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Car stereo wiring confusion

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Aug 11, 2010, 1:32 PM

Post #1 of 7 (3097 views)
Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

I have a 1997 Geo Metro 4 cyl. that I just bought about a month ago. It came with an after-market radio/cd player which was wired with Band-Aids covering the connections. The dash (spedometer and such) lights and the tail lights were not working. I changed out some 15-amp fuses and got both lights working for the ride home, but they would go out when I hit a bump in the road and then come back on later. By the time I got home they were out again. Anyway, i got the bright idea that maybe the radio connections were causing the problem. So I took off the Band-Aids and tried to leave the connections the way they were and just cover them properly with electrical tape. Since then, the tail lights have worked, but the dash lights still do not work. At this point, I am considering just buying separate battery-powered lights to put in the dash, but I need to know how to properly connect the radio, because I suspect that the kid I bought it from did not do it exactly right, and I do not want to ruin something.

The radio is a Sony CDX-GT320 and here is a link to the specs:

(It is under Manuals - Installation/Connections. It's a PDF file.)

Anyway, so as you can see, from the radio there are wires with the colors: blue/white, white, white/black, gray, gray/black, green, green/black, purple, purple/black, black, blue, red, and yellow.

In the car, there is something like a three way harnass adapter, and only one of them is plugged into the wiring of the car. From it come out wires that match the ones above, plus orange and orange/white wires.

So the kid had a blue wire going out to the positive battery terminal, and he had most of the others above matched up, except he excluded the orange and orange/white wires, two or three blue wires, and one of the red wires and just Band-Aided them separately by themselves. There was one red wire connected in a bundle with the two yellow wires and one blue wire (i think the one that went out to the positive battery terminal).

As you can see, I'm pretty confused. Is there any way I can find a harnass that would just connect perfectly to each end so that I do not have to twist wires together? And if not, can you please give me an idea how to match up and connect these wires and which ones to leave separate?



Aug 11, 2010, 11:57 PM

Post #2 of 7 (3089 views)
Re: Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

It seems the person ran a wire from the battery to the stereo directly. He also connected the stereo constant and ignition wires together to that same wire. This person either didn't check for any blown fuses or burnt out the power and/or ignition wires, (the reason for the wire from the battery.)

I would disconnect the blue wire from the battery and check all your fuses for any blown ones. Also, check for power from the wire harness, it will be the yellow wire, and then turn your key on to ignition, and check the red ignition wire for power. You can use a simple light tester or a multimeter to check for power. Be sure to check all the wires for proper connections and secure them so they will not be exposed and not touch any metal parts of the car; the reason for blown fuses.

You only need to connect the yellow, red, black, white, white/black, gray,gray/black, green, green/black, purple, purple/black wires to get the stereo running properly. I would recommend at least stripping the wires and twisting them together, and secure them with crimping caps or butt-connectors. Using electrical tape will work, however, over time it tends to come loose and fall off.

Yellow - 12 volt constant
Red - 12 volt ignition
Black - ground
White - Front Left Speaker Positive
White/Black - Front Left Speaker Negative
Gray - Front Right Speaker Positive
Gray/Black - Front Right Speaker Negative
Green - Rear Left Speaker Positive
Green/Black - Rear Left Speaker Negative
Purple - Rear Right Speaker Positive
Purple/Black - Rear Right Speaker Negative
Orange - Illumination
Orange/White - Dimmer
Blue - Antenna


Aug 12, 2010, 7:28 AM

Post #3 of 7 (3082 views)
Re: Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

That helps a lot.

So, he had one red wire connected (from the stereo) into a bundle with the yellow wires. But you are saying that I should just connect the red to red and the yellow to yellow in two separate pairs, right?

And to confirm: I don't need to connect any orange, orange/white, blue, or blue/white wires?

As far as the dash lights are concerned, i am afraid that the circuit might have been fried, or else it blew a bulb or blew the dimmer switch adjuster thingy. Do you know what would be most common to happen with this?

Thanks a lot!


Aug 12, 2010, 9:42 AM

Post #4 of 7 (3076 views)
Re: Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

Yes, the yellow wire feeds constant power to the stereo, so things like radio stations and the clock wont disappear, and the red wire, is the ignition wire that turns the stereo on.

The orange, orange/white, blue and blue/white wires are for dimmer and things like power antenna and remote power turn on (for amplifier). Your car most likely does not have a power antenna and a amplifier, so you don't really need to worry about it.

As for the dimmer or illumination, that is for when you drive at night and when you turn your head lights on, it dims the stereo display so it wont be as bright at night. This can be a hassle sometimes when connecting, so I recommend not trying to connect this, as many problems can occur if you do not connect it right.

Usually, there are fuses for the dash light, interior lights, and etc. You might have to search all the fuse boxes, usually there are 2 locations, one in the engine bay and one inside the car, usually on the driver side, under the dash or on the side of the driver kick panel.

Hope that helps.


Aug 12, 2010, 8:52 PM

Post #5 of 7 (3061 views)
Re: Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

Awesome. Thanks a lot, you just saved me some bucks. I'm going to go ahead and fix it this Sunday, and then I'll send another post and let you know how it went.


Aug 15, 2010, 6:49 PM

Post #6 of 7 (3030 views)
Re: Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

Everything worked well. Thanks a lot for the advice. I matched up the wires as you said. I used screw caps for the separate wires that were not connecting with any other wire. I used cheap butt connectors that I had to crimp for the yellow and red power wires and the black ground. I used gold-plated butt connectors for the audio wires, and those were hard to crimp. Anyway, everything works great.

I was surprised though to see that some of the wires, particularly the power wires and maybe the ground, were of different size. It seemed that the power wires and the ground that came out of the stereo harness were bigger (fatter) than the ones that came from the car's harness. I hope that's not a problem.

I guess I will post the dash light problem in the car repair forum. I checked the circuit connector that connects into the dimmer adjuster dial switch thingy, and I didn't see any light come on with my circuit checker thingy, even when the car was turned on. (I bought this to check the stereo wires like you said, and both the yellow and red wires made the light come on.) Yet the fuses seem to be fine. So I don't know what that means now.
Thanks so much for the help with the radio!

New User

Oct 1, 2010, 3:20 AM

Post #7 of 7 (2973 views)
Re: Car stereo wiring confusion Sign In

Installation is one difficult thing to do at times and at other times, it may be the easiest thing to do depend on which accessory your installing.I think that you have ended up with this problem.Anyway I want to share with you some link deleted.... not allowed which help you to make installation on your own.


(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Oct 1, 2010, 3:38 AM)


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