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Amplifier installation guide

How to install an amp in your car

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System diagram

This overview shows how stereo components connect to an amplifier, and how power and signals flow through a typical car sound system.

This installation guide offers examples of amplifier installation types and suggested system layouts. The installation of your amplifier will depend on the make and body style of your vehicle, as well as the equipment you purchased.

You can also download a pdf version of this Car Amplifier Installation Guide.

Some notes about wiring:

In addition to installation tools, your amp installation will require power and ground wiring, RCA cables, speaker wires, and a remote turn-on lead. The easiest way to get these items is in an amplifier wiring kit (available at Crutchfield). Don't forget speaker wires — they're not included in most kits. Make sure you have everything before you begin. It's also a good idea to measure distances from the amp location to the battery and receiver, so you know what lengths of wire to get.

Crutchfield CPWR1

Power and ground cable sizes

In order to operate correctly, an amplifier needs its power and ground wiring to be large enough to accommodate its demand for electrical current. What gauge (thickness) of wire to use for power cabling depends on how much current your system will try to consume, and on how long the wiring run will be. Your amp's instructions will include a recommendation on what size wire to use. Or, you can check out How to determine the best size wire for help doing it yourself.

T-Spec ANL fuse

Fuse size

An in-line fuse on the main power cable within six inches or so of the battery connection is essential for protecting the wire, your car, and you from a catastrophic fire in the event of a short circuit. Each wire manufacturer rates their wire's current capacity differently, but as a general rule, for a typical 16- to 20-foot run, you'll be safe using a:

  • 25-amp fuse with 10-gauge wiring
  • 60-amp fuse with 8-gauge wiring
  • 100-amp fuse with 4-gauge wiring
  • 250-amp fuse with 1/0-gauge wiring

Speaker wire size

When running new speaker wires from an amplifier to speakers, any size wire from 18- to 14-gauge will work fine. (The lower the gauge number, the thicker the wire.) For subwoofers, use 16- to 12-gauge wires.

Stinger PRO

Plan the location:

Choosing the location for your amplifier according to these guidelines will help your installation go smoothly:

  • The amp should be at least three feet from the receiver to avoid noise radiated from the vehicle's electrical system. The amp can also interfere with the receiver's AM/FM reception.
  • Do not bolt your amplifier directly to your car's metal chassis — that's inviting noise problems, like ground loops which hum or buzz. You could use rubber grommets around the mounting screws to isolate the case. Or you could mount the amp on a wooden board and attach that to the car body.
  • An amp produces some heat during operation, which its heatsink absorbs and radiates, so it needs a few inches of air space around it to stay as cool as possible. When mounting an amp on a side wall, make sure the fins on the heatsink are vertical. Never mount an amp upside down, as dissipated heat will radiate back into the amp.
  • There must be enough room on either side to make the wiring connections and adjust the controls (gain, crossover, bass boost, etc.).
Amp in trunk

A compact subwoofer amplifier mounted in an out-of-the-way nook in a trunk with plenty of air space for cooling

Good locations include:

  • On the firewall (passenger side).
    Pros: You can use short wires and patch cords. You won't have to remove a seat or climb into the trunk.
    Cons: Only very small amps fit here. Close to some common noise sources.
  • In the trunk or hatch area.
    Pros: Plenty of room for large amps. Near the rear speakers.
    Cons: You sacrifice some cargo space. Longer wires and patch cords are required.
  • Under a seat.
    Pros: Closer to the receiver, so you can use shorter patch cables and signal cables, which are less prone to noise and signal degradation. Closer to the front speakers, so running wire to them will be easier. No cargo space sacrificed.
    Cons: You may have to remove the seat to do the installation. Warning: removing your seat could deactivate your vehicle's SRS system. Larger amps might not fit. You may need to elevate the amp, on a piece of wood for instance, to avoid contact with water from rain or snow brought in on shoes.


Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for mounting the amp and make sure it's secure. An amp that isn't secure could break loose in an accident and injure a passenger as it flies through the vehicle.

Routing wires for components and power connections.

Determine desired locations for each component. Use the most direct route for wires. Remove panels necessary to route and conceal wires. Test system before re-installing panels.

All system wiring should be concealed for safety, and to give your installation a nice, finished look. Wires should be secured so that they do not interfere with safe vehicle operation. Depending on the vehicle and the location you choose for your amplifier, the wiring for your system may need to be run under the dash, door scuff plate, pillar trimpanel, or kickpanel. The instructions below address, in general, what panels may need to be removed and how they typically come off. Often, panels can be pried up at edges. Screws and retaining clips might also be present that will require removal (Figure 1). To prevent damage, always use care when removing panels — a panel tool is helpful.

Figure 1: Screws and retaining clips

Screws and retaining clips might be present that will require removal

Door scuff plate removal

The plates are usually removed by prying up the edges to release clips. Some vehicles will have screws present which will need to be removed (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Door scuff plate

Seat belt removal

A seat belt may be located on a panel that needs to be removed. Most seat belt anchor covers pry off. The seat belt anchor is secured with a large nut or bolt (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Pillar trimpanel removal

Remove seat belt if present. Remove screw covers, screws, and plastic retaining clips if present. Pry up edges of panel to remove (Figures 4 & 5).


