Putting an aftermarket car stereo into your vehicle is a simple upgrade that not only enhances the sound quality of your music, but also adds many new features. For most vehicles, it’s not difficult to install a car stereo yourself, and it takes only a couple of hours if you do everything correctly. To start this installation you will need the following tools:
Flat Head Screwdriver
Panel Pry Tools
Butt Connectors (or crimp caps)
In addition to this list, you will need any additional tools that your vehicle may require. First and foremost, you need to disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent damage to the vehicles electrical system during the installation. Second, remove the factory car receiver by following the instructions that are included with the installation accessories that we provide with your stereo purchase. Third, prepare the aftermarket stereo by properly mounting the unit in the dash-kit by following the instructions that are included. Next, use butt connectors to connect the stereo’s wiring harness to the vehicle wiring harness adapter. Fourth, install any additional accessories the aftermarket stereo came with such as a wired microphone, GPS antenna or a rear USB cable extension. The fifth step is to connect the aftermarket stereo assembly and wiring harness to the vehicle, securing the dash and replacing all panels that were removed during the process. Don’t forget to reconnect anything else that was disconnected such as air bags, 12V cigarette lighter sockets, and of course the negative battery terminal.
Disconnect the negative battery terminal
Remove the factory receiver
Mount stereo in dash-kit and connect wiring harnesses
Install additional stereo accessories
Connect the new stereo assembly and wiring harness to vehicle
That’s all there is to it, 5 fairly easy steps and you’ll be enjoy all of the features of your new car stereo. Replacing your factory receiver is a great way to add quality and functionality to your vehicle’s sound system. There are many brands, styles, and features available, so be sure to shop around to find a stereo that best suits your needs. Our online vehicle fitment guide will let you know what accessories you need for your specific vehicle and these accessories will be included free with your car stereo purchase. If you have any questions or need help picking the right stereo, give us a call at 1-877-289-7664 and one of our knowledgeable sales representatives will help guide you and answer any questions you may have. Treat yourself to a new car stereo this season and we’ll gladly help you find the right one for you. Check us out at SonicElectronix.com.
“Hello!? Where are you? You sound like you’re in a wind tunnel (note sarcasm)…” Have you ever heard this from a friend, customer or colleague while using your standalone Bluetooth device in your car? Yes? Thought so…
Most universal standalone hands-free Bluetooth devices for your car can be cumbersome and do not sound very good to the user, or to the person on the other end of the phone. Of course there are exceptions to this, but integrated add-on Bluetooth car kits for your factory stereo are definitely the way to go. They usually include independent microphones and displays. Both of which are very beneficial. But, a down side could be the need of professional installation. This can be a little intimidating for the average weekend warrior/installer. Now, there are plug-and-play harnesses to make their installation simpler.
Axxess Vehicle specific harness for select Parrot, Novero and Motorola Bluetooth car kits
Axxess engineered this line of T-harnesses for most vehicles. They provide a direct plug-and-play between your vehicles stereo harness, and select Parrot, Novero and Motorola Bluetooth interfaces.
They are literally that simple. They take the guessing game out of which wire goes where for you or your installer.
Bluetooth Car Kits:
Parrot, Motorola, and Novero make a full range of compatible kits to suit everyone’s needs. From the budget conscience Motorola TK30, with an LCD screen and voice recognition, to the great Novero TrulyOne.
The Novero TrulyOne features a convenient display that allows users to visually track options, take full advantage of all of your phone’s features, including voice options and phone book sync. It also providesr multipoint connectivity allowing for connection for up to two Bluetooth compatible devices. The TrulyOne is a stylish and modern application. By the way, both of these kits stream music wirelessly, as do most of them.
So, if you are looking for a Bluetooth device for your vehicle, but are worried that there will be too much involved in having it installed, it can be easy as just plugging it in. Well, maybe a little more but you get the idea. Here at Sonic Electronix we have bundled these two items together at a discount to make your lives easier, and to save you some money! So check them out! If you need assistance selecting the correct harness for your application you can give our knowledgeable Customer Commitment team a call or buy them directly at sonicelectronix.com.
There’s no greater accomplishment than installing a sound system on your own. Sometimes you’ll run into road blocks along the way, like finding a location to mount your new amplifier. There are many places that are acceptable to mount an amplifier, and it’s a matter of finding the one the works best for your application.
Underneath the Seat
One of the most common locations to mount an amplifier is underneath a seat. This method will keep your amp out of sight and leave your car looking factory. If you’re installing a 4-channel car amplifier to power your door speakers, by mounting it under your seat you will have a central location to rout all of your speaker wires. Keep in mind you will need to hide any connections that could potentially be kicked or stepped on by passengers.
Trunk or Hatch Area
Another option is to mount the amplifier in your trunk or hatch area. This is most commonly done with subwoofer amplifiers, as it’s easy to keep the length of the speaker wire leading to your subwoofer down to a minimum. Keep in mind if you have a vehicle where you can see into the trunk area, this may not be the best location.
If you’re going for a custom look for your installation you can build what’s called an amp rack. An amplifier rack can be anything that you’ve built to hold one or multiple amps in place. You can mount amplifiers in places like under the rear deck of a sedan, hidden in open cavities of your car or any other place you can think of. If you do build a rack to hide your amplifier, make sure it has lots of ventilation as it will get hot.
If you want to mount a car amplifier to the back of an enclosure, add a rubber gasket wherever you put a screw in. This will reduce vibrations that travel to the amplifier, potentially causing damage. If you decide to mount your amp to the back of a seat, remember to leave a couple of extra inches on each wire in case you need to fold your seat down. Strategize your installation and plan things out before you start screwing things in. You can do it! Let us know where you prefer to mount your amplifiers in the comment section below!
Almost all vehicles on the market today come with a factory radio. When it comes time to upgrade your radio to something bigger and better, you will need to know how to remove your factory stereo. To eliminate the possibility of damaging your stereo, it is important to remove it with the proper tools, and that’s when Stereo Removal Tools come into play.
With all the vehicle manufacturers out there, you will need to find the correct tool for your application. When looking through our list of removal tools, simply find the one that is specific toward your vehicle’s make. For example if you are trying to remove the stereo from a Ford F150, browse through our list of removal tools until you find one that is compatible with Ford vehicles. If there is more than one that is listed as compatible with your vehicle, they will likely be the same exact tool but made by different manufacturers.
Once you have your tool, disconnect the negative battery terminal and prepare to remove your radio. Insert your removal tools into the removal holes or slots (depending on your vehicle) on the left and right side of the stereo. Gently push them until you hear a distinct “click” on each side. The click is the noise of each tab that secures the stereo being pushed inward to release the unit from its housing. Carefully pull and slide the car stereo out while being cautious not to damage any surrounding dash trim.
Professionals use stereo removal tools every day in shops for replacing a factory radio. Once you own the removal tools you will never need to purchase them again, so you may store them until your next installation job on a similar vehicle. If you are a crafty person, you can attempt to make your own removal tools using a paper clip, a wire clothes hanger, or a flat piece of metal. Look at a picture of the removal tool you are trying to make and use metal snips to cut your material to the same shape. By making your own removal tools, you can save money and you won’t have to wait for them to ship to you. Always be careful when using your own hand-crafted tools, because you can potentially damage the unit you are working on.
Proper installation tools make every installation much easier and timely. With the right stereo removal tools, you can avoid making a trip to your local installer and save some money too.
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.