How to hook up a car DVD player

Written by chris moore
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How to hook up a car DVD player
(Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Many types of DVD players can be installed in a car. The three basic options are installed in the dashboard, installed in a seat headrest and mounted on the ceiling. Hooking up a DVD player in your car depends on the type you get. Reading all instructions that come with the player's installation kit is highly recommended.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Knife
  • Rubber cement
  • Wrench
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the car's negative battery cable. On most cars, the cable is clamped onto the terminal; loosen the clamp nut with an insulated wrench.

  2. 2

    Replace the car stereo with the DVD player if you have a dash mount model--pry off the trim panel bezel with a flat tool, remove the stereo's fasteners with a screwdriver or wrench, disconnect the stereo's electrical connectors and remove the unit. Install the DVD and its bracket in the dash.

  3. 3

    Cut a hole in the seat headrest if you have a headrest player. Use the player's mounting frame as a guide to carefully cut through the leather and foam with a knife, moulding the hole until the frame fits into it. Add holes that the cables will fit through and install the player in the frame.

  4. 4

    Drill a ceiling mounted DVD player into the headboard of the ceiling using a drill and the installation kit's mounting screws. These screws are often within the player's mount. Drill a hole in the headboard first so the wiring will fit through it.


  1. 1

    Route the wiring for the DVD player to the front end of the car. A dash-mounted player is already in position. For a headrest player, route the wiring down the seat's upholstery and along the floorboard. For a ceiling mount, route it behind the headboard and down the A-frame trim pillars.

  2. 2

    Connect the player's power wire--usually the yellow one--to the car's power source. Route this wire through the firewall, loosen the clamp for the battery's positive cable, fit the wire lead onto the battery terminal and tighten the clamp with your wrench.

  3. 3

    Attach the starter wire--usually the red one--to the car starter. Insert the wire lead into an available hole in the starter motor's electrical connector.

  4. 4

    Mount the ground wire--the black one--onto a good ground somewhere on the car. Find a metal screw on the chassis, loosen it enough to fit the wire lead under it and then tighten the screw with the screwdriver.

  5. 5

    Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Tips and warnings

  • Many headrest players require rubber cement to fasten the frame into the hole created in the headrest. Make sure the cement is dry and the frame is secure in the headrest before you place the player inside it.

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