How to Install Car Audio Capacitors
|Audio Capacitor Sizes|
Perhaps your headlights are dimming, or maybe you just decided to purchase a capacitor as a precautionary measure. Whatever the case, you have decided to purchase a power capacitor for your vehicle, and now you need to install it. Installing a car audio capacitor is fairly simple, but you should always take caution when handling wires and electrical systems.
Before you install a capacitor, you must charge it to prevent blowing fuses. Use a voltmeter along with a resistor to charge your audio capacitor. Once the voltmeter shows 12 volts, the power capacitor is charged. Now you can wire the capacitor in parallel with your car amplifier.
You should use 4-8 gauge wire depending on the size of your capacitor. A car audio capacitor has two terminals, positive and negative. Connect the positive terminal to both the amplifier’s and car battery’s positive terminal, and the negative terminal to the ground. Make sure you secure the ground wire to the vehicle’s metal chassis.
Where you mount the capacitor depends on your car. It should be in a safe location away from passengers. Many postulate that the capacitor should be mounted as close as possible to the amplifier to reduce the length of the wire. In theory, this will optimize performance by cutting down the distance it takes the current to travel, and potentially reduce losses. Another viewpoint advocates installing the capacitor to the component displaying a voltage shortage, such as the headlights. Either way, the idea is to hook up the capacitor to the amplifier terminals, the battery, or the distribution block.
To wire multiple capacitors, you can either wire both ground wires together by running one ground wire to each of the cap’s negative terminals. You may also ground each capacitor separately. Run the power wire through the amplifier’s positive terminal and to the battery’s positive terminal. Remember, only use the amount of capacitors you actually need. You may not need the largest capacitor on the market. To determine the size and number of capacitors that your sound system needs, calculate your amplifier’s wattage and convert it to farads.
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Written By: Gary Brikowski