Kickpanel removal

Look for screws and pry-out retaining clips to remove. Pry out edges of panel to release and remove (Figure 6).

Figure 6

Routing wire behind the dash

Route wire behind the dash and secure it with plastic wire ties. Be sure that the wire doesn't interfere with any moving parts to ensure safe operation of vehicle.

Making the power connections

1. Set the parking brake and disconnect the negative terminal from your battery to prevent any electrical short.

Route the power wire through the firewall.

Route the power wire from your amp wiring kit through a hole in your vehicle's firewall, using a grommet or bushing to prevent the insullation from scraping against metal.

2. The power wire from your amp wiring kit (usually 16-20 feet in length) needs to run from the battery, through your car's firewall, through the car's body, usually down the driver's side, and on to the amp. Find a grommet in the firewall that already has wires or cables passing through it, and which has enough room for the power wire to fit through too. If you can't find one, you'll have to drill a hole through the firewall. Make sure you don't drill into any electrical or gas lines — check both sides of the firewall. Use a grommet to protect your wire from fraying and shorting as it passes through the hole.

3. The power wire from your amp wiring kit may have a fuse holder installed. If so, go to step 4. If not, find a good spot close to your battery to place your fuse-holder (included in the kit) — less than 6" from the battery is best. Be aware: even after a fuse blows, the short stretch of cable between the battery and the fuse holder will still be live and a potential fire hazard in the event of an accident. Anchor the fuse holder to a suitable spot with a screw or cable tie, so it won't hang loose or bounce around.

Cut a short piece off the end of the power wire (to cover the distance from the battery to the fuse holder location), and strip the insulation off both ends with a wire stripper. Crimp the terminal ring (included in the kit) onto one end of the short piece of wire, and attach the fuse holder onto the other end. Strip the insulation off the end of the power wire that leads into the passenger compartment, and connect it to the other end of the fuse holder.

Fuse installed on power wire

Fuse installed on power wire, and secured in engine compartment near the battery.

4. Attach the power cable to the positive battery terminal (not directly to the battery post itself). For top-mounted battery posts, the most common way to do this is to crimp a ring terminal onto the end of the power cable (many cables in wiring kits come with it already attached). Remove the battery terminal's nut, slip the power cable's ring over the bolt that secures the battery terminal to the battery post, and replace the nut. For GM vehicles with a side-mount post, we offer terminal adapters that work nicely.

A wire loom provides added protection for your wire against the high heat inside the engine compartment. If your kit includes a wire loom, thread it over the power cable until it reaches the firewall and cut to fit. Thread another piece over the short power wire running from the fuse holder to the battery.

The remote turn-on lead

5. Remove the radio from the dash to access the turn-on wire (usually a blue and white wire). The turn-on wire will "tell" your amplifier to turn on whenever the receiver is powered up (usually, whenever the vehicle is turned on). For step-by-step instructions on removing your vehicle's radio, see your vehicle-specific Crutchfield MasterSheet™, or read our In-Dash Receiver Installation Guide.


Locate the remote turn-on lead behind your radio (usually a blue and white wire), and connect the turn-on lead from your amplifier wiring kit to it.

Strip the insulation off a small section of this wire coming from the radio and the turn-on lead that came with your wiring kit and solder them together. Or, you could use crimp connectors and a crimp tool, or a Posi-Connector to connect them together. Wrap the solder or crimp connection with electrical tape (or use heat shrink tubing) to guard against a short.

The turn-on signal is +12 volts DC. If, like a factory radio, your radio doesn't have a remote turn-on output, then you can get the turn-on signal from your vehicle's fuse box. Because of its low current demand, you can connect your turn-on lead to almost any fused output terminal, like the one for the radio itself for instance, as long as it only powers up when the vehicle's on.

You'll need to route the turn-on lead to your amplifier through the car's body — it's often easiest to route the turn-on wire with the RCA cables (next step) but you can also route it with the power wire after it passes through the firewall. The power and RCA cables should run on opposite sides of the vehicle, to reduce noise — but it won't matter for the turn-on lead's low current.

Making the signal connections

6. If your in-dash receiver has preamp (RCA) outputs, connect your RCA patch cables to them. Route the patch cables to the opposite side of the vehicle from the power cable. It's important to separate the patch cables from the power wires as much as possible to avoid potential noise problems. Now you can partially re-install the radio in the dash (don't push it all the way in, in case you need to fix a problem later).

If you're using a factory radio with no RCA outputs, you can get your amplifier's input signals from the factory speaker wiring. The speakers will be getting their signal from the new amplifier — which leaves the radio's outputs available to use for the amp's inputs. There are two ways to do this: get a line output converter (LOC) that'll adjust the speaker-level signal for your amp's input, or get an amplifier with speaker-level inputs. You cut the factory speaker wires, either behind the radio or at the speakers, and connect the wires coming from the radio to your LOC or amp's inputs.

Ground: the most important connection of all

7. As near to the amplifier's location as possible, find a bolt to your vehicle's metal frame to use for ground. If you can't find a convenient ground screw or bolt, drill a hole for one — be careful not to drill into any wiring, the gas tank, or a gas or brake line. Crimp a ring terminal (usually included with the amp kit) to the short piece of ground cable (also in the kit).

