Guide to Installing an In Dash Audio Unit


For the audio enthusiast car owner looking to install an in dash audio unit in your car instead of that frantic mess of confusing wires and connectors – be organized by following some easy guidelines.
Here’s a simple procedure to make that installation lot less hassle!

If you have an existing audio system installed, that will have to be removed first. Many have anti-theft devices attached and high-end models are linked to the car alarm. Most require just a simple removal tool, found with your car manual or with the instructions for the old audio player. Auto stores keep replacements if required.

Watch those wires!

Take note of the existing wiring and determine which wires are for speakers and which are for power or accessories. Speaker wires are in pairs of similar colors one with a stripe, the other without. The cable with a stripe is positive (+) polarity, the un-striped wire in the pair is the negative (-). Most cars have 4 speakers, 2-front 2-rear. So there should be 8 wires in matched color pairs for the speakers.

The live wire is usually red (but not always!) a cheap test lamp or multi-meter can soon identify the live wire. This will have +12V (+/= .5V) reading (or light an earthed test bulb). Note the ignition key may well control the power to the audio unit so testing with the key in the ON position may be required. Make a note of the cables identified so far; other wires include a blue (electric antennae) and sometimes a yellow (power supply for a CD-changer).

All the wires must be detached and make the cable ends made suitable for re-use if necessary. Stripping off any balled-up bare cable ends with suitable wire strippers will make the job easier to complete.

Install an in dash audio unit in your car.

To install an in dash audio unit in your car, reading the instruction manual that accompanies the new unit is essential. Details such as the security code, the wire color-coding and basic instructions on fitting/troubleshooting are all written to make sure your installation is done properly.

The new unit needs to be supported whilst the wiring is connected to the car harness. Fortunate installers will find a large connector block is all that’s need to be hooked up before inserting the new unit into the dash. Older vehicles may need a connection made with a simple connector block available at RadioShack or Wal-Mart. The wiring must be kept tidy. Messy wires get tangled everywhere and will often interfere with insertion of a new audio unit into the cavity in the dashboard. Scuffed insulation can cause a car fire!

All that’s need now is to install an in dash audio unit in your car! Gently slide the new unit into the carrier frame in the dashboard. Simultaneously, make sure the wires are fed back. Do not force it in. When fully inserted, the unit should make a discernable ‘click’ and the unit is now locked in place and hopefully ready to use!

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