How to Install a Car Speaker
Level of difficulty:
For any car enthusiast, the installation of new speakers is considered as the most cost-effective way of boosting the performance of the on-board audio and video entertainment system of the automobile in a manner that can be performed with very little technical expertise required. In general, factory-provided speakers are considered as the weakest component of any automotive entertainment system and can easily be replaced by higher quality but relatively cheaper after sales speaker systems widely available in the market. Majority of these replacements speakers even come with free brackets, harnesses, wirings, and detailed documentation on how to correctly install and position them in your specific vehicle with minimum time and effort. The installation process itself is fairly straightforward which only uses tools found in almost any home garage or toolbox and with very little danger of damaging the entertainment system currently installed in the vehicle.
- Philips screwdriver
- Wire strippers
- Flathead screwdriver
- Auto trim removal tool
The first step obviously is to shop for replacement speakers. In doing so, take into consideration how they will look like once permanently placed in the vehicle. Look for speakers that will compliment the feature set of the currently installed entertainment or sound system.
Next is to disconnect the wiring for the currently installed speakers. Depending on how they were installed in the factory, grill coverings may need to be removed. Check for screws or notches which will allow you to displace the speaker cover.
Once the main speaker unit is visible, check how the wiring is connected to the speaker unit and the stereo or entertainment system itself. In most cases, the wires are either clipped on, locked into place, or use some types of boot. It is preferred that the factory wirings for the speaker be replaced with higher quality commercially available ones. This will allow for a better transmission of sound from the audio unit to the speaker system.
If you are placing a speaker unit in a position that previously did not have one, then additional wiring is required. Make sure that the new wiring can be hidden beneath the trim panels of the car to prevent passengers from accidentally getting tangled with the wires.
Additionally, new wirings need to be grounded properly to minimize or eliminate the possibility of short circuits as well as to prevent engine noise from being transmitted through the speakers. If this process is beyond your technical capability, seek help from professional installers to make sure everything is correctly done.
When attaching the wires to the audio and speaker units, make sure to observe the correct polarity. Since speaker wires are commonly color coded, the black striped wire is normally connected to the negative terminal while the solid colored or at times white striped wire goes to the positive terminal. Connecting the wires to the wrong terminals will make the speakers cancel each other out.
Install sound proofing materials to the interior panels while the covers are still removed. This will further enhance the sound reproduction quality of the sound system by reducing the amount of road noise transmitted while travelling.
Before permanently screwing on the speaker unit, place the soft gasket between the speaker and the metal portion of the car to prevent unnecessary vibrations that will cause unwanted noise.
Test the speakers to make sure that they function properly. For systems with faders and balances, make sure that the speakers are connected to the correct orientation.
Tighten the screws that will hold the speaker unit in place and place back the speaker covers, grills, panels, trimmings, and other pieces that were removed during the initial stages of the installation process. Remember that most of these can be pounded by hand to prevent any damage.