Adding an amplifier to a car audio set up, allows the components to receive a higher flow of power. Not only will there be more voltage, but the volume will receive a boost on top of the improved sound quality streaming from the speakers.

An amplifier shines when it’s hooked up to a fully loaded system; subwoofers outfitted in the trunk, speakers in the door panels and a new double DIN head unit mounted on the dashboard. 

Proper amplifier installation will create these traits, but will help safeguard your entire car from system overloads or circuitry shorts. The following steps will guide you through an at-home install and how to check if your pre-existing amp is properly connected. 

Disconnect the Negative Battery Terminal

Disconnecting the power protects both you and your gear.

Find a Suitable Place to Mount the Amplifier

Amp placement will have a significant effect on the unit’s lifespan. One of the most common locations is under the driver’s or passenger’s seat. This method not only keeps your car looking factory by hiding the amp, it also allows for a central location where you can route all your speaker wires. 

Since amps crank up the energy to deliver the right amount of power to the speaker, they can generate heat. Set it up in a location with decent ventilation. Installers recommend placing it under the seat or in the trunk of the vehicle.

For an amplifier to function properly it needs three major connections; One to power, another to input, and to an output. 

Connect Ground Cable

The next primary connection will be grounding the amplifier by wiring a lead to the car’s metal chassis. Look for a nearby metal bolt on the car’s chassis and fasten the ground cable to it. If you can’t find a bolt nearby, drill your own screw somewhere close to the amp but still in contact with the metal chassis. The ground terminal needs to be in constant contact with the car’s bare metal, so you should sand away paint and material at the point of contact for the best possible connection.

Connect Power Cable

With a ring terminal, connect the wire to the positive battery terminal and secure it with a nut. Take the other side of this power cable and connect it to the fuse holder. From the other side of the fuse holder, connect and run the wire to the amp’s positive terminal. 

On most vehicles, you should be able to run the wire through the firewall that protects the engine from the main cabin with an existing entry hole. Run the wire on the floor of the car under the carpet to your amplifier.

Mount the fuse holder close to the battery for easy access 

Connect Remote Turn on Wire and RCA cables on stereo

Run these cables on the opposite side of the car from the power wire to input on the amp. This should keep excess noise from ruining your audio. Now the receiver has an audio source.

Connect to Subwoofer

Take speaker wire and place it into the speaker wire terminal and screw the opposite end of the speaker wire down into the amp.