How to Install a Car Audio Crossover

  • 2-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-150

A car audio crossover is a device that filters and balances out the sound of a car's audio. With this mechanism, you will likely have a well-sounding car audio system. Installing a car audio crossover can be easy especially if it’s a passive crossover. Simply connect the speaker wires into the right spots and the job is done. Installing an active crossover is more complicated because it has to establish connections to the speakers, ground, turn-on lead, and power. The effort is worth it, though, because an active crossover can produce better sound quality and has better control over music.

Tools and Materials Needed:

Active car audio crossover


Screw drivers

12v wire (18-gauge wire)

2 bolts

RCA patch cable

Electrical tape

Step 1 – Find the Perfect Spot for Mounting the Active Crossover

Find the best spot to place your crossover. Basically, the perfect spot would be between the amp and the receiver. Most people mount their crossover in the car’s trunk, near the amp. Choose a spot where the device is easily accessible. You will be making adjustments and fine-tuning later on. Likewise, make sure that the area where you plan to mount the crossover is not made of steel. Steel can cause the device to produce noise problems. Moreover, do not mount it directly on a conductive board. Put a rubber grommet on the board first to separate it from the crossover.

Step 2 – Mount the Crossover

Use screws to securely mount the active car audio crossover on the perfect spot. Check if it is properly installed by shaking it a little bit. Add more screws or tighten screws if the device is unstable.

Step 3 – Install the Wires

Connect one end of the 18-gauge wire to the crossover and its other end to the power battery. This will be enough to provide the crossover power. Crossovers typically require only a small amount of energy.

Step 4 – Ground the Audio Components

Attach a bolt to the nearest metal spot on the car. Attach another bolt near the first one. Connect the ground for the biggest amp to the first bolt and the electronic crossover to the second bolt. Alternatively, you may ground the wires to any existing ground connection in the car.

Step 5 – Connect the Turn-On Lead

Tap into the amp’s turn-on leads for the crossover’s turn-on signal. Access the amp’s turn-on wire. The wire is usually blue in color and can be found behind the car radio. Strip off the insulation at about midway of the amp’s lead. Also strip off the insulation at the end of the crossover’s turn-on lead. Connect the two leads together and wrap the exposed wire with electrical tape.

Step 6 – Make Signal Connection for Feeding Music

Connect the crossover to the receiver jacks using an RCA patch cable. If the RCA patch is too short to reach the ends of both the crossover and the receiver jack, more cables may be used. Seal the connection with electrical tape for security.

To better enjoy the sound produced by your crossover, keep its wirings away from any defroster wire and brake light wire. These wires may interfere with the sound signal and may cause the car audio crossover to produce noise.