Scrape away any paint and clean the bolt location thoroughly, and then bolt the terminal tightly to the vehicle's metal chassis. Use a lock  washer, a star washer, extra screws, and any other technique or device that'll keep this connection tight, clean, and electrically conducting. Many people even coat the final connection with silicone caulk to prevent corrosion.

Improper or loose grounding is the #1 cause of amplifier problems.

Bolt the ground terminal tightly to the metal chassis.

Scrape the paint away from the contact point so the ground connection will be bare metal to bare metal.

Amplifier mounting and connections

8. After routing the power and signal cables to your chosen location, using the techniques described previously, mount your amplifier in place. Neatly drape or trim each wire and connect it into its position, making gentle curves with wires when necessary, not sharp bends that could pinch. Many people cut small slits in their vehicle's carpeting and run their wires underneath, for stealthy installations that look factory-neat. A wiring snake comes in handy for this. Tape your wires to the snake, fish it under and through to where you want your wires to go, and pull them on through.

A wiring snake can come in handy

A wiring snake can come in handy for pulling wires to the amp mounting location.

RCA cables routed through slits in the vehicle's carpet

RCA cables routed through slits in the vehicle's carpet, and connected to the amplifier's signal inputs.

Speaker wiring

9. Now you have to provide a way for the music to get from your new amp to the speakers. The best way to do that is to run a new speaker wire from each amplifier output to each speaker. Use 14- or 16-gauge wire for speakers, 12- or 14-gauge for subwoofers. Speaker-level signals are not very prone to picking up interference, so it's okay to run your speaker wires near power cables. You'll have to run each wire for your door speakers through the rubber gasket or boot around the hinge, to protect the wires from the weather or from getting pinched in the door. There may be a Molex plug or a similar obstruction blocking the way, but you can usually find a place to drill a hole through it big enough to fit your wire through. Cut the factory speaker wires and connect the new wires directly to each speaker terminal.

It is important that you keep the polarity of your speaker wiring straight. This means that each positive terminal of the amp connects to a positive terminal of a speaker — and the same goes for the negative wiring. This ensures that your speakers will operate in mechanical phase — all the speaker cones moving the same direction with the same kind of signal — and will sound balanced when playing together. The positive and negative terminals of each speaker should be labeled, but if not, the positive terminal will usually be wider than the negative terminal.

Another and possibly more convenient way to send the powered signal from the amp to your speakers is to run the speaker wires to the harness that’s behind your receiver, where all your car’s speaker connections are accessible in one place. You cut each speaker wire from the receiver's harness and reconnect it to a speaker wire coming from the amp. Then, the signal can flow from the amp to the speakers by way of the vehicle's original factory wiring. This technique will work fine in systems with under 75 watts RMS of power per channel — but for more powerful systems it would be better to run new speaker wire directly from the amp to each speaker.

Firing it up

10. Check all of your wiring, from the battery and receiver to the amp and speakers, making sure every connection is tight and secure with no stray wire strands laying out that could cause a short circuit. Especially, check that the ground connection is tight and secure. Set all the amplifier's gains to minimum, and turn off all the filters and any bass boost or EQ it may have. See that the main fuse is properly installed in its holder. Then, reconnect your car's negative battery cable.

Turn on your car, then turn on the radio. Verify that the amplifier powered up (there'll be an indicator light on it somewhere). Play some music and turn the volume up just loud enough to hear. Now verify that sound is coming from each speaker and/or sub in your system. If everything sounds right, you can finish re-installing the receiver and all your vehicle's paneling, and then move ahead to step 11.

Rockford Fosgate T500-1bdCP

Guts-shot of a Rockford Fosgate T500-1bdCP 500-watt amp


Factory radios and their security codes

  • If you're using a factory radio, it may need its anti-theft security code reset. If so, you can usually find the code and resetting procedure in the vehicle's owner's manual, online, or from a car dealership service department (be prepared to prove you own the vehicle).

Amplifier doesn't power-up

  • Check the main power wire fuse.
  • Check the fuses on the amp.
  • Ensure that the ground cable is connected tightly to an unpainted part of the vehicle's metal chassis.
  • Test the remote turn-on lead.
    • Remove the main power wire fuse
    • Disconnect the remote turn-on lead from the amp.
    • Connect a short jumper wire between the remote turn-on terminal on the amp and the 12-volt power terminal, leaving the main power cable connected.
    • Replace the fuse. If the amp turns on, it means the remote lead is either broken or not connected correctly. Turn off the system, remove the jumper, and repair the remote lead.
    • If the jumper didn't work, you'll need to measure the voltage between the amp's ground and both the positive power terminal and the remote terminal with a multimeter or voltmeter. Turn off the system, re-connect the remote lead to the amp, turn the system back on, and make the measurements. If it reads around +12 volts at both spots, there may be something wrong with the amplifier, and you should return it to your dealer for repair. If you don't read +12 volts at the amp terminals, you'll have to continue to inspect and repair the power and ground connections.

