How to Install Car Audio

If you are contemplating changing out the audio system in your car, you can rest assured that it can be done. Most newer car models will come equipped with an audio system. Often these are top of the line audio systems that are built in with certain specifications. If your car audio system such as this then you may consider using a professional to make any necessary alterations. Look at the panel on your door to decide what type of audio system is currently installed in your car. If the brand is JBL, Harman, Infinity or BOSE it is likely that you will need professional assistance.

Required Tools

  • Radio Mounting Kit
  • Screw Driver
  • Socket Set
  • Pliers

Required Materials

  • New Audio System
  • Wiring Harness
  • Antenna Adapter (optional)


  1. Purchase a radio that is made specifically for use in automobiles. Ensure that this radio can fit in the space alloted for an audio system. If you are buying the car online be sure to check the dimensions of the product.
  2. Also purchase a wiring harness and radio mounting kit, these will be essential to carry out the installation. You may also need an antenna adapter depending on the year and type of vehicle. Most European vehicles, GM models and Nissans that were made prior to 96 will require this additional item.
  3. You should have all the tools you need on hand. This will include screw drivers with different size heads and a small metric socket set. If you are the owner of a Ford or a European car you may need to use additional tools to pull down the old radio. If the car is a Ford model you can buy the specific tools needed from any auto supply store.
  4. Your radio mounting kit should have instructions on how to install the radio, read this through completely to ensure you do not make any mistakes. It should also give you detailed instructions on how to remove the factory radio.
  5. Open the bonnet of your car and disconnect the negative battery terminal using pliers if necessary.
  6. Remove the factory radio using the instructions displayed in the kit. You will need to be carefully when unscrewing certain parts as they are delicate and are very costly to replace.
  7. Once you have taken out the radio, ensure that the wiring harness is compatible with the factory radio plug. Wire your harness by connecting the wires based on the corresponding plugs in the vehicle adapter harness. In other words connect black to black, white/orange to white/orange etc.
  8. Once the wiring is done, install the mounting sleeve into the radio mounting kit. You will need to bend the tabs to ensure it is firmly affixed to the kit. Slide the radio into the installed mounting sleeve until it is securely fitted into the structure.
  9. The harness should be connected to the radio plug at this point. If you had to use an antenna adapter then plug it into the factory antenna at this point.
  10. Take the assembled radio and radio mount kit and place them into the area designated for the audio system.
  11. Re-connect all the dash panels that you pulled down when removing your old radio.
  12. The radio should uniformly blend with your car. If it does not fit perfectly into the space then you may need to re-install or purchase another radio.
  13. Replace the negative battery terminal and turn on the radio to ensure that it works.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not leave any wires unconnected, doing this will compromise the ability of your radio to play.

More Tips on Installing Car Audio Systems

Related Posts