DON’T DO THIS! 5 (MORE) Common Car Audio NOOB Mistakes!

Whether you want earth shattering bass or high quality sound performance there are mistakes we need to avoid in car audio. Many of these same mistakes are made with speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, wiring, and car audio installation. Here’s five MORE mistakes to avoid!

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Russell Bailey says:

“Infinite amount of current”..? let’s just keep it real please. A lot of people struggle to understand electricity as it is and while this did make me laugh, it’s just not true. Perhaps a segment educating people on general electronics which includes a part about fusing wires would be a good idea – as you know, batteries are limited in their power delivery due to their internal resistance as are the wires. Don’t get me wrong 600+ Amps is nothing to sneeze at and will cause a fire which can kill the occupants of that vehicle.

FoodOnCrack says:

As an electrician i work a lot with these grommets. Unfortunately: they easily fail when you try to tighten them decently so it doesn’t come loose on a car. They are meant for buildings. You’re probably better off getting a rubber insert the size of the hole and passing a wire through that.

Adam M says:

Mark, would that same be true of a new wire ran to the starter, say when relocating the battery to the back?

TheMegalo says:

Fuze video please.

Gabriel Jenkins says:

I’d love to see more car audio videos dealing with wranglers like how to increase bass without a sub woofer, or how to get great sound with the top off!

Ruby Rose says:

The common fault when buying equipment would be sticking on a brand[Alpine lover here], hahahaha

Jose Ramos says:

Fuses plz

TheTardis157 says:

I’m “that wiring harness guy” only because the PO completely cut up the factory wiring leaving nothing. I ran a fused power wire from the battery, found an unused switched power wire on the fuse panel and used that, then managed to figure out what were the original ground, antenna, and illumination wires and used them as well. Then I used covered spade terminals on the harness connections to make swapping out to a new head unit easier. Previous owner hack jobs suck to fix.

Vance wanless says:

What about when someone keeps blowing fuses so they just put larger ones in there!! Ahhwww my God don’t do that ever!!!!!!

Wind_rat says:

I saw a Chevy Tahoe were someone cut the wires On the obd2 plug to power their head unit and grounded the speakers to the seat belt bolt.

john smith says:

another mistake is maybe miss calculated budget it ends up costing more then they thought..?great videos..

john vinczencz says:

Metra has replacement harnesses for most vehicles that will replace the factory plug end if it is cut off. Cutting the factory harness can also cause a serious problem if you cut more than one wire at a time. Such as a short and a lot of the factory harnesses are data. Could get very expensive very fast.

Michael Perez says:

just here to say that a short video on fuses would be nice for any new guys that check out your channel

UniCrafter says:

Guilty of number 3, but I’ve got an amp ready to go, so it’s temporary at least, and stock has lasted 6 months so far without degradation, just turning down bass on the hu seems to have helped out (I’ve got a really ghetto system, but it works well)

Aiden Bishop says:

My dad has one fuse in the front and two in the back

Jacob Duffell says:

Mark, I would like to see a video on proper fuse installation and sizing.

I see people suggest the maximum size fuse for the wire (e.g. 350A) frequently for non-fusible amplifiers. In that particular scenario, I always suggest sizing the fuse for the intended current draw.

scott nuftul says:

Look how far you’ve come bro, your shop looks amazing. I remember watching your Kerfing wood video years ago. As always Mark your videos are incredibly useful. I watch them whenever I’m beginning a new project. Keep up the good work bro. And thanks again.

Jason Moriset says:

Great information! I’m glad I stumbled on your channel. Nice to see someone big in the industry sharing instead of hiding all the secrets. I have a question. I drive a sedan. I have plans to replace all OEM parts, front to back. I like full spectrum sound quality. I have no plans to make anything competitive. It’s just for my listening enjoyment. I have a 10″, 4 component separates, and a head unit while looking for amps. I wanted to use the 10″ but also use an 8″. No pairs of either, just one each. If I use a separate amp for each and sealed each chamber for the 8″ and 10″ so no air is shared could I still incorporate them into the same box, side by side? After seeing this video, you make me skeptical this is a good idea.