Amplifier comes on but no sound comes from the speakers

  • Try turning up the amplifier's gain a little. Make sure all its filters are off or deactivated.
  • Check your source. Make sure it's really playing music and not idling. If, for example, only some speakers aren't playing but others are, it may be that the receiver's fade or balance control isn't set to the middle. Some receivers have a mute function — you'll want to check on that, too. Make sure the RCA cables are plugged in properly.
  • Turn the receiver and amp off. Unplug all the RCA cables from the receiver. Turn the receiver and amp back on. Now, touch the inner pin of one of the RCA plugs with a finger. If the wiring is good, you will hear a soft hum coming from a speaker. Test all the RCA cables this way. If all the speakers hum, it means the receiver's not putting out signal and may need to be looked at by a service technician. Or, if you're using a line output converter, it's not hooked up right. If you hear no humming on any channel, turn off the receiver and amp and plug the RCAs back in.
  • With the receiver and amp off, unplug the RCA cables from the amplifier's input jacks. Get a short RCA cable that you know is good and plug it into the amp's input. Turn the receiver and amp on. Touch the inner pin of the RCA plug at the free end of the cable, and listen for a hum. Test all the amplifier's channels this way. If every channel hums, it means the RCA cables from the receiver are bad and need to be replaced. If you hear no humming, turn off the system and re-connect the patch cables to the amp inputs. (Another, better, way to perform this test is to plug a portable music player or phone directly to the amp's inputs with a mini-to-RCA adapter from the headphone jack, and play music through the amp.)
  • Check the speaker wiring. No part of your speaker wiring should touch any part of your vehicle's metal body — that's a short circuit that could damage your amp and speakers. Another place to look for short circuits is at the amplifier's speaker terminals. It's very common to find a strand or two of stray wiring touching another wire, causing none of the speakers to work (the amp has sensed a short and shut down).
  • Disconnect the speaker wires from the amp. Take a battery, 9 volts or less, and momentarily touch its poles to the positive and negative wires of a speaker. If the wires and speaker are good, you will hear the speaker click. Test all the speakers this way. If all the speakers click, it means the amplifier has a problem and probably needs to go in for servicing. If the speakers didn't click, you'll need to repeat this battery test at each speaker to determine whether the wire or the speaker itself needs to be repaired or replaced.

Noise: humming, buzzing, or whining

  • The vast majority of noise problems are caused by bad grounding. If your ground point is free of dirt and paint and making a good connection to your vehicle's frame, try moving the ground to a different spot and see if that clears it up.
  • Actually, any loose wire throughout your car could cause noise, even your battery terminals. Low battery fluid can also be a source of system-wide noise.
  • The case of your amplifier making contact with your vehicle's metal body could cause noise. Any part of the signal system's negative wiring or shielding that touches the car's metal body could cause noise.
  • See How to Diagnose and Suppress Noise for more tips on fixing noise problems.
Gain setting

Setting the gain

Setting the amp's gain

11. Setting your amplifier's gain, or input sensitivity, matches the amp's input level with the receiver's output level, resulting in maximum distortion-free music and minimum background noise.

  • Start with all the receiver's tone controls, EQ, and presets set to flat. Make sure the amp's gain is turned all the way down and all its filters are off. Play a familiar song.
  • Turn up the receiver's volume until you hear something distort in the music — usually vocals begin to sound thin and scratchy, and drums start to crackle — then turn it down until it sounds good again. You might have to turn the amp gain up a little bit in order to hear it better. If you don't hear any distortion, even when the volume's turned up all the way, set the receiver's volume to three-quarters full. Now, turn up the amp's gain until you hear the music distort, and back it off until it's clean again. If you still don't hear any distortion, just set it for as loud as you can stand it. Then, you can turn the receiver volume down to a more comfortable listening level.
  • The receiver's and amp’s EQ and crossover filters need to be set to where they normally would be when you play music. This is so the gain will be set under real-world conditions. Adding boost, for instance, at any frequency, after setting the gain can make the amp clip, distorting the sound and endangering speakers and subs. So, set the receiver's EQ, tone controls, bass boost, or presets to achieve the tonality you like in your music.
  • Engage and adjust your amplifier's high-pass filters to keep bass notes from distorting through full-range speakers. Engage and adjust a sub amp's low-pass filter to keep high notes from muddying a subwoofer's bass. If you want to use your sub amp's bass boost, engage and adjust it for tone now.
  • Repeat the gain-setting procedure. First, turn the amp gain down a bit. Turn up the receiver's volume until you hear something distort in the music, then turn it down until it sounds good again. If you don't hear any distortion, even when the volume's turned up all the way, set the receiver's volume to three-quarters full. Then, turn up the amp's gain until you hear the music distort, and back it off until it's clean again. If you still don't hear any distortion, just set it for as loud as you can stand it. Then, you can turn the receiver volume down to a more comfortable listening level.

Enjoy your new system.

Amp wiring

Multi-amp installations

When powering multiple amplifiers, you run a single heavy-gauge power cable from your battery to a distribution block, and then connect a lighter-gauge cable from the block to each amp. This arrangement minimizes potential noise problems and keeps your installation looking neat. Make sure the main power cable is thick enough that it can handle the additional current draw of any amps that you might add in the future.

A good way to ground multiple components is to use a distribution block to organize the various ground cables into one larger cable that attaches to your vehicle's metal body. If that's not an option, try to ground all your gear to the same bolt.

