Before you install your car audio system, it is best to define what a car audio system is. Usually a car audio system includes a car stereo, sometimes referred to as a receiver or head unit. Some people define it as not only the car’s stereo receiver but also 2 or more speakers and components that sometimes include an amp and sub woofer. However, for most people installing a car audio system, usually just includes the car stereo receiver.
Make sure when you shop for a car stereo receiver and speakers for your car that they are compatible with your car and can fit comfortably in the spaces allocated for your car audio system. For instance, many cars have small car stereo openings, others have larger sized opening, sometimes referred to as Double DIN.
When purchasing your car audio system, make sure all components will fit in your car and that you have purchased any special adapters (called wiring harness) and brackets to fit your specific car’s make and model.
Before you can remove your old audio system, you will need a few specific tools. They include a few types of screwdrivers, and depending on the installation a wire stripper, a wire cutter and electrical tape.
1 – Once you have all your tools, you can disconnect the negative cable from your car battery.
2 – Remove the dash board cover, usually with a screwdriver. Once the dashboard cover is removed, you will be able to gain access to the receiver; do not pull out the receiver completely and look to see which wires are connected to it. Usually there will be three sets of wires, a power cord that goes directly to the car’s battery, an antenna cord that plugs into the back of your receiver and goes to your car’s antenna and the main receivers wiring harness which connects to the many speakers in your car. (The wiring harness usually is in two parts, one part connects from your receiver, the other part is connected the car’s speakers, both of these harnesses plug into together. When disconnecting the wiring harness in the next step, remove the wiring harness that connects with the receiver)
3 – Now that you know which wires are which, you can disconnect all three sets of wires. Usually, you can now pull out the receiver completely and remove it.
Most Audio receivers can be purchased with a wiring harness that can fit most vehicles. A wiring harness makes it extremely easy to install your Audio Receiver. The wiring harness makes the connection from your audio receiver to your car’s speakers. You can connect all your speakers with literally one snap. The wiring harness connects to the car’s wiring harness with a snap, now you are ready for the receiver’s installation.
Now that the car’s wiring harness is connected to the new car audio receiver harness, you can easily install the other receiver. First slide the mounting bracket that came with your new receiver. In some cases you can use the same bracket that your old stereo came with.
1 – Now bring your receiver as close as possible to the receiver opening in the dash and plug in the receivers wiring harness into the back of the receiver, remember the other half is already connected to the cars wires. (Important Note: most car’s wiring harness includes the power cable, if not it will be a separate cable usually red and black together that needs to be manually connected from the car to th receiver)
2 – The remaining cable should be the antenna cable; you can easily plug this cable into the back of the receiver.
3 – Once all wires are hooked up to the car, slide in your receiver, but do not fasten any bolts or put the dash board cover on yet. First reconnect the negative cable to your car’s battery. Your car should start. Once the car has started, turn on your radio and see if everything works properly.
If everything is working properly, you can now screw in the bolts and replace your dash board cover; your audio receiver installation is complete.