How To Install a Car Stereo (Single & Double DIN) | Car Audio 101
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How To Install a Car Stereo (Single & Double DIN) | Car Audio 101

October 8, 2019

– Hey, guys, it’s Brent
from Sonic Electronix, and today we’re going to
be doing a radio install in this Toyota, showing you how to replace your factory radio. Now, there’s a few things
you need to get ready before tackling this job,
which is actually pretty easy. The first step is our tools. We need wire strippers, our wire crimpers, possibly some pry tools,
maybe a nut driver, a Phillips head screwdriver,
and a flat-head screwdriver. Typically the tools that are required for the radio installation. Now, the great thing is
Sonic Eletronix does carry every tool here that you see on the table. And the next thing you need is your installation accessories,
starting with your zip ties, 18 to 22-gauge pink butt connectors, 14 to 16-gauge blue butt connectors, and your stereo installation
kit as well as wiring harness. Great thing is, Sonic
Eletronix, when you buy a radio, we give you the dash kit
and the harness for free, and we carry all the variety
of connectors and zip ties you could possibly imagine. So the first step to
installing your car stereo is disconnecting your battery. The reason for disconnecting
the battery is for one, we don’t want power flowing
through the vehicle, just in case if we short out a wire, we could pop fuses, it’s just a nightmare. So let’s disconnect the battery here. Now, you could do either
side, you could do the negative side or the
positive side, it’s fine. Typically disconnecting the negative side is the most common. So we’re gonna go ahead and do that here. Now if you do do the positive side, lemme just give you a hint here. Obviously my ratchet is metal, right? So if I’m here and I hit the
battery hold-down bracket or anything accessory-wise, it
could short out the battery, pop some fuses, or have some problems. So be sure, when you’re ratcheting this, not to hit any metal
accessories that are near it, ’cause you don’t wanna short anything out. So step two of your radio install is removing the factory radio. Now, some cars are
different, in the case where you may start from the top to the bottom, most cars that I’ve worked on
usually start at the bottom and then work their way up. Now, the one thing you wanna be careful of is finding the resistance
points on the panel, making sure that you’re
not prying on something that’s screwed down, like, for example, right below here, if I
pull off this A/C switch, that screw is holding
the panel into place. So if I pry on this panel, I’m gonna break some plastic around here, so we wanna make sure that
we’re very, very careful. So I’m gonna go ahead
and remove these knobs. And like I said, I’m gonna
start on the bottom here, so we’ve got our pry
tools from Mech Scorpion, and I’m gonna go ahead
and pry this panel up. Perfect. Now most of the time you can
actually do it with your hands, it’s much easier, you
can feel the resistance on the panel as well, as you can see, this just slides right out. We do have some connections
here, to our cigarette lighter. This unplugs. Now, one thing I wanna point
out, we got panel clips here. A lot of times these
plastic dashes are held in by these panel clips. So if you hear something
fall inside the dash, more than likely it’s these
panel clips falling off, so go hunting. Next we take our Phillips
head screwdriver, we see that this particular vehicle has two Phillips head screws
holding the panel in here, as well as two here. Remove these screws. All right, so next step, since we got all the screws
removed from the panel, so what I’m gonna do is I’m
gonna start from the bottom, I’m gonna pull up, as we can see, the plastic panel clips
are just holding this in. So I’m gonna pull, perfect. Now one thing before I
disconnect this panel, I just wanna point some things out, and this is why we disconnect the battery. ‘Cause you see here, we have a passenger. And the passenger light is basically for the passenger airbag. Turns it on or off, et cetera. And if we don’t disconnect the battery and unplug this panel,
and we start the car, we’re gonna have an airbag
light on our dash column, which the dealer has to clear. Spending a couple hundred
bucks just to clear a light, it’s not fun. So make sure you disconnect the battery, if you’re not disconnecting the battery, make sure the car is in off position, then unplug this panel. So I’ll go ahead and unplug it. Okay. So once we have the panel removed, we have four 10-mils holding this radio in on the top and the bottom area. Now, some radios may be held
in with 7-mils, Phillips head, et cetera, every car is
a little bit different, so this car we’re gonna
have our nut driver, remove these screws. So let’s say we have a stubborn
screw, bolt, et cetera. So I’ve unscrewed it all the way, but it doesn’t want to come out, so what I’m gonna do is I’m
gonna keep my nut driver here, on top of that screw, and
I’ll pull the radio out. That way that screw
doesn’t fall into the dash and you don’t have to go hunting for it. So the next step here is just unplugging the factory connections,
