How to install a stereo in your car

how to install a stereo in your car

Nov 19,  · Installing a car stereo system requires care and perfection. You will need to learn to wire and mix the components well and perhaps use the right tools. Installing a car stereo will depend on how you would want to customize your audio system. You may choose to install a new car system and change the components over time to your taste. Oct 26,  · Your factory stereo will most often be mounted in one of the following ways: secured in a metal mounting sleeve by spring clips bolted to the dash with brackets mounted to a rail system inside the dashReviews:

Last Updated: April 8, References. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewedtimes. Learn more Installing a new car stereo is a great way to breathe new life into your old daily driver. Because every car and every model stereo are a bit different, you might want to do some research on your specific car before getting started. To wire a car stereo, start by disconnecting your car battery to avoid electrocuting yourself.

Then, match the colored wires of your radio and your car and twist the wires together. If your car requires an output converter, connect this as well so your radio will work with your car. If it works fine, tuck all the wiring into your dashboard and slide the stereo back into place. For more tips, including how to remove your old car stereo before wiring in a new one, read on!

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Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article parts. Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1 of Purchase a wiring adaptor. Your new stereo will come with a diagram indicating what each wire is and what it needs to be connected to, but that process can be made much simpler by using a wiring harness clip adaptor.

Use the diagram provided with the stereo as well as the diagram provided with the clip, to loosely connect each of the wires to the new adaptor. Using the adaptor greatly reduces the chances that you will make a mistake wiring in your new stereo.

Identify and connect loose wiring. If you are not using a wiring harness clip adaptor, you will need to identify the wires coming out of the stereo, as well as those coming out of the car.

Use the repair manual for your car or locate a wiring diagram for your car online to aid in your efforts to identify each wire. Most car stereos will require the following connections: [2] X Research source The power wire coming from the stereo is usually red, and likely will connect to a red wire from the car. The ground wire for how to prevent theft in schools stereo will be black, as will its corresponding wire from the car.

If there is no ground wire, you can secure the ground cable to bare metal in the body of the car to serve as a ground. The 12 volt constant power wire is usually yellow or blue, though it may be a number of colors coming from the car.

The rest of the harness wires what happens in a chocolate factory for the speakers. Use the diagrams to properly match each with its appropriate wire from the car. The antenna wire is much thicker with a metal head and can be connected separately before you install the stereo.

Connect the output convertor if necessary. Some vehicles will require an output converter to make it work properly with components what are the most dangerous countries in the world the car that are not common industry wide. Be sure you order an output converter designed specifically for your year, make and model vehicle. Secure all connected wires.

Once all of the wiring has been connected to their corresponding wires, you will need to make those connections permanent. There are a number of ways you can permanently bond two wires together and while some may be more resilient than others, most will work just fine for car stereo applications. Be sure there is no bare wire metal showing from any of the wire connections by wrapping them in electric tape or heat-shrink wrap. You melt the solder onto the wires to stick them together and as the solder cools it forms a permanent bond.

Twisting wires together and then covering them with heat-shrink wrap or electric tape will suffice for car stereos. Connectors can be purchased that you simply slide both wires into and either crimp them together with pliers or twist them together with your fingers. Part 2 of Disconnect the battery. Once you locate the battery, use a hand or socket wrench to loosen the black cable from the negative terminal on the battery.

You will not need to remove the bolt entirely, instead simply loosen it enough to pull the cable off of the terminal. To be sure the battery is disconnected, check to see if the lights come on in the cabin of the car. Nothing electronic should work with the battery disconnected. Disconnecting the battery will prevent you from doing damage to the electrical system as well as protect you from shocks. Remove any necessary pieces of trim.

You will need to gain access to the sides of the stock head unit or stereo in your center console. In some cars, that will require the removal of some pieces of plastic trim.

Be careful when removing trim pieces, as they may be brittle and subject to cracking. Whenever possible, try to pull the piece of trim out slightly to get a look at what kind of clip is used to attach it. You may need to slide the trim piece in a certain direction to separate it, you may need to hit a release with a screw driver, or you may need to simply pull on it hard enough.

Checking first will prevent you from breaking off the clips and having to replace the piece of trim. Determine how your head unit is mounted. Car stereos are all held in place using one of two methods: spring clips or bolts.

Each method requires a different technique for removal. Spring clip mounts may not require the removal of any trim pieces and can be identified by the matching pairs of holes on either side of the stereo.

Stereos that are bolted into place may require more trim removal, as you will need to gain access to how to download yu-gi-oh online 3 pc space behind the stereo. If they are present, your stereo is held in place with spring clips.

If there are no holes, remove the trim below, above or to the side of the stereo to gain access to the bolts. Use DIN tools to remove spring clipped stereos. If your stereo or head unit is held in place using spring clips, you will need to purchase a pair of DIN tools. Insert one DIN tool into the two holes on the left, and another into the two holes on the right.

Press them both in until you hear the click of the spring releasing. Spread the tools apart slightly to grip the back of the stereo and pull the tools toward yourself. The stereo will slide out of the console of the car along with the tools.

