How to Install a CD Player in your Car

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A lot of the expense of adding a CD player to your car is from the installation. You can get around the expense by simply buying the unit and taking care of the installation yourself. It takes some time and effort, but if you save $100, it will probably be worth your while. Follow these steps to install a CD player in your car.

Things You'll Need

  • cd player
  • tools
  • Buy a CD player that is compatible with the already existing slot in your car. There are adapter kits for some models, but these can add to the expense you're trying to avoid by installing the unit yourself.

  • Read the owner's manual. Usually, you can get a good idea about the specific quirks of the model you've chosen, how it works, and how to install it.

  • Collect your tools. You will likely need wire cutters and wire strippers, a screwdriver (usually Phillips head), and some electrical tape. Other tools and materials (if needed) are often included with your unit.

  • Unhook the negative/black cable from your car's battery. You do not want to get shocked, so by doing this you take the power out of your car's electrical system.

  • Remove the dashboard and your old unit. This can usually be done with just the screwdriver, but when you are having problems consult the owner's manual for the car or unit you are removing.

  • Check to see if the wires go into the old unit one by one or through a wiring harness. When it is a wiring harness, you can use another harness (for your new unit) and simply connect them all in one shot.

  • Connect each wire for each speaker (each should have a positive and negative) one by one. Connect the ground to a metal connection (probably a screw) on the back of your new unit.

  • Connect the power wires to your new CD player. They are both red, and your manual should indicate where they are connected to the back of your CD player.

  • Plug your car battery back in and test your CD player. When it works, slide it into the slot and screw it in securely.

Tips & Warnings

  • If looks and sound are not priorities, if all you need is something to sing along to Journey songs with, just put a portable boom box in your back seat or get a tape adapter for your portable CD player.
  • Look for deals from major retailers where the cost of installation (and sometimes service for a year or so) is included in the price of the unit. Even if you know how to install it, this is a pretty good deal.
  • Some owner's manuals do not go into the amount of detail needed. If you still can not find the information you're looking for, go to the dealer and ask to see the distributor's manual which is more complex.
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