A Wiring Guide for Your Car Stereo Speaker

Buying and wiring your own car stereo speaker can be one of the best cost-effective tasks that you can do for your car. Aftermarket speakers are relatively inexpensive, and the work done to install them is not as hard as you might think. Wiring of stereo speakers varies from car to car. The type of wiring depends on mounting depth and height and speaker location too. Some installations might be plain sailing where only a screwdriver might be necessary. However some installations might not be that simple, especially in the case of component speakers.

Factory speakers are generally the weakest part of a sound system. Many people replace the head unit but never re-install new speakers, because they do not know how. This would lead to little improvement in sound quality.

Always Turn Off Power Supply

An important precaution when wiring car stereo speakers is to never work on the electrical system of your car if the ground wire is still attached to your battery. Failure to abide to this precaution can result in electric shock! Furthermore you could also damage the speakers.

Disconnect the Old Wiring

Obviously, to install your new speakers you need to remove the old ones. To do this you must first remove the panels as well as the grills which cover your old speakers. Then remove and disconnect their wiring. Be careful and attentive when dealing with the old wiring as it might come in handy later when installing the new speakers.

Choose the Correct Wiring

If you are opting to replace the speaker and reinstall a new one in the same location, you can use the old wiring. However if you have decided to put the new speakers in a new location you will have to put in some new wiring. New wiring should ideally be left to professionals as it is quite a strenuous task to hide wiring behind the trim panels of the car. Also new wiring must be established and properly grounded in such a manner so as to prevent short circuits, engine noises and vibrations. Therefore for safety reasons it is best to leave this part of this task to professionals.


Standard factory-made wiring is nearly always color coded. You have two options when dealing with factory wiring. Either buy a harness to convert the factory plug to fit properly to your new speakers or remove the factory plug by cutting it out and attach the terminal ends of the wires directly to the speaker. When cutting wires keep in mind that stripper wires might be needed to expose fresh pieces of copper wire that are needed to work with.

As you might have already observed there are two colors of wires emerging from the standard factory speaker. The black wire is usually the negative wire and should be attached to the negative terminal on the speaker. The solid or white striped wire is the positivel and should be attached on the positive terminal on the speaker. Do not reverse the polarity of the speakers as opposing speakers will technically cancel each other out.

Once you have installed the speakers, make sure they are surrounded by padded material, otherwise vibrations of the speakers would result in sub-optimal sound. Wiring your car stereo speakers from an existing factory speaker route can be quite easy, but as mentioned previously, new wiring should always be left to professionals.