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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

First off I am not car savy in the slightest, I got my upgraded car audio done at a specialist place which consisted of;

a) a new head unit
b) subwoofer (in rear boot)
c) amp (in rear boot)
d) new front door speakers
e) new tweeter speakers at the side mirrors

It's been fine for a couple of years, today however I lost all audio from the front left side passenger front door speakers (so the door speaker AND the mirror tweeter).
Curiously enough the cut out happened when i was winding down the left (and right) front door windows to let some cool air in, and I think as I was putting the windows back up that's when I lost the sound.

I'm thinking a loose connection somewhere as both the mirror tweeter and door speaker on teh same side dropped out simultaneously.

I did the simplest thing and went to the amp at the back of the boot, wiggled a few wires to see if there was just a loose connection and that it triggered the sound to come back, but it didn't. The fact that both the tweeter and the door speaker cut out when messing with the window suggests to me that perhaps the window winding down dislodged a cable perhaps?

My car is a 2002 subaru outback and I found a video on how to take the door panel off, looks a piece of piss;

My car door is exactly like that so I feel confident enough to remove the panel and inspect. But before I do (it's evening here so I have lost any daylight to really do the job, plus it's cold lol, I'll have a stab at it tomorrow) I wanted to just ask if there was any knowledgeable car audio geeks here whom from what info I have passed on sounds like the fault does lie within the car door?

Now down to the safety part. Obviously I would be taking the door off with the engine off etc. I'm looking for obvious loose connections, but to test I'd want to turn over the engine to get the amp working, and then fire up a track etc.

Am I in any real danger, doing this DIY job myself, I mean I'm not going to touch any disconnected wires, I'm really just wanting to inspect the wires running to the speaker, can the car batter really do me in? lol



I has wagons.
12,382 Posts

'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Does the installer stand behind his work? I presume since you're asking here that any warranty you had is no longer in effect, but thought I'd ask. Have you asked how much it would cost to have them diagnose and fix it?

DIY is not out of the question if you have a few diagnostic skills and tools, like a multimeter.

Troubleshooting car electrical issues by just haphazardly trying this and that can be frustrating if you don't know what you're doing, but not dangerous if you're working on small circuits protected by properly-sized fuses. With 12V automotive systems, there is approximately zero chance of electrocuting yourself, and the fuse will blow before allowing a short circuit to start a fire.

Car starting batteries store a large amount of energy, and bad things can happen if you're not careful working directly on or around them, or the large cables attached directly to them. Most of the rest of the circuitry shouldn't be able to hurt you.

It's considered good practice to disconnect the battery's negative terminal before you start digging into the car, especially if you're doing something unfamiliar. Be careful not to let wrenches or other conductive things span between the battery's positive terminal and negative terminal or the body of the car while doing this. If you're uncomfortable about this, get someone who knows what he's doing to help you or supervise. Since you may need to power the system up for testing, you may have to temporarily reconnect the battery negative at some time in the process, but leaving it disconnected while you're removing panels and poking around is prudent.

Since this happened right as the window in that door was being operated, a problem inside the door seems like the obvious first thing to look for. There is nothing particularly dangerous about opening the panel and look for an obvious problem like a disconnected connector, especially if the battery is disconnected while you're doing this.

If your amp is so powerful that it needs to be connected to the battery with a large cable or cables, the positive cable (at least) should have a fuse in it - if there is not a fuse, you should get that fixed before doing anything else!

You mentioned starting the engine in order to run the amp. Is that really necessary? Even if that amp is rated in horsepower instead of mere watts (1 hp = 745W), I doubt you're going to have it cranked to the point it registers on nearby seismographs while troubleshooting.

If there is no obvious problem in the door, you'll need to systematically troubleshoot the problem; just trying this and that will most likely be frustrating. If you have no experience with troubleshooting, could you get a friend who does have some (and test equipment, like a meter) to help you? That's a great way to learn.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck!
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