Aftermarket Car Stereo Wire Colors Guide 2024

Last Updated on February 1, 2024 by John Robinson

The color code of the car stereo cord is a very important factor that indicates your vehicle with different manners it connects each featured device on your vehicle. Cords of wire are generally cheap, fragile, and unreliable. So you must have known about basic information and ways. If your device is not working properly with the current music output from your vehicle then there is a possibility to change your stereo which has a proper and easy manual with it. There is no doubt if you are not mature enough to install of aftermarket car stereo wire then you will face problems while traveling, but this process becomes much easier once you understand it. The trick after successful installation is to know the colors of the strings.

There are many car enthusiasts who want their vehicle more prominent and they spent a lot of money one and they do all the improvements and if you are one of them, then having a basic Car Stereo Wiring guide will be very helpful. These cables are compatible with all AFTERMARKET radio harnesses (this is connected to the back of the radio). Includes Sony Wire harnesses, Alpine Wire Harnesses, Kenwood Wire harnesses, Clarion Wire harnesses, Pioneer Wire harnesses, Dual Wire harnesses, JVC Wire harnesses, and more. You actually continue the flow of the electrical circuit when you connect the wires to your stereo strap. You have to make sure to use suitable tools such as solder which is the most common tool for wiring connections or “crimp caps”.

The fact is that every car has different cable systems. And most rear car stereos have completely different cables than they did with your factory stereo. The soldering is more difficult, your use a hot adhesive iron to melt free lead on your wiring. Let’s take a look at the following guide which will help you out with what to do for your better sound quality.

Standard of Aftermarket Wire Colors for Car Stereo

Different types of Stereos come with different patterns of their wiring but the most common pattern which is used in every stereo will lead you to connect your stereo if there is no manual and showroom there for you. We will give you a better experience to access your stereo. Earlier we discuss that there was a time when the color code varied for every different device brand, and in some cases, the model also varies and has different manuals and instructions. Today, cars are usually manufactured following the standard color of car stereo straps. The point must be noted that this cable harness is provided by our review, so it will have a connection to the new stereo base and illuminating cables.

 In most cases, you should get a drawing provided with an aftermarket stereo, along with your car. If you do not find such a label, following the colors of the aftermarket radio cables will suffice. The color Aftermarket is as follows: White – Direct lead, Red – Power, Black – Negative lead, Yellow – Ground. With the help of these color codes, it will help you understand how the strings work. Now take a look at the function of every color of standard wire which are as follows:

Yellow: The polarity of this wire is +ve with the function of a constant 12-volt power source wire for a key position.

Red: The polarity of this wire is +ve having a 12-volt power source function to turning of the key position

Black or Ground: The polarity of this wire is –ve which is used for chassis ground

Orange: The polarity of this wire is +ve which provides 0 volts when the lights are in off mode and shows the voltage of 12V when exterior lights of the car are on mode.

Orange with White Strip: The polarity of this wire is +ve which shows a variant of voltage from 0 – 12 Volts adjustable with interior light of dimmer control of the vehicle.

Blue: It has +ve polarity this wire is for power antenna which provides your stereo 12 Volts from the receiver when AM or FM radio is operating is commonly used to turn on-off the radio source.

Blue with White Strips:  It also has +ve polarity which is used to turn on the amplifier providing 12 volts when the receiver is on mode.

Brown: The polarity of this wire is +ve which is used to mute the audio

Light Green: The polarity of this wire is –ve used for parking brake vehicle provides a signal by this wire when the brake is in pulled up position

Light Violet: It has +ve polarity this wire is used for indication of reverse trigger produce 12 volts when your car is in reverse.

Pink: It also has the +ve polarity and this wire is used for vehicle speed sensor.

Installation of New Car Stereo

If your old stereo does not have clips, you may need to purchase a harness adapter to connect the cables to the new stereo/head unit. But if the old wires come with clips, you can easily connect them to the new head unit. In addition to power and speakers, you can also have extra clips, a USB port, a rear camera, lighting, etc. Make sure you connect all the necessary wires and secure any unused wires so that they do not crack. causing an annoying noise.

Once all the wires are finished, it is time to test the new head unit. Without fully installing the new head unit, you simply slide the stereo so that it does not stumble. Now, reconnect the negative phone to the battery and start the car. Check whether all-new stereo functions work properly or not. If they work properly, you can turn off the car and disconnect the battery from the battery.