If you have three or more components in your system that need remote turn-on leads, you may need a relay to protect your receiver. That's because the receiver's turn-on circuit can only supply a limited amount of current. If the components in your stereo system ask for more current than the receiver can supply, you can burn out that circuit in your receiver. You wire a relay so that the receiver triggers the relay to engage, while the turn-on signal comes from another source, like the fusebox, for instance.

A problem you may encounter

We have assumed you have picked equipment that your car's electrical system can handle. It would be wildly inappropriate, for example, to try to run 5,000 watts RMS worth of amplifiers in a compact car with a small-capacity alternator. Such a system would quickly bog down the car's system and eventually burn out the alternator. Some people, especially competitors, upgrade their alternators to accommodate their high-power systems.

The symptoms of over-powering include the dimming of lights when bass notes hit. If your lights dim just a little during heavy bass passages, you might benefit by installing a capacitor on the bass amp's power cable. Otherwise, check out Headlights Dim When the Music Plays to help solve over-powering issues.

Give us a call — we'll help you outfit your system

Your best first step is to call Crutchfield and talk to an Advisor about what your amplifier will need. They'll make sure you get all the necessary hardware and accessories for a successful and satisfying installation. Just click on the speech balloon icon at the top of this page for the toll-free number and other methods of contacting us.

Last updated March 03, 2017
  • Justin Garrison from Apex, NC

    Posted on 5/11/2015 12:11:12 AM

    Hi, I installed a powered subwoofer (Rockford Fosgate P300-10) in my 2014 Honda Accord, and I hear some humming/rumbling when I start my car engine. I kept the factory stereo, so I had to use a 2-Line Converter to connect the rear speakers to the RCAs in the subwoofer. When I turn on my car engine, I hear 4 loud rumbles from the subwoofer, roughly 1 second apart. The car stereo is "off" when I start the engine, and the sub does not even turn on until the stereo starts playing music (the sub detects 'audio' in order to power itself on). I do NOT hear the rumble if I turn the car to Acc/On, it only happens when I start the engine. I tried sanding down the ground location in my trunk and re-attaching the ground wire, but that did not fix the problem. Any ideas? Is there an "ideal" ground location in the trunk of a 2014 Accord? Also, I noticed a small spark when I re-attached the ground wire to the bolt this time. Is that a red flag? Thanks!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/11/2015 12:38:01 PM

    Justin, Usually when engine noise is heard in a system it's because of a loose ground or power connection, but other things may contribute. Check out this article for help troubleshooting your problem. Maybe you could try grounding it at a different point. If you bought your sub from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Clint from Decatur Illinois

    Posted on 5/22/2015 8:42:12 PM

    Can you describe a installation of a 200W amp on a 2004 Honda Goldwing?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/27/2015 11:25:33 AM

    Clint, Sorry but I am unfamiliar with that motorcycle and what systems would work in it. The Goldwing isn't even in Crutchfield's vehicle database. You'll need to look for an amplifier that's compact and made to withstand the outdoor environment - in other words designed for marine or power sports use. You might find better suggestions in the Goldwing Owners Forums.

  • Bryan from corapeake, NC

    Posted on 6/5/2015 12:56:22 AM

    i want to add a powered subwoofer to my existing 2008 RAM 1500 4 speaker system. do i have to go through all of this set up like stuff for that? are there specific instructions for powered subwoofers?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/5/2015 3:41:14 PM

    Bryan, A powered subwoofer sure is more convenient to install than a separate amplifier and sub enclosure, but, except for speaker wiring, you still have to go through all the same installation steps as you would for any other amplifier.

  • Robert Riddle from Henderson NV.

    Posted on 7/3/2015 2:09:33 AM

    Just a thought, there are grommets available for your power wire from battery through firewall or any metal that when locked make a water proof seal between the grommet and the metal and also a seal around the power wire. I use a dielectric grease on all threads and around the wire for a backup to the seals of the grommet. The grommets are price effective and worth every penny. These are a compression type fitting for a good seal.

  • Roy Nickerson from port Allegany

    Posted on 7/13/2015 11:37:20 PM

    I need help I have a vr-3 headunit and a vr-3 amp I have the amp were it will turn on but im haveing truble with the rca cord I have only one sub hook up and a 2 channel amp I have the y splitter hooked up to the one sub conecter and then both my rca cords hooked into that and on the amp I have them pluged into the line in holes and my speakers are hooked up the amp is not running my speakers I have the out ports and dont know how to hook them up and were to hook them up

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/14/2015 1:03:13 PM

    Roy, If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Felix Harvey from Dyer

    Posted on 8/11/2015 2:42:38 PM

    Adding two amps to my truck next week. One has three 30 amp fuses already installed and the other has 2 30 amp fuses already installed. Do I need a fused or unfused power distribution block? I am going to run 0 gauge wire from the battery with a 150 amp ANL fuse close to it.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/11/2015 3:17:01 PM

    Felix, With the main fuse by the battery and each amplifier having its own onboard fuses, you'll be okay using an unfused distribution block.

