Where To Connect The Remote Wire For A Car Amplifier? [5 Options]

When upgrading your car’s audio system, installing a car amplifier can significantly enhance the sound quality and overall listening experience.

However, to ensure the amplifier operates correctly, it needs a remote wire connection. It is important to connect the remote wire to the rightful place to avoid wiring faults, which could lead to system malfunctioning.

You probably don’t know, but there are multiple options, or rather, methods to connect the remote wire of a car amp. Well, this article explains where to connect the remote wire for a car amplifier. You can connect the wire to your car’s fuse box, head unit remote output, or the amp power terminal.

What Is A Remote Wire?

A remote wire is a small-gauge wire that serves as a “control signal” for the car amplifier. When you turn on the car stereo’s head unit, it is the remote wire that sends voltage signals to the amplifier to power it on, too. So, it is basically a “switch” that turns the car amp on/off when you turn the car’s ignition on or off. 

Where To Connect The Remote Wire For A Car Amplifier [5 Options]

Option 1: Using the Remote Output of the Head Unit

This is practically the commonest way many car owners connect their amplifier’s remote wire. In this method, you have to connect the wire to the car stereo’s head unit – to the remote wire output port. Hereunder are the steps to achieve this:

  • Look on the head unit and find the color-coded remote output wire port. It should be labeled “remote” or “rem.”
  • Strip a small part of the remote wire’s insulation – towards the tip – and connect it to the remote wire port you’ve identified on the amplifier. You may want to use an electrical connector or solder the wire into place.
  • When the connection is done, use insulation tape to cover the place to prevent any tendency of short circuits.

Note: Not all head units have a “Remote” output port, so if you can’t find it on your car’s head unit, try other “Options” below.

Option 2: Tapping into the Ignition Switch

This method allows the remote wire to receive power when the ignition key is turned on; it is a viable method for people whose vehicles do not come with a head unit that offers a remote wire output. Here’s how to get it done. 

  • Check your vehicle’s wiring diagram to find out which is the ignition wire. Typically, the wire should be labeled “ignition” or “ACC” (accessory).
  • Then, strip a small section of the ignition wire’s insulation and the remote wire. Twist the ends of both wires together tightly.
  • Use a shrink tube or insulation tape to cover the exposed wire (the place you twisted). 

Note: This method will turn on the amplifier immediately after the ignition is turned on. But then, if this connection is not made perfectly, it could cause serious electrical faults. 

Option 3: Using a Fuse Tap

A fuse tap market helps you connect more electrical components to an existing fuse slot. Taking advantage of this, you can create an easily reversible connection for the remote wire. Well, it may sound complicated, but here’s how to get started: 

  • Choose a fuse slot that powers a circuit controlled by the ignition switch – check your car’s manual or fuse box diagram to know the exact one you should work with. 
  • Insert the fuse tap into the “selected” fuse slot, and make sure it fits perfectly. 
  • Now, connect the remote wire to the fuse tap’s remote wire input terminal. That’s all.

Note: When you use a fuse tap, you can always disconnect the remote wire at any time without going through a rigorous procedure or making any other wiring connections. But you should make sure you’re connecting the tap to the right fuse.

Option 4: Using a Remote Turn-On Module

This could be your preferred method because it is literally a simplified installation process. But then, you have to purchase a remote turn-on module. This device eliminates the need to locate and connect the remote wire manually. So how do you not connect your amp’s remote wire? Let’s see.

  • Look out for a suitable mounting location for the remote turn-on module, ensuring it’s close to the amplifier and easily accessible.
  • Connect the remote wire from the amplifier to the input terminal of the remote turn-on module. Then, connect the output terminal of the module to the amplifier’s remote wire input.
  • Turn on the module by plugging its power wire into a fused power source, such as the battery or an auxiliary power distribution block.

Note: Most turn-on modules can generate signals from any voltage source more than +0.8V. So, even a speaker wire can be used to power your remote. Using a turn-on module simplifies the installation process for less experienced car audio enthusiasts, and it’s reliable. 

Option 5: Wiring to a Dedicated Remote Wire Output

While you won’t find the feature on older cars, most new vehicles are built with a dedicated remote wire output. This means you don’t have to make any further connections – simply connect your remote wire.

  • Find the dedicated remote wire output on your car (you can refer to your vehicle’s wiring diagram to know the port). However, it is often found in the vehicle’s fuse box or wiring harness.
  • Connect your remote wire to the dedicated remote wire output and cover any exposed wires. 

Connecting the remote wire for a car amplifier is an important step to ensure the amplifier performs optimally as expected.  Apparently, one of the methods explained above will work out for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Gauge Wire Should I Use for the Remote Wire?

The remote wire is typically a small-gauge wire, such as 18 or 20 AWG (American Wire Gauge). This gauge is sufficient for transmitting the low-current signal needed to power the amplifier. Check your amp’s owner’s manual for the OEM-recommended wire gauge.

Can I Connect Multiple Amplifiers to a Single Remote Wire?

Yes, you can connect multiple amplifiers to a single remote wire. But before you do that, confirm that the remote wire can handle the combined current draw of all the connected amplifiers. If you’re unsure of the wire’s capability, consider using a relay or distribution block for the multiple amplifiers.

Is It Necessary to Use a Remote Wire For Every Amplifier Installation?

Yes, it is vital to use a remote wire for every amplifier installation. The remote wire connection helps to ensure that the amplifier powers on and off along with the car’s ignition, preventing unnecessary power consumption and extending the amp’s life.


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