It is relatively easy to install a new CD player or radio in your car, especially if you have had any experience in wiring or electronics.
The standard car stereo system is installed in the dash; therefore, this article will provide the steps necessary to complete this task.
Custom or modified vehicles will require a different set of instructions for stereo installation.
For this task you will need a new car stereo or CD player (which is also called a head unit), wire strippers, electrical tape, a screwdriver set, and wire cutters.
You will also need a guide outlining how to remove your dash panel and how to adequately remove the old stereo system without causing any damage.
By following these simple steps, you will be enjoying your new stereo in no time! 1) Buy a new stereo system.
Purchase one that fits properly where your old one was located.
In addition, when purchasing a stereo you might wish to get a specific wiring harness which is specific for your new stereo and your vehicle's make and model.
Wiring harnesses make the whole wiring job a snap, literally.
2) Make sure the engine is turned off.
Disconnect the negative (black) battery cable.
Never work on any part of your car's electrical system with the battery connected, as the electrical shock could be fatal.
3) According to your manual, remove the dash panel surrounding your stereo.
Unscrew and remove your old stereo (head) unit.
On the back of the unit there will either be a batch of individual wires or one single plug connecting a lot of wires.
If you find a whole bunch of wires, do not take them apart just yet.
You will need to do them one at a time in a few moments in order to avoid confusion.
4) Wiring can be connected manually or with the wiring harness.
If you have a wiring harness do step 5, then skip to step 9.
If you do not have a wiring harness, skip step 5, and follow steps 6 through 8.
5) Plug your new wiring harness into the connector, if you were able to purchase one.
This wiring harness will then plug into the backside of your new car stereo.
If you were able to do this, then you can skip steps 6-8.
6) You will need to connect each of the wires manually if you did not buy a wiring harness.
Connect positive wires from each of your speakers to positive connectors on the backside of your stereo first.
Next, connect negative wires from each of your speakers to negative connectors on the stereo.
If you find only one wire coming from each speaker this means that they have been grounded at the chassis.
If this is the case, new speaker wiring must be installed.
7) Connect the -/black (ground) wire on the stereo to a bolt or screw near where the stereo is mounted within the dash.
This attachment must be made to metal, not fiberglass or plastic.
8) Connect both +/red ignition power wires and the 12 constant wires to the new radio.
Refer to the installation manual for correct placement of these wires.
9) You should now have a single connecter which is can be hooked to the proper wires in your vehicle, either through the new connection made in steps 6-8 or from your wiring harness.
10) Slide the new stereo into your mounting bracket, which should have been included with purchase.
In some cases, you may need to use your old bracket from your original stereo.
11) Plug the wiring harness connector into the backside of your new radio or CD player.
You should see one, single wire hanging unaccounted for, coming from your old system.
This wire is your antenna.
Plug this wire into your new stereo unit.
You may also see a power antenna wire, which must be connected as well.
12) Slide the stereo into dash slot.
Test it before screwing it in.
Reconnect your battery cable.
Start your engine to power up the stereo.
Turn on some music and listen for the performance of each speaker.
If everything seems to be working well, screw your stereo into place and replace your dash cover.