I still remember my first damaged speaker foam. The flapping, buzzing sound coming from the sound system broke my heart (and gave me the worst headache). But after quite a bit of research, I finally found the issue and the perfect fix for it.
In all honesty, my first attempt at this was very disappointing. I made loads of mistakes while ruining parts of the speakers. But with time, I got better and reached a point where I could fix damaged speaker foam rings in less than 60 minutes.
If you want to know what I have discovered, keep on reading. In this article, I have elaborated on why the speaker foams of your car got damaged.
In addition, I have talked about my refined method of fixing the foam rings. And if you keep scrolling, you will find more useful tips.
Let’s get started.
What are Speaker Foam Rings? What’s Their Purpose?
Speaker foam rings are an extension of speakers that push them to their full potential. How you may ask? This is interesting. Let me tell you all about it.
The foam ring is a part of the suspension. It works along with a spider and a cone to maintain the free movement of the voice coil. Sounds confusing?
Speaker can produce a good sound if the voice coil can freely move up and down in the magnet gap of the unit. The movement of this voice coil depends on the positioning of the cone.
If there are any side movements, the cone gets shifted to the stronger part of the magnet. As a result, a buzzing sound generates from the speaker. You get the idea of how important it is to keep the cone straight, right?
What keeps the cone straight? You guessed it right! It’s the foam ring.
By keeping the cone in a stable position, the foam ring prevents the voice coil from rubbing the speaker magnet. What’s the worst that can happen from a collision between the magnet and voice coil? Such occurrences can even destroy your speakers.
See how speaker foam rings keep your speaker healthy?
Now imagine what their absence means. You already know what will happen. But unfortunately, these foams tend to wear out pretty quickly. My speaker foam lasted good 3 years before the foams started to wear off.
What did I do then? I fixed the issue without a hitch.
Want to know how? Well, I have a few tricks up my sleeves. But before getting to these points, I think it’s better to be aware of the reason behind the impaired speaker surround ring.
Reasons Car Speaker Foam Rings Can Get Damaged
There are not a plethora of things that can damage your car speakers’ foam rings. But the issues that cause such defects can be something you have not anticipated.
For example, the weather condition affects the foam rings.
Excessive humid condensation makes the foam soggy. What do I mean? Rainy days are not good for your speaker’s foam rings. It can ruin the whole thing. I bet you didn’t guess this would be an issue!
Surprisingly, the opposite of rain can be a criminal as well. Direct sunlight decreases the lifespan of speaker foam rings as time passes.
A foreign body can destroy the foam further. Although it is hard for anything to reach the foam rings, a rickety speaker structure can invite such troubles. Due to such conditions, any sized object can hit and damage the delicate foam.
It’s fine if you repair the speaker as soon as you notice any sign of defect. But as long as you don’t take action, the foam rings condition will go downhill.
Apart from these, there is not much that can harm your foam rings. If you are aware of any other such vital causes, let us and others know about them in the comments.
How To Fix Damaged Car Speaker Foam Rings?
Speaker foam rings can have different types of damages. From small tears to big shreds in the foam, nothing demands you replace the whole foam ring just yet.
Although this type of replacement is not expensive, why spend extra bucks when you can get your stuff fixed for free! I am not kidding. It is possible to fix damaged speaker foam rings easily.
If you remember, I discussed what type of buzzing noise breaks open from damaged speaker foam rings. This is true for the foams that are extremely damaged. Small and minor defects such as punctures usually play flapping noises in your speaker.
Trust me, you don’t want this because the sound gets more annoying day by day.
But how do you fix a damaged speaker foam? Let me tell you what I did.
My method was plain sailing. I firstly gathered a few simple things I knew I would need. These things were a scalpel, scissors, blade knife, and glue.
FYI, I used Parts Express Speaker Repair Glue. You can use this adhesive if you want. As the name tells, this glue is tailor-made for speakers. And this is the reason I feel comfortable with using it on my speaker foam ring.
Anyway, once I had accumulated all these elements, I set right into the process.
Now… let me brag a bit about my experience! So far, I have dealt with almost all types of car speakers and fixed differently damaged speaker foam rings.
The easiest foam ring fix was a piece of cake. The foam ring had a scratch. I also noticed how the scratch did not go through the material.
As a result, I was getting a distorted sound from the speaker. But as it was a tiny scratch, I didn’t go to any complications and just applied glue to fill the scratch. I started pouring in the glue from the top because this made sense.
Once the gap was filled with glue, I just waited for 6/7 hours. Surprisingly, after that, it seemed as if the speaker was okay all along. Seriously, this simple task fixed my speaker just like that.
Unfortunately, I had punctured foam rings as well. By puncture, I mean foam with a bigger crack. Fixing this took a few extra steps, not gonna lie. But it was easy-peasy.
I began by removing the foam ring from its place. Then cleaned the whole thing after flipping it over. It took me a while to thoroughly clean the foam surrounding it. Taking your time is the key here.
After I cleaned the foam, I located the damage (or should I say damages). The first crack I noticed was a huge one. I bet you can’t guess right what I did here!
Well, I covered the cracked area with an extra patch. For this, I took a bit of silicone and applied it thoroughly to the damaged area. Then I took a thin foam and cut it into a shape that would fit the damaged area (now covered in silicon).
Once I had my foam piece, I set it on the damaged point and put glue there. Here I was a bit careful not to use too much glue while, at the same time, filling every gap.
Then, I just left the foam in a dry area for a day. Sounds like a pain in the neck? Surprisingly it isn’t. Once you start, you will see how easy it is to get the job done.
