How to Install a Headrest DVD Player in a Car

  • 1-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Car DVD Player
Flat head screwdriver
Phillips head screwdriver
Crimping tool
Wire stripping tool
Socket and ratchet set
Utility knife
Glue (or other adhesive)

A headrest DVD player is a great feature to have on long car trips. However installing this yourself is difficult, particularly if you are not a mechanic or electrician. There is more to the process than just hooking up some wires. It is best to make sure you have everything you need on hand before you start the installation.

Step 1 – The Headrest

The first step is to take off the headrest where the player is going. You will need to thread the connection and power wires through the holes where the headrest was. This is fairly easy if you have an unwound clothes hanger. Remove the cover from the bottom of the seat. Unwind a clothes hanger like a fishing lure and fish out the wires you have strung through the holes.

Step 2 – The Wires

You want to hide the wires. Many times the wires will be connected to the main unit which is found under the dash. You can also run the wires to another connection box at a different location. It is easiest to run them under the carpeting. If they are left out, there is an excellent chance someone will catch on the wire and pull it out.

Step 3 - Hooking it Up to the Stereo

You will need to wire the DVD player into your stereo system to get sound. This may not be necessary depending on the type of DVD player you use. Some may not need this as you can plug in headphones to use the player. When connecting the wires you will need to strip the ends down to splice them together with existing wires. If possible you should see about soldering the splices if you can.

Step 4 – Your New Headrest/DVD Player

Once the wiring is in place, you can install the new headrest that contains the DVD player. This is as simple as sliding the new headrest back into place. You do need to be careful with the wires you have threaded through. It is best to go slow. You can even gently pull the wires through at the bottom of the seat as you install the new headrest. You may need to adhere the player onto your old headrest. Make sure you use good adhesive that is strong.

Step 5 – Keep Things Tidy

If you have any excess wires then it is best to loop them together and tuck them out of the way. This is a good idea even if the wires are hidden under the carpet. If you have pulled anything apart then make sure that you lay them out properly so you know where they go.

Step 6 – An Easy Alternative

A clip-on DVD player is a great alternative if you do not want to deal with all the wiring. These players can clip on anywhere. You plug them into the cigarette lighter for power. If you frequently switch cars, this is an excellent option.

Looking for the perfect DVD player for your car? Check out our Car Video Buyer's Guide.