Traditionally there are only two styles of car speakers: coaxial and component. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Coaxial speakers are designed to so that all the individual speaker drivers play sound from the same location (or axis). This is the most common type of speakers found in cars because it is easier and cheaper for a car manufacturer to make. They are also easier to replace because the installer only has to worry about removing the speaker from a single location.
Component speakers have separated drivers that mount separately. The best example of this is a car that has a mid-range speaker in the door panel and a tweeter in the A-pillar. Component systems use a external crossover to filter the audio frequencies to the mid-range and tweeter. Component speaker systems are becoming more popular as they can offer better sound quality and a more realistic sound stage.
Speakers come in many sizes from a smaller 4″ driver to a larger 6″ x 9″. The first step in replacing your car’s speakers is to determine what size speakers fit in the factory locations of your car. This is best done by using a speaker fit guide found on the internet (such as the Sonic Electronix Speaker Fit Guide) or looking up a local shop and giving them a call. Sometimes talking to a professional is the best route because they can help answer other questions you might have.
The most common size in cars are 6.5″ speakers, 6″ x 9″ speakers, and 5″ by 7″ speakers.
Replacing the speakers in your car yourself can be a fun and rewarding project that can bring a great smile to your face. However, if you don’t know what you are doing, it can be a difficult and frustrating process. Learn how to install car speakers with these basic fundamentals of replacing a coaxial speaker in your car.
1. Remove Panels
Begin by removing all the panels around the speaker you want to replace. Look for brackets, screws, and bolts that are holding the panel in place. Doors panels typcially have panel clips around the edges that can be carefully removed with door panel removal tools.
2. Remove Speaker
Once all the panels around the speaker have been removed and the speaker is exposed, go ahead and remove the speaker. Some cars will have the speaker mounted to a bracket and other cars will have the speaker bolted directly to the vehicles frame. Look for bolts or clips that hold the speaker in place and remove them. When you pull the speaker out, disconnect the speaker wire. Hopefully this can be done by undoing a mylar clip, otherwise you might have to use a wire cutter to cut the wire. Be sure to save all the parts/hardware.
3. Attach Mounting Bracket to New Speaker
With the speaker now removed, its time to prepare the new speaker to be installed. Pull the new speakers from the box and attach it to the mounting bracket (if your vehicle required one). This will allow the speaker to fit snugly in the same location as the old speaker. Use screws to attach the speaker basket to the mounting bracket. Be careful not to damage the speaker while using the screwdriver.
4. Connect Speaker Wire
Before the new speaker is mounted to the car, be sure to plug it in. If you are using a speaker install harness then this step is as simple as plugging in the ends of two harnesses. If you had to cut the speaker wires, then you will need to use butt connectors (or solder) and make sure that the positive and negative wires are properly connected. Remember… positive to positive, negative to negative.
5. Mount the New Speaker
Once the speaker is connected, mount the speaker to the vehicle in the same manner that you removed it. You should be able to use all the same hardware that you saved when you removed the speaker.
6. Put the Panels Back on
Simply put the panels back on the car in the same fashion that you removed them.
That’s it! Now just test your system to make sure that the speaker is playing music and is in phase. If everything is working properly, then you just learned how to install car speakers.
Disclaimer: Not all cars are the same, especially all these new cars that are coming out each year. Always consult a professional if you are unsure of what you are doing or feel that you might break something.
The information on this website is based on my experiences and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a professional installer before doing anything on your car. LearnCarAudio.com is not responsible for any typographical, conceptual, or visual errors on the website.