I used this same method to work on foam rings that were damaged from one end to another. While I was done working on the bottom side, I flipped my speaker over, mending the other one. The speaker was basically lying on the magnet at this point.
For slightly smaller cracks, I just use glue to seal the gap, just like the first method. See, you don’t have to be in deep water to fix your problem unless your speaker has the biggest woofer.
Before I forget, let me tell you another thing I always did. After mending different types of cracks in different ways, I always lightly rub the repaired area with my fingers.
I do this to make sure that the foam is properly fixed. And I think it is as important as every other step.
How To Replace Damaged Car Speaker Foam Rings
Sadly enough, it’s not always possible to bring a foam ring back to life. In this case, you have to replace the surrounding disc. Don’t sigh! It’s a very simple process. And it doesn’t even cost $50.
I started off by taking the car speaker apart. It was a bit of a hassle as the thing was a bit jammed. However, I finally reached the cone. Once I got there, I cut off the cone edge with a sharp knife.
Taking care of this part took me a while as I had to be very gentle so as not to cut to the cone.
Now, as I had everything near my reach, I removed the foam from its position. The slot was stinky. Hence, I took a brush and cleaned the debris piled in the ring area.
At this point, my speaker foam ring was ready to be in its new home. So I prepared the ring before setting it in its place. What I basically did was gluing. I applied a layer of glue in the inner part for the surrounding ring. Then I prepared the cone. Again, I applied glue to the edge of the cone.
Once everything was ready to set in its position, I put the foam ring where it belonged. To put the cherry on top, I applied a bit of pressure on the ring. This way the new surrounding ring was perfectly placed.
After this comes the final and most important step. I centered the cone against the magnet. You already know what can happen if the cone is one-sided.
The annoying “Buzzing” sound it creates is unbearable. Anyway, I had to make sure that I don’t invite migraine again. So, I glued the foam ring to the speaker surrounding it as well. This way, the cone was stable in the center.
Seems simple right? However, there is a simpler method. Though, I should warn you that this method may not be compatible with all types of car speakers.
I used this technique in my friend’s car. There, once the voice coil was centered, I connected the foam ring to the speaker basket.
Then, I applied some glue to the whole area and gave the speaker ring a gentle push. I kept pushing it till the ring touched the bottom of the basket.
Once the parts were set in their place, I fastened the ring with a plastic clip. I left the speaker in this way overnight. The next day I tested the cone by giving it a light push a few times. I didn’t feel any rubbing, and this is a good sign!
Hence, I installed the speaker in his car, and voilà, the speaker was working again with its regular crisp sound.
How To Prevent Car Speaker Foam Rings Damages
I think you’ll agree when I say, “Fixing and replacing car speaker surrounding rings is a breeze.” But… still, it’s something you shouldn’t make a habit of. It’s always better to take care of foam rings than repair them every 6/7 months.
There are certain things I do to maintain my car speakers. These points have kept my car speaker foam rings in their best condition for years now. You can get this exceptional durability with some not-so-exceptional tricks.
Here’s what I do:
I’ve installed a grill on the speaker. This has saved my speaker from God knows how many mechanical issues.
I am always cautious so that heavy objects don’t come near the speaker.
As I already mentioned, humidity and sunlight are the enemies of speaker foams. This is why I make sure that my speaker is always in a dry environment while avoiding direct sun.
I have tinted glass in my car window. This way, I get the perfect weather condition for my speaker foam.
I use lubricants to boost up the durability of my surrounding foam. Applying lubricants on both sides of the foam provides a coating. This protects the foam from drying.
The slightest tear can easily lead to huge damage. This is why I check on my surrounding foam rings every now and then.
Trust me, if you do all these things like me, you will have super-durable foam rings in your speaker(s). And then you won’t have to go through the nuisance of repairing and replacement.
How can you fix a damaged speaker foam ring? I have tried to discuss everything in this article. But I know I couldn’t include certain points that you may have lingering in your mind. This is why I have created this section. Here I will be answering the questions you usually ask regarding the surrounding rings of speakers (Wink! Wink!).
How Long Does Foam Speaker Surround Last?
If you take proper care of your speaker’s foam surrounds, it can easily last up to 10 to 15 years. After that, no matter how caring you are, the foam ring will start to deteriorate. And within 1 to 2 more years, the surround will require a replacement.
What Will Happen if A Speaker Doesn’t Have a Foam Ring?
Speaker foams are only essential if you want the best sound from your sound system. Without This, your speaker will emit high-frequency noises. This will eventually turn into flapping and finally into a buzzing sound. Less low bass will give you more trouble as a bonus.
How To Store a Speaker if You Are Not Going to Use It for A Long Time?
Speakers can get easily damaged due to the most insignificant things. This is why if you are not going to be using your speaker for a long time, make sure to cover up the whole car. Don’t leave any liquid in your vehicle to avoid excessive humidity.
Most importantly, place your four-wheeler in a cool place away from the sun.
Is It Worth Fixing Foam Rings?
From my experience, I can confidently say that fixing foam rings is definitely worth it. Getting a new speaker will cost you hundreds of dollars.
They will eventually have damaged foam rings in 8 to 10 years. On the other hand, you can get your foam rings fixed with $40 (maximum) and have the speaker working for at least the next 5 years. So yes, it is worth fixing foam rings.
My Last Two Cents on The Problem And Solutions
We all can agree that a clear, smooth articulation from speakers is a blessing. But as car speakers tend to be sensitive, the slightest defect can cause the heaviest damage. Should you be worried about it?
Because… now you know how I successfully took care of damaged foam rings. You can follow my lead and reach the result you were looking for. You can do it. I believe in you.
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