HOW TO INSTALL A CAR STEREO
Installing a new head unit has become necessary, as new stereos provides modernized features that old stereos may not have. A new head unit can give you access to a wide range of media devices such as Bluetooth control, HD and satellite radio. It can also improve the performance of your speaker system.
It is quite easy to install a new stereo by yourself even if it is your first time doing it. Below are instructions to help you in installing one for your car.
- How to remove the factory stereo
The first step to installing a new car stereo is to uninstall the previous stereo. Uninstalling a car stereo may vary based on the car model, but there are basic steps that could apply.
Before you move on to uninstalling the old stereo, you have to set the parking brake and then disconnect the negative cable of the car battery to prevent accidents during the installation process.
Some stereos come with a plastic trim that locks in the stereo. It might be clipped on or might have bolts and screws holding it on. In the latter case, you have to carefully unscrew the bolts to free the trim. Keep the bolts and screws carefully as you would need it to reattach the trim. After loosening the screws and bolts on the trim, detach the trim carefully. Be careful during this process to avoid cracking the trim.
After removing the trim, you can go ahead to take out the stereo. Car stereos are often held in by two clips on the side. To take it out, you need two thin, flat tools- DIN tools. DIN tools can either be bought or they come with the stereo. Insert the tools into the sides until you hear a click. Keep the tools inserted until you remove the stereo.
There are stereos that are bolted in rather than clipped in. Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws. Take note of the screws as you will need them when reinstalling the new stereo.
Then carefully take the stereo out of the dash. Try not to pull the stereo too hard as it is still connected to the car’s wiring system. The next step is to unplug it. There are two main plugs connected to the stereo. The antenna is on the right side. The wire on the left side is attached by a clamp, so you have to squeeze the clamp to release it then pull it out. There may be other wires still connected to the stereo. Just carefully disconnect each of them and your stereo is completely free.
- How to wire the new receiver — what you need to know to connect it right
After removing the old stereo, it’s now time to reinstall the new head unit. Before going further into the installation of your new stereo, it is highly advisable that you read through the manual of your new stereo. The manual would include a radio wiring diagram that you can refer to while installing the stereo.
You would need to correctly match the stereo’s harnesses to the vehicle’s harnesses. The wires are often color-coded making it easier to match. If the colors of your harnesses doesn’t match and you bought your new stereo from Binize, you can contact Binize customer service to assist you in identifying the wires.
The next step would be to connect the wires. There are different ways to connect the matched wires: smoldering provides a more stable and professional connection, while crimping is faster and easier.
Connecting The Wires
Before going on to discuss connecting the wires, we need to know about the different power wires. Two important power wires that need to be differentiated are the “constant” wire and the “switched” wire.
The constant power wire allows the radio to have a constant power source for the radio to memorize the correct time and to memorize station presets. It is often recognized as the yellow wire.
The switched power wire is the radio’s on/off switch. It will turn on the radio when the ignition is turned on, and turns it off when the ignition is turned off. It is often recognized as the red wire.
Aside from the red and yellow wires, another important wire is the ground wire which is identified as the black wire. This wire completes the electric circuit that powers the radio. If you are not using a custom wiring harness, look for a bare, unpainted bolt or screw that contacts the bare metal of your vehicle’s chassis. Loosen the bolt, slip the ground wire underneath (this is almost always a black wire), then tighten the bolt. If your ground wire doesn't contact bare metal, your stereo won't operate. A loose or weak ground connection can result in signal noise interfering with your music.
The Antenna wire is often identified as the blue wire. It is used to activate or turn on an amplifier. Amplifiers require a “remote turn on” to let the amplifier know the radio has been turned on. The power antenna wire is a perfect wire to do this.
The next set of wires are the Speaker wires. They are eight wires for the 4-speaker system with a positive and negative wire for each of the speaker.
If your stereo has a touchscreen or video monitor, you would also have to connect a wire to your parking brake wire. It switches on the video monitor when the parking brake is engaged. The location of the wire varies according the brake configuration of individual cars. But is usually found where the parking brake is. In vehicles that have a hand brake between the front seats, you'll have to remove the center console to get to it. In vehicles that have a foot-pedal parking brake, the stereo's wire will need to be routed to it under that dash.
- Installing the new car stereo
Once you have connected all the wires, you can first test your work before completing the installation process.Try each source including the FM, AM, CD and USB, and verify your work to make sure the stereo is working properly. If it is not, double-check your wiring process. In the other case, switch the stereo off and finish the installation.
Note that you will have to reattach the battery cable in order to test the stereo, so if you disconnected any airbag warning plugs, be sure to reattach those before reconnecting the battery.
The next step is mounting the stereo unto the dash. If your new stereo came with a mounting kit, assemble it according to the stereo’s instructions. In most cases, you would just have to reverse the removal process.
Push the stereo back into place until you hear a click. Fasten the screws that were previously used to hold the stereo in place. Reconnect any wired components. Knobs and drawers that were previously removed should be replaced.
Place the plastic trim over the stereo as it was before the uninstallation of the former stereo. Make sure that all the bolts and screws are in place.
Congratulations, your new stereo has been installed.
You can now turn on the stereo and play around with the settings and features to make sure everything is in working order.
- Tips to note before and during the installation process
- Make sure to buy a stereo that fits your car’s make and model. Our staff at Binize can help you in choosing the right stereo for your car.
- When removing any nuts or screws, you can place them in the cup holder so that they don’t get lost.
- Follow the specific instructions provided with the new stereo. Some of the installation steps may be specific to your car and stereo.
- If you got your stereo from Binize, you can contact our customer service to aid you with the installation process.
- If you find the process difficult or frustrating, you can get professional help from stereo installation shops, otherwise you may damage your car or hurt yourself.
- Also, keep the instruction manual in case of future need to either uninstall the stereo or if some problem arises.