  • Alvaro Ceballos from West Palm Beach

    Posted on 9/17/2015 11:19:18 PM

    A JVC KWV41BT head unit, a 4 channel amp for component speakers and an amp for a subwoofer were installed in my car but I can't seem to tune the EQ for the speakers and subwoofers separately. I also don't have fader or balance controls; channeling the sound to either front, back, left, right just doesn't work and the music still sounds the same intensity from the speakers and subwoofer regardless. What could be the issue?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/18/2015 10:25:19 AM

    Alvaro, I recommend going back to whoever installed the amp, point out the issues, and try and get them to correct them. It sounds like a separate RCA cable for each output channel of the receiver was not installed - although lack of left-right balance control is puzzling. If you bought your amplifier at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Raul Hurtado from BAKERSFIELD

    Posted on 12/8/2015 9:47:14 PM

    Hello i have a 1998 mercedes e320 and im having trouble trying to install my amp. Because im trying to keep the original stereo and i dont know where to get the remote wire. Or the rca wire.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/9/2015 12:41:01 PM

    Raul, You'll need to connect your amp's remote turn-on lead to any 12-volt circuit that comes on when the car gets turned on, like the radio's power terminal in the fuse box or a powered antenna. If your amplifier has speaker-level inputs you could connect them to the radio's speaker wiring to get input signals. Otherwise you'll need to get a line output converter to send RCA line-level signals to the amp from the speaker wiring. If you bought your amplifier at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help wiring your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Chris from Los Angeles

    Posted on 12/27/2015 1:30:14 PM

    Hi, Gonna run a Rockford fosgate prime 500.1 to one rf p2d4-12 and an rf prime 300.4 to four door kicker door speakers 41-dsc654.. Not too much power.. Question is would it be better to run two separate 4 gauge power kits or run a 1/0 to a distribution block and then 4ga to each amp.. Thank you and happy holidays

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/28/2015 2:33:01 PM

    Chris, Those two amplifiers should be okay using a single 4-gauge wire from the battery to a distribution block and 8-gauge wires from there to each amp. Although it won't hurt anything using larger wire, 1/0-gauge wire may be expensive overkill. And one 1/0-gauge wire will be able to carry about the same amount of current per second as two 4-gauge wires, so only convenience matters as to which way to go for that.

  • avery cotton from louisville

    Posted on 1/31/2016 4:35:33 AM

    I have a 2007 Toyota Camry factory radio , jbl , I need to know what items I need and instructions for installation wireing guide..

  • Marc Cozad from Pembroke

    Posted on 2/26/2016 4:03:51 PM

    I'm thinking about getting a Kenwood KSC-SW1. I just need a little more bass from the OEM radio. The specs say it has a maximum current consumption of 8.5 amps. The question is, with the power consumption only at 8.5 amps can I hook the power to the in cabin fuse box? I think the installation manual shows it going to the fuse box first. The inline fuse that comes with it is 10a.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/26/2016 4:34:51 PM

    Marc, The installation manual for that sub is rather confusing, but I think it's showing that its switched and constant power wires can hook up with the wires that power the receiver. That means that it will probably be alright using the vehicle's fuse box to get power.

  • David Pagnott from Palm Harbor, Florida

    Posted on 3/8/2016 1:07:23 AM

    I have a DEH P3100Ub Pioneer deck..I am adding Two RF 501bd amps and two Punch P3 12" subs,(dual voice coil 4 ohm)(can they be wired to two ohms and have the amps remain stable?)... plus I am adding a RF 301x 900 4 channel amp for my speakers.The deck only has two pre-outs and the amps (vintage) dont have "outs" i have to split rca's for the sub amps, and for the 4 channel amp as well.(is that correct?).I am wiring this to a 98 ford escort zx2 cool coupe..the car is 14.2 feet long..the amps are being mounted in the trunk ..farthest from the battery as you can just worked out that way......can you give me a list of exactly what i will need?..including fuses and distribution blocks? Plus wire for wiring the subs and four speakers..using 4gage for main power and ground and 12 gage wire for subs and 14g for speakers?

  • Kobe Rourke from California md

    Posted on 3/8/2016 4:23:07 PM

    Hello, I have a hifonics Brutus 2000.1 anmp and 4 guage wiring kit. The amp powers on but the subs get no sound from the amp. They are new subs and have been hooked directly to the head unit and work. And I've switched out all rca cables. Also I've hooked up an old amp that I knew worked and still had no sound to subs. Also I have got new speaker wire from the amp to the subs. Any responses would be greatly appreciated

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/10/2016 9:17:41 AM

    Kobe, A list of what may be wrong is long. Here are some things to check for: Is the subwoofer output of your receiver turned on? Is the ground wire absolutely secure - bare metal-to-bare metal contact? Is the amp seeing less than a 1-ohm load? Is any speaker wire touching the car's metal frame or another wire? If you bought your amp from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Nick Looper from Waskom

    Posted on 3/27/2016 11:57:35 AM

    I'm having some kind of trouble with my truck. I recently installed a amp problem and sub that I purchased from yall. Somehow, it caused my body control module to go out and have to be replaced by the ford dealership and suggested advice?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/28/2016 3:03:38 PM

    Nick, Call Crutchfield Tech Support for help and advice. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you can't find it, you can still contact them via phone - just click on the phone icon at the very top of this page for information.

