How To Install Subwoofer To Factory Stereo: 8 Steps Guide

If you love listening to the bass in your favorite songs, installing subwoofers will be the best way to give you excellent sound quality. However, without a correct guide, you may ruin your audio system. 

Today, we will show you how to install a subwoofer in a factory stereo. There are only eight steps to enhance your music-listening enjoyment. 

Now, are you ready? Let’s jump into the details! 

What Tools Do You Need? 

The factory stereo pairs with a powerful subwoofer to give outstanding sound quality with powerful bass. The bass system consists of an amplifier, a speaker driver, and an enclosure. 

An aftermarket stereo may not have adequate efficiency. So you can install powered subwoofers to improve bass effects without removing the stereo’s factory settings. Before starting, make sure you don’t miss any of the following tools:

  • RCA cables
  • Screws
  • Screwdrivers
  • Drill machine
  • Wires (speaker wire, ground wire, and power wire)
  • An amplifier
  • An inline fuse (at least 50 amps)
  • Wire crimps
  • Tape
  • Line output converter

How To Install A Subwoofer To A Factory Stereo? 

Here are the eight steps you should take to install a powered subwoofer in a factory stereo. While following them, take extreme caution and obey safety tips, such as avoiding moisture and handling the speaker wires gently. 

Step 1: Disconnect the battery 

Working with electricity is dangerous. Hence, make sure to turn off everything first. Start with your car by removing its keys. Then, open its hood to access the car battery. 

You can see the black cable on the battery. It’s the negative terminal. In the event of a factory stereo system or short circuit damage, you must disconnect it from the battery.

Safety inspectors advise wearing rubberized gloves during the process to reduce the risk of electrocution.

How to install a subwoofer to a factory stereo? Disconnect the battery is the first step

Step 2: Remove the power wire and outputs 

Now examine the ports and wires on your factory stereo. Find the RCA cables, then pull off the outputs and the power cable at the same time.

Step 3: Run the power cable from the car battery to the subwoofer 

Connect the vehicle subwoofer’s power wire to the battery. It is necessary to manage the wiring connections since the power wire will move from the engine to the car’s main cabin.

Fold the cables underneath the car’s carpet or behind trim panels to keep everything organized and make it. This tip will conceal the wires and safeguard them from being pulled or torn by the car’s passengers.

Also, you would need to examine the amplifier wiring kit. The fuse assembly may occasionally be ready for the subwoofer installation. But if not, you will need to prepare for it. 

Now, cut a small section of the power cable. It must be long enough to cover the gap between the battery and the fuse holder. 

After ensuring that the cable is the right length, detach the insulation from both ends. Then, connect one end to the terminal rings and the other to the fuse holder. 

The line between the fuse and the terminal is open. Thus, keep in mind that placing the fuse box near the battery will help avoid short circuits.

Run the power cable from your battery to the subwoofer

Step 4: Attach the remote turn-on wire 

Check if you have connected the turn-on wire and RCA cable to the stock stereo unit. Those wires rest on the other side of your car, far from the power cable to minimize the electrical noise. 

The remote turn-on wire is the blue one. You should connect it to the wiring harness of your stereo. Meanwhile, link the RCA cables to the right RCA outputs. 

You need to use a line output converter to transform the high-level amplified outputs from OEM stereos into RCA preamplifier-level signals. 

If you can’t find any, attach the wire of the speaker behind the rear deck speakers or the factory stereo. Then, signals can move to the integrated amp in the powered subwoofer.

The remote wire is the blue one

Step 5: Position the subwoofer

The powered subwoofer’s placement in the car is essential. Its position should have adequate ventilation because the speakers may generate a lot of heat. Then, proceed to the ground wire. 

Step 6: Attach the ground wire  

Now, work with the ground wire. You can connect it to the car chassis using a bolt for its terminal to make contact with the car’s bare metal.

The ground wire must be grounded. Thus, consider using sandpaper to wipe off all debris and paint. 

Step 7: Reconnect the vehicle’s negative battery terminal 

In step 1, you removed the black cable on the car battery to avoid damage. Now, reconnect it to examine your car stereo system in the next step. 

Step 8: Test the system 

Ensure to turn the gain of the built-in amplifier down. By doing this, you can protect your subwoofer from harm.

Then, start the engine and check if the subwoofer and the stereo system run with your car. Play some songs to test if your newly-installed subwoofer is working. Pay attention to the sound quality and modify the settings too. 

Testing the car stereo system after installation


We have shared with you eight steps to install a powered subwoofer in your car stereo. The steps are easy to follow. But if you are confused about the speaker wires, please check out this video for help:

If you still need help with the factory stereos, feel free to contact us. Our inbox is always open to help you. Thank you for reading! 


  1. What do I need to hook up subs to a stock radio?

    You may need a line output converter if your vehicle has a stock stereo. The wires of speakers are often available on OEM head units, but they lack a preamplifier output that can turn them into RCA inputs. So consider installing the line output converter to deal with the signal problems. 

  2. Can you connect a subwoofer to a factory stereo?

    Yes. You can connect the subwoofer to your factory stereo to improve the quality of your music and introduce more bass tones to your songs.  

  3. How do you hook up a powered sub to a factory stereo?

    If you want to add a powered subwoofer to your factory stereo, please follow these steps:

    – Disconnect the battery
    – Remove the power wire and outputs
    – Run the power wire from the battery to the subwoofer 
    – Attach the remote turn-on wire 
    – Position the subwoofer
    – Attach the ground wire to the car chassis
    – Reconnect the vehicle's negative battery terminal 
    – Check the system