How Long Does Car Audio Installation Take? (Is Surprising)

Many variables can determine how long a car audio system installation will take.

Car audio today comes in a variety of shapes and models, some are single din whereas others are double or even trip din. Some come with multiple surround sound systems which will require speaker boxes and cutouts and an additional power source.

Here’s How Long Car Audio Installation Can Take

The installation will depend on a few factors such as the size of the system, the experience, and knowledge of the installer, and the condition of your vehicle’s existing wiring will all affect how long it takes to install your new car audio system. That being said, you can generally expect an experienced installer to be able to complete a typical car audio installation in a few hours.

Car audio install

Car stereo components can be installed at different times, so you don’t necessarily have to do it all at once if you don’t have time right away.

For example, you can have your receiver installed today and then wait a few weeks before installing a video screen in the rear-seat area.

Similarly, if you’re going with a more complicated installation, such as adding an amplifier or subwoofer, you might want to get the speakers installed first and then come back later for the other components.

Here’s your quick guide to car audio installation. 


What Does Car Audio Installation Involve?

Here are some of the components that are involved in car audio installation:

Head unit


This is the nerve center of your automobile audio system. It connects to all the other components and provides controls for them.

Head units are either single din or double din units. Single din units measure 2 inches by 8 inches, while double din units measure 4 inches by 8 inches.

If you plan to upgrade your head unit, make sure you choose a replacement that will physically fit your vehicle’s dashboard. You may have to buy mounting brackets so that it fits properly.



You need quality speakers to ensure that your stereo system will sound good.

It doesn’t matter what kind of audio system you have in your car if you do not have a good set of speakers. The speakers are responsible for reproducing all of the sounds through your stereo. Without them, you would not be able to hear anything at all.



A subwoofer is a specialized speaker used for low-frequency sound reproduction and is usually housed in an enclosure with a speaker driver which faces towards the listener’s ears.

Subwoofers are often added to existing systems for extra bass response or as part of an upgrade from stock factory-installed audio.

Wiring harnesses and adapters


These are connectors that allow the head unit to attach to the existing wiring of your vehicle without cutting or splicing wires.

The installation will likely require one to three different harnesses — one that connects to the vehicle’s wiring behind the radio, one that connects to the new radio, and possibly an adapter for steering wheel controls (depending on your vehicle).

Regulated Power Supply


Depending on the power requirements of your audio system you might also need to upgrade your existing power source or add an additional battery and capacitors to feed your power-hungry system.

Can I Install a Car Audio System Myself?

You can easily install the car audio yourself. You don’t need to hire a technician, especially if you are not going to use the latest and most complicated equipment in your car. Installing a new car audio system is usually easy and should not take you more than a few hours.

You need to know the basics of audio installation before you start working on it. Read through the user manual and study all the different parts of your car and how they work together. It will also be helpful to have a guide or illustration that can show you how to connect different parts of the system together.

Make sure you have all the necessary tools, screws, wires, and connectors before you start working on the project. If something is missing, it will be time-consuming for you to stop and go back for it again. You can also prepare a toolbox where you can store all your tools so that they are not misplaced when you are working on this project.

You need to check if there is enough space inside your vehicle so that everything fits in properly, including your speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers, cables, and other accessories. There should be enough room for air to circulate within all these components, so they do not overheat while they are being used.

What is the Labour Cost for Replacing a Car Stereo?

If you do not have a lot of experience removing and replacing car stereos, then it is probably best to hire someone to take care of the job. This should cost anywhere between $130 and $230. However, if you are experienced with cars, you may be able to do it yourself.

The cost of replacing a car stereo will depend more on what kind of stereo you want in your vehicle. You can purchase a basic stereo for around $100, which does not include installation. If you would like an upgraded or better-sounding stereo, it could cost anywhere from $250-$1,000. 

This does not include the installation fee, which is usually around $50-$130 depending on the job’s complexity. Most people who purchase a new car already have a stereo system in place, so this will not be an expense unless the radio is damaged somehow.

How Much Does Car Stereo Installation Cost (Labour + Equipment)?

Labour Costs

If you want to install your own car stereo, you’ll typically pay between $50 and $100 for an 8″ subwoofer box and between $50 and $150 for a 12″ subwoofer box. You’ll also have to pay between $120 and $200 for installation labor costs if you’re having a professional install your subwoofer box. You’ll also have to pay between $45 and $65 per hour in labor costs if you’re having a professional install your car stereo. The cost will vary depending on how long it takes the installer to finish the job.

Equipment Costs

The cost of equipment varies depending on what type of car stereo you want to be installed. For example, an amplifier will typically require one or two additional speakers to function properly; most amplifiers are stereo (right and left channels), which means that they are designed to power one speaker each. 

For a high-end audio system with premium speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers, the total cost for parts and installation typically runs $1,000-$5,000 or more. In some cases, additional equipment such as an amplifier bypass or “line out converter” may be required to connect the aftermarket gear to an existing factory radio.

What’s the Best Place to Install Car Stereo?

In most vehicles, the stereo is located on the dash near the center console. This is a good place for installing a new car stereo because it’s close to a 12-volt supply, and there is easy access for wiring.

The center dash is probably the most common place to install a car stereo. This location is handy because it’s within easy reach, but it does have some drawbacks. First of all, the center dash location is only available in certain vehicles. 

For example, if your vehicle has an overhead console for climate control, lights, or a sunroof, then this space may not be available to you. Also, keep in mind that many vehicles have non-removable faceplates on their radios (to prevent theft). If this is the case with your vehicle, then you’ll need to purchase a mounting kit that will allow you to mount your new radio behind this factory faceplate.

The next best place to install a car stereo is high up on the dash near the windshield. If you install it here, it will be easier to reach from both driver and passenger seats. Plus, there is less chance of theft or damage than if it were installed on the top of the dash (which can be visible through the windshield).

We hope that the guide could help walk you through the process and make sure you get the most optimal sound out of your car stereo installation.


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