Remove a bolted in stereo with wrenches. You will likely need to remove quite a bit more of the trim to access bolts that hold your stereo in place than you would have with spring clipped stereos.

Once you are able to see the bolts, removing the stereo should be fairly how to find mrna from dna there will likely be four bolts, either attaching the stereo to a bracket at the back or on either side. Determine the size of the bolts, then use a hand wrench to remove them. Unscrew these bolts and slide the stereo out.

Remember that the stereo is still connected to the car with wires, so be careful not to rip any out as you remove the stereo from the console. Disconnect the wiring. If you are removing a stock head unit, there will likely be at least one plastic clip with a number of wires going into it that you will need to disconnect. There may be a second clip and an antennae cable as well in some cars. If you are removing an aftermarket stereo, there is a possibility that there will be no clip and the previous stereo was wired loosely.

If that is the case, you may have to cut the wires in order to connect them to the new head unit. Be careful when removing the wire harness clip from the back of the stereo. It may have a plastic button or tab holding it in place. Part 3 of Test the stereo. Before you install the stereo in the center console of your vehicle, reconnect the battery and turn the car on to how to change your eating habits permanently sure it is functioning properly.

With the stereo completely connected, turn it on and try a few functions. Make sure how to communicate with my husband without arguing speakers in your vehicle are working and that CDs or your MP3 player play properly.

If you have been able to connect the antennae cable already, check to make sure the radio works. If something does not work properly, review the connections with the wiring diagrams that you have to make sure all of the wires are connected to their corresponding match. Tuck all of the wiring into the dashboard.

Meet Robert Ferency-Viars

Sep 17,  · Naturally, you must first remove the old factory stereo before you install your new car stereo. Set the parking brake and remove the negative cable from the vehicle battery. Factory stereos either rest in a mounting pocket with spring clips or they are bolted into the dash with brackets. Apr 05,  · Wiring a New Stereo 1. Purchase a wiring adaptor. Your new stereo will come with a diagram indicating what each wire is and what it needs to 2. Identify and connect loose wiring. If you Views: K.

Estimated wait for next available agent :. All of our representatives are currently chatting with other customers. For Tech Support, call Eating up the highway with clarity and volume — a champion of car audio. During my first few years at Crutchfield, I served as one of our Advisors, helping our customers choose new audio components for their homes and cars. Eventually, I moved to the writing team and spent a decade researching new products and getting even more hands-on with car audio gear.

I've performed many car and home audio installations over the years, some of them even on my own cars. As the editor of Crutchfield's car audio web articles, I couldn't ask for a cooler job.

We listen to music and play with car audio gear every day! Like most of us here, I've always been into music. I installed my first car stereo system before the family car was even mine. In college, I helped friends and roommates install their car stereos and set up the stereos in their apartments. That's where I also first learned a little bit about sound mixers. These days, I serve my community by volunteering with the Boys Scouts of America. Car stereo installation basics — In this article, we'll walk you through the process of installing a new car stereo.

We'll cover:. Please read over these guidelines before beginning the installation so you'll know what to expect. You'll need a few tools to get the job done, but nothing serious.

A couple of screwdrivers and a wrench or socket set for the battery cable are most common. One of the more important tools you'll need is a panel removal tool to help you safely remove the dash panels without scratching the surfaces or breaking anything.

He walks you through the process from start to finish and shares a few expert tips along the way. When installing a new stereo in your car, your first step will be to remove the old stereo. It would be easy to breeze through the removal steps and forget them. Otherwise, you may use the general guidelines below. Using MasterSheet instructions with the general guidelines below will prove to be a winning combo.

Before you begin, start by setting the parking brake and removing the negative cable from the car battery to prevent accidentally short circuiting something.

If the stereo is held in by spring clips, you'll need a pair of DIN tools. Insert the DIN tools into the holes on either side of the unit until you hear a click. The tools serve to release the spring clips and also hook onto the sides of the stereo so that you can pull it out easily. Spread the tools apart slightly then pull the stereo out of the dash. Sometimes, accessing the stereo requires the removal of one or more trim panels from the dash.

You may have to carefully pry the plastic trim away from the dash which is often secured by hidden pressure clips , or locate and remove bolts to disassemble other pieces of panel. Once you have gained access to the factory stereo, you should be able to see screws that secure the radio to the dash. Remove the screws and pull the stereo from the dash.

Some vehicle manufacturers mount the factory radio to a guide rail inside the dash. Once the spring clips or bolts are removed, you can slide the radio off of the rail. Because this rail can sometimes interfere with the chassis of a new radio, it may have to be removed too.

Something to keep in mind: once this is done, you often cannot reinstall the factory radio. American cars built before the early s often came with a "shaft-style" stereo, which secured to the dash via nuts and washers to the right and left knobs.

A shaft-style stereo must be installed from behind the dash. Getting it into position is the tricky part, since your vehicle's wiring, heater controls, and ductwork may be in the way. One of our vendors, RetroSound, offers several vintage shaft-style radios with modern features on board and a versatile mounting system.

