How to Install a Car Amplifier

What You'll Need
New car stereo amplifier
Amplifier wiring kit
Needle nose pliers
Wire strippers
Wire crimper tool
Wire butt connectors
Drill with drill bits
Rubber grommets
Speaker wire
Sheet metal screws
Utility knife
Car owner's manual

Installing a new car amplifier can help improve the quality of the sound in your vehicle. A new car stereo amplifier will not only help to increase the volume of music in your vehicle, it will also help improve the dynamic range of sound across the audible spectrum. A quality amplifier adds not only volume but depth to music. Installing a car stereo amplifier is not as difficult as you might think, and you can do the job yourself in a couple of hours. This handy step by step guide will show you how.

Step 1 - Choose a Location to Install the Amplifier

First, you will need to choose a location to install the new amplifier. If you will be using the amplifier to power a sub-woofer in the trunk of the car, install the amplifier there as well. If you will be using the amp to drive the regular speakers in the vehicle, you might find it more convenient to install the unit under the front passenger seat.

Step 2 - Remove Negative Battery Cable

Remove the negative battery cable from your car battery. This will help prevent short-circuits during the installation.

Step 3 - Install Amplifier

If you'll be installing the amplifier under the front passenger seat, you may need to remove the seat. Regardless, you need to mark drill holes for the new amplifier. So, place the amplifier in the installation location, and use the utility knife to make small indentations into the carpet or vinyl. Then, use a drill  to drill pilot holes for the sheet metal screws. Align the amplifier so that the screw holes line up and screw the sheet metal screws into the metal to secure the amplifier.

Step 4 - Remove Stereo Unit

Refer to your car owner's manual on how to remove the stereo head unit from the dash of your car. Once you have located the information, follow the directions and remove the head unit.

Step 5 - Disconnect Speakers from Stereo

Disconnect the speakers from the head unit, and then make sure the wiring is also disconnected at each speaker as well. You need to do this as the head unit will no longer be driving the speakers.

Step 6 - Run Wires from Amplifier to Speakers

Run the new speaker wire from the amplifier to the speakers that it will be driving. You may have to run the wire under carpet or a long door tracks. So, try to find the most direct path from the amplifier to the speakers.

Step 7 - Connect Amplifier to Head Unit

Run the wiring underneath carpet or along door tracks from the amplifier to the head unit. You will need to run wiring for each individual channel, such as front/rear and right/left for each channel in the amplifier and head unit. You also need to wire the remote connection which will allow you to use the head unit to turn the amplifier on and off.

Step 8 - Ground the Amplifier

Drill a pilot hole for the ground screw, and then connect the ground wire to the ground screw and amplifier. Secure the ground screw.

Step 9 - Connect Power Cable

Find a path in the firewall of your vehicle so that you can run the power cable from your car's battery to the amplifier. If no hole is available, you can drill one and insert a rubber grommet. Connect the power wire to the positive terminal on your car's battery and the power terminal screw on the amplifier. Make sure the in-line fuse is on the side closest to the car battery.

Step 10 - Reconnect Battery Cable

Reconnect the negative cable on your car battery.