here’s our AM and FM antenna, and this is our main car
stereo harness, right here. So this is our factory
harness of the vehicle, with our installation
accessories we’re gonna go ahead and plug in the wiring
harness that’s provided for this vehicle, which is a
female, plugs right into here, and decodes the color of the wires for us, so that way we’re not guessing. All right, guys, so step three of our car stereo installation is prepping. The first step is doing
our vehicle wiring harness to our aftermarket radio
harness, which you see here, share all the same colors. So literally all we’re doing
is matching color for color, utilizing our butt
connectors or crimp caps or solder and heat shrink,
whichever method that you use. The next step is our dash kit. For this particular vehicle, it only came with two side mounts, and this is called an ISO mount. Since we’re doing a double din, it’s typically a little bit larger, and has a lot more weight,
so we need to support it. So with this dash kit it’s telling us to utilize the factory mounting brackets that come with the factory radio. So we’re just gonna be mounting these to our aftermarket radio, and
utilizing these side brackets to basically fill in the
trim, that way it doesn’t stand out of place. All right, so when we come
to connecting the harness, the first step here, since
I’m using butt connectors, is we strip the wire back
using our wire strippers. And I’ll give you an example here. Make sure you choose the correct gauge, that way you don’t cut
through the whole entire wire. And just pulls this wire right off, the actual insulation around the wire. And when using butt
connectors, you wanna make sure that you twist the wire. That way it’s nice and uniform. If we have a wire like this, you know, a strand’s coming out,
it’s not going to sit in the butt connector perfectly and we’re not gonna get a good crimp. So the next step is,
after we twist the wire, take our butt connector
and we’re just gonna set it on the wire, we’ve got our crimps, and typically the crimps will have a nice little V groove here with a tooth, that’s for our butt connector. I’ll slide that in and
crimp, and now we have a properly connected
wire to a butt connector. I’m gonna terminate the
rest of the wires with this, now if we have any stragglers left over, say the colors don’t match up, what we usually do is
just terminate the end with basically a butt connector
or I could use a crimp cap, just to cap off the wire. The reason that we do this
is we just want to make sure that we don’t have any bare wires inside the dash shorting out. Even if you cut the wire, it could still possibly short out. I’ve done it in the past
and it’s a pain in the butt having to go back and fix it. All right, guys, once
I’ve connected the harness color for color, as you see
here, with my butt connectors, I’m gonna go ahead and
make it look pretty, ’cause if we just put
it in the car like this we got a bunch of wires dangling around, we got our ones that are
capped off laying around, it looks really hokey. So I always like to zip tie it and make it look nice and uniform, that
way it fits in the dash nicely when you put the radio back in. So what I’m gonna do is I’m just gonna gather all my wires together, take one zip tie, so we only
need one zip tie on each end, some guys like using tape, but here’s the downside about tape, guys. If you tape up this whole entire harness and you have a problem and
you need to troubleshoot it, what do you gotta do with the tape? You gotta remove all the tape. So my suggestion is, if you
wanna tape your harness, put it in the car, make
sure it works fine, then tape your harness. Very basic, completed harness,
and wires are capped off. Everything’s wired color to color. It’s a good way of managing
your wires as well, make it look like a nice,
clean, professional install. All right, so once we’ve
connected the car stereo harness, it’s now time to mount our unit. And this particular application, since we’re doing a double din replacement with a factory double din, we’re gonna be utilizing
Metra-supplied brackets here that are just side mounts, and we need to do an ISO mount, so we’re gonna be utilizing
the factory brackets off the factory car stereo. First we gotta remove those, so I’m gonna take my nut driver. All right. So we look at the stereo here and we see that left-hand, so that tells me that this is the left side of the stereo, if you’re looking at it directly. So we’re gonna take the new car stereo, put it up side by side,
we’re just gonna basically move this bracket right over,
and it’s gonna slide in, oh, there we go, slid right into its spot. Now the dash kit that
we’re using for Metra just basically sandwiches onto
the factory mounting bracket, in this ISO mount application, so we’re gonna go ahead and
put it on in place, perfect. You can see how it has
three mounting holes, or actually four, that all line up. So the screws that are
provided with the JVC unit, Kenwood unit, whatever
unit that you’re utilizing, are usually a panhead screw
like this, a Phillips. We don’t use the factory
