Car Stereo Installation: Professional Or DIY?
Nothing beats driving down the highway on a warm, sunny day with the windows down and radio blaring; nothing can ruin a great day faster than a low-quality, broken stereo. What do you do when your car stereo needs to be replaced or upgraded?
Many stores that specialize in car audio equipment will offer installation packages. Most of the time, this can be a great option for those who don't feel comfortable messing with their car's electronic system. This can also be a better option for newer cars with more complicated electrical and computer systems. Installation packages will vary in price and options based on the area and specific store, so it's important to read through these offerings when purchasing a stereo.
Installing a car stereo may seem really tricky, but it's a surprisingly simple process. There are three key purchases for an at-home car stereo installation: the stereo system itself, mounting hardware, and wiring adapters.
Car stereos are available with dozens of options ranging from light color to bass output, so this may be the most time consuming (and confusing) decision when installing a new car stereo. One important thing to remember is that the fancier a car stereo is, in general, the more power it will draw. Complex and flashy stereos may require the installation of additional amps to avoid a power drain on the rest of the vehicle. This is very important so that power flowing to the stereo doesn't interfere with other crucial electronic systems, such as a theft alarm or engine sensor.
Because there are dozens of different vehicle makes and models, and very few use a standard size stereo, a mounting kit will also likely be necessary for stereo installation. These mounting kits serve to fill any physical gaps that could occur because of size differences between the old and new stereo units. Mounting kits make the installation look cleaner and also provide a more stable base for the stereo.
Finally, a wiring kit (or wiring harness) can make installation a breeze. Each car make and model has a slightly different wiring configuration, so a stereo may not be "plug-and-play" right out of the box. Instead of cutting and matching up each colored stereo wire to its counterpart, including a wiring harness in stereo installation can make the process much simpler and quicker. It's the same idea as any other electrical adapter.
Whether you choose to pay for professional installation, such as through Sun Valley Stereo, or tackle it at home, car stereo installation can be a breeze if you purchase the right necessary components.