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Where Do I Connect the Remote Wire for My Amp?

Whether you’re looking to power a set of component speakers or just want more bass in your cabin, an amplifier is a must-have.

And, if you’re looking to add an amp, you’ll need to find a place to connect the remote wire. But where do you connect the remote wire for your amp? Let’s find out.

One end of the amp remote wire should be connected to the marked “REM” terminal, and the other end to the blue with the white stripe wire coming out of the stereo harness. Another possibility is to connect the amp remote turn-on wire to the cigarette lighter or directly to the battery with an additionally installed manual switch.

As an Amazon Associate, ImproveCarAudio will receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made through the links in this article.

Tip: To connect the amp with car audio, you need quality wires. If you already have all the required wiring, that is great but if not, look at my favourite amp wires set from Knukonceptz Kolossus that I use in my car (link to Amazon)

The set consists of power, ground, remote and speaker wires, together with all connectors, and also fuse with its box, so if you need the whole package of excellent quality OFC wires, check it out.

In the article below, I will explain how to install the remote wire for your car amplifier, depending on your chosen method.

The Importance of the Remote Wire

The remote wire is an essential part of any car audio system. It’s what tells your amplifier when to turn on and off.

Without it, your amp will be constantly on or constantly off – neither of which is ideal for your car’s electrical system.

Where to Connect the Remote Wire

You can connect the remote wire for your amp in a few different places.

#1. The most common place is the head unit.

The back of the car radio is more difficult to access, especially for the factory stereos, but it does provide a clean install and a direct connection with the convenient power steering.

#2. Another popular place is the cigarette lighter.

This is easier to access than the back of the car radio, but it requires removing the lighter from the console to access the back of it.

The downside of this connection is that the amplifier will be powered even if the radio is turned off, but it will turn off with the ignition switch, so there is no risk of draining the battery when the engine is off.

#3. Finally, you can connect the remote wire to a switched power source and steer the amplifier manually.

This is often used for older installations or if the car audio needs to play with the engine turned off, but it’s not the most convenient, and you have to be careful not to drain the battery.

How to Install the Turn-on Remote Wire

Installing the remote wire is a relatively simple process. Remember to connect the remote wire to the amplifier before the main power and ground wires.

When connecting the remote wire to the amp, strip the wire’s end, so there is about a half-inch of exposed wire. Then, twist the wire around the remote terminal on the amplifier and screw it down tight.

Remote wire does not require a connector. Instead, it can be just twisted and directly plugged into the amplifier’s terminal.

The wire’s other end has to be connected to the remote wire at the stereo harness. To connect both, you need to solder them or use the butt connector.

Which Wires to Connect the Remote Wire To?

The remote wire has to be connected to the remote wire coming out of the stereo harness. This wire is usually labelled as “Remote” or “REM” and is blue with a white stripe.

The remote wire will usually be blue or white if you’re installing an aftermarket stereo. However, if you’re working with a factory stereo, the remote wire can have different colours, especially for older cars.

Once you know which wire to use, connect the two wires using a butt connector or solder them together.

How to Connect the Remote Wire to the Cigarette Lighter

Connecting the amp remote wire to the cigarette lighter is easier than to the stereo. You do not need any special tools or skills, just follow these simple steps:

#1. Start by unscrewing the cigarette lighter from the socket and removing it from the car.

#2. Then, twist the exposed wires of the remote wire around the metal contacts on the back of the cigarette lighter.

#3. Screw the cigarette lighter back into the socket.

#4. Now you can turn the engine on, and as soon as the ignition key is in the accessory mode, the amplifier should turn on automatically.

#5. If everything is working correctly, you can tuck all of the wires away and reassemble any panels or trim pieces you removed during the installation process.

What Happens if the Remote Wire Is Not Connected

If you don’t connect the remote wire, your amplifier will be constantly on, taking power and draining the battery whether you like it or not.

In some cases, it can also cause the amplifier to enter into protection mode and shut off – neither of which is ideal.

Troubleshooting Tips

When the amplifier remote turn-on wire is connected correctly, there should not be any problems, but if you’re having trouble getting your amplifier to turn on, here are a few troubleshooting tips that might help:

#1. Ensure the remote wire is connected to the correct wire at the stereo.

#2. Check all of the connections and make sure they are tight and secure.

#3. If you’re using a cigarette lighter to power the remote wire, make sure the contacts are clean and make a good connection.

#4. When connecting the remote wire to the amp directly from the battery, make sure it has a switch so you can turn the amplifier off.

Conclusion

Now that you know where to connect the remote wire for the car amplifier, you should have better control of your car audio system.

Just remember to take your time, follow the instructions, and be careful not to mix any wires. If you’re unsure about anything, it’s always best to consult a professional.