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Electrical Wire and Cable

Automotive Electrical Radio Wiring

Summary: How to install wiring for a car stereo and understand all the speaker wiring colors.

Electrical Wiring a Radio and Car Stereo - Speakers and Power

Lets take a look at auto electrical car stereo wiring and installing a radio into your car.

Here's the scenario: My son, Matthew, is at the University getting ready to come home for the summer. While at college he bought another car that would be more fuel efficient and more hi way dependable.

Back home he and I share his Toyota 4-Wheel Drive truck which comes in handy when we get an occasional snow. Often I'll use the Toyota truck to work in remote areas where my utility truck would get stuck.We will be looking at auto electrical car stereo wiring for his new Honda.

So here we go - Matthew's Honda car needs the radio from the Toyota, so through phone calls and emails we've been able to get everything we need to help Matthew install auto electrical car stereo wiring for his radio. I thought this would be a great way to assist you with your Car Radio Project.

Typical Wiring Harness

Here are the connections you'll need to identify for your car.

Tip - I had Matthew Google for the wiring configuration for his Honda car because we didn't know what all the wires were so we decided this would be a great way to show how to perform auto electrical car stereo wiring. Sure - we could have used a tester to help us, but why not use the information if it is available, and it was. Matthew found a Great Web site that provided the information we needed.
You can get there using this link http://www.installdr.com/QuickWiring.html

Basically, you'll need to identify each pair of speakers.

Typically your car will have Four Speakers:

FRONT - Left / Right

REAR - Left / Right

Some trucks may only have the front speakers.

For each speaker you will have a pair of wires. Usually the colors will be the same except one will have a stripe on the insulation which usually goes to the Negative Terminal. Be sure to consult your particular auto electrical car stereo wiring diagram.

This discussion is limited to this particular car and its radio. Your car and radio might be different. Verify the exact wiring for your application requirements.

Wiring Table

What The Wire Goes To
1994 Honda - Factory Wiring
Old Radio Connector
New Radio Wires
+12 Volt Battery Wire
White w/ Yellow or Blue Stripe
+12 Volt Ignition Wire
Yellow w/ Red Stripe
Dash Light Dimmer Wire
White (?)
Power Antenna Trigger
Brown w/ White Stripe
Front - Left Speaker - (+)
Blue w/ Green Stripe
Front - Left Speaker - (-)
Gray w/ Black Stripe
White w/ Stripe
Green w/ Stripe
Front - Right Speaker - (+)
Red w/ Green Stripe
Front - Right Speaker - (-)
Brown w/ Black Stripe
Gray w/ Stripe
Gray w/ Stripe
Rear - Left Speaker - (+)
Blue w/ Yellow Stripe
Rear - Left Speaker - (-)
Gray w/ White Stripe
Green w/ Stripe
Brown w/ Stripe
Rear - Right Speaker - (+)
Red w/ Yellow Stripe
Rear - Right Speaker - (-)
Brown w/ White Stripe
Purple w/ Stripe
Blue w/ Stripe

Wiring the new radio to the existing wiring harness

Speaker Schematic

This is the New Radio Wiring Diagram showing the connector as it attaches to the rear of the radio.

Wire nuts and wire stripper

Some small gray or blue wire nuts, or wire crimps will help make your splices. I also sent a wire stripper and a small screw driver to help with the installation process for this auto electrical car stereo wiring project .


Wire Gage

The speaker wires look to be about 22 or 24 gauge. When using the wire nuts make sure to strip the wires evenly and twist the wires together. Don't make the bare wires too long, you don't want any exposed wire outside of the wire nut otherwise the wires could short out and cause auto electrical car stereo wiring problems.

Radio Wires and connector

The wires are well labeled.

Wire harness connector

You can remove the wire harness and connector assembly from the back of the radio while you make your auto electrical car stereo wiring splices.

Installation of the Radio Frame

The radio and the mounting frame

The Radio and the mounting frame.


The Radio Frame
The radio frame removed from the radio.
Frame installation tabs
Frame installation tabs will be used to hold the radio into position in the dashboard.
Bending the frame tabs into place
When the frame is installed into the radio cavity of the dashboard you will be able to bend some of these tabs up into areas behind the molding of the dashboard to secure the frame into place. You could use your fingers or the small screw driver to help you do this.
slide the radio into the frame
With all the splices made on the wire harness and the antenna cable inserted you will be able to slide the radio into the dashboard frame.
frame latch tab
Do not install the radio until you are all ready. Once the radio is slid into place these locking tabs on the side will latch and you will not be able to remove the radio unless you have the pair of "keys". If you don't have the keys you'll have a tough time trying to get the radio back out, so make sure you are ready!

New Radio Features

New radio features

These new radios have some great new features that can be easily configured into your auto electrical car stereo wiring installation .


USB Port
A handy USB Port will allow you to play your MP3s from your memory stick, or I guess you could listen to your Quick Books backups just for kicks - not!
External Device Input
Ok, so you get bored listening to 300 songs on the USB stick, no problem - plug in your iPod and listen to 5000 more tunes - or maybe even an audio text book for your upcoming classes next year - Hey, its never too early - Right?
Handy Front AUX Jack
The AUX jack on the front of the radio is really handy. Hey - if you have a 21 inch flat screen in the passenger seat, you can always just plug that dude in and have surround sound. What? - you don't have a 120 volt adapter in the car yet? I guess we'll have to post a new article about auto electrical car stereo wiring for a 120 volt AC adapter.
AUX Cable
You can get these AUX (auxiliary Input) cables from Radio Shack or your local electronics store for auto electrical car stereo wiring parts. You can also plug in any other audio device, the radio doesn't know the difference - its just an "Input". I suppose you can plug your cell phone into the radio if you have the right kind of jack - then you can listen to Uncle Tommy all the way home - that will keep you awake - Right?

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Learn more about Automotive Electrical

This has been a project about automotive electrical for wiring a car stereo.

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