How to Wire an IR Remote Car Stereo

Written by mark slingo | 13/05/2017
How to Wire an IR Remote Car Stereo
Remote possibilities for car radios include infrared and radio frequency remotes. (car dashboard image by Jenny Thompson from

Aftermarket car stereos constantly are being updated to contain the latest features. With driver safety being a paramount concern, the ease of being able to operate the stereo in the car is important. Infrared (IR) remote controls are provided with a number of aftermarket stereos from top manufacturers to enable the driver or passengers to operate the head unit from farther away. Installing the radio is a simple procedure.

Pop the vehicle bonnet. Remove the negative cable from the car battery terminal with an adjustable wrench.

Connect the wire harness of the car, which contains the power, ground and speaker wires, to the radio. Use a wire harness adaptor specific to the vehicle to connect the new radio.

Connect the radio antenna to the new radio. Connect the thick black radio antenna cable coming from the dashboard to the designated radio antenna port on the left side of the rear of the radio.

Insert the radio into the dashboard housing. Some dashboard housings will need to be adapted to ensure that the aftermarket stereo can fit. Take care not to trap the wiring. Push the radio in fully and reassemble any parts of the dashboard that have been removed. Take care that no part of the dashboard covers the infrared receiver on the front of the radio.

Reconnect the vehicle battery. Turn on the radio.


The infrared remote only works when pointed at the stereo, with a direct line of sight.

Tips and warnings

  • The infrared remote only works when pointed at the stereo, with a direct line of sight.

Things you need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Radio installation kit
  • Wire harness adaptor

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