How to Install a Car Stereo

When installing a new car stereo in your vehicle, your first step will clearly be to detach the old one. It is very possible to go through the uninstallation process and fail to recall them later.

How to install a car stereo
Photo Credit: Pedro Sandrini,

However, don’t surge! You’ll need to ensure you remember all the uninstallation steps since you’ll be turning around this procedure to introduce another sound system.

It is often a very daunting task to install a radio in your car, but a guideline would come in handy and that’s the aim of this article. Make sure you bought a good sound system like the Pioneer MVH-S310BT car stereo.

Your radio will most likely be installed in the following ways:

•Secured in a metal mounting sleeve by spring clips

•Bolted to the dash with brackets.

•Mounted to the rail system in the dash.

Installing the Car Stereo

To start the installation, Be careful to prevent accidentally short circuiting something in your car, you have to start by setting the parking brake and removing the negative cable from the car battery.

On the off chance that your car has an industrial facility stereo, or just maybe if it has already been set up with the “stereo prep” bundle, there ought to be a single plastic wiring saddle at the stereo surface.

This attachment interfaces the sound system with your car’s electrical framework and the speaker. You should unplug the sound system from the wire bridles and detach the radio wire to finish the uninstallation procedure.

With the former stereo removed, turn to the installation of the brand new one which involves majorly connecting the cables and fixing the radio in the vehicle dash.

Wiring the Stereo

The car wiring harness can be used to link the new radio to your car’s wiring harnesses. What this does is to guarantee that everything functions consistently, as much as the factory radio did.

These harnesses incorporate a coded wiring chart for interfacing the saddle to the new sound system. This takes us to the power wiring. Usually, it is best to make all the new stereo’s wiring connections via the wiring harness.

If you have to make a direct power connection, you’ll need to know the difference between “switched” and “constant” power. A switched power source only comes on when the ignition is keyed.

Connect the new stereo’s main (switch) power lead – usually a red wire – to a switched power source, so that the stereo will go off when you switch off the car, and not drain your car’s battery.

A constant power source is always on. Connect your car’s memory lead – usually a yellow wire – to a constant power source. Here, you don’t get to lose your stereo presets, clock settings and tone control preset every time you turn off the vehicle.

To eliminate noise interference when you use your stereo, a proper ground wiring should be done. A good ground connection is vital for quality stereo performance.

If you are not using a custom wire harness, look for a bare, unpainted bolt or screw that contacts the bare casting of your vehicle’s chassis. Loosen the bolt, slip the ground wire underneath (this is usually a black wire), then tighten the bolt.

If your low wire doesn’t touch bare metal, your stereo won’t operate. A loose or weak ground connection can result in noise interfering with the music.

There’s a need to connect a wire if your new stereo has a touchscreen sensor or video monitor

Get Your Tool Compartment

Screwdrivers and an attachment set to the battery link are generally needed at this point. You’ll require an electrical tape and wire strippers to make wire connections – which we’ll discuss later too.

One of the significant instruments you’ll require is a board removal apparatus to assist you securely remove the dashboards without breaking anything.

Detaching a Spring-Cut Mounted Stereo

If the radio is held by spring cuts, you will need a couple of DIN apparatuses. Supplement the DIN devices into the gaps on each side of all the units pending when you will probably hear a tick.

The instruments serve to discharge the spring cuts and furthermore snare onto the parts of the sound system with the goal of hauling it out effectively. Spread the apparatuses separated somewhat then haul the sound system off the dashboard.

Video: How to install a Car Stereo

This video explains in detail how you can successfully install a car stereo

Removing a Stereo Appended to an Iron Rail framework

Some vehicle makers mount the stereo to a rail in the dash. When the spring clasps or jolts are expelled, you can swipe the radio from the rail. Since this iron rail can make some of the frames meddle with the suspension of another radio, it might need to be removed as well.

Unplugging the Factory Line Stereo

If your car has a stereo, or on the off chance that it has been pre-setup with a “radio prep” bundle, there should be a plastic wire saddle behind the radio opening.

This fitting connects the sound system to your car’s electrical framework and the speaker. You should unplug the radio from the wire outfits and detach the receiving wire to finish the removal procedure.

With the former stereo off the dash, it’s a great opportunity to concentrate on the upgraded one. That includes linking all the wire connections and afterward introducing the sound system in the dashboard.

Power Wires

As a rule, it is ideal to make the entirety of the radio’s wiring connections through a wiring tackle.

However, in the event that you need to make an immediate power association, you’ll have to ascertain the distinction between “exchanged” and “steady” power:

An exchanged force source is just on if you start the ignition. It links your new radio’s primary (exchanged) power lead – normally a red cable – to an exchanged power source.

The stereo will stop when you switch off the vehicle, and not deplete your car’s battery. A steady power source is consistently on. It interfaces your new radio’s memory lead – typically a yellow cable – to a steady power source.

The advantage of this is that you won’t lose the radio broadcast presets, clock settings and tone presets, each time you switch off the car.

Although uncommon, very powerful sound systems expect you to push a constant power link at the car battery’s positive terminal. This entails a heavier power wire, a ring terminal and the in-line meld (typically included) to associate the force wire fixed to the car battery clasp.

You should run the power wire down to the car battery area, which is regularly run through the car firewall and right into the motor compartment to create the connection in the battery of your car.

Speaker Cables

Vehicle sound systems have eight cables for the conventional 4-speaker framework – a positive cable and the negative wire used to connect both speakers.

Ground Wire Connection

A proper ground connection is essential for proper radio function and to prevent undesirable interference.

If you do not want to utilize a customized wiring outfit, search for an uncovered, unpainted fastener that touches the exposed casting of your car’s skeleton.

