You want to replace your stereo for any reason and you don’t want to spend a lot of money paying other people to install one for you. For that last situation, you choose to install the stereo manually and all by yourself.
But how are you going to do that? This article will discuss how to install a stereo system in your car without the wiring harness. You can check out lots of info and reviews of auto on autonerdsreview.
Installing your stereo when the factory harness is available is easy; you just simply connect the harness from your stereo to the harness in your car. The trouble comes when there is no factory harness in your car, and this is what this article will focus on.
Table of Contents
How to Install a Car Stereo Without a Wiring Harness?
Knowing the wires
First and foremost, you should know the functions of the wires in the stereo harness. As you can see, the wires are bundled with tone colors multiple colors, and each different color represents the different functions of the wire.
The black, yellow and red wires are known as the “power wires” as they are responsible for powering your stereo, or specifically, they help in turning on your stereo.
The black wire, also known as the ground cable, is important as your stereo will not work if it is absent in the wiring system. The yellow wire is the constant power and it helps in keeping the battery stable. The red wire, meanwhile, helps turn the radio on and off.
Then there is the blue wire that controls the signal for your radio. Some people refer to this wire as the one that controls the antenna of your car stereo, and that works too in this context. There is a difference between a blue wire and a blue wire with white stripes.
The blue wire works for when you only want to use the AM or FM frequencies, and no other media devices. Meanwhile, the blue wire with white stripes not only connects to the two frequencies but also to any CDs, Bluetooth or other forms of media available on your stereo. So, make sure you know how to differentiate the two wires when connecting them to your car.
In terms of the brightness of your stereo interface, it is the job of the orange cable. There are two orange cables included: one increases the brightness while the other lowers it.
Basically, the wire is responsible for dimming the lights of the stereo when you are driving at night. However, some older cars usually don’t have these wires. When buying the stereo, you can see whether it has the orange wires or not.
The last bunch of the wires is the one that connects the stereo to the speakers of your car. They come in four colours: white (connects to the front left speakers), grey (connects to the front right speakers), green (connects to the rear left speakers) and purple (connects to the rear right speakers).
If you are afraid of getting confused over which wire goes to the positive or negative terminal, don’t worry because usually the indication for the terminal is specified by the stripes on some of the wires: the ones that have stripes goes to the negative terminal and vice versa.
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Connecting the wires
And lastly, once you figure out the function of the wires, we are going to connect the wires of the stereo to the wires of your car. First, make sure you remove some part of the insulation of the wires before connecting them.
Another point to be careful of is to make sure the wires do not touch each other; if the constant wire—the wire on your car that still transmits power even when the car is off—touches any of the other wires, it will put out the power of the other wires.
Connect the constant wire to the yellow wire of the stereo harness. This creates a constant battery connection between your car and the stereo. Next, connect the red wire to the “accessory wire”, or the wire that connects to the ignition of your car.
You can check which wire it is by having your test light touch each unconnected wires of the car while you turn the key in the ignition without starting your car. When the test-light lights up, that means you have found your accessory wire.
If your car stereo has the orange illumination wire, you can connect that to the illumination wire in your car that is connected to the headlights. When the headlights are on, it sends a signal to the stereo that tells it to lower the brightness.
If your stereo does not have the orange wire, make sure to put a white cap on the illumination wire of the car to make sure that it does not touch any other wires or metal inside the dashboard as this will cause your headlights to be ineffective.
Then, you can connect the speaker wires. Make sure that you get the polarity right when you connect them and make sure to also connect the wires based on the location of the speakers in your car.
If you worry that something bad will happen if you connect the wrong wires to the wrong location of the speakers, don’t worry because it won’t cause a power outage of your car. Instead, the sound that comes out of the speakers will sound not as good as it should be.
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When all of the wires are connected, wrap them up together using black tape to make sure they don’t get jumbled up under your dashboard. The black tape is recommended because it helps in conducting electricity. Then you can connect the stereo harness to the stereo and check whether it works.
And that’s it, you’re done! In short, the installation of a car stereo without a wiring harness involves directly connecting the wires of the stereo to the wires in your car.
Always remember to put your safety first when handling the installation to make sure that the power does not go off, or you don’t get electrocuted.
You can look up for tutorial videos on the Internet where the installation is shown step-by-step, or you can ask for help through Internet forums as well. Meanwhile, if you’d like to check out the best android head units, check them out here.