Music is a significant part of most peoples’ lives. When we’re happy, we put on some upbeat tunes, and when we’re angry or sad, we may also seek out music that reflects those feelings. The need for music, and our natural desire to seek it out, is often reflected in our vehicles! Instead of driving in silence, most people either have the radio on or listen via BlueTooth to Spotify, Pandora, or any streaming apps. We want our music! Unfortunately, many cars don’t have the setup of our dreams. Whether you start with a new, used car that has blown out speakers, or your vehicle needs a new design; it may be time to think about replacing your speakers. After all, what good is the music if you can’t blast it?
Pick The Best System For You
You should consider three things when looking at a new system; each of these can heavily sway which setup you choose.
Budget is vital because overpaying for speakers isn’t an option. Music isn’t worth running up your credit card or signing up for a confusing payment plan. Consider how much money you’re willing to put into your new sound system. The average updated speaker and music system runs around $400-$1,000, depending on your system’s good. If your budget is pretty tight, consider replacing your system a piece at a time until you have what you need.
Sizing is useful to consider because although you can replace your entire media console, many don’t have that in the budget. Look at what can fit into that portion of your car.
Style isn’t always a big pusher, but if your car has many silver accents, you might not want to go for a speaker system with brushed copper. Look around for a speaker system you’ll want to see multiple times a day while driving.
Pros and Cons of a Professional Replacement
Most people hire a professional to replace their sound systems. Pros can be excellent because they’re practiced and know what they’re doing, and they can usually guarantee results. If anything goes wrong while you replace your sound system, you could risk damaging the new speakers or even your car itself. Hiring someone to complete the work also sets a timeframe, where if you try to finish it yourself, you may procrastinate or put it off for far longer than necessary.
Unfortunately, hiring someone to replace your speakers costs a lot of money and some time. By hiring someone to do the work, you also lose out on the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment of completing a project.
What You Need
There are some basic things everybody replacing their sound systems need to complete this project. You may own some of these things, but you should buy or borrow them if you don’t. Don’t attempt to complete this work barehanded, and don’t try to MacGyver anything, or you may harm yourself.
To complete most replacements, you’ll need:
- Electrical tape
- Multiple-sized screwdrivers
- A hobby knife or putty knife
- Retaining clip remover
- Panel Removal Tool
- Soldering iron and solder
- Drill with bits
- Crimping tool and connectors
- Allen wrenches and socket wrenches
- The new speaker system
Although you may not need all of these for all replacements, most come in handy. It will help if you read up on your vehicle’s audio system before beginning.
Remove Your Current System
Before you mess with any electrical work in your car, remove the negative battery terminal cable. This plan will ensure you don’t accidentally shock yourself with electricity. From here, remove the trip pieces from your door to access the speakers within. It would help if you used the trump panel removal tool mentioned above, but you can also use a flathead screwdriver with fabric over the tip. Be careful not to crack anything. Unscrew, or unsolder, the old speakers from their mounts. If you aren’t planning on selling or donating the speakers, you can cut the old ones loose instead of dealing with a soldering iron.
Clean Everything Out
Even well-cared-for cars collect dust and debris. While your door panels are open, take the chance to clean out any grime, dirt, or dust that might have settled back there. It would be best if you also used this opportunity to clean the door panels themselves. Before you begin the project, it may be a good idea to go to a car wash, although many save that step for the very end.
How to Drill Out Rivets
If rivets are in your way, and you don’t want to risk any surface damage, there are a couple of ways to remove them. To drill them out, use a screwdriver bit that’s smaller than the rivet’s hole, and go just far enough to snap the head off of the clip, from there; you can hammer in the portion that needs to go through. This work will allow you to open the cavity without much trouble. There are rivet removal tools that help center your drill bit, but they aren’t always necessary. With some practice, you’ll be able to handle this in no time.
Installation Depends On Model
If you’re making a custom mount, you can create this with fiberglass or go through a service that will start it with you. The goal is to make everything look as seamless as possible while not putting you through too much trouble. You could install everything back where the original system is, but creating a custom design and layout will allow you to create an audio system that suits all of your tastes.
Some Top Tips
Don’t forget to mess with your audio adjustments and levels once you have your new system installed. Bad leveling can make any system sound terrible. Use gloves that can handle electricity when handling any changeover, even if your battery is disconnected. Keep your windows rolled up the entire time to avoid accidental cracking. If you feel like you’re out of your league with this work- talk to a professional! No amount of can-do attitude will unbreak a window or uncut a vital wire.