Charles Grohn says:

I’m going to say this is a mistake, but their are some folks in my neck of the woods that do this on purpose. WHY?!? I’ve no clue, it sounds like crap. Anyway, here it is. They will wire in a loud speaker (you know, like the ones you might see at a high school football game or on a used car lot) to their audio system and mount it outside the vehicle. Normally under the hood, at least thats where it sounds to be coming from. Even worse I’ve seen them in the back windows. Thanks For Your time and efforts!!

ASP says:


Nick Adam says:

A video on fuses would be very fascinating.

pointmeby says:

Would you mind commenting about where you purchase your wiring? and do you have a favorite ANL fuse holder? Tough to find something subdued when you just want it to blend in in the engine bay.

Margo Parts says:

Thanks for another awesome video. I watched a lot of Your videos and made an custom 12″ subwoofer box integrated into my LR Discovery 2 trunk with Punch P2 DVC 4ohm badboy. Im pumping 550W RMS@2ohms into it and it is BANGING. First day completely blew out original bass speakers in the trunk – literally to pieces. Bass is just…. ridiculous. My LR has original 320W 12speaker Harman Kardon audio system in it and i love it but…. i do like good audio.. Planning of replacing all the element speakers with new ones and new amp. HK cant really keep up with 400w RMS subwoofer xDDD

Exterminatingtraper says:

1996 mercury cougar, amazon boss audio headunit, china number 1

TheTardis157 says:

All these wiring issues make me glad my car has a trunk mounted battery from the factory. Makes wiring the car a breeze.

Achraf Naoui says:

Tks a lot for the info

ALFA DOG says:

Hi Mark what about not using distribution blocks… Tap all the wires together…hahaha

TheNewYork Reload says:

The worst mistake is owning a system and not owning Killer Quad: The Best of Newtown Vol. 1

Will Barnz says:

IF you go to a salvage yard to get a replacement wire harness, you have to consider one other thing: options. Say, for example, you have a 2006 Chevy Malibu. You have options for On-Star, Sirius Satellite, and even Monsoon Premium Audio. If your car has all those, and the one you get the harness from doesn’t, you got more work to do to even make it work.

Also another source is some aftermarket harness manufacturers actually make reverse harnesses that can be used to fix such an improper install that cuts the factory harness… but this will depend on make and model of car, and AGAIN, options. You may need more than one harness to put all the wires back in place for your vehicle.

Thien Tang says:

Upgrading cables and wires is usually a must for high powered systems, but I’ve seen so many people go overboard buying the biggest and most expensive brand name wire they can get when not needed. Same goes for overpriced RCA cables and over-sized “big 3” upgrade. Things that should be focused on would be learning how to solder&heat shrink connections and do proper cable management.
Have also seen fancy setups in cars with massively rated alternators or multiple alternators. Most people don’t realize but this robs the car of a lot of horsepower having to turn the pulleys on these things.

Gaeshak Kumar says:

fuse vs circuit breaker pls 😀

Chad Painters Pallete says:

I’m deciding on 3 brands by price range and total watts and above 95 rms
CT sounds
And looking very hard at Rockville audio components does the higher the watts have any effect on sound quality and clarity 800 watts and 110 rms a newbie question

Paul Fretz says:

My all time fav. The guy who took 4 12 gauge wires twisted them together, used four crimp on ring connectors, attaches those to the battery each one has a 30 amp fuse then stretches them he length of his big ass Lincoln town car and hooks them to a thousand watt amp.
His theory was he met the fusing requirement and the four wires would carry the current since the same wire carried 480 volts for a industrial motor he uses at work.

Zwick says:

The amp for my vehicle was destroyed by the owner before I bought it and I had to bypass the amp which in turn my I had to take the said wiring harness, slash it up and then rewire it. I feel as though it could have been helped and do feel a bit curious in why it’s a newbie mistake, but I do see your point. Also I have a 15 inch Ct sounds tropo that’s sitting in a very large port enclosure, could you please give me a better box design or will I need to purchase one? I have an email if we could speak through that

Vernon Williams says:

I read that you should add 60% for cheap wire. Mybe add that ofc wire vs coated aluminum wire.