If your vehicle has or once had a factory stereo, or if it was pre-wired with a "stereo prep" package, there should be at least one plastic wiring harness behind the stereo opening. This plug connects the stereo to your vehicle's electrical system and the speakers. You will need to unplug the factory stereo from the wiring harnesses, and unplug the antenna to complete the removal process.

With the old radio out of the way, it's time to focus on the new one. That involves connecting all the wires and then installing the stereo in the dash.

If Crutchfield carries a vehicle-specific wiring harness for your vehicle, you can use it to connect your new stereo to your vehicle's factory wiring harnesses. This will ensure that everything works seamlessly, just like the factory stereo did. These harnesses usually include a color-coded wiring diagram for connecting the harness to your new stereo. Your new stereo will also include a radio wiring diagram in the owner's manual. Refer to the two diagrams to confirm the car stereo wire colors that need to be connected to the adapter harness.

The nice thing is that you can make these connections on a workbench, desk, or kitchen table without having to be inside the vehicle. If a harness is not available for your vehicle or if the factory stereo plug was cut off, you'll need to identify each of the car's stereo wires and connect them to the corresponding wires of your new stereo.

If you purchased your new stereo from Crutchfield, our Tech Support team may be able to tell you the colors and functions of your car's wiring. Please avoid only taping the wires together — eventually the tape will dry out and fall off, exposing the wires and making it only a matter of time before something shorts out.

Here are the options that will give you secure, lasting connections:. Check out our wire connecting videos to see these different methods in action. Usually, it is best to make all of the new stereo's wiring connections via the wiring harness, but if you have to make a direct power connection, you'll need to know the difference between "switched" and "constant" power:.

Although rare, a few high-powered stereos require you to make a direct constant power connection at the positive terminal of your vehicle's battery. This requires a heavier gauge power wire, an in-line fuse usually included , and a ring terminal to connect the power wire to the battery clamp. You will have to route the power wire to the battery location, which is often through the vehicle firewall and into the engine compartment in order to make the connection at the battery. Car stereos have eight wires for the traditional 4-speaker system — a positive wire and a negative wire for the front left, front right, rear left, and rear right speakers.

Depending on the wiring configuration in your vehicle and the wiring harness adapter we offer, some of these may not be used. A good ground connection is vital for proper stereo performance and to eliminate unwanted noise. If you are not using a custom wiring harness, look for a bare, unpainted bolt or screw that contacts the bare metal of your vehicle's chassis. Loosen the bolt, slip the ground wire underneath this is almost always a black wire , then tighten the bolt.

If your ground wire doesn't contact bare metal, your stereo won't operate. A loose or weak ground connection can result in signal noise interfering with your music. This wire acts as a switch to turn on the video monitor when the parking brake is engaged. This wire can be in different locations in different vehicles, depending on the brake configuration.

The wire is usually found where your parking brake is. In vehicles that have a hand brake between the front seats, you'll have to remove the center console to get to it.

In vehicles that have a foot-pedal parking brake, the stereo's wire will need to be routed to it under that dash. Either way, it isn't too hard, just take your time. And once again, Crutchfield's award-winning tech support team can be a big help in locating it and helping you get to it. If the original stereo was bolted into the dash, you might need to remove the mounting brackets from the sides of it and attach them to the sides of your new stereo.

More likely, you will need a mounting kit to install the stereo. If a mounting kit is required, follow the instructions included with the kit.

Sometimes you install the kit in the dash, then slide the new stereo's metal mounting sleeve if included into the kit. Secure the metal sleeve by using a screwdriver to bend the sleeve's metal tabs into place. In other cases, you attach the mounting kit to the new stereo first, then secure both in the dash with screws. An adapter allows you to use a new stereo with your existing speaker system. And you'll get it at a deep discount when you buy your new stereo from us.

This integration package lets you keep the factory LCD screen and touchscreen climate controls in select and up Ford Mustangs. Once the dash opening is ready for the new stereo, hold the stereo near the opening.

Connect the stereo wiring adapter to the vehicle's wiring harness and plug in the antenna cable. Slide the stereo into the dash opening, but don't fasten it down just yet. First, test the stereo to make sure everything is working properly. It's easier to fix a problem while everything is still exposed. Note : You'll have to reattach the battery cable in order to test the stereo, so if you disconnected any airbag warning plugs, be sure to reattach those before reconnecting the battery.

Then adjust the balance and fader settings to check that each speaker is working. Once you're sure the stereo is wired and working properly, finish securing it in the dash and reinstall any pieces of dash trim panel that you removed.

By now you should have some idea of what is involved in replacing your factory stereo with a new, better, aftermarket stereo. From there, you'll be able to see the details about which stereos, speakers, and other gear will work with your vehicle and also see the installation gear you'll need to do the job right. You can contact our Advisors via chat or phone. I just installed a brand new head unit and it's wired up correctly and i still have no sound in any of the speakers. Had this problem before i changed the head unit thinking that was the issue.

What could cause this?

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