How to Install a Car Stereo Wiring Harness


The invention of the car stereo wiring harness has made installing a new car stereo in your car a lot easier. No more do you have to probe and test wires, hunt for power leads or try to guess which wire does what; now it becomes a plug-and-play installation. Follow along as we install a car stereo wiring harness in a 1995 Chevy truck.

Things You'll Need

  • Blue butt connectors
  • Crimping tool
  • Wire strippers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Remove the factory stereo to access the harness. Put the key in the ignition and turn it to the on position without starting the truck. Shift the column shifter all the way down so it's out of the way. If you have a tilt column, drop that down as well.

  • Remove the dash bezel by gently pulling it away from the dash. It's secured by pressure clips around the perimeter, but be gentle so you don't break the bezel.

  • With the bezel removed, take out the car stereo. It's held in place by clips on the side. With the deck pulled out, unclip the harness from the back of the deck.

  • Prepare the aftermarket to connect to the harness from the new stereo by placing the two of them on a work bench. You'll notice that both harnesses have similar color coding, as the industry has made certain colors standard. Using the wiring strippers, strip about 1/4-inch of the end of the wire to expose the copper wire.

  • Take the harness that mounts to the factory harness and crimp the blue butt connectors to the end of each wire.

  • Each wire should also be labeled for ease of installation, so start pairing the wires up together. Generally black is for ground, yellow is for constant power and red for ignition, so start pairing the wires and crimp them with the matching wire from the other harness.

  • Once every connection is made, the harness is complete. Clip one end into the harness from the factory harness and the other into the stereo. Now the harness is installed and the new stereo is good to go.

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