How to Connect an Aftermarket Car Stereo to a Factory CD Changer


CD changers can give you a convenient way to enjoy hours of recorded music without the hassle of constantly changing discs. To introduce an aftermarket stereo deck to a system that has a changer, add an FM modulator if the brand of stereo differs from the CD changer. When upgrading a car audio system that includes a multidisc CD changer, have a technician at an aftermarket retailer perform the installation, or do it yourself and save the cost of labor.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Trim panel tool
  • FM modulator
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable (or grounding cable) from the car's battery. The grounding cable is the black cable that connects the battery to the frame or chassis of the vehicle. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the bolt holding the cable clamp around the negative lead. Remove the clamp from the lead.

  • Remove the aftermarket stereo. If you are installing the stereo, make the necessary connections but leave the deck uninstalled to connect to the CD changer.

  • Connect the FM modulator to the aftermarket stereo. Run the FM modulator wiring through to the opening provided for the old connection to the changer from the factory stereo.

  • Replace the aftermarket stereo (or install it) into the vehicle's dash. See the vehicle's owner's manual for installation instructions.

  • Run the FM modulator wiring to the location of the CD changer. Connect the FM modulator cable to the CD changer. If there is an amplifier connected as well, run the FM modulator cabling along a different path to the CD changer; if you don't, the power supply to the amplifier will introduce distortion to the signal from the CD changer.

  • Reconnect the grounding cable to the car's battery. Place the clamp around the negative lead. Tighten the bolt of the clamp until the clamp cannot be moved about the lead by hand.

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