Though it is quite annoying and unsettling, trunk rattle is one of the most common problems car owners deal with. It is usually caused by the powerful bass coming from subwoofers, as their vibrations are pretty powerful.
If you are fed up with your trunk constantly rattling and your entire car shaking, keep reading. Below, we’ll offer you some of the best and cheapest solutions you can try to reduce the vibrations caused by your subs.
Why Do Subs Cause Vibrations and Rattling?
As already mentioned, most rattling issues in your trunk are caused by your subwoofers. Here’s how they can affect your vehicle and wreak havoc in your trunk area.
In many instances, subs cause unwanted noise because they have been installed improperly. For example, they might have been mounted to your vehicle poorly, making the trunk shake and vibrate when you use them. If this is the case, the noise and vibrations will increase the more you crank up the volume.
Overly Powerful Subs
Next, your trunk could be rattling because the subs you installed are simply too powerful for your vehicle. This situation is especially common with smaller cars, as their design doesn’t account for mighty speakers of any kind. In fact, the speakers can make the entire car shake, from the dashboard to the doors.
To avoid this issue, it is best to consult a professional before buying your subs. It can be a car shop employee, a friend who’s well-versed in cars, or anyone else you trust. With their help, you can select quality subs that won’t cause excess noise in your vehicle.
Poor Trunk Insulation
In older cars, trunks are usually not insulated at all. And if they are, manufacturers typically used low-quality materials. As a result, loud subs cause all kinds of noise, including rattling, grinding, and thumping.
If you pair this predicament with loud and powerful subs, you get a recipe for disaster. The bass will make everything inside the trunk rattle uncontrollably, and the noise will get worse the more you turn the volume up.
Loose Items in the Trunk
Like all speakers, subs create vibrating sound waves which travel around and through all nearby objects. Naturally, the waves also reach everything you have in your trunk, be it tools or luggage.
In case these items aren’t secured, the powerful vibrations can get them to move around in your trunk. Besides rattling, you might also hear thudding, thumping, and clinking, all depending on what you’re keeping in the trunk.
Luckily, this particular issue has an easy fix. All you have to do is secure every item in your trunk before starting your ride. By doing so, you will both reduce noise and ensure all your items remain safe and in one piece.
Wrong Amplifier Settings
Car subs can also rattle due to incorrect amplifier settings. For example, a low-pass filter or bass boost can be the culprit for the noise, causing the subs to receive too much power. As a result, the speakers create excess vibrations and make your dashboard and trunk rattle.
Once again, we’ll emphasize the importance of proper speaker installation. Regardless of which model you buy, it’s crucial to have someone knowledgeable and trustworthy install and set the speakers up for you.
In some cases, the rattling you hear doesn’t actually come from your trunk. Instead, it can also be caused by faulty speakers.
This issue is particularly common in older speakers that have already served you for quite some time. If you usually crank the volume up as far as it will go, the speakers have likely lost some of their power. As a result, they can rattle and click as you turn the volume up, making it impossible to enjoy your music.
In instances like these, replacing your subs is the best way to go. While repairs are also an option, the damage is usually too expensive to fix. That makes a new purchase a much better long-term investment.
How to Stop Your Trunk From Rattling: Cheap and Easy Ideas
Now that you know all the possible causes of your trunk rattling, it’s time to fix the problem itself. Here are the most affordable ways to do so.
Soundproof the Trunk Area
With all noise problems, soundproofing is always the best solution. Trunk rattling is no exception, and you can actually do it all on your own without breaking the budget.
The best option is to buy sound-deadening mats and liners to cover the trunk area. These materials are excellent at absorbing sound waves, so they will ensure your vehicle remains quiet while you blast some music.
For the most effective results, it’s best to use Dynamat adhesive sheets. You can get them in different sizes and colors, so they can seamlessly fit in with the rest of the car. Even better, the mats are incredibly easy to install, so you can do it all on your own.
Before you use the sheets, just make sure to clean the trunk area thoroughly. That way, the mats will adhere to the surface more easily and provide you with better sound protection.
Also, it’s essential to cover every inch of the trunk area with the sheets. Doing so will ensure the vibrations have no cracks to escape through, significantly reducing the rattling.
Secure the Subs Well
As already mentioned, subs can rattle if they aren’t properly mounted and secured to your trunk. In addition, the mounting bracket you used might be wobbly or not strong enough to hold the speakers, causing excess noise.
In both cases, you just need to secure the subs to the car again. If the mounting bracket is the issue, getting a new and stronger model is the best way to go. And if you aren’t sure what to look for or how to properly mount the subs, asking for help from a pro is your best bet.
