There’s a dedicated team of professionals out there that are ready and willing to take your money in order to run a couple of wires. That kind of sucks, doesn’t it? If you’re doing a basic replacement or upgrade instead of a full blown audio overhaul, then knowing how to install car speakers can save you a lot of time and money, so grab that snazzy new speaker and let’s get to work on slapping that bad boy in there.
First things first: disconnect the battery.
Now: double check that your battery is disconnected.
This will ensure that if you do something incorrect, you’re not going to hurt your speakers or the electrical system in your car.
From here, you’re going to need to remove the old speaker.
In most vehicles, this is a simple enough matter, you’ll just have to unscrew it from the bracket and slide it out. You may need to remove a cover first, it really depends on the speaker you’re working on.
Don’t yank on the speaker at any point while you’re getting it out. It should be attached to a wiring harness and you can do some damage to the whole thing if you mess this up.
Take note of how the harness is attached when you pull it, since this is going to help guide you in putting the new one in. If you don’t have a harness then you’re not in for the best of times but it’s still doable.
One extra thing to take care about: if you’ve got screws, then pull them slowly. Damaging the wood will make it extremely hard to replace the speaker. If you do screw up, then you’re going to need to invest in some wood putty.
If you don’t have a harness, do your best to disconnect the wires without doing any damage.
Most of the time there will be connectors which can be pulled with a pair of needle nose pliers, but if they’re directly soldered to the speaker then you need to carefully sever the wire as close to the solder as you can with a pair of wire cutters.
If you’ve got a modern car, you’re generally not going to have much trouble for this. The next thing you’re going to want to do is plug the harness right back in to replace speakers.
This is pretty much self-explanatory in most cases, but consult the manual for your speaker in order to make sure that you’ve got everything done right.
If you’ve got a soldered or wired connection on your speakers then you’re going to need to make sure that you’ve got the polarity right.
Reversing the polarity isn’t going to do magic, contrary to what Star Trek told you. It’s just going to cause a lot of bad things to happen to your speaker and possibly your electrical system as a whole.
If you previously had a soldered connection and you’re now moving to a wired connection you’re in luck: all you need to do is crimp on a couple of the right type of connector. This will vary from speaker to speaker, but try to get the outside insulated model if they’re spades.
One other word of caution: as easy as it is, you don’t want to use electrical tape as your sole connection, especially if things are in your dash. It is okay for a brief test but it’s really in your best interest to learn how to properly use a wire nut.
Don’t screw anything in yet, we’ve got one more thing to do first.
Double check the polarity again if you had a wired or soldered connection.
This can’t be repeated enough.
Once you’re dead sure that you’re connected properly, it’s time to hook your battery back in. Put the car in accessory mode and make sure that your new speaker is functioning properly. Run it through the volume a little bit, just to make sure you didn’t get a rare lemon.
If nothing comes out of the new speaker, then you’ve got a problem and you’ll need to trace the line. Most of the time this is going to boil down to you making a bad connection, but the speaker could be dead.
Of course, if you weren’t careful in the first place all manner of things could happen but as long as the battery was disconnected and you double-checked the polarity of your new connections you’re probably not going to have a real problem.
As long as everything is working, you’re now ready to set the new speaker into place until it’s time for another upgrade.
Just follow the instructions and put the new speaker together. If you have a like-for-like speaker with the same mount then you’ll just need to reverse the process by which you pulled the first one.
In most cases, however, if you went with a serious upgrade then you’ll need to pull the old mount and then put the new one in. Hopefully you didn’t damage anything during the initial pull, but if you did then wood putty is your best friend.
Once you’ve got everything together again you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done and some money saved.
As you can see, it’s really not that hard to figure out how to install car speakers. So, the next time you’re scoping out that super sweet piece to replace speakers for your ride, scoop it up and throw it in. The right speakers can make a world of difference in the enjoyment of your vehicle and really is there much better than cruising with crystal clear sound and crisp bass?
Here at Car Speaker Land we have only one goal: to bring you the best speakers around. Well, actually we have two goals: we also want to make sure that you’re able to get things going without having to pay the steep fees which are often charged for even the most basic procedures in auto shops.