Installing an amp to a car is usually quite complicated. Particularly, when it comes to the wiring part, many people often get confused and eventually mess everything up.

I used to be in that situation about a month ago when I tried to wire my new amp to my car. Having had no idea about techniques or technological devices, I completely ruined everything. Although I read quite many tutorial articles and watched videos, I still did not know which wire should be plugged into which input of the head unit or which step needed to do first. Therefore, it took me about two days to finish every task, which was relatively time-consuming.

Fortunately, after those two days, I became much more skillful and had greater experiences in installing an amp. I usually showed my friends the way and some tips to do it more smoothly as well. And I know that many of you are still confusing about wiring an amp to your car head unit; therefore, I would show you how to wire an amp within 10 minutes in this article. I believe that after reading, you will become even more professional than me in installing an amp.

Before getting started, these are the necessities you need to prepare:

  • An amplifier install kit, which has gauge with different sizes (a power cable, ground cable wire, amp turn on wire, fuse holder, crimp connectors)
  • A set of RCA signal cable (but it’s better if you prepare more than one)
  • A screwdriver
  • A soft panel removal tool• A paper knife
  • A drill
  • A socket
  • A set of ratchet
  • A wire stripper
  • A crimper tool
  • Several zip ties

Remember, before installing, you need to decide how many channels you want to wire and the gauge size of your amplifier. If you are installing both the amp and subwoofer, it would need more channels. And to check the size of your amp, just read the gauge requirements in the instruction manual.

Now, here comes the action part, which is the most crucial and exciting one. We will start wiring your amp. Follow these following steps for a smooth installation.

Step 1: Disconnect the negative terminal

  • This move is about drawing out the negative terminal of your car battery. You need to do this to prevent any short-circuit from happening and protect you from being electrocuted.
  • However, some cars in later generation require a security code to disconnect the battery. So before doing this step, you should check the code in warranty card or call the factory to ask for it.

Step 2: Disassemble panels

  • After you have succeeded in temporarily cutting the power, disengaging the panels is the next movement. Because the cable will be running on the floor board, hiding it under the panels is the best way to keep the car tidy and untangled.
  • Use the removal tool to lift each panel up, including four pads on the right and left the ground of the chairs, two on the sides of the first seats, and the ones around the head unit. There are some fulcrums to lift them up, so be careful not to break them.

Step 3: Run the cable

  • Now we come to one of the most necessary parts. There are three cables we need to run: power cable, amp turn on wire, and RCA signal cables. We’ll start running them from the battery to the amp one by one.
  • The power cable is the first one to wire. If you place it on the same side of the battery, cable length will be just long enough to reach the amp in the back. Drill a hole in the firewall, to put the wire right through. Make sure it is big enough for three cables to run. Then, pass the power cable through the hole and secure it to your car engine.
  • The next thing you need to run is the amp turn on wire, which will be attached to the power cable. That’s why I told you to secure it, not to connect it to the amp. Run the amp turn on wire just similar to the way you run the power cable and attach them to each other by zip ties. Then, put them in the place where you lift the panels up.
  • After you have done your job with those wires, RCA cables are the last ones. It is a little different because you need to run them on the opposite side to the previous ones. You will prevent the noise from interrupting the system by doing that. And when you are wiring, remember to place all three cables under your car carpet to ensure the brakes not to be stuck.

Step 4: Wire the amp

  • It’s time to connect the wires to your amp. Because they run under the carpet, cut a line for them to pass through. In this step, we have an extra wire from the amp kit to run with them, which is the ground cable. After getting four wires above the carpet, strip their insulation a bit longer than your knuckle.
  • Connecting the wires to the amp is quite easy. Plug the power cable into the 12-volt input, the amp turn on wire to the amp turn on wire input, and the ground cable to the ground input. The RCA cables have three colors, so just plug them into the inputs having the same colors.
  • If you use a subwoofer, you can connect its speaker wire to the speaker input on the amp. Otherwise, connect the cables of small speakers, and you have finished.

Step 5: Connect the head unit

  • Remember step 2 when we lift the panels around the head unit up? Let’s go back there and pull the head unit out. You will see tons of wires behind it, but don’t be panic because I will show you how to use them.
  • Two cables need to connect in this part are the amp turn on wire and RCA wire from the amp kit. The amp turn on wire will tell the head unit when to turn on the stereo, and the RCA cable is responsible for telling it the musical signal. Connect the ends of two amp turn on cables from the head unit and the amplifier by stripping their heads. Then, plug the RCA wires to the converter of your head unit with the correct similar colors just like step 4.
  • There are labels on the head unit, so you won’t have to worry about being confused.

Step 6: Install the fuse

  • Installing the fuse means that you will connect the cables to your car battery. That’s why after this part, your whole system will start running.
  • Use two cables, one of which is the power cable, and the other is taken from the crimp connectors. I’d to call the latter cable zero. Strip one end of the power cable that you leave at the car engine and insert the fuse.
  • Next, tighten the screw to that end and put the cable zero through it. Then, enter the rest of the fuse cap and connect the other end of cable zero with the battery by a crimp ring.Follow each movement, and you will find it not so complicated.

Step 7: Set the filters in gain

  • This last step is to test the system.
  • On the amplifier, there is a label called “Input Sens.” Twist it to the minimum level. Then, put a CD into the player and turn it on. Slowly turn the volume up to hear what the sound is like. If it is good, you don’t need to adjust anything. But if you hear some distortion, stop it right there and go back to the amplifier.
  • Now turn the volume of “Input Sens” up until the distortion disappears. That’s when the volume on your amp and CD player are completely compatible. You can now turn the volume up and down without any problems.


Have you been reading the tutorial carefully?

The whole process has become simpler than before you read them even though there are numerous steps, isn’t it?

If you are tired of riding along quiet streets and want to have some fantastic music, installing an amplifier is the most excellent choice. I’m sure these steps will be very helpful. You will be able to hear incredible soundtracks after only 5 minutes.

So if you have any opinions or thoughts, please comment, and I would love to discuss with you. Moreover, please share this article for everyone if you like it so that no one will have to waste so much time setting up an amplifier anymore.

Regardless, thank you for reading my writing about how to wire an amp within 10 minutes, and I hope to see you in my following articles. Goodbye.


About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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