Installing a car stereo is usually done by car audio professionals who have the proper knowledge and equipment. However, people who are familiar with the inner workings of a car can install a stereo in a vehicle without help from professionals. If a person is not a professional but knows enough about cars to feel comfortable doing it themselves
When installing a car stereo, there are many different things that need to be done.
The car battery needs to be disconnected and later reconnected once the stereo is installed. A mounting system needs to be chosen and placed in the proper location so that the stereo sits properly and securely inside of it. Wires for power, speakers, and other items need to be connected to the stereo. The final step is connecting the new power source of the vehicle’s battery back into the car so that it will work properly with all of its electrical systems.
In my experience, most car stereos take about an hour to do the installation, and half that time is spent removing parts from the car’s dashboard.
Installation time depend on stereo type
There are three main types of stereos: conventional, double-DIN, and single-DIN.
How long does it take to install a double-din stereo?
The double-DIN stereo takes about two hours because it has a larger screen than the conventional one.
How long does it take to install a single-din radio?
The single-DIN takes about half an hour because there is less wiring to deal with and thus less complicated procedures.
Not all cars are alike; some cars will take longer than others for the installation because of the dashboard design.
First time installation takes more time
The first time you install a stereo in your car, it might take you about two hours or even three hours. However, after that, when you have already soldered wires into the car’s electrical system and know what you are doing, you should be able to install the stereo in about half an hour.
Things to consider when installing a car stereo in your vehicle
- Double check your radio bezel to see if it’s compatible with after-market radio installation. This may not seem important now, but you want nothing hampering the view of the screen!
- Determine if there are any additional wires or features on your dashboard that need to be removed prior to installing the new car stereo.
- Carefully measure out where you want the head unit to be installed in relation to both right and left side dash vents. You don’t want it blocked by anything else in front of it!
- Organize all the wiring necessary for radio installation into one manageable bunch, which will make routing and connecting much easier.
Common mistakes people make when installing their own car stereos
Car audio systems are complicated, technical pieces of machinery. Installing one yourself is not always easy. Here are some common mistakes people make when installing their own car stereos:
- Not having the proper tools: An installer needs to invest in high-quality tools for this job. The cheaper versions of these will not suffice. They will break shortly after purchase and leave you frustrated with your system installation down the drain.
- Not making sure you have enough power available: Many people do not consider this before even starting to put their stereo in. Make sure you have an ample supply of power running to the spot where you are installing your radio.
- Installing interior parts incorrectly: Some people install stuff like vents and speakers upside-down. It might look right at first, but it isn’t. The issue is that the parts are made to function in a certain way. It’s critical to install them correctly.
It takes a few hours to install a car stereo. The process is fairly simple and the installation only requires basic tools. In general, most people can complete this project themselves as long as they have some patience and time on their hands. An experienced mechanic might be able to do it more quickly, but those who are less confident should plan for about 3-6 hours of total time spent working on the task from start to finish.