· Should I install the player myself, or should I have it installed by a professional?
(Entry last updated on February 17th, 2002)
The Rio Car is the same size and shape as any other aftermarket stereo, and it has the same installation method and connections.
Whether or not you can install an aftermarket stereo depends on your level of expertise, on your car, and on the installation method. Before we go any further in this discussion, there is something that must be said:
Even if you have one of these installation kits, that doesn't mean the install is going to be easy. It might be easy, then again, it might not.
If you decide to install it yourself, the most important thing to remember is to get a proper installation kit from a stereo shop.
Installation kits usually consist of a wiring harness adapter (so you don't have to cut into the car's wiring and you don't have to guess at which wires to connect), and a set of dash mounting brackets and/or trim pieces (so that the stereo screws nicely into the dash without problems).
These kits can be found or ordered from any car stereo installation shop, or from mail-order companies such as Crutchfield.
Whatever you do, do not guess at the wiring of your car. You could blow fuses (or worse, fry your car's electronics) by trying to hook up 12 volt power to the wrong wire. You should always use the wiring harness adapter from the installation kit.
Your car's dash fits the player perfectly (with the install kit), and it plugs directly into your car's factory amplification system (with the necessary adapters). This is something that could be done by just about anyone in an evening, as long as you have the proper instructions (for example, a Crutchfield Master Sheet).
The player fits in the dash, but your car has no built-in amplification. So you need to either install an amplifier or daisy-chain the player to a second stereo (assuming the second stereo also fits). This requires a little bit of electronics knowledge, some skill with installing car stereos, and a significant chunk of time. If you're good at this sort of thing, plan on an entire Saturday or even an entire weekend. If you're not good at this sort of thing, then definitely pay a professional to do it.
Your car's dash requires modification to install an aftermarket stereo, and the factory stereo is highly integrated into the design of the car. This should be handled only by persons who are very experienced with this sort of thing.
In the end, it's up to you. Do you think you have the knowledge and skill to handle the task?