Correct Your Amplifier Settings
Firstly, selecting subs that complement your car’s size and overall specifications is a must. However, setting them up and nailing the right amplifier settings for your needs is just as crucial.
To make things easier on yourself, it’s preferable to purchase subs that have separate output channels. That way, you will be able to control each speaker separately and ensure they cannot interfere with one another and cause noise.
Next, it’s pivotal to set the amplifier up so that it uses a low-pass filter on both speakers. This filter will block all frequencies above a certain level. As such, it will allow the subs to excel at what they do best: playing low-frequency sounds.
Most car shop employees are well-versed in this topic, so you can ask for their assistance while browsing for subs. With their help, you can find the right size for your vehicle and get the settings just right.
Experiment With Positioning
Sometimes, all it takes to reduce the rattling in your trunk is repositioning your subs. Try moving them around and playing music as usual, and check if any of the new positions make the situation better. Then, just mount them in that particular spot, and you’ll be good to go.
Is your subwoofer enclosure mounted to the floor of your trunk? If so, installing a brace or two could help secure it better. Made of sturdy metal and secured with several fasteners and straps, braces absorb the vibrations from the bass, thus reducing the rattling you hear.
Now, there are numerous brace models and materials to choose from. You can get models made of wood, plastic, metal, or even cardboard, depending on your budget and preferences.
They all work quite well, with plastic and wood being the best at absorbing noise and metal being the sturdiest option. Whatever material you pick, just make sure you install the braces according to the instructions from the manufacturer.
Pick the Enclosure Carefully
When buying or building the enclosure for your subwoofers, it’s important to get the sizing just right. Namely, if the enclosure is too big, the speakers will create too much air movement, resulting in the rattling of the trunk lid.
Furthermore, a well-sized enclosure will isolate the subs from the rest of the car, effectively trapping the vibrations from the bass inside. As a result, you won’t hear any annoying rattling, and your music will sound crisp.
And lastly, if you’re making the enclosure by yourself, don’t forget to seal the back! If you leave it open, the vibrations will simply escape through it, making your trunk shake and vibrate.
Secure the Items in Your Trunk
Do you have a lot of random knick-knacks in your trunk already? It’s essential to secure them well before playing any music using your subwoofers. If you don’t do so, the sound waves will travel through these items and move them around, causing all sorts of noise in the process.
So, you should invest in a trunk organizer, cargo net, some bungee cords, or a few straps. With these tools, you can easily secure anything from tools to luggage and ensure it stays in place no matter what you play on your speakers.
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Another great idea is to buy additional mats or any other form of padding for your trunk. By reinforcing the already existing padding in the trunk, the number of vibrations that reach the items in it will be significantly lower.
Clean Your Trunk Regularly
Although your subs are responsible for the bulk of the noise coming from your trunk, dirt and debris can also be at fault. Thus, it is crucial to clean your trunk area at least once a month.
By cleaning, we mean vacuuming the entire space from top to bottom. In addition, you should take a damp cloth and wipe down all surfaces after vacuuming. That way, you will surely remove any dirt, grime, or dust that might cause excess noise in the trunk.
Seal Any Gaps or Cracks in the Trunk Area
Do you notice any gaps or cracks in your trunk, be it the opening or deeper inside? If you do, you should seal those gaps as quickly as possible, as they might be causing the rattling. Namely, even if the gap is tiny, it is still big enough to let sound waves and vibrations out.
The cheapest way to do that is to buy some high-quality weatherstripping tape. This adhesive is an excellent choice both for sealing gaps and soundproofing. As such, it will create a closed acoustic box in your trunk, trapping all sound waves inside it. Thus, when you play music, the trunk won’t rattle anymore.
Besides reducing noise, this hack will also help your subs sound clearer. So, even when you crank up the volume, the sound will still be crisp and sharp.
Buy Quality Subs
Last but not least, you should splurge a little when buying your subwoofers. If you purchase a low-quality pair, the rattling will be much more pronounced even if you soundproof your trunk. Moreover, the sound will never be as clear as with quality speakers, as cheap subs vibrate a lot more.
Therefore, it’s best to take your time to explore the market and find speakers that will really complement your vehicle. And if you can’t afford them right away, it’s always smarter to wait a bit and save money than to commit to a subpar option instead. Trust us — you’ll be grateful you waited.
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If your subwoofers are causing your trunk to rattle, there are several tricks you can use to dampen the sound. For example, you can soundproof the trunk, get braces, and build an enclosure for the speakers.
Moreover, it is just as important to maintain your trunk in pristine condition as well as to secure any items in it tightly. Lastly, the key to a quiet trunk and excellent bass is in splurging and buying quality subs. By doing so, you will decrease the intensity of the vibrations, making your other soundproofing efforts even more successful.
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