What To Do When Car Speakers Not Working On One Side?

Car speakers tend to wear and break down with time. This mostly happens to low-quality car speakers, which is what comes with most cars. But there is a wrong assumption that when one of your car speakers stops working, the problem is with the speakers. This is mostly not the case and fixing the speakers won’t solve the issue. Various tests can help you determine why one gets the issue of car speakers not working on one side. They are all discussed in this article in detail so read on!

Tests To Diagnose Why Car Speakers Not Working On One Side

One needs to diagnose the problem that causes the issue of car speakers not working on one side. This is the only way to find why the problem happens. This article discusses several tests by assuming that your car has a two-channel amplifier, a crossover, a head unit and two-door speakers with the right speaker not working and the left working. 

1. Testing for Speaker Problems

To try and test for speaker problems you have to turn off your vehicle and the car stereo system first. You have to do this before disconnecting the speaker wires for the two speakers (left and right) from the amp. 

Now connect the right speaker to the left amplifier output. After that, switch on the stereo and ensure that the balance is in the middle position. If you find that the speaker is not working, then the issue may be with the speaker or the amplifier. The problem can be with the speaker, the speaker wires or any other component in the wiring connections. The passive crossover between each speaker and the amp, if there is one, could also be having some issue. This could be the thing that is causing the issue, car speakers not working on one side. 

What To Do If This Is The Issue?

You first have to take out the speaker from the door and use temporary wires to test if your amplifier is doing fine. This way you can also test if your speakers are alright and if there are any bad wiring issues. If the speakers are not working but work just fine with new wires, then all you may have to do is replace the old wires with new ones. 

However, if that speaker is working without trying after connecting to the amplifier channel, then the problem is not with the speakers. In such a case, you need to turn off the stereo system and test the other components. 

2. Check For Continuity

If your car speakers are mounted inside the door panels, then space where the wires go through between the door frame and the door can be a point of failure.

These tend to break over time even though, the wiring harnesses are normally sealed with hard rubber sheaths for protection. This happens because of the repeated stress when closing and opening doors. You may have to check the continuity of your wires with the door open and closed. 

If you notice that the wires lack continuity, then that means you have broken wires somewhere. If the continuity problem is to ground, then you may have a shorted wire and that could be the cause of the problem, car speakers not working on one side. 

3. Ruling Out An Amplifier Issue

If your speaker is not the issue, then the amplifier could be. To provide an example, some amps go into protect mode when the volume is turned up. Otherwise, you have to check if the amp channel is bad, especially if all the speakers are connected to the amp. Otherwise, you have to check whether the amplifier channel to see if it is bad especially if all the speakers are connected to the amp. 

How To Do The Procedure?

To do this, put each speaker to its respective channel, the right speaker to the right channel and the left speaker to the other one. Keep in mind that your vehicle stereo should be switched off while you are connecting the wires. 

Once you get the speaker wiring back to normal or get it back to its original configuration, remove the RCA cables from the amp and switch them. This means that the right cable should be hooked to the left input and vice-versa before turning on your car stereo system. 

If you notice that the right speaker is still not working but the left one does, then you can start to suspect that your amplifier is the culprit. In this case, you have to get a professional technician to check the amplifier. 

4. Testing The RCA Cable Connection

You have to follow these steps for any components between the head unit and the amplifier. Start by checking the RCA cables connecting the intermediate component with your amplifier. Here is the step by step guide to diagnose this issue. 

  • From the component’s output, unplug the RCA cables
  • Plug the working speaker’s RCA cable to the non-working side of your car’s crossover. In this case, the left channel is the working side so plug the left RCA cable to the right side of the crossover. 
  • Turn on your car stereo system. 

If you notice that the left channel keeps working, then you have to know that the RCA cables between the crossover and the amplifier are the problem. But if the left speaker also is not working, then you should know that the RCA cables do not have the problem. 

5. Checking For An Equalizer Or Crossover Problem

In a situation, the car speakers not working on one side, you need to correct crossover and phase on your subwoofer. At the interchange component unit, interchange the RCA cables the right to the left input and vice versa and switch on the audio unit. 

If the left channel continues working well and the right side still is not working, then the intermediate component is the problem. You may have to repair or replace the component in such a situation. 


All these fixing techniques can be used by you when one side of your car’s speakers is not working. These are the troubleshooting procedures that most technicians when there is a stereo problem. It may require you to have some basic skills and required tools to perform these steps well. If you are not sure you can perform these steps on your own, it is best to take your car to a technician and get the work done. 

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