How to Car Stereo Installation

A very important point to remember before you set out to purchase a new stereo set (the head unit) is that it should be of the right size, so that it fits in the slot of your built-in stereo. Different audio systems are available according to the different models of the car. Hence, finding one for your car should be easy. The cost of hiring a professional to install it could be very high. Installing it yourself is simple.


First of all, gather all the things you will require; these include: a new stereo, screwdriver set, wire strippers, wire cutters, and electrical tape. While buying a new music system, also look for a wiring harness that is suitable for your new system as well as for your car’s make and model. A wiring harness makes the job simpler; if you don’t get one, you’d have to wire it up manually.

Disconnecting the Cable
Before doing anything else, it is very important to disconnect the negative ground cable from the battery.

First, remove the cover of the stereo or the dash panel. Using a screwdriver, unscrew it and take the old head unit out of the slot. Now, there could either be a single plug with many wires connected at the back of the old audio system, or there could be a bunch of single wires. If they are individual wires in a bunch, then they need to be detached one by one to avoid any possible confusion.

Connecting the Harness
There are two ways to wire the system; one is by using a wiring harness and the other is doing it manually.

With a Harness
This method is called the crimping method. It is possible that the wires are of different sizes. Use the right size of crimp caps and wire strippers in case the wire sizes vary.

Strip half an inch of the wire and then twist the wires together. Put the crimp cap on the twisted wires and ensure that it is fixed tightly. Once the wires are connected to their respective connections, place the new stereo into the mounting bracket. Now, connect the wiring harness to the one inside the dash and then place the new system inside. Connect the removed battery cable to the battery. Test your audio system, and if it works fine, then fix it into the dash permanently. If it does not seem to work well, then remove it and check all the connections again.

Without a Harness
Connecting the stereo harness into the factory harness is a much longer process without a harness. This is because each stereo wire needs to be connected separately to the corresponding wires in the dash. The wires can be identified and attached with the help of the different colors.

Connect the negative wires of the new system to the corresponding negative wires in the dash. Ensure that the color of both the wires match. Refer to the manual if the colors don’t seem to match. Now, connect the ground wire to the metal of a bolt next to where the audio system is set. Here, it’s important that the black ground wire is only touching the metal part and not a material like plastic. Next, connect the ignition power wire to the stereo. Before fixing the system permanently, check if it works right.

Tips to Build Custom Car Speaker Boxes

The type of bass you receive from your car audio system doesn’t solely depend on the speaker. For optimum speaker performance, you require strong and tightly-built speaker boxes. Speakers without these enclosures are unable to deliver full bass, as the sound from the back of the speaker cancels some of the low frequencies emerging from the front of the speaker. Therefore, learn how to build custom car speaker boxes.


Sealed enclosures are smaller than all other types of such boxes, but are most widely used and easy to construct. They do not permit air to escape from the box, thus making it difficult for the speaker to move in and out. This, as a result, enhances the transient response, i.e., tighter bass and better sound accuracy. These boxes have good power handling capability and their tightly-sealed design prevents the speaker’s motor structure to cool down like other boxes. Other than sealed boxes, there are ported boxes that use a vent to reinforce deeper and forceful bass. Bandpass boxes are another type that are designed for maximum slam. They work great for rap, reggae, and hard rock music, as the sound that comes out is aggressive and loud, within a narrow frequency range.

Steps to be Followed

Things Required:

  • ¾ inch high-density particle board
  • Power drill
  • Car stereo subwoofers
  • Jigsaw
  • Subwoofer box
  • Swiss Army Auto Tools
  • Router
  • File
  • ¾ inch bit
  • Down spiral bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Razor blade
  • Tape measure
  • Screws
  • Pencils
  • Silicone
  • Solder
  • Solder gun
  • Spray glue
  • Calculator
  • Scratch paper
  • Carpet


  • Consult your subwoofer or speaker retailer to find out the proper dimensions of the enclosure. Keep in mind to account ¾ inch for the thickness of the particle board.
  • With the help of a pencil and tape measure, draw the patterns of the speaker box on the particle board, which should include six sides of the box, and a center divider for inside the box to separate the two speakers. Cut out the traced pattern with the help of the jigsaw.
  • By applying the grille cover for the subwoofer, draw the outer and inner areas onto the location of the board where you want to position the speakers.
  • With help of the router having ¾ inch bit, route out the area between the inner and outer circle at a cutting depth of 3/8 inch depth. With this the frame of the speaker will rest on the top of the box.
  • Drill a large hole and with the help of the jigsaw cut the holes for the speakers. Smooth the edges and routed area with a file or sandpaper. Cut a 2-inch hole in each side of the panels for the connectors of the speaker wires.
  • Set up the box with screws and seal the joints with silicone so that no air leaks out, but leave the front panel side as that will hold the speakers.
  • Apply glue on to the outer region of the box and the back of the carpet and then enclose the carpet tightly onto the box. With the help of the razor blade, cut vertical, horizontal, and angled lines in a star design into the carpet that covers the connector holes for the speakers.
  • Put the connectors through the holes, in such a way that the two prong terminals are inside the box. Fix the connectors with screws and seal the surrounding area with silicone.
  • Solder the connector and the speaker wire, i.e., the positive wire to the positive lead of the speaker and the negative wire to the negative lead of the speaker.
  • Set up the front panel on the box with screws and seal with silicone. Place each speaker into the star design cut out on the carpet. Finally, install the enclosure in your car.

I am sure by now you must be having a fair idea of how to build speaker boxes for your car. They can either make or break the perfect set up of your car speaker system, therefore the procedure for building speaker boxes should be conducted carefully and perfectly.

