Tag: electrical system

When to Upgrade Your Vehicle’s Electrical System

Your vehicle’s electrical system is crucial to your vehicle’s audio system and how it sounds and performs. Wiring, your car’s alternator, as well as your car’s batteries are all important factors when it comes to your vehicle’s electrical system. In this blog article, we will go over some guidelines to follow when it comes to how and when to upgrade your vehicle’s electrical system. If ya’ll still have questions regarding your vehicle’s electrical system, feel free to comment in the section below this article and we will do our best to help you upgrade your electrical system.

1Upgrading Your Alternator

High Output Alternators

First of all, upgrading your alternator does depend on the type of vehicle you’re working with as well as how much wattage your car audio system needs. But, when it comes to upgrading the alternator, in our experts’ professional opinion, if you are dealing with a system that is anywhere over 1000 watts, it might be a good idea to upgrade your alternator- especially if you are adding more batteries to your car’s electrical system. The key takeaway is that its always better to have too much power than too little power. So, make sure you also have a sufficient amount of batteries to power your system.

2Upgrading Your Car Battery

Car Batteries at Sonic Electronix

It is important to your audio system that you have an adequate amount of batteries powering your system. If not, your system cannot run efficiently. It is recommended that if  you add an amplifier to your system,  you should add a secondary battery as well. And as you add more components to your car audio system, pay attention to how much power your system needs in order to run without failing and add a secondary battery or upgrade your battery accordingly.

3Using a Capacitor

A capacitor is a temporary storage tank for electricity, which charges and discharges electricity at a high speed. Although a capacitor won’t add any additional power to your car audio system, once the capacitor is charged up, it will help stabilize the voltage by providing quick bursts of electricity during peak power demands. Adding a capacitor can fix occasional headlight dimming or other electrical issues within your vehicle. However, their primary use is to help provide your amplifier with a consistent voltage for improved performance. Although capacitors can act as a quick fix solution to your electrical system’s power output, they are usually not recommended. Instead, our experts suggest recommend a secondary battery, as a battery holds power more permanently. However, if you are going to install a capacitor, make sure to get one that is well built, such as NVX’s XCAP1F.

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A Guide to Proper Wire Management

For us installers, one of the worst nightmares you can have is being asked to diagnose and solve a problem on a car audio system with terrible wiring organization. Head-unit’s particularly are commonly installed with loose wires, poor connections, and even with electrical tape around wire bundles that eventually will melt into a very sticky mess. One of the most important things when putting your sound system together is cable management. When installing a head-unit, you need to be sure you have all the proper connectors, ties and tools for a clean looking installation. This can save you hours of time in the future.

Organization and Planning

From the moment you get frustrated and start throwing your install together to save time, you’re embarking on an un-organized adventure of spaghetti looking wire that no professional installer would want to troubleshoot. It is essential to plan the optimal route of each individual wire to their destinations before making any connections. If you have an abundance of wire going through one space, consider routing some of them in different directions to avoid building up too thick of a bundle. It is very important to break down any large groups of wires into smaller distinct categories to prevent any confusion or mismatched wires.

Connections and Ties

To some, making the connections between two wire harnesses is simply twisting the copper together, adding a piece of tape and moving on to the next wire. In reality if you don’t use the proper butt connectors with zip ties to bunch your wires together, your connections will inevitably fail in a short amount of time. Be extra careful not to tighten your zip ties too much or you could pinch the wires and cause a short. Avoid pushing your wires off to an empty space behind your dash without properly securing them. Be sure to always crimp your connections tightly to prevent them from being tugged or disconnecting from each other. Heat shrink tubing is very handy to permanently protect your connections and maintain organization. Use lots of zip ties to make groups of wire that are similar such as a speaker wire bundle or a bundle of your RCA connections.

All in all, there are many other things to think about when performing your stereo installation, but proper wire management is the key to keeping your electrical system well organized and easily understandable to others. It can be painful and time consuming but expending the effort to create a clean and tidy wiring job will give you peace of mind. You will know that behind the dash your cable and wire connections are securely fastened which will increase the reliability of your system now and for future installations.