8-mils that came on the Toyota, because they typically strip
out, they may be too long, you could damage your unit. So we’re just gonna go
ahead and mount our ISO now. All right, guys, so
we’re just gonna go ahead and flip this over and replicate
it on the right-hand side. All right, guys, so we
already did the case of the ISO mount with
our double dins here, from double din to double din,
and I just wanted to show you one extra step here that,
if you’re doing a single din radio installation it’s
a tad bit different. Typically you will get a dash kit here that just has a single din opening, with a pocket for storage. So if we’re going from
double din to single din, this is what we’re gonna be doing. All right, guys, so the first
step of caging your unit is making sure we got
the proper size opening, and we have our cage. The cage is just gonna slide
in, now it doesn’t matter if it’s this way or that
way, it’s universal, so it just slides into place. And the one thing that
you want to make sure when you’re caging the
unit is that the cage rests on the actual plastic
lip of the single din dash kit. So we got it resting on the lip, now, on the cage, you’ll see teeth. There’s little teeth
all wrapping around it. These teeth are bent into place
by a flat-head screwdriver, that way it locks the
cage into the dash kit and doesn’t fall out of the
dash once it’s installed. So we’re gonna start at the bottom, and make sure the dash kit’s
all the way at the very lip, we’re just gonna push down these tabs. Now once we’ve successfully caged, the unit will just slide in
right through the front as so. What we have here is
little locking side tabs, which will lock into place once the stereo is all the way in. And you’ll hear it click. Hear that click? The stereo is now successfully
caged to the dash kit, gives you a nice sleek
look, and we’re golden. So once we’ve successfully ISO
mounted our car stereo here, and wired up our harness, we are now ready to put the radio into the vehicle as well go onto our next step. All right, guys, so in step
four, the radio installation, this would be the time to run
any additional accessories such as your Bluetooth microphone, your satellite radio
antenna, or run your rear USB to your glove box or center console. However, for this installation, we’re just doing a
basic radio replacement. All right, guys, so step five
is install the new car stereo. We’ve already got our
pre-wired harness here, which will plug in right
into the factory connection, makes it nice and easy for you. So once you hear the click, you know that’s successfully connected. Perfect. So we got our stereo,
and now all we have to do is connect it. We’ve got our harness already
plugged into the vehicle, plug it in right in the back here, we got our AM and FM antenna, also plugging that in
the back of the stereo. All right, so once we got
everything plugged in, it’s now time to slide
the radio into place. Make sure that you don’t have any wires dangling down here on
the bottom so you pinch them. Make sure you get them all tucked. Just slide the stereo into place. Since we used the
factory mounting brackets in this application it’s
actually going to be pretty darn easy, it’s just
going to slide right into place, all we have to do is
bolt it right back in. All right, so the final
steps here is basically reassembling the vehicle, just make sure that you have all of your
screws and everything set aside so you didn’t lose any, and just making sure that
everything is plugged in. And this panel slides right back in. So we just wanna make sure that
we get all the screws right in the correct place, here. That’s why I usually put
them in the cup-holder, just in case, that way I don’t lose them. Now it’s time just to
reconnect the shifter plate. Make sure you don’t forget
to plug anything in, ’cause your cigarette
lighter may not work. And this panel just snaps right back in. And voila. All right, guys, we got
the finished product here, the radio’s installed, working flawlessly, we got the vehicle put back together, and there’s one thing I
want you guys to remember. This is not too difficult
for the do-it-yourselfer. And radio install is very straightforward, and the great thing
about Sonic Eletronix is when you buy a stereo like this you’re gonna get a free dash
kit and a free wiring harness which will come with your instructions and guide you step by step. Also, check out our knowledge base. We have step by step
guides on how to install car stereos, amplifiers, subs, everything that you
could possibly imagine. Now if you guys have
trouble choosing a stereo, feel free to give one of
our knowledgeable sales reps a call at 1-877-289-7664 and we’d be more than
happy to guide you along and get you in the right stereo that works for your application. All right, guys, make sure
you subscribe to our channel, once again this is Brent
with Sonic Electronix, have a great day.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. You guys rock!!! i ordered your install tool kit and new radio deck from ya for a good price. Worked on wire harness with your tool kit. It was a smooth operation.

