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New Aftermarket Car Stereo Wire Colors Guide 2023

Aftermarket Car Stereo Wire Colors Guide
Aftermarket Car Stereo Wire Colors Guide

Are you a bit of a car audio geek?

Do you enjoy upgrading and modifying your car stereo system?

If so, you’ll likely be interested in the array of colors that different wires can have in an aftermarket installation.

By understanding the purpose of each wire and its associated color, you can make your installation look clean and professional – and everything will work perfectly when it’s all hooked up.

This blog post will answer that question and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about installing a new car stereo system!

Car Stereo Wire Colors

Wiring diagrams of aftermarket car stereos show all of the required wires needed to provide power, sound, connection for external devices and speakers to name a few. Aftermarket wire colors are normally shown on the diagram by number.

The more wires you have, the more functions your aftermarket stereo will have. Aftermarket car stereo wire colors match up with the color of the plastic connectors on both ends of each wire no matter what the brand or type of car stereo.

Stock wire colors normally include power, ground, speakers and remote turn on (for amps). Aftermarket wire colors can also include USB connections for MP3 players or other devices. Aftermarket wire color codes are not universal no matter what brand is installed in your vehicle.

What Color Wires Go Together In A Car Stereo?

There are four color wire you will see while wiring a car stereo. These colors are as follows: Yellow, Orange, Red and Black. The Aftermarket wiring car stereo color codes are not standard wire code that comes from the factory.

Ground Wire

The ground wire is typically the color Green or Black. The Yellow/Green wire is common to use as a Ground wire because it will not cause any noise in the radio station like the other grounds would do.

Power Wire

Blue is commonly used for your power wire on most aftermarket car stereo systems. It is also possible that your power wire may be Red in color.

Speaker Wire

The wire that has a grey stripe is the positive wire (+) for the speaker on the right. The wire with a black stripe is the negative (-) for the same speaker.

The white wires go to the left front speaker, purple goes to the right rear speaker, and green is for the left rear speaker.

The speaker wires are common to be either White or Black, but it is also possible that the color may vary depending on manufacturer and personal preference.

Antenna Wire

The antenna wires are commonly Blue or Black in color. This does change between different makes of aftermarket car stereos. Always check the color coding of the input wires and output wires to make sure they match up when wiring your car stereo.

Aftermarket Car Stereo Wire Colors Guide

RedPower+12V Ignition (Accessory Power)
YellowPower+12V Memory (Constant Power)
OrangePower / Illumination+12V Dimmer/illumination wire
BlackGroundingStereo Chassis Ground
BlueAntenna+Antenna Power
Blue / White StripeAmplifier+Amplifier Turn On
GreySpeaker+Right Front Speaker
Gray / Black StripeSpeakerRight Front Speaker
PurpleSpeaker+Right Rear Speaker
Purple / Black StripeSpeakerRight Rear Speaker
WhiteSpeaker+Left Front Speaker
White / Black StripeSpeakerLeft Front Speaker
GreenSpeaker+Left Rear Speaker
Green / Black StripeSpeakerLeft Rear Speaker
PinkMisc.+Vehicle Speed Sense
BrownMisc.+Audio Mute
Light VioletMisc.+Reverse Gear Trigger
Light GreenMisc.Parking Brake

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How to connect car stereo wires

If you’re looking to upgrade your car’s audio system by installing a new car stereo, you’ll need to know how to connect the stereo wires. Although there are many different types and brands of aftermarket car stereos on the market, they all have four basic wire connections: power, ground, audio input and video input. Depending on your car stereo’s features, you may also have additional wire connections for things like a built-in amplifier or a subwoofer.

To properly connect your car stereo wires, you will need a wire cutter/stripper tool and a crimping tool. You’ll also need to consult your car stereo’s wiring diagram to determine which wire goes where.

1. Cut the wire ends with your wire cutter/stripper tool. Be sure to leave about an inch of wire so that you have enough to work with.

2. Strip away about ½ inch of insulation from each wire end using your wire stripper tool.

3. Match up each wire end with the corresponding wire on your car stereo’s wiring harness.

4. Use your crimping tool to secure each wire connection.

5. Connect the ground wire to a metal ground point in your car.

6. Connect the power wire to your car’s battery positive terminal.

7. Run the audio input and video input wires to your car stereo’s audio input and video input ports.

8. If your car stereo has a built-in amplifier, connect the amp turn-on wire to your car’s ignition switch.

9. If your car stereo has a subwoofer, connect the subwoofer wire to the terminals on your subwoofer.

10. Test your car stereo to make sure everything is working properly.

Now that you know how to connect car stereo wires, you can upgrade your car’s audio system by installing a new car stereo. Just be sure to consult your car stereo’s wiring diagram and use the proper wire cutter/stripper and crimping tools to ensure a secure connection.

How To Install an Aftermarket Stereo Without Harness?

To install the stereo without harness in your car, you’ll need to identify the wire colors, either by checking online or pulling out your own stereo. If you can’t find them, sounds like its time for a soldering iron session.

What does all this mean?

If you’re installing an aftermarket car stereo in your vehicle, you may run into the issue of matching up the wires to the correct speaker, battery and other component.

These tables should help you identify what your aftermarket stereo wire colors are for power, ground, constant 12V power (memory), illumination (for display) and speakers.

Before you start to install an aftermarket car stereo in your vehicle, make sure that you know what wire colors match up with the components in your car – you don’t want to get halfway through installing the stereo and find out that you’ve hooked up the battery cable to a speaker by accident!

Some aftermarket stereos may require their own wire color table – please check the product specifications before wiring your new stereo.

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What is the pink wire on car stereo

The pink wire on a car stereo is typically the wire that is used for the remote turn-on signal. This signal tells the stereo to turn on when the ignition is turned on. If your car stereo does not have a remote turn-on wire, then it may not be possible to install one.

There are also other functions that the pink wire may perform, depending on the make and model of your car stereo. For example, some stereos use the pink wire to control the dimmer function. Consult your car stereo’s documentation to determine what role the pink wire plays in its overall operation.

What happens if you mix up positive and negative speaker wires?

If you mix up positive and negative speaker wires, the signals will cancel each other out. This is because sound is a wave phenomenon, and waveforms can destructive interfere with each other – meaning that when two waveforms line up perfectly, they can “cancel” each other out.

So if you have one signal that’s positive and another signal that’s negative, they’ll cancel each other out and you won’t hear anything.

How do you know which speaker wire is positive and negative on a vehicle?

Generally speaking, the white wire is going to be negative and the black or brown wire is going toe positive. Sometimes, however, the speakers are color-coded so that it’s immediately obvious which is which (red for positive and blue for negative, for example). If your vehicle has this type of coding, simply follow the colors.

If there’s no color-coding and you’re not sure which is which, there are a few ways you can test it out. First, try using a voltmeter or continuity tester on the wires. If you touch the probe to one wire and get a reading, then that’s your positive wire.

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James Williams, the founder of CarAudioSense and a Mobile Electronics Certified Professional, has been in the industry for over 10 years. He specializes in providing custom solutions to make customers' car audio systems sound amazing.

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