It’s likely that you already have a complete arsenal of tools lying around. It doesn’t matter who you are; it’s necessary to have at least one hammer, some screwdrivers, plus an adjustable wrench. If you are a do-it-yourself audio enthusiast, you will also find that you need unique tools for those minor adjustments and installations. Instead of paying someone else to do it, you can simply reach into your car audio toolbox and find the gear to get the job done.
The fact that the car audio installation profession is declining at a steady rate only proves that you want to tackle these projects yourself. Thankfully, you can. You just need the right equipment.
Car Audio Tools You Already Have
Many of you will already have some of these items, while you will have to purchase the others to complete your toolbox. Let’s start with what you probably already have on hand.
Because Torx screws are found on many dash and door panels, you don’t want to be without the right tools. These star-type screws feature a unique six-point pattern. Thankfully, you can buy a set of screwdrivers in varying sizes, so you’ll never have trouble removing the pesky screws again.
Even in the middle of the day, replacing a speaker or car stereo often feels like you’ve been a part of a solar eclipse. It never fails that you have to reach far into your vehicle to get one last screw. Not only does a powerful flashlight help you get those screws out, but it also enables you to find the ones you drop, because it always seems to happen.
For the most versatility, and to keep your hands free, look for a headlight flashlight that can be worn during installation. Sure, you will look like a miner, but it beats holding a light while you are trying to work.
There will be moments when you notice a smudge or smear on the door panel you just worked on. Sure, it won’t be nearly as bad as working in an auto repair shop, but you must still be prepared. You can keep an old towel or t-shirt in your car audio toolbox to wipe up the mess, or invest in some shop towels.
You can also use the shop rag to remove the hand cranks on manual car windows. We all know how much of a pain they can be!
Car Audio Tools You Might Need
Aside from these everyday household items, there are seven more specialized tools you might need to purchase. For the most part, you will only use these when working on car stereos, so they might sit around in between tasks.
Trim Panel Tools
You have probably used a screwdriver at one time to pry off panels or trim, but you didn’t need to. In fact, several reputable companies make trim panel tool kits that work perfectly for taking off doors, trim and panels.
The unique construction won’t damage your automotive finish, so there’s no evidence left behind of the work you have done. Plus, the kit fits nicely in your car audio toolbox. You can purchase the essentials or buy kits that have hundreds of parts – it’s up to you.
Many people working on car stereos don’t know how to solder. That’s okay. With today’s assortment of products, you no longer need to. When the time comes to connect the car stereo and wiring, you don’t want to rely on electrical tape.
Instead, look for connectors that don’t require soldering. With this multi-pack of connectors, you simply need a heat gun to finish the installation. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Plus, you are guaranteed a waterproof seal.
We’ve all seen the videos of people attempting to fish electrical wires from one end to another, but it usually ends up in disaster. Whether you are working on a car stereo or you want to set up a new home theater, you need a way to get the wire from Point A to Point B.
This wire worm tool is simple to use. You tape your wire to the one end and then fish it through the carpeting or under the dash. You can also push it behind panels. This particular tool is constructed out of rigid nylon and measures 48-inches long. It will remain straight, but it also flexible so you won’t struggle with the corners. Plus, it doesn’t scratch up the car interior.
Universal Back Straps
Changing the door speakers is a cinch, but replacing those tweeters can be a different story. You will find that there is rarely a stock mounting bracket available to hold that tweeter. That’s why you want to have universal back straps on hand.
Not only is the design pliable, but there are multiple holes included, so you can cut and shape the fit to securely hold your tweeter in place. There’s a second use for these back straps as well. Consider using them to support the back of your aftermarket receiver.
Hook Tool Set
Reach behind the dash panel and bezels with ease when you have an assortment of hooks to get the job done. This hook tool set comes with a variety of bends, for a multitude of applications. In fact, you might not want to store it in your car audio toolbox, because you can find many other purposes for it around the home.
How many screws have you dropped while working on your car stereo? You probably don’t even know how many times it has happened. With a powerful magnet in hand, you don’t have to try fishing that screw out of a tight space any longer. Just direct the magnet at it and retrieval becomes easier than ever.
You will need a versatile stripping and cutting tool to work with your car audio system. Look for a design that is compact enough to work in tight areas, but also comfortable to hold. This is another tool that will likely end up inside of your home for other projects.
What Should You Use for the Car Audio Toolbox
You don’t have enough equipment to justify a full-blown car audio toolbox, but you need something to hold your gear in. We often recommend purchasing a small tool bag instead. In addition to that, you could add-on a small organizer for the little parts. Otherwise, they might get lost inside of your bag.
We do know one thing for certain; it isn’t challenging to perform your own car stereo installation and repairs. You just need to have the right gear. What are some tools you have found invaluable during your jobs? Let us know!