Subwoofers are often installed under the seat or behind the rear speakers of a car stereo system. They add bass to the sound, giving it extra depth and power. But some cars come with stock stereos that don’t include subwoofers. Can they be added? Is it possible to install it without damaging other electronics in your car? In this guide, I will walk you through the processes required to install a subwoofer on your car’s stock radio and also include answers to questions you may want to ask.
Can you install a subwoofer on stock radio? You can install a subwoofer in a stock radio by connecting it to an amplifier and using a line-out converter (LOC) to convert its connection to RCA in other to give a great sound.
When you add a subwoofer to your factory radio, it will boost the sound and produce bass and sub-bass sound at low frequencies.
This answer might seem complex on other sources online, but with the help of the step-by-step guide explained in this blog post, you will be able to install a sub to your car stereo without any qualms.
What is a subwoofer? A subwoofer is essentially a speaker designed to reproduce low frequencies. The woofers are usually placed inside a cabinet, which contains a magnet and voice coil. The voice coil moves back and forth within the magnetic field of the magnets. This movement creates mechanical energy that is converted into electrical energy via a diaphragm.
What will I need to install Subwoofer on Factory Stereo?
To make the installation of your subwoofer to stock radio possible, it is crucial you have some tools that will make it possible for you to end up with a great result. These tools include:
- An amplifier.
- Wires and Cables (RCAs, speaker wire, and remote wire).
- Hi-low or Line-out converter.
- Flex loom tubing
- Wire stripper
- Inline fuse of 50 amps
How to Install Subwoofer on Stock Radio
To ensure you understand how to install a subwoofer on a stock radio, I explained six steps you need to follow when installing a subwoofer on factory radio/stereo. But before you start the installation, you need to examine your car to check the place where the subwoofer will sit and make sure the equipment needed is available.
Step 1: Disconnect Your Car Battery
The first step needed to be taken in other to install a subwoofer to your stock radio is to disconnect your car battery in other to prevent it from damaging other car accessories during the installation process. When disconnecting the battery, open the hood of your car then use a socket wrench to unscrew the nut of your battery cable.
Subsequently, remove the black cable on your battery then you can remove the red cable if you like. Right after disconnecting the battery, you can now proceed following the steps highlighted below.
Step 2: Connect Power Wire to Car Battery
Having disconnect your car’s battery, then you can now connect the power wire to the positive terminal on your battery in other to connect electricity to the amplifier. To connect power wire from the battery, you need to pass wire from the front side where the car battery sits through the firewall to the trunk or under the seat of your car if there will be space to accommodate it. The purpose of connecting the wire is to power the amplifier in other to make it possible to (on) and (off) the amplifier.
When connecting the power wire, the best process is to run and keep the wire under the car carpet as that will make it secure. Note: During this process make sure you protect the wire with a flex loom tubing in other to prevent it from melting when the car is hot.
After running the wire successfully, then you can now connect it to the amplifier. In addition, adding an in-line fuse to the end of the wire connector at the battery port will help you prevent shock or your subwoofer from damaging when there is a power surge from the battery.
Step 3: Connect Ground Wire to the Vehicle
To connect the ground wire to your vehicle, kindly check the amplifier to connect the ground wire then attach it to the chassis of your car. The ground wire is black and the main purpose of connecting the it to your car is to drive off excessive electricity from your sound system.
To attach a ground wire, scrutinize your car to locate bolt connected to the chassis of your car, when you find one unscrew it, then clear off paint or dirt around it in other for the wire to have contact with the car metal.
After cleaning the spot, insert the chassis bolt into the ring at the end of the ground wire and screw it to the location where you remove the chassis at the first place. If likely your ground wire doesn’t have the ring terminal, you can peel the wire on it off with a wire stripper and insert a ring terminal for perfect connection.
Step 4: Connect the Stock Radio Speaker to Amplifier
In this section, the remote wire and the RCA wire will play a vital role in other to secure an effective connection between the car stereo and the amplifier. To connect the stock radio, read the explanation below.
- Connecting the Remote Wire: The remote wire is an assistant that makes your amplifier turn on when you start your car. It is blue in color and requires 12 volts before it turn on an AMP. To link up the remote wire, connect it to your car factory radio then run the wire and connect it other side to the amplifier in the trunk just as you did when running the power wire. You can also Hook up the remote wire to fuse connected to ignition turn on, like your accessory power fuse.
- Connecting the Speaker with Converter: Since the radio in your car is stock (factory stereo), you need to use an output converter to convert the speaker wires at the back of your factory stereo to RCA connector. The converter recommended for this is the Line-out Converter (LOC). After converting it, connect the RCA and wire and link back to the input of the amplifier at the trunk of your car. The converter is required here because the radio is stock (factory stereo) and it doesn’t come with an RCA port, assuming was aftermarket, you don’t need it as it comes usually come with an RCA preamp output.
Note: when connecting these two wires (RCA & Remote), make sure they are far from the power so as to prevent distortion in sound quality.
Step 5: Connect the Amplifier to the Subwoofer
After all the necessary connections are done, connect the subwoofer wire to it dedicated spot at the back of the amplifier. In the same vein, attach the RCA cable to its dedicated port at the back of the amplifier.
Step 6: Reconnect the Car Battery
Right after you have perfected the connection, connect the battery negative cable (black cable) back to its terminal and tighten it with a socket wrench. Start your car and on your stereo to confirm if the installation is successful. If the installation is successful then you have perfectly installed a subwoofer in your car Stock Radio