  2. Hi guys hope you can still help me. I have a 2009 kia picanto with a double din whole. I have purchased an aftermarket single din radio. However you cannot actually buy a single din dash kit adapter for my car. I was wondering what I should do as I don’t particularly want to spend more on a double din radio seing as I already have a very nice single din radio. Hope you guys understand and can give me some help

  3. I have a 2014 xb Scion. I added a Lc7i and Amp to my oem stereo. the issue is that soon as I turned the ignition on the lc7i comes on even with the stereo in the off position, looks like there is getting some signal from the speakers with out turning the stereo ON. Also I get like a his sound coming from the speakers with the stereo OFF. Sounds like the amp is on and ready to produce the sound.

  4. This may sound like a dumb question, but do you only have ot install the power cable so sound can reach to the speakers of the car?

  5. 08 chevy expess van lost chimes when i installed my Kenwood and everybody said I didn't need the inerface harness for that year

  6. I notice the gear shift is in neutral (to get lever out of way of dash panels & radio) and keys are in ignition. I bring this up because with my car if I put in neutral or low gear and then try to turn key to "lock" position, it will not go all the way there. Also my key will not come out of slot. Is this the way you had to leave things for this install? Is it safe to remove negative cable of battery with car in this kind of "limbo" position? Thanks

  7. An interesting video and good advice. This link also offers useful and useful videos:

  8. Have a question. I have an aftermarket stereo. It's a 2003 GMC Sonoma 2.2l. Now I do not have OnStar. I didn't do the install. However the door chime doesn't come thru the interface box that was installed. The chime comes from in the dash. I pulled the radio because I have to manually power on and off. Now the red wire on the interface box is not connected. Red usually indicates power wire. So with it not being connected. My brain says this box is not needed? Can u answer this question? Thank you

  9. If the car already have a double DIN stereo, with reverse camera functionality, does replacing it with an aftermarket double DIN stereo ruin the reverse camera function? Or the reverse camera can still be used?

  10. What should I do if the previous owner of my celica installed an aftermarket stereo single din cage and did not include the factory side mounts? I am trying to install a double din into my vehicle.

  11. First time attempting to replace a factory stereo. This is the only video I found with a very easy to follow step by step and an online store that is easily navigable.

  12. Fantastic excellent demonstration very clear instruction I think I can tackle this now thank you so much

  13. Nice tutorial… can u do the tutorial without harness… for old car model @ classic car.. coz classic car didnt have factory harness.. n must do manual connecting sir… pliz..

  14. Good video, and some navigation product is so cheap now, I know one factory based navigation, cheap and reliable.

  15. Electricity runs from the negative wire which is your ground…for example the cause for a dimmed headlight is a loose negative ground wire not a positive wire.

  16. Loved that its a celica that your doing the install on never find videos of them. Going to be doing same install tommorow on same car

  17. VETOMILE Car Radio Media Player 7inch Double DIN Touch Screen Bluetooth Car Stereo Mp5 Player with GPS Navigation, Rear-view Camera AUX/USB/SD/BT/RDS/FM Audio

    ★7-inch touch screen supports Rear View Camera input function, item size: 178 * 100 * 65MM. This car stereo can suit most car models as long as the size is appropriate.
    ★Support GPS navigation function (with MAP card and GPS antenna).
    ★Bluetooth technology lets you play and control music apps and make calls hands-free.
    ★Support AM / FM / RDS radio, remote control, steering wheel control.
    ★Supports the video conference format of RMVB / RM / VOB / DIVX / AVI / ASF / 3GP etc.

  18. I just want to be 100% sure, but my car 95 (ford mustang) has a single din aftermarket stereo already. Now I want to go to double din, would i have to replace ANY interior parts or does the single din carriage swap out universally with the double din?

  19. How can you tell the power connectors? Red, Yellow, Black, Blue, Orange-white, Blue-white wire leads. Separate sockets. Speaker sockets is the other one.

  20. I am only interested in the audio and electrical part of the system. Do you have to tear apart the whole car with the seating and the carpets under the seating to work on the cables for the speakers? Obviously you have to re-carpet the car floors. How much does it cost you to re-carpet the floor, after you needed to cut it up to get to the speaker cables?

  21. Yep. I saw it. They only used one side bracket. Sort of like ruin the look. Two side brackets to the iso din didn't fit. Wow. Custom made interior.

  22. What would be the beat double din aftermarket radio for 07 Buick lucerne?…needs usb/aux as well

  23. My cars OEM mounting brackets don't line up with the holes on my new unit.. Have you ever experienced something like that?

  24. I want to do Floorings for my Home but Stereos for my Car would be a nice Touch since I still have an Old Stupid Radio that's not that Attractive

    I also wanna Replace the whole Interior or whatever

  25. Here's something weird- not sure if it's it's my new Kenwood with the problem or not. After having the Kenwood 2 din installed for several mos, I then installed LED brake lights in my car on the left & right sides. After a while, I noticed my radio receptions was sometimes not as good as other times. THEN, I installed a LED in the 3rd brake light in the back window (the radio antenna is built into the rear window). Now, everytime I hit my brakes, I lose all radio reception. I never heard of this happening before and don't know what to do about it. Any insight to this mystery is appreciated.

  26. If I replace the radio and all speakers do I have to run any extra equipment or will it just be “plug and play” after it is all wired up?

  27. How hot is okay for a stereo.
    I have connected plenty in the past never had a problem but this kenwood unit gets fairly warm I can keep my hand on it but it's like hot shower warm, If I disconnect one rear speaker it runs cooler but with both connected it heats up again. It's a old kdc226 with new wire and new 70 watt rms 6x9s and 2 50 watts in the front. Can't find anything except old earth but the stereo never cuts out so I'm thinking that is good enough. Put a new cheap sony head unit in and it overheated until it wouldn't run could it be speakers trying to draw to much power?

  28. For instant personal help by phone with your installation click the link below:

    Show more

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