Aside from adding flair to your car interior dashboard, an aftermarket car stereo gives you a new set of features to keep you informed and entertained on the road.

Replacing your factory receiver is a great way to add quality and functionality to your vehicle’s sound system. There are many brands, styles, and features available, so be sure to shop around to find a stereo that best suits your needs. Our online vehicle Fit Guide will let you know what accessories you need for your specific vehicle and these accessories will be included free with your car stereo purchase.

After choosing the right aftermarket stereo for your vehicle, it’s time to upgrade from your factory unit. Follow these step-by-step instructions on how to install your new stereo.

Prepare the tools you’ll need

For most vehicles, it’s not difficult to install a car stereo yourself, and it takes only a couple of hours if you do everything correctly. To start this installation you will need the following tools:

  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Panel Pry Tools
  • Wire Strippers
  • Crimping Tool
  • Butt Connectors (or crimp caps)

Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery terminal

First and foremost, you need to disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent damage to the vehicle’s electrical system during the installation. Disconnecting the negative battery terminal when adding new car electronics is an important safety measure that protects both the car and the person working on it. It helps to prevent electrical damage, ensures safety, and reduces the risk of accidental airbag activation.

Step 2: Remove the factory receiver

Second, remove the factory car receiver by following the instructions that are included with the installation accessories that we provide with your stereo purchase.

Step 3: Mount stereo in dash-kit and connect wiring harnesses

Third, prepare the aftermarket stereo by properly mounting the unit in the dash kit by following the instructions that are included. Next, use butt connectors to connect the stereo’s wiring harness to the vehicle wiring harness adapter.

Step 4: Install additional stereo accessories

Fourth, install any additional accessories the aftermarket stereo came with such as a wired microphone, GPS antenna, or a rear USB cable extension.

Step 5: Connect the new stereo assembly and wiring harness to the vehicle

The fifth step is to connect the aftermarket stereo assembly and wiring harness to the vehicle, securing the dash and replacing all panels that were removed during the process. Don’t forget to reconnect anything else that was disconnected such as airbags, 12V cigarette lighter sockets, and of course the negative battery terminal.

Your car’s interior can look completely different once you install new audio. Furthermore, the quality of your newly installed car audio can have a significant impact on the sound quality. Replacing your car stereo usually takes 30-90 minutes. For a complete walkthrough, watch our video above!

Sonic Electronix provides the best vehicle receivers available with Smart device connectivity, DVD playback, rear-view camera compatibility, and a plethora of other capabilities to satisfy all of your infotainment requirements.

We also include complimentary vehicle stereo installation equipment with the purchase of any of our car radio receivers. This consists of your dash kit and every wire harness you’ll require to install your new audio correctly. Our customer service and technical support teams are available to you five days a week, and we’re always happy to help!