Is Cold Weather Bad for Car Speakers?

Is Cold Weather Bad for Car Speakers

Getting into the car on a cold morning is bad enough without discovering that your speakers have frozen over and are refusing to work. But is that really possible? Can freezing damage the car speakers?

Generally, car speakers are built to withstand normal outdoor temperatures that your car can expect to see. This includes freezing cold, which shouldn’t damage the actual speaker itself, even for sustained periods of time. Still, there is some concern about freezing water in a car speaker.

If you’re concerned that your car’s speakers might be affected by the cold, read on to see what’s actually causing the damage and how you can prevent it.


Can Freezing Damage Car Speakers?

Can Freezing Damage Car Speakers?

While the cold itself won’t damage a speaker’s internal components, cold air mixed with moisture can cause serious damage when allowed to freeze components over. Water on the electrical terminals of a speaker can cause a short circuit while expanding frozen water can push components out of place and cause warping.

Very cold speaker parts can also be quite fragile. If used too quickly after long exposure to cold air, a speaker’s parts may crack or even shatter from intense vibrations. This can harm not only the outer shell but also some of the key amplifiers in the device, making it difficult to repair.

Cold temperatures are also bad for the adhesives that hold many speaker components together. These adhesives may lose their effectiveness when exposed to the cold for too long, causing your speaker to simply fall apart. This can leave hard-to-remove residue on the casing and components that can make reapplying adhesive difficult.


What Can Damage Car Speakers?

causes of car speaker damage

Freezing isn’t the only thing that can damage your speakers. Letting them get too warm can also be a serious issue. Leaving speakers in extremely hot temperatures can lead to melting or permanent warping of components, which can render them unusable.

Cycling between the two extremes of temperature can be just as bad for the speaker. It can cause the surround and other components to become brittle and may make the sound significantly worse if it doesn’t completely stop the speakers from working. This can lead to blowouts, shorts, and other failures.

Of course, one of the biggest dangers, no matter the temperature, is leaving your speakers in a particularly humid environment. Water condensing or collecting inside the speaker can lead to electrical malfunctions like short circuits. It can also lead to the development of corrosion, mildew, or mold, which can stop a speaker from working and make it unsalvageable.


How to Protect Your Car Speakers from Damage

How to Protect Car Speakers from Cold Weather Damage

Understanding the kinds of damage your speakers are susceptible to is half the battle; the other half is knowing how to stop that damage from happening in the first place. Here are a few things you can do.

  • Allow your speakers to warm up before turning them on. This is potentially the most important way to prevent freezing damage in your car speakers. Run your car for a few minutes before turning the speakers on, with the heater going. This allows any water to melt and evaporate slowly instead of all at once, preventing a short circuit.
  • Keep your speakers as temperature-neutral as you can. Park your car in the shade during the summer and in the sun during the winter. Whenever possible, park inside a garage or other controlled area.
  • Check your speakers regularly. Check the adhesives for functionality and the plastic for any signs of wear. If you notice any poor repair, fix it immediately or get your speaker serviced professionally.

Your car’s speakers are relatively sturdy, so following this advice should be more than enough to keep them working for a long time to come.


As Long as It’s Dry, Your Speakers Are Fine

Cold air can make for lots of unpleasant driving conditions. For your speakers, it can mean frozen water in the components, ineffective adhesives, and the loss of some structural integrity, which could require costly repairs or even replacements.

It doesn’t happen all at once, though, and it doesn’t have to mean damage to your speakers. As long as you keep your speakers dry and stable, they should be good to go even on the coldest of days.


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