Poor sound quality can totally ruin your mood, making you angry without cause. Music is a beautiful form of art and you wouldn’t want to ruin your music experience due to the lack of a proper sound system, and this is exactly why you need to know how to install a powered subwoofer to a factory stereo.
It doesn’t matter what genre of music you love, or how loud you like to blast your music. You need the bass effect to improve the sound quality. Unlike the regular subwoofer, a powered subwoofer includes all the components that make up a subwoofer system – the subwoofer, enclosure, and amplifier.
The required tools needed for installation
To successfully install a powered subwoofer to a factory stereo you’d need the following tool;
- A toolbox
- Subwoofer box
- Wiring kit
- RCA cables
- 50 amps inline fuse
- Speaker wires
These are the major tools that one will require for the installation of a powered subwoofer.
The Installation Process of a Powered Subwoofer to a Factory Stereo
Without further ado, here’s a detailed installation process if you want to enhance the sound quality of your factory stereo using a powered subwoofer:
Step 1: Place your sub in your vehicle
The built-in amplifier of your sub generates a lot of heat, you’d need to place it in a part of your vehicle that has proper ventilation and is easy to access.
Step 2: Disconnect the battery
To avoid any form of accident, it is necessary that you disconnect the negative battery terminal. This way, you protect both you and your vehicle from any hazardous occurrences.
Step 3: Run your amp wire
For most vehicles, you can run the power cable from the battery through the firewall. Certainly, it demarcates the main cabin from the engine compartment. When you get inside the cabin, slip the power cable under your vehicle carpet or under trim panels. Try this, until you get to where your powered subwoofer is located – only slip along one side of the carpet.
In other cases, the kit has its fuse assembly already assembled and in some cases, it does not. When you have an unassembled fuse, a short piece of the power cable should be cut short, with just enough length to reach the location of the fuse holder from the battery. Strip the insulation off both ends right after, you’d need to attach the fuse holder to one end and crimp terminal rings to the other. Mounting the fuse very close to your battery prevents short circuits, as the lead between the fuse and terminal is exposed.
Step 4: Run the turn-on wire and signal cables
First and foremost, ensure that the turn-on wire and RCA cables are connected to the stereo. Avoid running the turn-on wire and RCA cable right next to the power wire. Run them down the opposite side of the car, away from the power wire. It helps to eradicate the chances of electrical noises entering the system and ruining the sounds produced. You should connect the RCA cables to their respective RCA outputs on the stereo while the remote turn-on wire (blue wire) gets a connection to the wiring harness of the stereo.
This step is only applicable if you have an aftermarket stereo with preamp outputs. For factory stereos that aren’t equipped with preamp outputs, the need for a Line Output Converter (LOC) arises. The LOC deals with the conversion of high-level amplified signals to RCA preamp-level signals.
Another way to deal with factory stereos is by simply tapping into the speaker wires located right behind your stereo, or the rear deck speakers. The signal is transferred to the powered sub’s built-in amp either way.
Step 5: Connect the ground wire
Connect the ground wire to the vehicle chassis using a bolt that you can fasten it with. The terminal of the ground wire must be in contact with the bare metal of the vehicle. To make sure your wire is properly grounded, use sandpaper to sand away paint that can reduce grounding at the point of contact.
Step 6: Handle the wiring connections
Connect the power cable to the battery i.e., reconnecting the negative battery terminal. Turn the built-in amp’s gain all the way down before doing a test run. The subwoofer also needs to turn on when you start your car, so make sure of that.
Step 7: Get into the music
After all, has been said and done, play your favorite music, set your gains, and get ready for a mind-blowing experience.
Safety precautions to heed to
To make sure you successfully install your powered subwoofer without causing any damage or accidents, there are certain precautions you need to bear in mind. Here they are;
- Avoid contact with moisture: You’d be dealing with a lot of electricity during the installation process, keeping all forms of liquid away will prevent short-circuiting in your vehicle.
- Be gentle with the wires: Use gentle curves to prevent wear and tear in your wires and cables.
- Use a capacitor: A capacitor, you will need to prevent a voltage drop when the deep bass hits. Make sure your capacitor is as close to the amp as possible and use the same ground as the one used for the amp.
- Turn the gain all the way down: During the test run, turn the gain all the way down and play your music before turning it up to your desired volume. It prevents your powered subwoofer from damaging quickly.
These precautions one should not overlook as accidents are more likely to occur when they are.
Understanding how to install a powered subwoofer to a factory stereo can sometimes be overwhelming. carefully taking the steps above one at a time is the only way to get it right. If you’re just not sure of how to install your subwoofer, do not be ashamed to call a professional and pay attention as the professional follow the above-mentioned steps.
Remember to keep your subwoofer in good condition by cleaning with a lint-free material over time. To sum up, quality sound is just an installation away.