Car stereo installation is an easy process and is dependent on the user’s personal choice of music. If you are a fan of music with heavy bass, subwoofers are a necessary requirement, though you will be compromising on the amount of free space in the trunk. If saving money is a priority for you, then woofers and amplifiers become redundant. The following procedure describes a simple method of installing a car stereo, without any accessories.
Step 1: Remove the Old Stereo
Always disconnect the ground cable of your battery before working on the car’s systems. Depending on the make of your car, there are different methods you can employ for removing the inbuilt car stereo from the dash panel. For example, for Honda Civic, unscrew the Philip screws from the glove box, the lower left dash panel and the right dash panel. With Ford, remove the system by inserting U shaped keys or coat hangers at the sides and pull the unit towards you. After the unit is out of the dash panel, unplug the wire harness connected at the rear of the unit. Also remove the small white connector attached to the smaller wires coming out of the system (blue antenna wire).
Step 2: Connecting the Wires
There will be wires coming out of the vehicle that you just detached the old stereo from and a wiring harness protruding from your new unit. There are two ways to connect these wiring harnesses together. One way is to strip the copper wires using a wire stripper up to 1.5 cm. Now connect the harnesses color-wise by twisting the exposed ends together meaning yellow with yellow, black with black, etc. (universally coded as red, yellow, black and orange). Use electrical tape to make the wiring connections firmer.
The other more efficient way is to use a Snap on Wire Harness. Expose the wires coming out from the rear of your unit however do not expose the vehicle’s harness. Do the same instead with the wires coming out of the Snap on Harness. Twist the wires from these two harnesses together. Now join the Snap on connector to your vehicle’s connector. All vehicle harnesses have a plastic connector which can easily be plugged into. The advantage of this method is that you can always replace the existing stereo without having to further cut into the vehicle’s permanent wiring.
Step 3: Connecting the Speakers
Test your speakers by momentarily connecting the speaker leads to the positive and negative terminal wires of the battery. You must hear a “pop” sound which will verify the speaker's polarity. Usually, there is a black stripe on negative wires and white stripe on positive ones. The speaker leads are colored as purple, grey white and green. Make sure the color coding as well as the polarity is correct and start attaching the wires coming out of the unit to the speaker wires in the same way as stated above.
Step 4: Placing It In
Plug in the antenna into the rear of the new unit. Place it into the dash panel keeping in mind the way you removed the old stereo.