For most fixes involving your car’s stereo, you’ll likely need the attention of an expert technician. But there are certain stereo connections that you can undertake via the DIY route. A good example is situations where you need to connect RCA cables to your car speakers.
RCA cables often come as part of your car’s wiring kit. Or you can easily buy them from a trusted spare parts dealer. These cables help you to receive and transfer sound signals from the car to its amplifier.
At first glance, working with RCA cables may seem like a complicated process. But, you can easily connect regular RCA cables to car speakers by following a simple step-wise process.
Below we break down the process into seven steps. Sit back, read, and learn!
How Do I Connect RCA Cables To Car Speakers?
Before you start the job, make sure you have the essential tools handy. Also, check whether your vehicle has an amp, as this will be crucial to connecting RCA cables to your car speakers. Tools you’ll need include the following:
- Safety goggles
- Rubber gloves
When you have these tools ready, follow the step-by-step below:
Step 1: Turn Off Your Car
As much as your car is a mechanical device, it has electrical components. For safety’s sake, you don’t want to leave your car’s ignition on while you’re trying to install RCA cables.
You’re going to deal with complex wiring processes like connecting speaker wires to carjacks. If you don’t switch off the ignition, these wires can cause an electric shock.
Turning off the ignition before you begin working with stereo wires can save you thousands of dollars in repairs. For example, trying to connect RCA cables to car speakers can spoil the car’s head unit.
In a bid to be completely safe, you can also unplug the battery of your car. Sometimes, the car’s battery can give life to the vehicle’s electrical components. By all means, ensure your vehicle has no source of electrical energy — residual or otherwise.
Step 2: Unbolt the Stereo
Connecting RCA cables to the car speakers requires undisturbed access to the car stereo’s wiring. Most of the time, the input for connecting RCA cables to a car stereo is usually behind the device.
We’ll strongly advise that you remove the stereo from its compartment. You don’t have to remove the stereo connections altogether. Simply unbolt the device to the point where you can see the wires and input jacks behind it. Depending on your car’s model, you’ll need a screwdriver and pliers to do this.
Step 3: Check if the Car Has an Amp
An amp is crucial to connecting RCA cables to car speakers successfully. The main connection between the RCA cables and the speaker will come from the amp’s socket. In many cases, most cars come with speakers that have inbuilt amplifiers.
But, if your car speaker doesn’t have an amplifier, you’ll need to install one. Without an amplifier, the RCA cables won’t transfer the signals strongly to the speakers. After all your hard work, you’ll end up with poor sound quality.
The best decision is to buy an amplifier and connect it to your car first. It may be a costlier decision to make, but it’s worth it if you want good sound from the speakers.
You have many options when it comes to where you can buy an amplifier. You can check a spare parts store near you or go online to order the amplifier you need. Ensure you’re getting a good amp that’ll stand the test of time.
After purchase, the location where you’ll install the amplifier matters. A great site is your car’s trunk. You can also try placing the amp behind one of your car seats.
Step 4: Confirm RCA Output Sockets on the Stereo
Since you have the stereo detached, you can try to confirm the sockets behind the stereo. Mostly, you’ll see three different outputs for the RCA cables. One output at the front, one at the rear, and another for the subwoofer.
Each one of these outputs has its respective uses and, in some cases, has color-coding. Check the car manual to confirm which RCA cable belongs to which output.
Step 5: Connect the RCA Cables To a Power Source
After confirming the outputs on your stereo, the next step is connecting the RCA cables to power. To connect the RCA cables to the power source, you may need to remove the glove box to access the location.
After connecting the power and RCA cables, connect the power cable to the positive terminal of the amp. Where necessary, use a strip of tape to secure your connections.
Step 6: Connect RCA Cables To The Amplifier with The Same Color
Now, you have both the amp and the RCA cables with a solid connection to the power source. All that remains is to connect the RCA cables to the outputs on the amplifier.
Thankfully, there’s no complication to it. An amplifier mostly comes with colored outputs that indicate the corresponding RCA cable. Simply ensure you fix each cable in the correct port.
Step 7: Test Car Speakers
If you have followed the steps from the start, you should have a great connection. But before you couple the stereo back, you need to test the results of your connection.
Connect the car battery and turn on the ignition. Then, turn on the car stereo and check for any differences in its sound. If the sound quality appears off, you can always recheck your connections. Remember to turn off the ignition and disconnect the car battery before touching any wires.
Anytime you want to connect RCA cables to car speakers, you can easily pick up this guide and follow the steps in it. When you follow the steps carefully, you can rest assured of excellent results.
Follow all of the safety precautions we discuss above, and you should have no problems. If you are confused or have any questions in the process, it may be best to call in an expert technician. Good luck!