How to Make Your Car Stereo System Louder


A common goal of car stereo enthusiasts is a louder stereo. There are several ways to add volume to your system, limited only by your budget for the project. One way is to swap the factory stereo for an aftermarket unit. Choose a stereo with greater signal output than the factory stereo in your vehicle. You can add an amplifier, boosting the signal from your stereo. Installing higher quality speakers will provide more volume as well. Aftermarket speakers use materials and wiring configurations that allow them to handle stronger signals from an amplified stereo.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Amplifier wiring kit
  • Stereo
  • Amplifier
  • Speakers
  • Speaker wire
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Trim panel removal tool

Add Amplifier And New Stereo

  • Disconnect the negative battery cable from the vehicle's negative battery terminal. Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to loosen the bolt on the cable's clamp and move the cable away from the battery.

  • Connect the ring terminal from the wiring kit to the positive lead. Remove the fuse from the fuse holder and connect the power cable.

  • Route the power cable through the firewall of the vehicle into the inside of the cabin.

  • Remove the stereo from the dock and disconnect the wiring from the back of the unit. Connect the wiring to the wiring harness adapter and connect the adapter leads to the new stereo.

  • Plug the patch cables from the amp kit into the wiring harness adapter leads.

  • Feed the patch cables through the stereo dock and down to the floor of the vehicle.

  • Install the stereo into the stereo mounting dock. Consult your vehicle's repair manual for precise procedures on stereo removal and installation.

  • Route the patch cables and power supply cable to the location of the amp. Plug the power supply cable into the amp and connect the patch cables to the appropriate outlets on the amplifier.

  • Connect the grounding wire (amp wiring kit) from the amplifier to a bolt or screw near the location of the amp.

Install New Speakers

  • Remove the speakers from their mounts in the door panels and rear deck of the vehicle. Consult your vehicle's repair manual for the procedures on accessing the speakers.

  • Disconnect the speaker wires from the stock speakers and connect them to speaker harness wiring. Plug the speaker wiring harness into the new speakers.

  • Connect speaker wiring from the newly installed amplifier to the new speakers. Plug the wires into the speaker harnesses of the newly installed speakers.

  • Replace the new speakers in the speaker mounts in the door panels and rear deck.

  • Replace the grounding cable to the negative battery lead post. Tighten the cable's clamp around the post with the adjustable wrench. Place the fuse into the fuse holder in the ring terminal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that the output of the amplifier is withing the range that can be handled by your new speakers. Be sure to add the pre-amp output of the new stereo with the output of the amp to get an accurate rating for your speaker's protection. The output levels of the stereo and the amplifier can be found in the manuals provided with both. Contact the retail outlet where you purchased the components or the manufacturers of the components directly if you are without the necessary manuals.

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