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How to Make a Proper Ground Connection for Your Car Audio

Learn how to make a proper ground connection in this Howcast car stereo video with expert Movin' On.


Hi my name is Movin On, and I've been working in the field of car audio and mobile electronics for 8 over years. I've installed everything from navigation systems to full car stereo systems, remote starters, alarms, and beyond. To learn more, visit our web site at

No matter what electronic device you are installing in your car, you are going to need a ground. Now, a ground is a negative electrical connection that powers up the unit and it is almost always going to end up at the chassis of the car. Now, the best place to ground is wherever is closest to the actual frame of the car, not a piece of metal standing between two pieces of the frame, the actual frame, and seat belt bolts are a perfect place for this. If you are grounding an amplifier, which is a perfect example, you can back out the seat belt bolt and get the wire underneath there and crank it back down, you are going to have pretty much have a perfect ground. Now if you can't use a seat belt bolt what you are going to want to do is find some place that's on the frame, maybe even close to the seat belt bolt, grind away the paint, and then use a star washer and a bolt of equal gage to the wire that you are grinding. Crank it down, test it for resistance, and you're good to go as you get as close to zero OHMs as possible on your OHM meter. If you are installing a small electronic device on the front of the car like a satellite radio for instance, you may want to check for an existing ground, a factory ground. The cigarette lighter is a perfect place to start. If you go to the back of the cigarette lighter there should be a power connector and there is going to be a ground wire and a power wire. If you ground to that wire, you're probably going to be ok. If you go into the left kick-panel of the car, you may even find a bundle of ground wires that are bolted directly to the chassis. If you use that same ground, you're good to go.

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