What Should You Know About the Stereo Harness

Harnesses are similar to adapters. These essential tools can help you install the aftermarket stereo in your car easily. Special harnesses can be used to pass through built-in loudspeakers, lengthen cords, and more. These harnesses are designed to make the installation of the stereo more convenient. There will be an only condition you have to face is the selection of the best and right harness for your stereo. For the best result, you have to make sure that it will be both of car and your stereo.

There is nothing possible in the modern era you can also find the best harness for your car stereo. Everyone wants that their car to be the and the features performed well a manner for that our guide will let you know which one is the best Aftermarket wire for your Car Stereo.

Installation of Aftermarket Stereo Using Harness

Many users are confused about the color codes of car wiring harnesses. The harnesses usually follow the designated structure discussed in this guide. There will be only one factor to be considered just to match the colors of the car stereo straps with the colors of the space in the harness, and after performing this now you just have to attach another part of the harness to the car head.

Installation of Aftermarket Stereo in Absence of Harness

When you don’t have the harness the simple method will follow that to connect the stereo to the vehicle is by following the manual method. To get started, you should keep the color code of car stereo strings in mind. If you have a pigtail with a head unit, you need to connect the wires from the radio to that. If you want to connect and don’t know where the pigtail is, then you should overview the drawing in the head unit and online, as the color code may vary for different models.

Installation of Car Stereo With or Without a Pigtail for Used Cars

When you buy a used car stereo that you want to install and a pigtail that comes with a head unit, then you have to thoroughly overview the manual of this stereo to connect properly. If you don’t have a pigtail, look for an adapter designed to connect that head unit to your design and car model. If that doesn’t work, get another pigtail to continue anyway. Hopefully, the colors of those strings will match the aftermarket level.

Security Package for New Receiver

When you install a new receiver in your car, it is important to know that you will need some type of adapter. A coupling adapter is required to connect your new receiver to the existing cable system in the car. These kits connect to the factory cables and make the necessary connection to the factory controls. They also maintain an industrial dashboard. Some are not fully integrated but still, retain factory features.

Speaker Harness Wiring method

While they may not directly help with installing a car stereo, the speaker speakers we offer allow you to use factory speaker speakers on your new speakers, such as car stereo straps. Its plugs resemble plugs in the car industry’s speaker speakers, with one end slipping over new speaker terminals.

Installation Guide for Wire

The following guide will lead you to a proper manner for wire for your sound stereo system are as follows:

Cord temperature and the placement of the jackets

Cables can carry a large amount of energy that can be dispersed such as heat. The load on this wire will lead to circuit breakage by the heat which cant be bear by the wire. That’s why the wire jacketing process is provided to avoid such mistakes. Covering the wire with protective materials helps to prevent the external scattering, and prevents moisture or chemicals from entering the device.

Wire Routing

It is advisable to move the cable down to your car audio system loudspeaker. You can proceed to connect the 18 gauge cable at the top. This is done to minimize any additional noise in your sound system.

Signal Cables

The most important cable wire which is used to provide the signals to the amplifier is the signal cables wire which is used to tune in channels. This will be accompanied by the first cord in the car.

Adapters for Car Stereo Installation

In some cases, the cables will not take care of everything and you need additional adapters to install the new stereo. These antennas will help to a specific connection for the process of saving the original feature.

Antenna Adapters

Many AM / FM factory antenna connectors are simply connected to the leading port behind the new receiver. However, some cars have a separate antenna connector or are part of an improved antenna .system. In these cases, an adapter is required to install your radio to keep your AM / FM channels playing.

Audio Control Adapters for Steering Wheel

Modern cars often install tire controls that allow you to safely use your factory sound system without removing your hands from the wheel. The function installed in this include, forward / backward volume controls, and hands-free call controls. Those controls will not be in order in most cases after you change the factory radio. Thankfully, wheel control adapters help to integrate these controls with many new tools, so you can continue to use these user controls with your new stereo.


Installing an aftermarket stereo is much easier if you know what the colors of the aftermarket radio strings mean. The colors of the car stereo in the back of the market are similar to those of industrial OEM cables. The color combination can help you identify the phone device. In addition to the standard scheme of colors, there are a few other colors to watch. With the help of a harness, it allows you to get through this easily. Through this guide, we hope that you will know exactly what your car needs and how to make your sound system sound better.

John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.