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Top Tips for Maintaining Your Car’s Audio System
A luxury car hire typically comes with an equally premier sound system. That usually means big names — Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Meridian, Burmester, etc. What’s more, you’ve got to take care of the thing before you return the car. You may be thinking there’s nothing you can do to a car’s audio system in a short period that would harm it, but you’d be wrong.
For the driver who is unaware of how to keep an audio system in tip-top condition, we’ve prepared a list of handy tips to help you along. We hope you find it useful and informative.
Tip 1: Magnets are the enemy
Magnetism is a real problem for your car’s audio system. If you have a lot of home electronics, you may be aware of this fact. A magnetic field can cause serious distortions in the lines of force that surround the speaker’s operation, thus greatly distorting the sound.
Because the speaker itself contains electromagnetic parts, the introduction of an outside magnetic force can cause the distortion described above. The risk of damage from magnetic forces is greatly increased if your speaker is housed in a metallic compartment, or with any materials that are conducive to magnetism. Have you ever noticed that many speakers come with wooden or plastic containment units? This is why.
You may be wondering how outside magnets even come into contact with speakers. You may be surprised to learn that many household objects contain magnets or magnetic parts. From fridge magnets to kids’ toys, from your credit and debit cards to computer equipment. Magnets are everywhere.
Tip 2: Clear away the dust
Outside magnetism isn’t the only thing your sound system can’t stand. Another is dust, which can very quickly build up in your car. A buildup of dust can greatly and negatively impact the performance of your speakers.
The best-case scenario is that you have speakers caked in dust, which impairs them from delivering the best possible sound quality. The worst-case is that the dust penetrates the outer casing and gets onto the points where the wires connect, causing horrible crackling noises and even a total blowout or disconnect. You should know that the gap between best-case and worst-case scenarios is way shorter than you think.
Use a dry cloth and/or a basic vacuum cleaner to get the dust off. Don’t use any liquid dust removal products as they may cause other damage to the audio system.
Tip 3: Don’t overtax the audio system
When you’re driving a luxury car with a top-notch sound system, the first temptation you have is to crank it up to max and bask in the audio magnificence. Does that sound familiar? In fact, overtaxing even the highest-quality systems is a bad idea, and even over a short-term period like a rental.
When you push the sound system above and beyond what it was designed for, you increase the risk of sound distortion. The problem is, when you set the volume of the amplifier beyond its recommended output level, you generate distortion that actually can reduce the life of the amplifier itself.
If you hear distortion when you’re blasting your favorite playlist, turn the volume down, because you’re overtaxing the system. Let’s face it, the music sounds bad anyway when you’re getting that horrible crackly sound over the top.
Tip 4: Keep the subwoofer safe from impact
If the trunk of your car has a subwoofer housed there, you have to be mindful of objects impacting it during your drive. It doesn’t even have to be something so heavy to have a lasting impact. If you have groceries or a gym bag sliding around and bumping against the sub-woofer, even that can cause damage.
The impact becomes more serious when you have heavier objects back there, and especially anything that can move easily despite its weight, such as a bowling ball. You may not even realize what these things are doing to your expensive subwoofer.
The best solution to this problem is to keep the trunk as clear as possible and to keep anything stored in the trunk as secure and still as possible during transit. If you’re finding it hard to achieve that, however, you can also make sure your car has protective gear installed around the sub-woofer, such as grilles. These will bear the brunt of the impact and shield the subwoofer from damage.
Tip 5: Avoid speaker exposure
There are a number of things that you need to shield your sound system from in order to keep them well maintained.
- Direct sunlight — While high-end sound systems will usually come with greater thermal protection, it doesn’t make them immune from the effects of harsh, direct sunlight, so it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. Use sunshades when you park up in open, sunny spaces, and keep your car in a sheltered spot at night if possible.
- Static electricity — This can negatively impact your audio’s electrical systems. Try to shed any static charge you’ve picked up before you get in your car and fiddle with the audio settings, especially if you’re in a cold, dry climate where static is abundant.
- Outside Magnetism + Dust — As described above, these are two more things to which you don’t want to expose your car’s audio system.
Get the Most out of Your Sound System
A properly maintained sound system is one you can seriously enjoy. Now that you know how to keep the sound system in good working order, you can follow some further tips on how to maximize sound quality and enjoy your favorite playlists even more:
- Go for a direct connection – plug your phone right into the audio jack to avoid the potential lag and “buffering” wall of Bluetooth.
- Use the speed-volume control – if your car has this awesome feature, you can set it to boost the volume for when you’re driving faster. Boost the volume, boost the excitement.
- Try an equalizer – if you are more technically minded and your ear is more sensitive to certain sounds, you can try an equalizer to raise or lower base/treble sounds until you find the perfect level for you.
A well-maintained and finely tuned audio system can make a huge difference in your luxury car experience. A car built for prestige needs the pinnacle of quality in every aspect, including how it sounds. Keep your system in line, and feel the benefits immediately.