Have you ever turned up the car radio to jam out to your favorite song only to be met with an awful high-pitched sound rather than the beat of the song?
Car audio systems have come a long way over time and are usually built to last. If you’re hearing a high-pitched squeal or squeak coming out of your car sound system, there are usually a few things you can attribute it to. It’s important to diagnose the issue and find a way to fix it so you can get back to enjoying your favorite songs.
In the rest of this article, we are going to help you understand what is going on if you hear your car speakers emitting a high-pitched sound as well as what to do about it.
What kind of sound are your speakers making?
Before you can determine what exactly is going on with your car speakers when they are making a whining noise, it’s important to determine what type of whine you are actually hearing.
Try to notice the pitch of the sound first. It is a high-pitched squeal or more of a lower tone that sounds like a hum or a buzz? Is the sound constant or does it only happen during certain circumstances like acceleration or when you have the music turned up loud?
Noticing these things is important to help you identify the issue so that you can fix the problem correctly and get back to listening to your car radio without the annoying whining sounds.
Why are my car speakers emitting a high-pitched sound?
Now that you’ve figured out that your car speakers are making a high-pitched squeaking or squealing sound, you’re probably wondering why that is. There are a few different reasons why this might be happening, all of which are pretty easy to diagnose yourself with a little bit of knowledge on what to look for.
The two biggest reasons why your car speakers are making that dreaded high-pitched sound is because of something called alternator whine or because there is some bad grounding in the electrical setup.
If this sounds like someone is speaking a totally different language, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
What is alternator whine?
Nine times out of ten when you have that awful high-pitched sound coming out of your car speakers drowning out any good music you try to listen to, you can thank the alternator whine.
Usually, with alternator whine, you will notice that the whining gets more pronounced as you increase your speed and tapers off at slower speeds. If that’s you, now the fun begins with how to fix this problem and get your car speakers back to functioning the way you want.
How do I fix the alternator whine?
Fixing the alternator whine starts with finding the source. When this happens, the cause is usually a bad ground connection somewhere in your car stereo system.
Usually, you’ll find that the connection is bad with the head unit, amp, or less commonly in the equalizers or crossovers. There are plenty of easy Youtube tutorials that can help you identify these parts in your car stereo system if you’re a rookie when it comes to car audio.
When you’re inspecting the different components of your stereo system to check for bad ground connections, make sure you are looking at everything with a critical eye.
Make sure all connections between the components are tight as sometimes just a loose connection can introduce noise into your system.
Also, check to make sure that the grounding points are on bare metal whenever possible. Spots where components are grounded on painted metal or uneven surfaces, could also be the cause, and just rerouting the connection will fix your issue.
What does bad grounding mean?
A bad ground in your car audio system (or anywhere else in your car for that matter) is actually a lot simpler than it sounds. It is just a matter of the electrical wires in your car not being “grounded” or attached to the appropriate area in your car that will allow it to receive power and get the least interference.
We’ve already established that a bad ground connection can cause alternator whine and other electrical issues that can cause that awful high-pitched squeal from your car speakers. This is often why a bad grounding is to blame for most of these types of problems.
Sometimes whoever installed your car audio system whether it is factory or aftermarket may have placed the ground connections in a bad spot. If you notice that the ground connection is either not tight, not hooked up properly to an electrical power source, or is grounded to anything other than bare metal, you probably have a bad ground.
There’s almost nothing worse than hearing your favorite song come on while you’re driving on a nice day and when you turn up the volume all you hear is a high-pitched squeal or squeaking sound. You just want to enjoy music while you drive, and having to listen to that repetitive noise is enough to drive just about anyone crazy.
The good news is that this sound is usually just an indication of something like alternator whine or another minor electrical issue caused by a bad ground connection. You’ll know that’s what it is by the fact that the whine gets worse with speed.
Even if you’re not a car audio pro, you can easily diagnose and even fix this problem yourself if you have a little bit of time and patience.
Check the ground connections coming off your stereo system to make sure all the connections are connected to the proper place and tightened. Also, make sure the connections make a point of contact fully on both sides and that they are grounded to bare metal whenever possible.
Bare metal gives the most reliable connection with the least risk for interference, which should get rid of that annoying sound from your car speakers. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different spots to get the best location and test the audio as you go to see what sounds best.