How to Install Your New Head Unit

How to Install Your New Head Unit

The installation of a new head unit will increase the working of your system, renovate your dashboard, and you have access to different media devices such as Bluetooth control, HD and satellite radio, or a DVD player. You can install your new head unit easily. You need to follow the following steps to install it. 

Head unit installation tools

You will need the right set of tools to install a head unit. If you have not purchased a new head unit, then make sure that you will have one that fits the space in your vehicle. For that, you should know the difference between single DIN, double DIN, and DIN-and-a-half. This will not complicate things for you. You will require the following tools and instruments for the installation of a new head unit:

  • White strippers 
  • Dash prying tool
  • Voltmeter
  • Torch 
  • Solder
  • Heat shrink or Electrical tape
  • Wire crimps/clamps (if you don’t want to solder)
  • Flat blade and Philip head screwdrivers

The particular tools for installation of a head unit may be different for one vehicle to the other. If something is not suitable for you, then you need to try a separate tool. So, the steps are:

  1. Analyze the situation

Not every vehicle is the same, so you need to evaluate the situation thoroughly. In some cars, screws that keep the car radios in place are not visible. You need to remove a trim piece in order to access the screws or bolts. Sometimes, these trim pieces come very quickly, but many have concealed bolts behind the switches, plugs, or ashtray. 

When you have detached the trim piece screws, you can use a flat blade screwdriver or prying tool to take off the trim piece. Some units are kept in place by other methods. For example, head units are held by internal clasps that can be released by certain tools.  

  1. Pull the trim back carefully

Once you have taken out all the screws, you will be able to lose the trim piece and release it. In some situations, you have to detach switches or wore connectors as well. However, make sure you will not pull the wires out in this process. Some cars also have climate controls attached to the head unit. If you have destroyed these connections by pulling the wires forcefully, then the heating, ventilation, and air conditioner will not function when you place the trim back.

  1. Unbolt the car stereo

When you are able to access the head unit screws, then you can remove the car radio from the dash. Some head units are gripped with screws, but other use bolts, Torx fasteners, or a proprietary fastening method. Detach the screws or bolts, keep them in a safe location and then carefully take off the head unit.

  1. Remove any additional brackets

Brackets are used to keep car radios in place, which you may or may not need to insert your new head unit. If your car has a bracket, you need to confirm that whether or not your new head unit needs this. You can insert a double-DIN head unit or single-DIN head unit according to the requirements of your vehicle.

  1. Place a UNIVERSAL Mounting Collar, if required

Most stereos have universal collars that will work in different applications. These collars can be placed without any additional mounting hardware in the metal tabs that can be bent to hold the sides of the dash. 

For example, if the single-DIN collar is too small to fit directly into a dash, then it will not fit inside the existing bracket. Moreover, we will not utilize it. Instead, we will screw the new head unit into the existing bracket. 

  1. Examine the plugs and wired connections

It is effortless to place a new head unit that is suitable with the existing wiring harness. However, this will restrict the number of head units you can use. 

For example, in a situation where a plug is not suitable for a connector. Then there are many ways to handle this situation. The first option is that you can purchase an adapter harness. If you have access to a harness that is suitable for your head unit, you can plug it. You can wire harness directly into the pigtail that comes with your new head unit. 

The second option is to disconnect the harness that was attached to your radio and then wire the pigtail directly into it. If you are using this option, then you can use either a crimp connector or solder. 

  1. Solder the wires, if no harness adapter is available.

You can connect harness quickly to harness by using a crimp connector. Strip the two wires, slides them into a connector, and then crimp it. It is crucial to connect each wire appropriately. Some head units have printed diagrams on them. If you cannot find the wiring diagrams, then you can use a test light to specify ground and power wires.  

  1. Reassemble the dashboard

Once you have done with the installation of new head unit, you need to place it into the dashboard carefully. Make sure that your radio works. If it does not, then recheck your wiring connection. 


At last, you can install a new head unit by following these steps. It is an effortless procedure. You need to be careful in the process so that you will not pull a wire that will cause deterioration later on.


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