Life is full of little joys; fast cars, cheeseburgers, beautiful women and loud music are among my favorite. So why not take advantage of your car’s audio potential and install a completely custom aftermarket sound system. And as we all know at the heart of your investment is going to be a bad ass subwoofer. Constant use day after day, year after year, will inevitably lead your unit to depreciate. At times it will be clear that you got your moneys worth and the unit’s lifespan has been met. But other circumstances maybe harder to determine the cause of damage. Ultimately this makes you question whether your unit is covered by manufacturer’s warranty. Luckily you have come to the right place because Sonic Electronix is full of experts to help you distinguish what the root of your damage is.
After speaking with our head technician, you won’t believe the types of calls he gets regarding warranty. One customer slipped with the drill and actually punctured the cone while another customer fried his subwoofer due to his own faulty wiring. Both instances, they were hoping the manufacturer would provide compensation for their foolishness but we all know that neither of those damages were due to poor manufacturing. In short think of it like this, warranty covers manufacturer’s defects not customer defects. Meaning you are liable for any mistake you made when handling your subwoofer. Any mistakes that took place at the point of manufacturing are credited to the factory and are covered by warranty.
So you just purchased a Kicker 15″ Solo-Baric L7 Series 4 ohm subwoofer. As tempting as it might be, do not rush into immediately installing your beautiful new woofer. Rather, you should first inspect your product. Gently check to see the cone is mobile, no tears, and ensure all stitching is good. Most importantly you need to asses if there is any adhesive breakdown causing the cone to separate from the basket. This defect will quickly turn into a bigger problem when your 1000w RMS subwoofer is blasting your favorite track. If you inspect for these imperfections and find nothing, your unit was properly manufactured. Think of it like this, a subwoofer is a big, tough and powerful beast with a simple design. There isn’t a whole lot to mess up when manufacturing the unit. Your warranty does not cover your negligence only those few instances where the manufacturing process was not perfect.
If you are anything like me, you get carried away pretty easily. The thought of a brand new subwoofer only brings about excitement which clouds your judgement. Such temptation can force a person to rush the installation, enclosure build, wiring, whatever it might be so they can use their brand new woofer sooner. And of course when you mess up any of these critical steps, you jeopardize the performance of your woofer. Assuming your new unit works perfectly and the manufacturing process was properly executed, any mistake made during the installation process is completely your fault. It is your responsibility to care and protect your woofer like a small child.
CWarranty not Insurance
Insurance by definition is the arrangement between an entity or individual with a business to cover any damages or losses to a specified product with predetermined terms. When you get in a car accident your insurance compensates you for damages (assuming it is covered) even if you were negligent. Warranty is completely different and ensures a customer that whatever product they bought arrives as advertised. This means that the functionality and design match the product description. Once the product arrives in your possession and you see that everything was properly manufactured; it is your responsibility to maintain the product’s health.
However it is important to note the standard warranty policy lasts for one year. So six months after you made the initial purchase, your adhesive begins to loosen and you notice the cone is detaching from the basket, don’t sweat it; the warranty has you covered. But please note, six months down the line if you are loading groceries into your boot and the milk falls onto your woofer, that is not fixed with a grill, you are at fault and the manufacturer has no obligation to help you.
DSonic’s Secret: Six Preventable Customer Defects
Our lead technician shared with me the most common damages our customers make. These are all avoidable and it is recommended you read through this and learn from other peoples mistakes so you can avoid them for yourself.
- Slipping with the drill during the install process is not unusual. Often a person’s “steady” hand slips creating an unwanted hole in the sub. Our techies call this “porting the sub”
- Underpowering your subwoofer happens frequently. Many people think that this will not cause any damage because there is no strain placed on the woofer, when in reality this will slowly kill your woofer. Techies refer to this as flat waving.
- Improperly setting your aftermarket subwoofer distorts sound quality. Be sure you read the instructions or use preset settings before the woofer is active.
- Not matching the subwoofer to the box is a huge deal. This provides the wrong air space for your woofer distorting sound and ultimately damaging your unit.
- By not putting a grill on your woofer, you are leaving it exposed to the elements. When your woofer is active, even a finger tip touching the cone will cause serious damage.
- Last but not least, the volume knob. Use it conservatively and listen for distortion. Don’t overdo it and your subwoofer will have longevity.
Ultimately, debriefing warranty is pretty simple. Any malfunction credited to the manufacturers error is covered in warranty. The most common defect is adhesive breakdown. Although this is an easy fix, it is recommended you just send it back to the manufacturer. Chances are they will give you a new unit or fix it for you. Always trust the experts when it comes to salvaging a damaged product. Lastly be sure that you follow all specifications set by the manufacturer. This will ensure the longevity of your unit and keep your car’s audio sounding top notch.