Since low frequencies have such long wavelengths, car subwoofers have to move a lot of air. If you try to wire your sub to the car stereo, as you do with the car speakers, it won't have enough power to move the speakers. Without a power amp, your car subwoofer is just a bowl with a large magnet. However, there are many different types of power amps, and each amp is designed to power different types of speakers and subwoofers. You can't simply pull a power amp off a shelf and assume it's going to work with your subwoofer.
How do I hook-up subs and an amp in my car?
3 Ways to Wire an Amp to a Sub and Head Unit - wikiHow
In this instructable, I will show you the whole process of installing an amplified subwoofer into a car. This process will work with most stock stereos, and all aftermarket stereos. It can be modified to work with all stock stereos, but you may need a few more parts. I will show you how to do this with an aftermarket head unit stereo. When you look at the pictures, realize that I am using an amplifier that is too small for the subwoofer. It is for demonstration purposes and it does not sound as good as it should.
How to hook up a subwoofer to a stereo system
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The first three connections are necessary in order to provide power to your new car amplifier. The remote turn-on wire can be even thinner, and it only needs to be long enough to reach your head unit from wherever you have chosen to locate your power amp. The last two types of connections involved in amp wiring are the audio inputs and outputs. If you go the former route, then you should start out by checking your manual to see what gauge power and ground cables your amp calls for.