Car Radio

How to Connect a Car Radio


Step 1: Remove the old car radio

Step 2: Install the frame of your new car radio

Step 3: Plug in your car radio

Step 4: Install the additional components

Step 5: Test your connections

Step 6: Mount the car radio on the dashboard

Mounting a car radio is now a quick and easy process. Just plug in a few sockets, and you’ll be able to enjoy more powerful equipment that connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone, for example, or with a GPS display and more.

Before mounting, check your station’s format: the DIN format is the classic format. Make sure you have enough room to fit it into your dashboard. You will also find double-DIN size units, twice as high, often with a larger screen.

1. Remove the old car radio

Car Radio

If there is no car radio in the car, remove the cover to reveal the radio compartment in the dashboard.

To remove the old car radio, remove the cover to access the pins.

You’ll then need to use specific extraction keys. Insert these two metal pins into the holes provided for this purpose on the left and right of the radio until you hear a click. Then pull on the post. It should come out without too much resistance. Please do not force it.

Then disconnect the old car radio: the power cables (2 plugs) and the antenna cable.

2. Install the frame of your new car radio

A metal frame was provided with your new radio. It is used to hold the car radio securely in its housing.

Insert this mounting sleeve into the dashboard.

Using a small flathead screwdriver, press the mounting tabs to secure it to the dashboard.

3. Plug in your car radio

Most vehicles and car stereos have two ISO-standard plugs (for power and speaker connections) and an antenna connection, which you plug-in like a plug-and-play device.

Some vehicle models have specific plugs: adapters are available to revert to an ISO model.

Similarly, antenna jacks have two standards, but there are adapters to match them.

As a last resort, if you discover that the socket is non-existent (the vehicle is too old, for example), you will have to connect the wires either to an ISO socket or directly to the chosen station. To do this:

Probe the wires with a multimeter.

Connect the wires with lugs to be able to disconnect them or solder them.

Then protect your soldering with heat-shrink tubing: the wires must not touch each other; a contact and your vehicle could catch fire!

4. Install the additional elements

Car Radio

You can connect up to 4 speakers with the standard ISO plugs. But some items or equipment require additional installations:

You’ll have an extra plug to connect if you have a CD changer or amplifier in the car’s trunk.

The same goes for keeping control of the steering wheel controls.

To install a Bluetooth hands-free kit, you’ll need to attach the microphone high up. To do this, run the microphone cable through the back of the dashboard, clear the windshield pillars and run the line behind it to the sun visor.

5. Test your connections

Before you fully insert your new unit into the dashboard:

Please turn it on to test your connections.

Check the power supply, the radio station search, the CD player, if there is one, the volume, and the balance between left and right speakers.

6. Fix the car radio on the dashboard

All you have to do now is put your new radio in its holder and push it down until it is locked in place. Again, please don’t force it. If the unit is blocking, it may be that a wire harness is in the way. Remove the station, shift the wires and try again.

Finally, add the cover to finish the job. 

You can also contact Robust Auto Electrics if you want to leave the task to a professional auto electrician.

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