How to Install a Car Stereo

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Want to save yourself some cash? Ever wonder about installing a car stereo system by yourself? I know I have. So go ahead, spend some money on the hardware and just skip the paid labor, because there’s no need to pay someone to do something you can already do. Besides, performing a project such as this can be rewarding in many ways. You’ll learn new things about your car, and you’ll be able to see your creation up and running smoothly.

However, you don’t want to damage your goods that you may have just purchased. Proceed carefully. Most stereo systems are easy to install, luckily. The vast majority of these just include specially shaped sockets and slots that only fit where they are supposed to go, making it easy on you. Still, it is best to proceed methodically, so you don’t miss something.

In a car stereo installation, you have to decide what type of rig you are going to be installing into your car. If you are a beginner, it’s best if you perform an insallation with a simple system. Installing delicate equipment such as LCD panel and motorized parts probably aren’t your cup of tea. So leave the hard stuff to the professionals.

Installing the head unit is one of the easiest steps to do in a car stereo installation. Fortunately, most units follow the same sice standards (DIN). In many cars, once you remove the factory installed radio, your purchased radio will fit right into the hole. In some cars, a kit is needed in the factory hole is either cut too big, too small, or not deep enough. Some extreme cases call for the dashboard to be cut. Any car stereo store should have the neccessary kits needed for installation.

There are two ways of mounting in a car stereo installation. ISO mounting is when the radio can be screwed to the already existed factory brackets (You will find this in most Japanese cars). Ring mounting is when the aftermarket rado comes with a ring made of metal that gets mounted to the factory radio hole of aftermarket kit via bendable tabs. In many cars, dash and trim rings need to be filed in order to enlarge the radio hole. Once you have the ring installed, the radio slides in and is held there by snaps. In most cases, special tools are needed to remove the radio.

Next we install the speakers. This part is critical. No matter how awesome or expensive your speaker are, if they are not installed properly, their quality will not be up to par and will fall short of the simplest factory installations.

In a simple car stereo installation, you will probably be using speakers that fit into the factory locations. All you need to do is place them in there and ensure that there are no gaps of holes. Sometimes building a fiberglass or wood baffle helps eliminate you holes and creates a much better sound. But be warned. If you are using power tools around speakers, be careful. Warranties usually don’t cover holes in speakers.

For speaker locations that are inconventional, sometime you will have to cut some metal. You most likely would like to leave this to the professionals, because they have tools like plasma cutters and pneumatics drills that are made for this sort of thing. But if you want to complete your do-it-yourself job, a pair of metal snips (left and right cut) will do.

A car stereo installation has to put up with vibrations and other noise sources in its environment. Even though it is not possible to eliminate these completely, there are products on the market that will greately decrease noise and rattling on non-luxury cars. Things such as liners, sprays, carpeting, and even adhesive strips applied onto the panels can make a huge different in the sound quality of your system.


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