Is Your Vehicle Equipped To Meet The Electrical Demands Of Your New Audio Upgrade?

17 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Before installing a new car radio, navigation system or DVD player, make sure you're covering all the bases. These types of upgrades have a significant effect on the function of a vehicle's electrical system. If you fail to inspect your alternator, battery and ground strap before installing these types of upgrades, you might end up doing more harm than good.

High Output Alternator

Alternators play a key role in meeting power needs. Since the factory alternator is sized to meet the current needs of the vehicle, any upgrades might be better paired with a high output alternator.

High output systems are designed to output a greater level of amperage than factory options. There are some high output alternators that are exclusively designed to accommodate upgraded audio systems. If you fail to make this upgrade, you might not have access to the full functionality of the audio or other system due to insufficient power.

High Power Battery

Don't fall for the idea that adding a second battery is the easiest way to ensure your vehicle is equipped to support the new power needs. This type of scenario only makes sense for people who need a battery to support their electrical needs when the vehicle is on and one to meet the needs when the vehicle is powered off, such as someone who wants the ability to leave their radio on when the vehicle is off.

The more practical solution is to upgrade the existing battery to a high power option. High performance batteries can have the same voltage level of a traditional battery, but can operate at a greater capacity in terms of the amperage per hour they are able to deliver throughout the vehicle based on your needs.

Ground Strap Replacement

Prior to your install, it's a good idea to check the ground strap. The ground strap is the wire that attaches the vehicle's chassis to the negative terminal of the battery. The reason this connection is so important is because of the fact that all power sent throughout the vehicle will flow through this wire.

If the wire is showing signs of corrosion, tearing or any other defects, it's time to have it replaced. These types of imperfections can hinder the transfer of power through the wire, which isn't just vital for supporting your new additions, but existing components of your vehicle as well.

Before upgrading an electronic component in your car, consider taking your vehicle to a mechanic. After a thorough inspection, the mechanic will be able to tell you if your vehicle can support these additions and, if not, help you make any necessary adjustments.