How to Stop a Car Door Rattling From Speakers

car door rattling from speakers

Last updated: March 1, 2022 at 9:53 am

Car audio is cool. It’s nice to have a system in your ride that makes everyone else jealous of your car. When speakers and subs are installed in a car (from the factory or added later), there’s always a chance of rattling door panels due to the sub and speaker frequencies being produced.

If you’re stuck with a car that rattles because of its speakers, you can take steps to fix the problem so that you can once again enjoy listening to your favourite songs while you are driving.

What Causes Car Doors Rattling?

If you are listening to music at high volume while driving, one of the first things you might notice is a small vibration coming from the car’s doors, windows, or dashboard. This issue is usually caused by the sound pressure coming from the speakers and subs.

Pressure from the sound waves created by the speakers and subs travel through the air to the car door panels and create even more vibrations.

This phenomenon is called resonance, and it happens when two or more objects (like the car’s body panels) are loosely connected. They interact with each other to create sound vibrations that travel through the air.

Another reason why they can rattle is due to the material they are made of – like plastic. If you have an older car with a plastic dashboard and other materials that vibrate easily, then this could cause rattling when playing music at high volumes with bass heavy tracks.

6 Ways to Stop a Car Door Rattling From Speakers

Here are a few steps to take to stop the annoying rattling and vibrations from your car doors:

1. Tighten the Screws of Your Speaker

Rattling can occur when the screws holding the speaker in place have vibrated loose and it is therefore banging against the back of the panel. You should tighten the screws if this happens.

If you’re lucky, you will have access to the back of the panel by removing it. But, if not you will need to remove the door trim and get access from there. Simply tighten all four screws on either side until they are snug.

In rare cases, the screw holes in both the speaker itself and in the metalwork at the back of the panel where it fits, are often worn out from previous use of larger speakers or excessive vibration. You can add a screw washer before tightening screws to firmly hold them in place.

2. Soundproof Insulation and Acoustic Dampening

car door before acoustic insulation

Damping material can be used to reduce vibration by absorbing maximum energy from the speaker. The most common damping material is fiberglass, rubber, and neoprene.

Mass loaded vinyl is highly recommended as it has high frequency absorption capabilities. It also works well on high-frequency sounds like rattling or buzzing in a car door panel while playing music.

Another method to prevent car door speakers from rattling is to use acoustic foam. Acoustic foam can be used for soundproofing cars in general, or the car doors for reducing vibrations from the speaker. Sound absorbing foam reduces noise by trapping sound waves and stopping them from bouncing inside the door panels, which can cause rattles.

3. Install Car Speaker Bass Blockers

Speakers are rattling because they’re trying to pump out low frequencies that require a subwoofer. They’re not designed for it and will sound better when handing off those low frequencies to a sub, which is designed for them.

You should use some bass-blockers and put them after the receiver and before the speaker. With this device, bass sounds will be directed towards the subwoofer, while higher frequencies go to the speakers.

An alternative is to make a passive crossover for each speaker made from capacitors, inductors, and resistors. These components can be bought at Radio Shack or other electronic parts stores. This approach may be preferable if you want to shape your sound more than just blocking the low frequencies with something like bass-blockers.

4. Adjust Speaker Sound Settings

Your car door may rattle because of speakers even if your audio system is in the best condition. This is because, sometimes, the audio setting may not be balanced, and this affects the operation of the speakers as well as the subwoofer.

To fix the audio, use an equalizer app or program on your phone or PC to adjust audio settings like bass and treble. It will help to balance the sound output and eliminate rattling. Moreover, avoid turning up your volume too high as that could damage your speakers.

Also, if speakers are not mounted properly, they will create a rattling sound when you play music at a high volume. You can fix this by mounting them correctly.

5. Put Dynamat on Your Door

dynamat for rattling

Dynamat is a noise dampening material that you can use to line the inside of your car door. It is made specifically to absorb vibrations and stop them from transmitting to other parts of your vehicle.

The material is strong enough to take some abuse but soft enough that you can cut it with scissors. Simply line the inside of your door with it and you will notice an immediate difference in rattling.

If you have carpeting in your doors, remove it first so that nothing can get between the Dynamat and your door panel.

6. Replace Old Speakers

This is by far the most common solution. If your speakers are old and worn out they may need to be replaced. But if you’re not keen on spending some £100 or more on new speakers, here are some things you can try:

  • Invest in some foam or fabric cut-outs to put between the speaker and the door panel. This will reduce the frequencies of the rattling sound and improve its quality.
  • Install rubber grommets under the speaker grille; this will reduce vibrations from hitting the door panel and improve its quality.
  • Install an extra layer of wood between the speaker and the door panel; this should stop vibrations from getting through to the speaker itself and reduce rattling sound.

Final Thought

Taking a moment to check up on a few things when it comes to your car audio system can save you serious headaches. Give your car a tune-up, whether it needs one or not, and ensure that those loose screws, rattling doors, and faulty speakers are taken care of.

While preventative maintenance isn’t fun, it is necessary to help avoid costly repairs down the road.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 4 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.

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