How to Hook Up a Car Stereo Wire Harness

by Ian Moore

Upgrading your stock radio to an aftermarket model is one of the best things that you can do for the overall sound of your vehicle. One tool that is necessary for installing a new stereo is a wiring harness. A wiring harness connects the wires of your stereo to the wiring inside of the dash. Without this it would not be possible to power your stereo. Wiring harnesses cost little money and are not difficult to hook up.

Go to a car audio specialist and ask for a wiring harness that fits the model of your car. Not all wiring harnesses are the same and they are specific to each model.

Remove the dash panel of your car. If you are unsure of how to remove your dash and access your stereo go to the Car Stereo Help website (see Resources). This site offers instructions on how to remove your car's stock stereo for most car models.

Unscrew the stock car stereo and save the screws in a container. Take the stereo out of the console.

Push down on the white tab of the stock wiring harness that is connected to your radio. Remove your radio from the stock wiring harness.

Take your aftermarket wiring harness and match the wires on the one side with the wires of your new stereo. Twist the wires together and wrap with electrical tape to secure the connection. Take the other end and snap it into the other end of the stock wiring harness that was connected to the stock radio.


  • close Disconnect the battery and car stereo fuses before attempting to work with any wiring.

About the Author

Ian Moore is a student pursuing an associate degree in music and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Moore has been a writer for more than 10 years. He holds a TESOL certification and has taught English abroad. Moore has published work for Transitions Abroad.

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