CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Rattling speaker

so i have a Volkswagen GTI (2003).

a while ago i had to replace the radio/stereo (but not the speakers).

now one or both of the speakers (i’m not sure which it is. icant tell from the drivers seat) in the back right side of the car make a rattling static noise. its fairly loud and it makes the sound whether i have the music turned up or not. and it doesn’t constantly make the sound – its irregular but frequent.
changing the volume doesn’t seem to effect it, like i said it rattles whether i have the volume up or on zero. however the sound stops completely when i turn the stereo off and when the car is not moving.

when the sound started i had been listening to the music pretty loud (though certainly not as loud as i’d ever had it). i was also driving…um…over the speed limit…on a bumpy country road.

if you can help me out…that would be great.

Do you hear it when you have music on, but are not driving?
Old speakers that are coming apart begin with a rattling sound when they are played.

I’d say the speaker is blown. You’ll probably need to replace it, so you might as well replace them in pairs.

Does the noise increase with engine rpm?

melott: no if i’m not driving there is no sound even if i have the music on.

texases: no it doesnt increase with engine rpm.

it happens mostly when i am turning or driving on bumpy roads

It could very well just be loose. Are the attachment fasteners reachable if you remove the interior panel? (I’m assuming it’s a hatchback.)

If it sounds ok when you’re stopped then I agree with @DrRocket, it just may be loose. A blown speaker would make noise whether or not the car was moving.

Your new stereo system is probably more powerful and together with the age of the old speakers causes them to rattle. I wuld replace them as well.

Most likely culprit is a blown voice coil. Given how cheaply made factory speakers are just replace both fronts with a decent aftermarket speaker and you’ll be amazed at the difference

If the speakers work fine with the car stopped, I don’t see how it’s a voice coil.

Of course, stock speakers should typically be replaced, no argument there.

I agree. If the problem only exists when the car is moving, it’s probably those bolts that attach the speaker to the car. Or a loose wire. Get in there and look.