Adding a CD changer to your car's aftermarket stereo system lets you keep a library of discs on tap that you can listen to without having to go through the bother of changing discs when you're driving. CD changers are designed with installation flexibility so that they can be placed in a variety of locations in your car. Aftermarket CD changers are designed to operate with matching brands of car stereo--for example, a Kenwood CD changer is controlled by a Kenwood car stereo. When the changer is installed and connected to the stereo, you'll control all CD changer functions from the stereo's controls.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- CD changer
- CD changer mounting hardware (included with the changer)
- Compatible aftermarket receiver
Pick the location for your CD changer. You'll want to pick a location that offers both ease of access for when you want to change the selection of discs, yet also keeps the changer out of the way so it doesn't interfere with your normal usage of the car's storage space. The changer will be connected to the car stereo with an included cable, which should be of sufficient length for almost any car mounting location.
Install the CD changer's mounting hardware. The CD changer will come with a set of brackets, typically designed so you can mount the changer in one of three ways--horizontally (flat), vertically, or hanging (for example, in the boot underneath the package shelf.) Drill small holes for the brackets in the location you want to mount them, and then screw the brackets in place with the included sheet metal screws.
Route the changer control cable (included with the changer) from your car stereo to the changer location. The cable must be plugged into a port on the back of the car stereo, so you'll need to pull the stereo out of the dash. The methods for doing this vary depending upon the car the stereo is installed in--reverse the installation method for the car stereo to access the rear of the stereo. Most CD changers are installed in the boot or rear of the vehicle, so place the cable underneath the car's carpet by removing the door's "scuff plate," peeling the carpet back, and laying the cable underneath it.
Plug the cable into the port on the changer. This is usually on the side of the changer.
Set the angle adjustment on the changer. This is a switch or knob on the changer that should be set to match the changer's mounting angle. For example, a changer mounted horizontally would have the switch set to 0 degrees, while one placed vertically will be set to 90 degrees.
Put the changer into the brackets, and screw it in place with the included mounting screws. Your installation is complete.
Installing the Changer
Tips and warnings
- Not all car stereos and CD changers of the same brand are compatible. Be sure to check the specs of your car stereo and CD changer to be sure they'll work together as one unit.
- Some new changers will have a "transport screw" installed that prevents the CD mechanism from moving when the changer is being shipped. It's usually painted red and tagged. Remove it before attempting to use the changer.
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