Car Stereo Wiring Harnesses & Interfaces Explained – What Do The Wire Colors Mean?

What do the colors on your wiring harness mean? How do you connect your wiring harness or interface to your stereo? We’ll show you!

Full explanation on our blog:

Downloadable guide:

Video Chapters:
0:20 Interfaces vs Harnesses
0:35 Interfaces
0:55 Data Bus
1:30 Wiring Harnesses
2:00 What do the Colors and Wires Mean?
3:50 Wiring Harness Color Diagram
4:00 Crimping Connectors vs Soldering Joints
4:30 Using Butt Connectors – How can they fail?
5:55 Should you cut your Harness?
6:50 Solder your Wiring Harness Connections
10:12 Taping/Cleaning up the Harness to look Factory
12:00 Difference between Harness and Interface
13:45 Completed Harness. What Next?
14:00 My Radio Won’t Turn on! Voltmeter Check
14:25 Do you even need a Wiring Harness?
15:00 What if you have an Aftermarket Amplifier?
16:10 Alternatives to Soldering Connections?

Car Stereo Wiring Harnesses

Car Stereo Interfaces

Car Stereos – Single Din and Double DIN

Klein Tools Crimper

Tesa 3/4″ Cloth Tape

Visit for all of your car audio and video needs!

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  1. Great video. My after market radio has the wires you described in the video which I understand fully. I have 6 other wires aside from those which are labeled with tags in English & Chinese. Key 1 (org-blk) Key 2 (brown-blk) Brake (brown) Ilumm (org) P-Center (blue-white) and Reverse (pink) which I assume goes to backup light. What do the other 5 wires hook to?

  2. Interesting – So I'm stumped. NOT my first rodeo, but can't find solution – 99 Dodge Ram – my RV tow vehicle – NOT with infinity sound as far as I can tell – new Touchscreen head – works great on the bench setting it up but once installed into the truck – NADA.

     5.7 ? volts at speaker outputs on the harness.

    Could there be an amp in this unit I am not aware of and how would it be powered – I have the Power Antennae wire connected – I have ALL the original wires connected to the harness – and everything correct.

    IF it has Premium sound that gave me 2 more speakers – but I'm not thinking an amp – there is NO canbus connection on the radio although it has the port . . .

    Any help would be appreciated . . .

    Tuesday the dash comes out . . . there has to be something somewhere . . .

  3. Yellow Wire – Clock Radio Preset

    Red – Ignition Switch

    Orange and White Wire – Illumination Switch

    Black Wire – Ground Break

    Purple/White Wire – Reverse Gear Input

    Yellow/Black Wire – External Mute

    Blue/White Wire – System Remote Control

    Light Green Wire – On-Off-On (Parking Break)

    White Wire Black Stripe – Speaker Output (Left Front or Left High)

    Gray Wire Black Stripe – Speaker Output Right Front or Right High

    Green Wire Black Stripe – Speaker Output Left Rear or Left Mid

    Purple Wire Black Stripe – Speaker Output Right Rear or Right Mid

  4. I set up all wires correctly for my aftermarket dual blue tooth stereo on my corolla 98 and the stereo is turning on and off alone while the car is off and the key is not inserted

  5. great video. i have android 2 din car stereo. i'm trying it with pc power supply. when i connect iso cable it works. but when i connect 28 pin connector it starts to burn power source cables.
    here is my cables and stereo.

  6. Do the colors mean the same thing throughout the industry? I.E. white to white, red to red. Was looking to hook up radio harness to aftermarket harness so I don't have to cut factory wiring harness.

  7. im ok with the color of wires and what theyre for,i need what the pins going into the deck are,16 pin connector on a pioneer fh-85p,ive looked a ton of pages,pioneers web page say its not found,site that says you can download a manual,its just the cover,ebay and amozon both list a 16 pin connector,but its wrong size,and from a pic ive seen the wires are in different locations in the plug,any suggestions

  8. I don't think the inventor of the but connector designed them with the intent of using them for mountain climbing or car towing or for any heavy pull load of any kind 🙂

  9. Why the loose wires?…all the big brands here in the UK come with a mitsumi 16 pin plug to ISO plug …a car specific harness (manufacturer plug to ISO) adaptor casts a few pounds…I've replaced head units in 20 mins.

  10. Very informative. Can you make a video on how to properly installed an android aftermarket head unit that has a CanBus and also requires a Fiber optic decoder box to produce sound .

  11. i used my old connector and the new adaptor that came with the stereo and connected the colors and i turned the truck on and it worked but i turned off the truck right away bucause i got excited and then i turned it back on and the stereo didn't work anymore and then that i'm guessing caused a shortage and my radio fuse burning and causing my cluster to go out as well , one thing i did notice was that the adapter color wires that cane with the stereo were thinner then the connectors wires that the old stereo had

  12. I'm trying to help my Dad install his stereo, its a Sony DSX-A410BT into a Peugeot Bipper 2010. We have a harness that was bought separately to the stereo and I would assume the issue is here, currently if the stereo is turned off, the gauge cluster also turns off? When it's on the stereo works fine which confuses me when trying to find errors in the harness. I don't understand some of the labels on the original stereo, it has labels such as Ub, Can A, Can B, NC, Booster DET? Does anyone know what these labels mean or why the gauge cluster would turn off?

  13. Min 3:50, I have a 2011 Ford F-150 it does not have the sync feature, I just installed a pioneer double din and my accessory wire doesn’t have any power, right now I have both connected to the constan 12v (yellow wire) and Im having to turn off the estereo manually is there any other wire that it could be the accessory one?!! Help please…

  14. There is also one more option besides soldering and butt connectors…meltable soldering connectors look them up, yes they are a bit more expensive but it's Midway not as fast as butt connectors but not as time consuming as soldering

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