Car Stereo Installation Kit: Buying Dos and Don'ts
Is your car stereo damaged? If it is, then you should consider buying a car stereo installation kit so it will be easier for you to mount your new stereo. However, for you to get the full benefit of this installation kit, you need to choose the best one among the hundreds sold in car parts stores. So you'll know which one to purchase, read this guide for the dos and don'ts of buying a car stereo installation kit.
- Check the kit if it comes with the mounting brackets and other hardware that you need. Doing this will let you save money and time because you don't have to purchase and search for additional tools and parts.
- Make sure that the installation kit you're going to buy is appropriate for your car stereo's size. Nowadays, some kits support single DIN stereos while others are for double DINs. If you don't know the size of your stereo, then you should purchase an installation kit that fits both single and double DIN units.
- Buy a kit that is specifically made for your vehicle. Before making a purchase, you need to take note of your car's make, model, and model year. Doing this will save you from return trips that are caused by ill-fitting stereo parts.
- Don't buy from an unknown brand. So you'll know which brand can be trusted, you should consult online reviews of brands and their products that are typically written by editors and car experts.
- Don't go for an installation kit that is too cheap. Usually, in order to cut cost, some manufacturers make car parts out of low-quality materials. To avoid substandard kits, it's best to choose one that falls in the mid price range.
- Don't buy an installation kit that doesn't come with a manual. Sometimes, because we're in a hurry to replace certain car parts, we forget to ask for manuals. As a result, we end up scratching our heads because we don't know which parts we need to install first.
Car Stereo Installation Kit: How to Use One to Replace a Damaged Stereo
We all love listening to music while enjoying a leisurely drive along our favorite roads. Thus, once our car stereos get damaged, we need to replace them as soon as possible. However, replacing a damaged car stereo is not easy because you'll need specific tools and parts to accomplish the job. To make this task easier for you, this DIY guide will show you how you can remove and replace a damaged stereo using a car stereo installation kit.
Difficulty level: Difficult
What you'll need:
- Car stereo installation kit
- Replacement stereo
- Phillips screwdriver
- DIN tools
- Wire stripper
- Wire cutter
- Panel tool
- Soldering iron
- Heat gun
- Heat shrink tubing
Uninstalling the damaged stereo
Step 1: Open the hood. Then, disconnect the negative battery cable using the wrench.
Step 2: Detach the old stereo. Depending on your car's make and model, you can do this in two ways:
- If your car's stereo is secured by spring clips, you'll need to use DIN tools. Fit the DIN tools inside the holes on the sides of the stereo. Then, carefully pull the stereo out of its mounting bracket.
- If the stereo is bolted in place, you'll need to remove some of the trim panels from the dash. Once the panels are removed, loosen the four screws that are holding the stereo in place using the wrench.
Step 3: Disconnect the stereo wires. After the wires are removed from the wiring harness, detach the antenna so you can fully uninstall the stereo.
Installing the replacement stereo
Step 1: Strip the wire ends of the wiring harness using the wire stripper. Make sure that there is a 1/2-inch of stripped wire. Afterwards, strip the wires of the receiver's harness.
Step 2: Connect the wires of the harnesses together using the soldering iron. Once the wires are soldered, insulate them using a heat shrink tubing and heat gun.
Step 3: Remove the faceplate and bezel of the new stereo. Then, attach the mounting rails that are included in the installation kit to the stereo.
Step 4: Secure the rails by screwing them in place. Don't forget to tighten two screws at the backmost and frontmost parts of the bracket. Once the rails are installed, attach the stereo to the mounting bracket.
Step 5: Connect the stereo wiring harness to the vehicle's wiring adapter and antenna cable.
Step 6: Insert the replacement stereo into the dash slot, but don't bolt or clip it in place yet. Then, reinstall the faceplate and bezel that you removed earlier.
Step 7: Reconnect the battery cable, and turn on the stereo. Make sure that it is working properly. Once you're sure, reattach the bolts or clips so the stereo won't suddenly fall off.