Car clinic: How do I fix the speakers in my 2002 Ford Focus?

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Q. The right-hand-side speakers in the front and rear of my 2002 Ford Focus have stopped working. I have checked that the “balance” button is set correctly but my expertise ends there. The car is the only place I can listen to music without being asked to turn it down — can you help?
SL, Portishead, Somerset


A. The simplest option would be to have the system checked by an audio specialist (see car audio installation/repairs on, at a cost of about an hour’s labour for a diagnosis. It could be a loose connection, broken speakers or a problem with the head unit.

It’s possible to save money by testing the system yourself. Extract the head unit using a pair of audio release keys — metal rods that slot down the side of the deck and release the clips that hold it in place. They cost about £5 from Check the wiring and plugs at the rear of the deck: a damaged or loose connection is easy to spot and fix.

If the wiring looks OK, swap over the right and left-hand speaker plugs. If there is still no sound from the right-hand speakers they’re either broken or suffering from faulty wiring. In this case it is best to take the car to a professional. If new speakers need to be fitted, they will cost from about £20 a pair, plus labour.

However, if when you plug the speakers into the opposite sockets there’s now no sound from the left, the problem presumably lies inside the head unit. The practical option is replacement: prices of new units range from less than £100 to £400-plus. 

Sunday Times Driving car clinic expert: Dave Pollard

Dave Pollard has written several Haynes manuals and has tested just about every car-related accessory

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