Video: Find Out What Fits Your Car
Michael is Crutchfield's senior creative director for mobile electronics. As a lifelong performing musician and composer, he has released seven albums for Breezeway Records and appeared on many others. His band, Sokoband (formerly "Soko"), was an active part of the Charlottesville's creative music scene in the 1990s, and has continued to record and occasionally perform. Sokoband releases have included contributions from musicians like Leroi Moore, Tim Reynolds, Steve Kimock, David Darling, George Brooks and David Matthews. An avid consumer of non-fiction and a choosier consumer of fiction, Michael loves reading, writing, philosophy, science, technology, and language.
More from Michael Sokolowski
I've been with Crutchfield since 1999, where I began as one our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. After a couple of years, I moved to the writing team where I spent a decade researching new products and getting hands on with car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Yeah, I've been doing this for a while.
For the past few years, I've been the managing editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web article content. I couldn't ask for a better job — we get to play with car audio gear every day! I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outside of work, I love listening to music, playing board games, and installing new audio systems for my friends.
More from Robert Ferency-Viars
Heads up!Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
This video gives you a guided tour of Crutchfield's Outfit My Carsm tool. Learn how you can create a custom homepage for your car on Crutchfield's website and use it to put together a complete car audio system.
Robert: Hi, I'm Robert.
Michael: And I'm Michael. We're here to tell you about Crutchfield's online vehicle fit tool, called "Outfit My Car."
Robert: It's a tool that lets you find the gear that fits in, and works with, your specific vehicle.
Michael: So how do we know what fits your vehicle?
Robert: That's a good question. For over thirty years, our research team has been going to car dealerships and junkyards to measure vehicles.
Michael: Our employees will even offer their vehicles for research.
Robert: We end up with tons of very precise information, and in fact we have the world's largest car A/V info database.
Michael: It's really an incredibly powerful tool; a video that would explain every feature and every aspect of it would probably take a couple hours.
Robert: At least. So we're just going to show you some of the most common features, and also point out a few things that it helps to know when you're doing it.
Michael: So — let's get started.
Robert: The first thing we do is enter the vehicle information. I'm going to use a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500. And body style....
Michael: Let's go with a Quad Cab. Big truck.
Robert: All right. And speakers, four or seven?
Michael: Four speakers.
Robert: And the final step in the process is telling it what kind of stereo you have.
Michael: This is very helpful. You might already have your factory system installed, in which case you want to replace it with an aftermarket; you might have put an aftermarket system in your car, and you want to see what adds on to that. With this feature you can sort of toggle between the two, and see what your options are.
Robert: And after you've done that, you are taken to a Results page.
Michael: And think of this page as a homepage for your vehicle. All the customized information for your Dodge truck is right here. Whether it's the factory replacement information, or a list of all the gear that we provide free of charge, or if it's links to customized installation information — that kind of thing.
Robert: Now let's take a look at this installation gear, because there are some really good things in here that I want to point out. Most of the installation accessories come free with the gear, and as you can see for this truck, everything on the list is free, except one item.
Michael: And even that item, a power interface for your Dodge truck, you can get at half price with the purchase of a stereo.
Robert: Right. But the coolest thing on the list is something you can only get from Crutchfield. That's the MasterSheet. That's a set of vehicle-specific installation instructions that takes you step-by-step through the process of removing and replacing your stereo and speakers.
Michael: And we hear time and time again from our customers how valuable they find those MasterSheets.
Michael: Now let's go to the Results page and see what our options are.
Robert: Now let's go look for a new stereo for this Dodge Ram.
Michael: So here's a list of all the DVD receivers that fit our truck.
Robert: Let's say we want an Alpine stereo — ahh! This one looks cool.
Michael: Now when you shop the site, the key info about your car follows you and appears on product pages.
Robert: And, we also confirm that the Alpine stereo fits, and looking to the right, you can see this message about installation details, and the message is specific for this combination of stereo and vehicle.
Michael: And installation details can range from simple tips to really important information you need to know before you buy, like that special power adapter we looked at on the other page.
Robert: Right. And also, once again, you'll see the custom installation gear and instructions for your vehicle. And you can click through all these to see and learn about the actual items and what they do.
Michael: This information stays with you as you check out, so you don't have to worry about remembering all these little details.
Robert: Let's go back to the Dodge truck page, and look for some speakers.
Michael: Now you can shop from a full list of speakers that fit your vehicle, or filter by location, like the rear doors.
Robert: Right, and here are our options. What brand do you like?
Michael: Let's get some JLs.
Robert: OK, I'll filter by JL Audio, and we get two choices.
Michael: Now, we're going to want great sound in this truck, right Rob?
Robert: Oh yeah.
Michael: So I was thinking why don't we put some component systems up front for full soundstaging, and kind of fill out the sound in the back with a pair of full-range speakers.
Robert: That sounds great. So, we already know that the full-range speakers fit in the rear, so let's just make sure that the components fit up front.
Robert: And they do.
Michael: That's fantastic. So we're well on our way now to building a great aftermarket system.
Michael: Well, you know I'm going to want to use my iPod in the truck.
Robert: Well, we can find out which adapter we need by changing the stereo listed for the truck. To do that, we click change, and select the Alpine that we picked out.
Michael: Of course, if we're keeping the factory stereo, we'd leave the stereo as "Factory."
Robert: Now we'll click this link and tell the tool what kind of iPod we have. It'll display our options for connecting our iPod to the stereo, from the best-sounding connections, to the most basic.
Michael: That's really helpful. And with "Outfit My Car," you can also find out how to add on other sources, like a CD changer, satellite radio, or an auxiliary input for other MP3 players.
Robert: Now, we've been talking about audio upgrades. You can also use "Outfit My Car" to find gear that'll make your vehicle look and perform better, like high-performance intake and exhaust systems, for example.
Michael: So as you can see, Crutchfield's "Outfit My Car" is a powerful tool. We encourage you to use it as you explore the options for your vehicle.
Robert: We hope this video has been helpful. If you have questions about building your car's system, call 1-888-955-6000.