  • Todd Trap from Kentwood

    Posted on 4/13/2016 8:13:39 PM

    Hello. I have a single cab pick-up truck. So far the system I'm putting together includes: Pioneer FHX820BS receiver, Polk Audio DB651s door speakers, JL Audio Microsub CP106Lg-W3v3 6.50 Subwoofer and Kicker CX300.1 mono amp. I was originally going to run the door speakers off of the head unit but now want to add a 2-channel amp. I want to purchase the Kicker DXA125.2 2-channel amp (30 watts RMS x 2). What would be the best way to wire up up both of these amps? I was thinking about getting the EFX PAD 8BX Wiring Kit (for adding second amp) to go along with my current EFX 8 gauge wiring kit. Neither amp has an on board fuse and they both need a 40 amp fuse at the battery. I'm a little confused on how to use the wiring kit for adding the second amp. Would I use one 80 amp fuse at the battery and two 40 amp fuses in the distribution block? Can I splice into the remote wire from the other amp without any problems? Or am I better off just running a single power wire from each amp (one 40 amp fuse on each) to the battery and running two separate remote wires from the receiver to the amps? Just looking for the easiest way to do this.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/14/2016 12:35:30 PM

    Todd, As long as you don't plan on any power upgrades in the near future, you should be fine using one 8-gauge power wire from your battery to a distribution block. Make sure to install a 60-amp fuse near the battery - most manufacturers rate their 8-gauge wire to carry up to 60 amps before failing, and you want the fuse to blow before the wire and your car burn up in the event of a short circuit. Using a fused distribution block with two 40-amp fuses, or installing them inline after the block, will further protect your amps and installation.

  • James Wymer from Baltimore

    Posted on 5/7/2016 6:58:31 PM

    I am installing a kicker 1200 watt amp and I bought a converter because I am using factory radio. How do I exactly hook the converter up. Do I have to use both sets of wires to hook to the speakers or is 1 sufficient?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/9/2016 12:00:00 PM

    James, Even if it didn't come with instructions, if you bought your line output converter at Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help wiring your system. Their toll-free number would be on your invoice. Even if you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Sean from warwick

    Posted on 6/14/2016 5:06:44 PM

    Hello. Can i mount my amp ....( with plastic mounting holes) to the cats mettal chassis. I.e. under the back window dash in trunk. I knkw about heat gojng up thats why i also have 2 seperate DC fans blowing over amp to help cool

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/15/2016 11:45:45 AM

    Sean, Unless your amplifier's installation instructions specifically state that you can, you should never mount an amp upside down. Internal heat flowing the wrong way could cause damage. And mounting an amp with its metal case making electrical contact with your vehicle's chassis could set up a ground loop, causing noise. One way to prevent this is to mount a piece of wood to the car's body, and then secure the amp to the wood.

  • Shaun

    Posted on 6/19/2016 4:50:22 AM

    Hello Buck, In the first picture, it's showing that both RCA and Power cables are using the same side of the vehicle to connect to the Amp. But I heard that they should be connected in parallel to the Amp to avoid any noise. What's your take on this? I recently had my $2000 ICE done which unfortunately making a hissing/buzzing noise. I have an appointment with the installer for the same. Meanwhile, striking my head against all the odds. Thanks!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/20/2016 9:53:25 AM

    Shaun, That overview diagram is more of a general guide than an exact wiring schematic. Most guides do recommend running the power and signal wiring along opposite sides of a vehicle to avoid induced interference, although many people run them together with no problem. Most noise problems, however, come from inadequate grounding.

  • Mark from Greenville

    Posted on 7/5/2016 9:20:53 PM

    Just installed the Sound Ordnance B-8PTD and so far it sounds great! However it pops when I turn the stereo on AND off. I know this isn't normal, but not sure what to do about it. Kenwood KDC-BT365U head unit.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/6/2016 12:35:17 PM

    Mark, Not knowing how your powered sub is wired to your system or how it powers up make it difficult to troubleshoot your issue. Fortunately you should be covered by Crutchfield's lifetime tech support for our customers. Give them a call. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Anthony Price from Easley

    Posted on 8/29/2016 11:10:12 PM

    I am not getting an sound through my amp in CD mode or aux mode but when in radio mode it works fine.have Sony explode deck Sony 1200 amp and 2 explode 10" subs

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/30/2016 1:45:19 PM

    Anthony, It sounds to me like your receiver's defective, or I'm not understanding your issues. If you bought any of your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Adam from Cincinnati

    Posted on 9/3/2016 5:20:09 PM

    Hey my name is Adam I hooked up a 1300 wat APM to my old mobile Alero go and with 1600 watt wires and it keeps kicking off the APM if I turn the bass even up to -3

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/6/2016 10:10:51 AM

    Adam, If you want a question answered about your system, you must identify all your equipment by brand names and model numbers.