Tips for Car Speakers Installation

Most cars these days come with an audio system installed. However, many car owners are not satisfied with the factory speakers that come along with the car. They often offer flat sound and a lot of distortion. Moreover, factory speakers are the weakest components of the car and may not last for many years. This leaves car owners with the choice of upgrading the speakers of their car.

Installing high quality speakers in your car not only improves the sound quality, but also increases the life of your audio system. Speaker installation is not all that difficult and requires a few basic tools that can be found around the house.


Installing speakers is a fairly simple job and can be done in about an hour or so. It requires a few simple tools and a basic knowledge of electrical wiring or automotive repair. You can get the job done by a professional, but installation costs are high and can be heavy on your pocket. The best thing would be to do it yourself.

Things Required:

  • Screwdriver set
  • Multi-use screws
  • Drill
  • Blow dryer
  • Wire crimper
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire stripper
  • Socket wrench set
  • Electric tape
  • A sharp knife
  • Super glue


Step 1: The most important thing to do before you begin installation is to read the instructions of your speakers.

Step 2: Remove the door panel and grill covering the old speakers. For that you need to first remove the door panel popper.

Step 3: Using the appropriate screw drivers, unscrew the old speakers and disconnect all the attached wiring. Once the old speakers are disconnected, carefully pull them out from their mountings.

Step 4: Your new speakers have to be installed in the place of the old ones. If you are planning to use the same old factory wiring for your new speakers, the task is extremely simple.

Step 5: Using a blow dryer or a heat gun, warm the Dynamat for installation on the door. Apply an adhesive to the surface of the door where you want to install the speaker. Peel off the back of the Dynamat and install it to the door. Use a roller to press the material onto the surface to ensure a tight bond.

Step 6: Connect the speaker harness to your new speakers, carefully attaching the right terminals. Solder or crimp the wire connections. Set the speaker in the opening and reinstall it to the mounting. Test your new speakers by playing some music.

Step 7: If they are working fine, it is time to put everything back. Replace the grill and door by fitting the screws carefully. Your new speakers are now installed and ready to use.

Every car has its own type of speakers installation issues and hence it is recommended that you read the instructions in the manual carefully.
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Upgrading your Car’s Audio System

Listening to music while traveling in a car has become a norm these days. If you are driving a car from the last decade, there are more chances of the car stereo being outdated. Young drivers generally prefer their cars to be fitted with the best audio systems for in-car enjoyment, as they mostly prefer listening to loud music. Along with the development of technology in audio systems, nowadays you will find a variety of systems housing the latest technologies. While upgrading, you need to keep in mind some considerations to decide on the most suitable setup. But let us first take a look at the sound system parts to be thought about before deciding on an upgrade.

Car Audio System Parts

If you want the best performance from a car’s audio system, instead of replacing individual parts; you may consider a full upgrade of the set. The main part of a car stereo system is the head unit which is incorporated on the dashboard. Modern systems consist of a CD/DVD player, USB connectivity, radio receiver, and a small amplifier. The amplifier is a second system connected to the head unit. It does the job of amplifying signals from the head unit to the speakers. The speaker set consists of multiple speakers and a sub-woofer. The sub-woofer is responsible for throwing out bass signals from the music. Capacitors are other sound components which store energy for further use by the amplifier. Now let us move on to some tips on upgrading the audio system of the car.

Tips on Upgrading your Car’s Audio System

Head Units
When choosing a head unit for the car audio system, go in for one that has options for connectivity. Nowadays, most head units are sophisticated, and include a large LCD touchscreen for GPS navigation display and showing a view of the rear camera. They let you connect MP3 players, iPods, external hard drives, and other media devices.

External Amplifiers
Though there is a built-in amplifier in the head unit, it might not be that effective to produce enough power. In this case, an external amplifier might be required to add extra power to the sound signals. These systems increase volume levels and that too without compromising with the desired clarity. You can choose a four or five channel car amp, depending on how many speakers you intend to connect. You can select a 350-watt amp for decent output, or a 4000-watt amp for a system with multiple powerful speakers.

These are devices which store power from the amp, and provide it to the speakers when required. Capacitors are mainly used when the alternators are not in a state to provide sufficient energy to the overall sound system. The power of capacitors is calculated in farads. You can choose those which have between point five to 30 farads of power, according to the setup of the audio system. Some of the best capacitor brands are Lanzar, Legacy, Pyle, Blitz, just to name a few.

Sub-woofers and Speakers
You have several different choices when it comes to choosing sub-woofers and speakers for customized car audio systems. Note that the sound majorly depends on the quality of speakers you connect to the sound system. You can choose two- or three-way speakers. Note that the more ranges a speaker can play, the more quality sound you will get. You also have choices in sizes, ranging from eight to 15 inches for hi-fi systems. The best brand for car audio speakers are Sony, Pioneer, Blaupunkt, JVC, and JBL.

Other Modifications
To better the new audio system, you might also need to consider making some modifications to the car interior. This can be done using car soundproofing to prevent outside noise from coming in. The quality of wires also plays a very important part in rendering the best sound. You can upgrade to thick copper wires for preventing the signal to degrade by the time it reaches the speakers. Small adjustments like these do have an impact on the sound heard by the listener.

When it comes to bettering your car’s audio system, experts suggest to use one brand on all installed products, owing to compatibility standards. Another alternative is to purchase a sound package from a renowned brand, which may consist of sub-woofer, speakers, amplifier, and a capacitor. The cost of upgrading the stereo system largely depends on the brand, number of speakers, additional accessories, and installation charges; and can even go to thousands of dollars.