Car Stereo Rewiring: Cost, Factors, and Savings

Are you tired of your car stereo’s lackluster performance and considering a rewiring job? You’re in the right place to learn the cost and benefits of this upgrade.

The cost to rewire a car stereo typically ranges from $150 to $600, depending on various factors like complexity, quality of materials, and labor rates. For example, a basic rewiring job may cost around $200, while a more complex setup could reach up to $600.

Read on to learn why rewiring your car stereo is a valuable investment, the factors affecting the cost, and tips to maximize your stereo’s performance, all while saving money in the process.

black car stereo turned on

Why Rewire Your Car Stereo?

Rewiring your car stereo can breathe new life into your audio system, providing you with enhanced sound quality, increased power handling, and the ability to add advanced features such as Bluetooth connectivity and GPS navigation. 

Over time, factory-installed wiring can degrade or become insufficient for your upgraded components, resulting in poor performance and even potential damage to your equipment. 

By investing in a rewiring job, you’re not only ensuring a safer and more reliable setup but also optimizing your listening experience for a more enjoyable ride. 

Remember, selecting the right wiring and components specific to your car’s needs is crucial for achieving the best results.

Upgrading your audio system can be as rewarding as investing in other vehicle modifications, such as an IS300 2JZGTE swap or a 6.7 Cummins engine rebuild.

How Much Does Rewiring a Car Stereo Cost?

The cost of rewiring a car stereo can vary greatly depending on several factors. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the costs you may encounter:

  1. Wiring and components: $30 – $200
    • Basic wiring kits: $30 – $50
    • Premium wiring kits (thicker gauge, higher quality materials): $50 – $200
  1. Labor cost: $100 – $300
    • Hourly labor rate: $50 – $100
    • Time required: 2 – 3 hours for a basic setup, up to 6 hours for a more complex job
  1. Optional upgrades:
    • Bluetooth integration: $50 – $150
    • GPS navigation system: $150 – $600
    • Amplifiers: $50 – $500
    • Extra speakers: $30 – $300 per pair

Based on these estimates, a simple rewiring job with basic materials can cost as low as $150, while a more complex setup with premium wiring and optional upgrades may go up to $1,500 or more. 

Remember that these costs can vary depending on your location, the complexity of your audio system, and the specific components you choose, similar to the varying costs of other car modifications like bagging a car or an LS swap for a 350Z.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Rewiring?

Several factors can impact the cost of rewiring your car stereo, including:

1. Complexity of the audio system.

A simple stereo system with basic speakers requires less time and effort, leading to lower costs. In contrast, a more intricate system with amplifiers, subwoofers, and additional speakers will require more work, raising the price.


  • Basic setup with 2 factory replacement speakers – $150
  • Complex setup with 4 component speakers, a 4-channel amplifier, and a 12-inch subwoofer – $600

2. Quality of materials

Higher-quality wiring and components often come with a higher price tag but can significantly improve your stereo’s performance and durability.


  • Basic wiring kit with 16-gauge speaker wire and standard connectors – $30 
  • Premium wiring kit with oxygen-free copper 12-gauge speaker wire and gold-plated connectors – $200

3. Labor rates

Depending on the region and shop, labor rates can range from $50 to $100 per hour. A professional installation may be more expensive, but it ensures a proper setup that maximizes performance and minimizes the risk of damage.


  • 2 hours of labor at a local garage charging $50/hour – $100
  • 4 hours of labor at a specialized car audio shop charging $100/hour – $400

4. Optional upgrades

Adding features like Bluetooth, GPS navigation, or extra speakers will increase the total cost, but they can enhance your driving experience.


  • Bluetooth integration using a basic adapter – $50
  • GPS navigation system with touchscreen display, voice-guided directions, and traffic updates – $300

These factors will help you make informed decisions when planning your car stereo rewiring project, ensuring you get the best value for your investment.

DIY vs. Professional Installation: What’s Best?

Deciding between a DIY approach or professional installation for your car stereo rewiring largely depends on your skill level, budget, and the complexity of your audio system.

DIY installations can save you money on labor costs, and there are plenty of online tutorials and guides available to help you through the process. 


However, if you lack experience or proper tools, such as wire strippers, crimpers, or a soldering iron, attempting a DIY project could lead to mistakes, damage to your vehicle, or suboptimal results. 

A typical DIY rewiring job might take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours for someone with moderate experience, but this timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the system and your familiarity with the process.

Professional installation, on the other hand, ensures your car stereo rewiring is done correctly and efficiently, maximizing your system’s performance and minimizing the risk of damage. 

Professionals have the expertise, tools, and experience to tackle even the most complex setups, which might involve integrating multiple amplifiers, subwoofers, and component speakers, as well as advanced features like Bluetooth and GPS navigation.

While professional installation may cost more upfront, it often provides peace of mind and a guarantee on the work performed. A DIY project could be a rewarding experience for those who enjoy hands-on work and learning new skills, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you’ve personally improved your vehicle’s audio system.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your individual circumstances, skill set, and budget. If you’re confident in your abilities, have the necessary tools, and are willing to invest the time, a DIY project could be a cost-effective and fulfilling option. However, if you’re unsure or want the best possible results, a professional installation may be the right choice for you.

How Can You Save Money on Rewiring?

Saving money on rewiring your car stereo is possible with some smart shopping and planning. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Shop around for components. Compare prices from different retailers and online stores to find the best deals on wiring kits, speakers, and other components. Look for sales, discounts, or bundle deals to save money on your purchase.
  2. Choose the right materials. Opt for cost-effective yet reliable wiring materials that suit your needs. For example, you may not require a premium wiring kit if you have a basic audio setup.
  3. DIY installation. If you have the skills, tools, and confidence, performing the rewiring job yourself can save you on labor costs. Just ensure you follow proper guidelines and safety precautions.
  4. Get multiple quotes. If you prefer professional installation, obtain quotes from several local shops or technicians to find the best price and service for your needs.


Can I upgrade my car stereo without rewiring?

In most cases, upgrading your car stereo without rewiring is not possible or advisable. Upgrades like adding an amplifier or a subwoofer require additional wiring, which may not be present in your factory system.

How long does it take to rewire a car stereo?

The time required to rewire a car stereo depends on the complexity of the audio system and whether you’re performing a DIY installation or hiring a professional. A basic system may take a few hours, while a more intricate one could take up to a full day.

Are there any risks to rewiring my car stereo?

There are risks associated with rewiring your car stereo, such as damaging the electrical system, causing a fire, or voiding your vehicle’s warranty. However, if you follow proper guidelines, take safety precautions, and hire a professional installation, you can minimize these risks.

Can I add extra speakers during the rewiring process?

Adding extra speakers during the rewiring process is possible, but it depends on the system’s compatibility and available power. Consult with a professional installer or the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine if adding extra speakers is feasible and safe.

  • Alex

    Alex is the founder and driving force behind the blog you're reading. As a lifelong spender with a keen eye for making informed financial decisions, he's dedicated to analyzing the economy and digging deep into online data for valuable insights. With a passion for sharing financial wisdom, he equips readers with practical advice and useful tips for a better financial future. In his free time, Alex enjoys the outdoors and a good book.