JDP3 Gaming says:

On the topic of different subs, if I were to use 2 10″ subs on 1 amp, and 1 12″ on a separate amp, would that potentially alleviate the risk of distortion from difference in subs? Dad’s got 2 10″ polk audio subs and a 12″ blaupunkt, and we were talking about filling up my Towncar with those, as well as the 2 4″ kicker and 2 3.5″ rockford fosgates he has and a couple decent pairs of 6×8’s.

j 0swald says:

Good tip for power wire run is looking for an existing clutch plate in a vehicle with an Automatic. Awesome plate in my car since it has a manual option.

Trailblazzinbass says:

Or if you don’t know how to do it right then pay a pro or don’t do it lol

Chris Jordan says:

High Bass, Low Bass > LOL !!

bansheemopar says:

Cutting the OEM harness is clearly NOT a mistake in general.

1. Adding more connectors by using an adapter harness is worse than a clean, correctly altered Harness.
2. Often the space behind the headunit is limited and that bulky adapterharness makes it difficult to properly install the new headunit.
3. If you cut the OEM harness correctly, you will have the same or even more wire to work with
4. all other arguments, like making switching headunits easier or being better when selling the vehicle are just lazyness.
You can put the cut off bit aside with the OEM Headunit and resolder it on when selling car.
Done properly this is as good as new.

I build entire wiring harnesses for Cars from time to time, and i t is allways better to build custom bits than adapting old stuff and leaving the electrical system hard to troubleshoot and adding more failure points.

CarAudioFabrication says:

Hey guys! What other common mistakes do you see made by those that are new to car audio??

DirectT3Ch says:

what if there is no wire harness adapter for your type of car?

Aaron Morales says:

Fuse video meow!

Joseph Cota says:

I bought a pair of 8″ kicker comp subs when I had a little 1994 Isuzu pickup. I made some really craptastic sealed fiberglass boxes for them. They were too thin and would flex and rattle, The sound was a disaster. When I remade the boxes I raised them up into the cavern behind the back of the seat and ran them inverted so that the cone couldn’t hit the back of the seat if I didn’t measure right. I made the new box from MDF and moved a pair of 6x9s into a modified version of the original fiberglass boxes (reused the formed back but cut the rings off and reinforced the back and the new rings for 6×9) and it sounded so much better and the subs gave a great back massage.

RhettRO55 says:

-Not mounting the subwoofer enclosure to the actual vehicle.
-Improper grounding (this one can go a number of ways).
-Using different gauge wires for power and ground (UGH!!!!)
-Using wire nuts vs butt connectors/crimp connectors and or soldering iron.
-Using an ungodly amount of electrical tape behind the dash vs heat shrink.
-Stacking outputs on an amplifier and not knowing that this changes impedance.
-Using ground splitters to act as power distribution blocks (no fuses).
-Stuffing amplifiers underneath carpet or super constricted areas with NO air dissipation.
-Not hiding wires underneath trim panels.
-Using the wrong type of wire, ie using Romex solid vs actual stranded wire.
-Bridging channels on a non-bridgeable amp.
-Using the terminals of an amp (+ or -) to act as a distro block to the next amplifier (IF YOU DO THIS, STOP -INSTALLING CAR AUDIO, GO DIG DITCHES)
-Not using relays to power a large number of electronics off a single switch or remote turn on lead.
-Going by “store window numbers” and buying a 1000watt amplifier (that in truth is only 200w) and expecting it to drive 4 15s.
-The Ghetto sled situation – 6 tweeters on an amplifier and 4 subwoofers on a 1000w amp and nothing else, just tchh tcchh tchcch and booooooooooooooom rattle booooooom.
-Improper subwoofer enclosure materials – OSB is NOT for building a sub enclosure!
-Grounding an amplifier or anything aftermarket to a pre-existing ground of an interior or brake light lead.
-Wrapping power wire leads in the engine bay around potentially moving parts and or high heat output parts.
-Using fuses in series thinking it will add up to the total amount of protection.
-Bad trunk planning, installing anything that makes it almost impossible to get to the jack. Oh you may be stranded on the side of the road with a useless jack, but you’ll have groovy tunes!
– Cutting holes in car door panels and simply screwing a speaker into the hole.

I could go on … but my blood pressure is high enough. WOOOOOF!

johnny rainbolt says:

Ive seen that 10 and 15 sub combo work crazy well. It wasn’t done by a newbie… so i guess it doesn’t count

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