Do you want to crank up the sound system of your car and you‘ve actually managed to save a little amount of money to do so? Installing the stereo yourself can save you a lot of money. It‘s actually quite easy to install a radio or CD player in your car especially if you have experience with electronics or wiring.
A standard car stereo is installed in the dash, but there are some modified or custom vehicles that require a different set of instructions for stereo installation. If this is the case with your car, it is best to contact the experts and have them install the car stereo for you. But if you have the standard version, you can enjoy your new stereo by simply following the instructions below.
You‘ll need new wire cutters, a set of screwdrivers, electrical tape, wire strippers, and the head unit – also known as the stereo itself or the CD player. You will also need a guide that outlines how to remove the dash panel and the old stereo system without causing any damage.
First thing‘s first. Buy a new stereo for your car. Make sure you get one that fits properly where the original stereo was inserted. You will also need to get a specific car stereo wiring harness which is made for the new stereo and your car‘s make and model. The car stereo wiring harness will make the whole wiring job a piece of cake.
When working on installing the new car stereo, make sure the car‘s engine is turned off. Disconnect the negative battery cable, which is the black one. You have to be careful when working on your car‘s electrical system. The battery has to be disconnected otherwise an electrical shock could happen.
If you still have your vehicle‘s manual, check the instructions on how to remove the dash panel surrounding your stereo. For the standard vehicle, all you have to do is unscrew and remove the head unit. Behind the head unit, there will either be a single plug connecting a lot of wires or a group of wires. If you see a number of wires bunched together, you will need to take them apart one by one to avoid confusion later on.
Wiring can be manually connected or by using the car stereo wiring harness. If you have the harness, you will need to plug it into the connector. The wiring harness will then plug into the back side of your new stereo. However, if you do not have a car stereo wiring harness, you will have to connect each of the wires manually.
The positive wires of your speaker need to be connected to the positive connectors on the backside of your stereo first. When this is done, proceed with connecting the negative wires to the negative connectors. If you only see one wire coming from each speaker, it means that they have been grounded at the chassis and a new speaker wiring should be installed.
Connect the black wire (-) on the stereo bolt where the stereo is mounted within the dash. It should be attached to metal. Connect both the red ignition power wires (+) and the 12 constant wires to the new radio. For the correct placement of the wires, refer to the installation manual.
By now, you should have a single connector which can be hooked to the proper wires in your car. Slide the new stereo into the mounting bracket which should have been included with the purchase. In some cases, though, you will need to use the old bracket from your original stereo.
Plug the wiring harness connector into the CD player or new radio‘s backside. There should be a single wire hanging coming from the old system. That is the wire for the antenna. Plug this wire into the new stereo unit and slide the stereo into the dash slot.
Test the stereo before screwing it in. Reconnect the battery cable and start the car‘s engine to power up the stereo. Listen to the performance of each speaker. If everything is working well, you‘re good to go!