Lose the bolt and slip the ground wire underneath then fix the bolt. If the ground wire doesn’t contact bare metal, your radio won’t work.

A free or loose ground connection can bring about signal meddling with the music. If the new radio has a video or touchscreen, you will need to connect a cable to your crisis/stopping brake wire.

The wire goes about as an alternative to switch on your video screen when the stopping brake is locked in.

This wire could be in various areas in various cars, depending on your brake setup. The wiring is typically found where your stopping brake is located.

In cars that possess a functional hand brake in-between the two front seats, you will need to detach the center console to find a good place to fix the wire.

In cars that have foot-pedal leaving brake, the radio’s wire should be steered to it. This brings us to the next step.

Mounting the Sound System

It is very certain that you will require an installation unit to install the radio. If the installation pack is required, adhere to the guidelines included in the pack.

At times you introduce the pack in the dash, at that point slide the stereo’s metal sleeve (when included) in the unit. Secure the sleeve by using the screwdriver to tighten the metal tabs to fit. In different cases, you can connect the mounting pack to the stereo first.

Click here to buy this Pioneer MVH-S310BT Bluetooth stereo

At this point secure both in the dash with screws.

When the dash opening is prepared for the newly bought sound system, hold the sound system close to the opening. Interface the radio wiring connector to the car’s wiring harness and fix the antenna link.

Depending on the stereo you pick, you’ll likely need to connect different wires to the back of the sound system. For example, the Bluetooth, microphone wire, USB cable, interface, or the auxiliary input link.

Switch on the power and test each source (CD, FM, AM, USB). At this point, you can change the parity settings to watch that every speaker is functional.

When you’re certain the radio is connected and working appropriately, get done with verifying the stereo in the dash and reinstall the dash bolts that you uninstalled.

At this point, you can slide the sound system into the dash opening and then be on the ride home with a working stereo.

Troubleshooting a Car Stereo Installation

While it’s possible for a car stereo to flop occasionally, there are numerous inward and outer issues that could be fixed without any replacement. The downside is that in the case of your car stereo not working, you might be going for a costly fix bill, or need to remove the stereo unit entirely.

The most normal issues include a blown wire, terrible wire connection, and anti-robbery modes regularly activated if the battery is flat.

To find explanations as to why your vehicle radio won’t power on, you will need to handle these issues independently.

Confirm the Unit is not in Safe Mode

Head units have a secure highlight that keeps them from working after power has been interfered with. The thought is usually that the head unit will be made futile if it has been taken, which should discourage the robbery of these components.

Most times, a head unit that has this quality will “switch on” meaning that the presentation will activate, yet it will just show a prompt like, “code,” and stop to work.

In different cases, the head unit will give off an impression of being dead, you should enter a special code or try out another manufacturer recommended method to make it work once more.

Before you proceed to the diagnostic procedure, you will need to check that the head unit doesn’t have any kind of burglary mode.

If your display is thoroughly clear when the component or unit doesn’t power, this is a sign that you’re really handling another issue.

Nonetheless, you might need to check your owner’s manual, or if you don’t find it, you could also contact the manufacturer to check if there is a particular method that you should follow strictly.

Checking the Fuses

When you have confirmed that the component is really failing to power and hasn’t switched to anti-robbery mode, the next stage is to properly check the wires. Most units like the Pioneer MVH-S310BT car stereo come with a durable fuse.

Now, you’ll need to remove some fundamental vehicle tools, like the multimeter. Most vehicle radios have a couple of wires that you’ll need to check.

Additionally, you may have vehicle amp wires and every other related segment in the blend. One is located in your vehicle’s fuse block.

You could test a car fuse by outwardly reviewing it, you could also utilize a test light or multimeter fuse to know the power on the two parts of the circuit.

If you use a multimeter, it is a better approach especially as it is very possible for a wire to fail. If one of these fuses are blown, it is the reason your vehicle radio won’t power on, you will need to replace them to check whether that will fix the issue.

Obviously, a blown fuse is regularly demonstrative of other issues, so you ought to never replace a blown breaker with a bigger amperage.

Checking the Pigtail Connector

Before you go into the analytic procedure, you should detach the head unit to access the wiring. Considering that, you might need to verify whether the connector is fitted appropriately in the head unit.

If you have issues with the connector, you can detach it and supplant it, once you are sure it fits properly in the compartment.

If your installation has a connector that interfaces between the head unit and stereo wiring. Then, you can unplug the whole wiring to guarantee that every wire is reaching, and afterward endeavor to power up the stereo once more.

Most times, especially with head units and connectors, you may likewise find that detaching the head unit and connector for a period will fix the problem.

In this case, you may profit by leaving everything undetached between fifteen and twenty minutes. You can reconnect and checking the activity of that unit once more.

Check Power in the Head Unit

If your car fuses are functional, and the connections are working, the subsequent stage is to ascertain power level at the stereo itself.

Most vehicle stereos have 2 power wires and the ones that are constantly hot which gives capacity to the car memory. This capacity should be hot or warm when you press the start button.

If these power wires are turned around, the stereo will fail to work appropriately or by any stretch of the imagination. Although you could search for power right at the rear of the stereo with a testing light, you’ll get a comprehensive layout if you utilize a multimeter.

Let’s say, if your battery does not have much voltage in the stereo, demonstrating a current drop, it might be hard to know with a testing light. If you discover no power at the first unit, yet there is power at the breaker square, you are most likely managing a wrecked wire.

If you have tried all these steps and your car stereo is still not coming up then you can get the assistance of a technician.

For an enjoyable ride with the sound system, we recommend the Pioneer MVH-S310BT car stereo. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. See also, how to get rid of engine noise in your car stereo here.