How to install a car radio

How to install a car radio

So, you want to put some sounds in your car?

Well, you would be well advised to shop around, because there’s a lot of variation in the market place. It all comes down to how much money you want to spend. The budget priced radio-cassettes will have a manually tuned radio along with a cassette that features a fast forward and an auto-stop facility. The power output will be around 5 watts. You wouldn’t want to go below this as the sound quality is not worth it.

For a few more dollars you can move up to a radio with manual push button tuning and an auto reverse on the cassette player. Going upmarket will see you with a radio that has electronic push-button tuning and a digital display. The cassette unit will probably feature a search facility. Check out what you can afford to go with at your local store and then listen carefully at an audition stand. Make sure that you also invest in some decent speakers as the stereo will only sound as good as it’s speakers.
Once you’re home with your new car stereo you have the task of installing it in your vehicle.

Here’s how:

(1) If you have an old radio in the dash you will have to remove it. Pull off the radio’s control knobs, undo the nuts around the spindles and pull off the radio’s finishing plate. Release the lead to the aerial, speakers, earth, and power. You can now take out the radio.

(2) Slide the new unit into the hole left by the old radio. Slide the front plate over the control spindles. Thread the nuts onto the spindles along with any washers and tighten.

(3) Wire up the circuit following the instructions provided. Remember that the power lead must come from a live supply that works only with the ignition on, and the casing of the unit must be earthed. You will find four speaker wires – two for each speaker – which have to be connected to the speakers. And, of course, the unit will also have to be plugged into the aerial. You can take the live feed you disconnected from your old radio to your new system.

(4) You must now connect the housing of your radio-cassette to the body-work of the car. Connect a length of thick wire between a screw on the radio and a close-by earthed bolt or screw. You may find that your set comes with the terminal on the rear of the unit to connect to.

If your car does not have an existing radio or a space to fit one, you will have to fit a mounting pod under the dash. You can purchase these from the same place you purchased your radio. Place the pod on the underside of the dash and mark the position of the screw holes. Drill the holes. Now fit the radio into the pod, following the written instructions. Hold the pod up to the dash and secure it with self-tapping screws.

You now have a new radio in your car. You can enjoy your favorite sounds on the move. Keep in mind, however, that many car accidents are the result of drivers fiddling with their car stereos. So, enjoy your music, but play it safekeeping your eyes on the road.

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