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Car Audio Installation FAQ

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by: Gary Brikowski

Here at Sonic Electronix we have been answering install questions since 2000. Below are some of the most frequently asked install questions by customers.

How do I know which head unit will fit my vehicle?

Your vehicle has either a single din (2-1/8” height by 7-1/8” width), a 1.5 din, or a double din (4.25” height by 7-1/8” width) opening. Check our guide for more information.

What will I need to install my car stereo?

Among other tools, most vehicles require an installation kit and wire harness. Depending on availability, Sonic Electronix offers a free installation kit and wire harness with your order of a car stereo.Some vehicles require specialty harnesses that require an additional charge. Other vehicles require antenna adapters, which are not included with the free kit and harness offer.

How do I know what speakers will fit my vehicle?

Look up your vehicle using our speaker fit guide. You can also check your vehicle's manual or take out a trusty ruler and measure the speakers.

What will I need to install and hook up my amplifier?

If you are connecting an amplifier to an aftermarket car stereo, you need to connect RCA cable to the stereo’s RCA preamp outputs. If you are connecting an amplifier to a factory (OEM) car stereo, you will need a line-out converter to reduce the output or just use an amplifier with speaker level (high level) inputs.

To wire your amplifier, you will use power and ground wire of the same gauge. The gauge depends on the amount of wattage your amplifier produces. For safety reasons, it is advisable to use a fuse or circuit breaker. To connect speakers and subwoofers, use speaker wire. Another requirement is remote turn on wire, which runs from your stereo’s turn-on lead to the amplifier’s remote terminal. This tells the amplifier to power on when your stereo turns on. Purchasing an amplifier kit will provide all of the required fuses as well as the power, ground, speaker, and remote wire.

I don't want to install my car stereo products, how do I get it installed?

If you have don't know how to install your products, or if you just don’t have the time, buy an InstallCard and take it to any authorized installation store for a professional installation. Once you receive your card, you register it on the InstallCard website and put in your zip code to find local installation shops. The shop applies the total charge of your InstallCard towards the cost of your installation. The big bonus: if your equipment turns out to be defective during the installation or immediately after, the installer will remove and reinstall the replacements free of charge.

Another great reason to buy these prepaid install cards: if your equipment is determined to be defective within a period of no longer than one year (and within the manufacturer's warranty), Installer Net will cover 50% of the charge to remove and reinstall replacement equipment. They even offer prepaid plans that let you schedule a professional installer to come to your home and install your electronics.

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Written by Gary Brikowski