Can Water Damage Car Speakers?


Car speakers not only improve the ambiance in the car during travel, but they can also increase their value depending on the setup. These are the foremost reasons car owners invest in their car speakers.

The other great thing about them is that they are generally low maintenance. It’s not as susceptible to wear and tear as other car parts and may only require a quick repair. One of the common misconceptions about it, however, is that they’re not likely to get water damage unless you leave your car window rolled down during a heavy downpour.

The fact of the matter, however, is that there are various ways that car speakers can get wet and consequently, water damaged.

How do car speakers get wet?

As with any electrical device, it is not advisable for car speakers to be exposed to water. This can cause the equipment to short circuit, thereby affecting functionality. But if you’re not putting it out in the rain, how else can your car speakers get water damage?

Water Exposure

Rolled-down windows during heavy rain are an easy way to get your car exposed to water and thus potentially damaged. Spilling liquid like water, juice, or soda directly on the unit could also lead to unit damage.

In some unfortunate cases, car speakers get wet while being cleaned, whether at the carwash or in your own garage. Splashes of cleaning water, soapy water, or even water from the power washer can all get your speakers and the rest of your car soaking wet.

Water leakage

The other way that car speakers get wet is by having water leakage in your car. This leak can come from different sources, from leaks in doors and windows to defective cabin filters. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

Leaking Openings

Outdoor moisture can get inside your car either from your car door, windows, or sunroof. All of these access points are regularly opened, which then allows water and moisture inside the car. It may not be so much an issue during warmer months, but it can lead to serious problems once the temperature starts dropping.

A cracked door seal, for example, can develop over time with constant friction. This crack can grow and spread, thus allowing water to seep in and into the car.

The same goes for the windows and sunroof. Make sure that the stripping on their frames is properly set so it completely protects the car interior from any leakage. The windshield also has this stripping material around it, so make sure that it’s in good shape as well.

Damaged A/C Evaporator

If you notice a puddle under your car when there’s supposed to be none, consider if your car might have a faulty A/C system.

A common problem that car ACs have is that their evaporator gets clogged, especially when it sucks in dirty air from the outside. When the evaporator gets clogged, then the moisture has nowhere to go for condensation but outside the unit and into the car. This takes the form of a water leakage, which can cause water damage to your car stereo, apart from making the car smell musty and making the floor wet.

Faulty Cabin Filter

The cabin filter is typically found in the car’s engine compartment. It has a cover and seals that are intended to keep water out of the interior cabin. If this filter is not properly locked in place, then water will leak through and cause damage inside your car.

How to prevent car speakers from getting wet?

There are several ways to protect your speakers from getting wet; the best part is that they don’t have to be complicated.

Cover Your Speakers

The most obvious thing you can do to prevent car speakers from getting wet is to cover them with a protective covering, especially when going on long rides or if you’re driving in the rain. They’re easy to put on and just as easy to take off.

Use Moisture Barriers

To prevent moisture build-up inside your car, use a moisture barrier on the doors. This will make sure that the car interior is properly sealed off from the exterior, which is where the moisture usually comes from.

Install Rain Guards

Car window rain guards provide an additional layer of protection on your car’s exterior. These are attached to the top of the car window frame to direct raindrops or splashes away from the car interior.

How to fix wet car speakers?

The good news is that water damage does not develop instantly. If you take immediate action to remedy the situation, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to save your car speakers.

Remove Speakers to Dry

The first thing you should do is to take out the speakers from their housing to get them dry. In case there’s a protective grill over it, make sure to unscrew the grills first; don’t just force the speakers loose off it.

Use a Hairdryer

The reason for this is that you want to make sure to catch every possible drop of moisture that might have gotten into the system. Especially because it is an electrical device, you don’t want to run the risk of not being thorough when drying it. The hairdryer is also the fastest and surest way to get the results you want.

In case you don’t have a hairdryer, you can use a clean towel, although this will take much longer and certainly not the most thorough method.

Clean the Terminals and Magnet

Apart from drying the speaker itself, you should also clean the terminals and the magnet before putting it back. One of the most telling signs of water damage is rust and corrosion. You can prevent this by making sure the environment around your car speaker is also in good condition.

Once you’ve got everything dried and fixed, you can put it back in its place. Don’t forget to screw the grills back on to secure them.


Getting water damage in your car speakers is never fun. Not only does it keep you from having a more enjoyable car ride, but it can also cost you a lot of money for repairs or replacements. The good thing is you can prevent it from happening.

By taking simple precautions, you can enjoy your car speakers for much longer. So remember: keep an eye out for the usual sources of cabin moisture, install protective materials on your car and speaker to protect it from getting wet, and immediately act on its maintenance at the first instance of water exposure.