is a definite imperative if you’re someone who is bothered by a rattling subwoofer. When it comes to addressing the issue, there are several methods and approaches that you can use to reduce its vibration. The outcome is almost identical for each one.

The simplest solution of all is to replace the built-in speakers with a pair of three-way, aftermarket speakers. Alternatively, you can add additional speakers, tweeters, a subwoofer, and an amplifier to improve your stereo.

You can basically turn the entire car upside down and transform it into one giant audio machine. However, all of that will do you no good unless you reduce the vibration in your car.

What do we mean by this? Well, the main problem lies in the car’s design (not just yours, but anyone else’s). Your car is a metal shell that constantly traps and reverberates sound waves. As a result, certain parts of the car might start rattling and vibrating.

Finding a way to reduce that rattle will be the main point of discussion throughout this article. With that being said, let’s explore the whole process down below.

How to fix your car’s rattling subwoofer and reduce its vibration.

Why Your Car Subwoofer Vibrates and Rattles

There might be a few causes why your entire car (or just speakers) are vibrating. If you notice the vibration while you’re driving the car, the poor road conditions might be the problem. However, if the vehicle is stationary and there’s still vibration, then the problem is much greater, and it’s tied to the car itself. For example, any part that’s loose or poorly designed is prone to become the main cause.

In general, the rattling is caused by low-frequency sound waves that are coming from the subs. The metal on the vehicle starts vibrating when these sound waves turn into air molecules. The resulting energy of these newly transformed molecules is essentially what’s causing the rattle.

How to Find the Source of the Problem

Before you move on to fix the issue, it’s a good idea to try and determine the particulars of the problem. In some cases, there’s no need to focus on difficult methods if an issue requires a small fix. You can even apply these small fixes while trying to find the source of the problem. In this section, I’m going to focus on showcasing the necessary steps that should be taken into account when checking for rattling.

The first step is to start up your sound system and focus on bass-heavy music. Try playing it as loud as possible until you start hearing the vibrations or rattling.

When you notice that the woofer has started rattling, try inspecting it a bit closer to see what the problem is. You should mainly focus on the speaker cone. If you see a tear or a gap, you’ll probably have to replace the entire cone. On the other hand, if there’s no tear, try grabbing the cone to see if that stops the rattling. If it does, it means that there needs to be some sort of padding between the speaker cabinet and the woofer.

The next thing to check is the woofer cabinet itself. Vibrations and rattling only get accentuated if there are loose screws or parts. If you find anything loose, try tightening it to see if that rectifies the issue. Note that the cabinet itself has the potential to be quite a nuisance. Sometimes, even tightening the screws won’t fix the issue. If that’s the case, you’ll need to add more screws.

The final step is to test the woofer. If you can’t hear the rattling anymore, you’re good to go. If there’s still some rattling, try using any of the methods from the following section.

How to Stop Your Car Subs From Rattling

Rattling and vibrations in a vehicle seem to be a greater problem than one might expect. That’s the very reason why people have found various methods to deal with them.

There might be other ways to deal with the issue other than the ones that I’ll present. However, these are the ones that I’ve personally used, and they’re extremely effective. So, let’s take a look, shall we?

Determine the Source of the Vibration

In the previous section, I talked about how checking every nook and cranny might be a good way of approaching the issue. Not only will it save you a lot of hassle and time, but it will also help you pinpoint the exact problematic area. Such areas might include the trunk, doors, hood liners, license plates, windows, etc.

The simplest way to do that is to play a bass-heavy song and gradually increase the volume until something starts happening. Once you know which areas are causing the problem, it’s quite easy to fix them.

It’s important to consider the fact that loud music might cause the outer parts of your car (trunk, hood, etc.) to rattle. As a result, you feel the vibrations (that are coming from the outside) in the vehicle’s interior. On the other hand, you have the interior parts (floor and door panels, ceiling, control boards, etc.) that are the most critical ones.

Apply an Automotive Sound Deadener

When it comes to rattling and vibration reduction, I can’t seem to think of a better solution than using a sound deadener. I’ve used various sound deadening products in the past, and all of them proved to be a phenomenal solution to my problems. However, you need to know which brands to pick because not all of them are as effective.

Let’s say that I’ve used numerous sound deadening products in the past. Of all the brands, only a few have shown remarkable performance. These products are:

Dynamat is basically the leading company on the market when it comes to sound deadeners, and for a good reason. Their products are simply some of the best in terms of quality. The price might be a little too high, but I can say that it’s justified.

However, I do understand that there are some of you who might be looking for a more affordable solution. In that case, I think that Noico products are a worthy alternative. They are not as expensive as Dynamat, but they still offer a similar level of quality. Click the link above to learn more.

Why Choose a Sound Deadener?

So why are sound deadeners a worthy solution? What makes them so good? Well, the sheer fact that you can apply them literally anywhere you want. For example, I used the same product in the past to fix a rattling trunk, doors, windows, and interior panels of my car. You can also use them on the roof and the underside of the vehicle. My advice to you is to sound deaden the entire vehicle (if possible) because you’ll eliminate many potential problems that way.

Tighten the Loose Parts

We need to consider the fact that a vehicle is a product too. It’s not built to last forever, which means that it too deteriorates with time. We can prolong the lifespan of our cars by performing regular maintenance and upgrading it here and there. But having a rattling vehicle is inevitable because something has to become loose at some point. Therefore, we are the ones who need to put it back in place.

Start by checking the interior of the vehicle and tighten anything that feels loose. That includes the control board, door panels, ceiling, etc. Once you’re sure that the interior isn’t the problem anymore, focus on the exterior parts. The first two parts to check are definitely the hood and the trunk since they often cause problems.

In addition, you should check the license plates as they are easily the most overlooked part of all. I don’t know how many frustrated people I’ve met who never checked the license plates and couldn’t identify the source of the rattle. You should even get under your car and check if there’s anything loose there. You never know what might be the culprit.

Change the Bass Frequency

The last piece of advice that I can offer is to change the frequency of the bass. There are so many products that you can use to lower the frequency that the market is becoming oversaturated. Amplifiers are one of them. Any regular amplifier that has advanced settings (settings to change the frequency) will basically do the job. Sometimes, you don’t need to think that much outside the box because the solution can be a rather simple one.

Now Fix Your Rattling Speakers

As you can see, anything from a simple loose part to even a bass setting can cause those annoying vibrations and rattle. Rattling is a common and recurring problem that every driver faces at some point. Fortunately enough, people have come up with numerous methods to deal with it.

I’ve presented the ones that I’ve personally used and that have worked for me. I really hope that you were able to extract value from this article, at least to some extent.

See also: How Long Before Your Battery Dies With the Radio On?

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