  • ALMARIE from Springdale

    Posted on 10/17/2016 11:18:57 PM

    I need help badly. I have a 2008 mercury milan I need to hook up a L7 speaker and my BOSS AMP help step by step

  • Martin

    Posted on 10/18/2016 3:03:02 AM

    I have got only 1 important comment the power wire and the ground wire should both be connected to the battery if you connect the ground wire to the chassis the current will have to flow through the chassis and find it's way through the pointwelds . or maybe worse the current may flow through other wiring in your car This will eventually give electrical problems to your electrical circuit and may or will even ruin your car i have been working with car audi / and pro audio for over 20 year and have seen some very expensive cars being ruined this way

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/18/2016 1:53:33 PM

    Almarie, If this Installation Guide or its PDF version don't help you, maybe you would benefit from getting a professional to do the installation. Crutchfield offers an amplifier InstallCard and a subwoofer InstallCard that'll let your local car audio installer get the job done right. Or, if you still want to do it yourself, you can purchase some expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Chelsea keelin from Ashland ky

    Posted on 10/21/2016 4:30:33 PM

    Why is there no sound coming out of low pass only plays in full pass?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/24/2016 10:27:44 AM

    Chelsea, When its low-pass filter is engaged, an amplifier will only play notes lower than the crossover frequency. Perhaps whatever music you're listening to has no information down there.

  • Liza from Kingsville

    Posted on 12/2/2016 4:52:50 PM

    Hello, there isn't any sound coming out of speakers at all. No chiming when doors are open or when blinker is on or when radio is on. I've been told that more than likely I need to replace amplifier but have no clue where it's even located in my vehicle. I have a 2011 Chevy traverse. Fuses have been checked and all fuses are good. Would you happen to know where the amplifier on my vehicle is located.I'd hate to purchase a brand new amplifier and that not be the problem. Thanks in advance. Liza

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/5/2016 9:40:26 AM

    Liza, If you're having trouble with a factory system, you'll have to go to an auto repair shop that can handle electrical problems. If you've had an aftermarket receiver installed, it had to have a special factory integration wiring harness in order to work in your vehicle. If you bought the receiver from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Raul from Houston

    Posted on 1/8/2017 8:02:04 PM

    I want to install a Kenwood KAC-M1824BT amplifier on my 1972 Dodge Dart. It has no factory radio and the fuses are the glass type. Where would I hook up the power control wire? Could I splice it to the wire going to the gas sender?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/9/2017 1:09:59 PM

    Raul, Even if your car doesn't have a radio, it probably still has a fused circuit for one in the fuse box, that deactivates when the car is turned off. Try identifying which circuit that is and connect to that for the amplifier's power control signal.

  • Cecil Hepditch from Stjohns

    Posted on 2/4/2017 8:12:11 PM

    I have two JBL GX602 60W continues & 180W peak speakers & Two JBL GX 962 100W continues & 300W peak speakers along with a Kicker 300W Subwoofer @ 4 ohms. Can I connect all this to my 2 Channel Kenwood Kac-5206 400W Amplifier or what type Amp would I need ?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/7/2017 9:43:09 AM

    Cecil, If you want to amplify four speakers and a subwoofer, a 2-channel amplifier will not do. Try looking at 5-channel amps, where each channel drives a separate device, like a Soundstream Picasso Nano PN5.640D.

  • Darrell W from San Bernardino

    Posted on 3/4/2017 9:15:03 PM

    Would this installation be the same for all general size cars?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/6/2017 11:47:42 AM

    Darrell, This diagram is of a generalized, fits-all-sizes, non-product-specific car audio system. Every installation is different, but the element components are basically the same. We present the diagram so you can get a quick and easy picture of all the elements that make up a system and how they connect to each other.

  • Teody from Bergenfield

    Posted on 3/26/2017 11:43:41 AM

    Hi, I have purchased 4-door speakers for my toyota rav4. Should i wire it directly to the amplifier without connecting the speaker harnesses to head unit? Or should i wire it both to head unit and amplifier? I will also need an advise if i can use any 4-ga wiring kit to a 5 channel amplifier. Planning to just buy rca and speaker wires separately instead of buying the expensive 5-6 channel complete wiring kit.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/27/2017 2:45:45 PM

    Teody, The vehicle harness that plugs into a car receiver contains the receiver's power connections as well as speaker connections, so it needs to get plugged in. You can run speaker wires from your amplifier to each speaker, disconnecting the factory speaker wires at the speaker. Another method is to run an 8-conductor speaker cable from the amp to the harness, where you'd cut the wires to the receiver and connect to the wires going to the speakers, like this article describes. What size power wiring kit to use will be specified in your amp's owner's manual.

  • Troy from New York

    Posted on 4/6/2017 7:40:46 PM

    Need some help. I bought a new pioneer head unit and speakers from Crutchfield and installed it in my jeep. Instructions etc were great! I just got a 5 channel amp and want to hook this up and read that running new dedicated speaker wires would be the best thing to do. My question is this. I'm going to use the RCA outs on my head unit to the amp. Then I'm going to run dedicated speaker wires from the amp to the speakers. What do I do with the speaker wires connected to the radio harness? Do I cut them and cap them off since I will be using the RCA outs on the head unit instead? Or if using the RCA outs, do they just override the signal that would normally go to the harness speaker outputs? Hope this makes sense.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/7/2017 9:17:44 AM

    Troy, You unplug the factory speaker wires at each speaker and leave them intact. You should tape off the ends, if there're any exposed contacts.

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