How to Install a New Car Stereo

So, you’ve picked out an awesome new car stereo to replace your old one, but you’re not really sure where to begin with the installation. The good news is that anyone who has a few basic tools, some rudimentary mechanical knowledge, and who knows their way around their car can easily perform the installation themselves.

In just 7 easy steps, you’ll be blasting your music through your car’s new stereo.

1) Determine if you need a dash kit

When picking out a stereo, you may have found one that will fit perfectly into your car’s existing stereo bay. However, given the many different brands and sizes of car stereos available, you may also need to purchase a dash kit to help mount a stereo that is too small. You should be able to figure out if the dash kit will work for your car by taking a look at the box or asking for help in-store.

2) Have all your tools ready

In order to install a new car stereo you are going to need a set of screwdrivers, a socket set, pliers, wire strippers, and whatever additional tools may have been listed in the instruction manual that came with the stereo. Once you have everything ready, it is time to get to work.

3) Disconnect the negative connector from the battery

You are going to be poking and prodding around in your car’s electrical system, so you need to make sure to disconnect it in order to avoid getting a nasty shock! First, you need to turn off your ignition. Next, take a look on top of your car battery for the negative battery terminal. To loosen the nut holding it in place, simply turn it counter clockwise and remove the negative connector from the battery.

4) Remove your old stereo’s panelling and fastenings

Now you can remove the panel that is holding your old stereo in place. Do this slowly and carefully so that you don’t crack or damage anything. A flathead screwdriver should provide just the right amount of leverage to pop the panel out of place.

Once the panel is out of the way, you can remove any of the fastenings that are holding the stereo in place. Make sure you set any of these screws and fastenings aside so that you can reuse them later.
How to Install a New Car Stereo

5) Remove your old stereo and assemble the dash kit if needed

With all of the panelling gone, your old stereo should easily slide out. If something catches or seems stuck, then double-check that you have removed all of the fastenings. Once you have entirely pulled your stereo out, you can disconnect the cables that should be plugged into the back.

At this stage, if your new stereo is too small, you should assemble the dash kit and put it in place.

6) Connect your new stereo

Now, if you have your new stereo ready, you can connect it to the electrical cables that you just pulled out of your old one. If there is anything ambiguous about which wires go where, then take the time to look into your instruction manual to make sure you have it right. Better to do it correctly the first time around.

7) Turn the stereo on to test it out

After sliding your new stereo into place, you should test it out before putting back all of the fastenings and panelling. You don’t want to finish the whole installation only to find that your stereo doesn’t turn on, so reconnect the negative connector to your battery and turn on the ignition. If your new stereo seems to work, then go ahead and secure it firmly into place, and enjoy your music!