Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Volvo XC90 Aftermarket Stereo Installation


If you haven't installed an aftermarket stereo into a Volvo XC90, then you may find this car audio tip helpful.

Installing New Aftermarket Stereo In Volvo XC90

Installing Aftermarket Stereo In Volvo XC90
The stereo removal is pretty easy if you need step by step direction for removal I will post a link bellow.
Along with a dash kit, you will also need an aftermarket antenna if you want to be able to get reception with your new aftermarket stereo. I will post a link to the antenna I typically use bellow.
If your going to be integrating the factory steering wheel controls you will also need a SWC interface, like the one bellow.

Installing Aftermarket Stereo In Volvo XC90
Moving on, once the stereo/ac control panel is removed you will need to separate the face of the stereo from everything els. Make sure the key is completely out of the ignition switch before disconnecting any wire harnesses. Do not place the key back into the ignition switch until you have reconnected all necessary harnesses. 

Installing Aftermarket Stereo In Volvo XC90
The main LCD display will need to be reconnected and remain in the vehicle to allow the factory components to function properly. In order to make this possible you will first need to remove the LCD display from the stereo panel. 

How To Install Aftermarket Stereo In Volvo XC90

How To Install Aftermarket Stereo In Volvo XC90
The CD changer portion of the stereo can be removed, and will no longer be used. The main LCD will need to be reconnected and set aside.

Aftermarket Stereo Installation In Volvo XC90 Power Wires
This is the CD changer harness. Other than the two orange fiber optics cables there should be three wires.
12V Constant - Violet/White 
Switched 12V - Violet
Ground - Brown
When I wired up the new stereo harness I tapped into the Violet/White for my 12V Constant at this harness, but I tapped into the cigarette outlet power for my Switched 12V and ground because I know the cigarette outlet is rated for more current.

Aftermarket Stereo Installation In Volvo XC90 Power Wires
The wires coming off the cigarette outlet harness should be,
Switched 12V - Violet
Ground - Black 

Aftermarket Stereo Installation In Volvo XC90 Factory Amp Bypass Speaker Wire Colors
Once you have connected your main power wires for your stereo, and any accessories like the power antenna, SWC interface, you will need to connect your speakers. The Volvo XC90 I installed this stereo in had what was called the eight speaker system. Some will come with the twelve speaker system, with an optional sub. If the vehicle your installing the new stereo in has the twelve speaker system you will need an additional amp to power the additional speakers. Otherwise some speakers will be lost including the factory sub. 
The speaker wires can be found back bellow where the factory stereo/ac controls mount, in the dash.
Front Left Positive - Gray/Red
Front Left Negative - Gray
Front Right Positive - Gray/Red
Front Right Negative - Gray
Rear Left Positive - Gray/White
Rear Left Negative - Gray
Rear Right Positive - Gray/White
Rear Right Negative - Gray
As you can see you will need to meter and pop the speakers with a 1.5V battery to identify what side the speaker is on.

Aftermarket Stereo Installation In Volvo XC90 Factory Amp Bypass
 After locating the speaker wires you will want to cut each pair. One side will be coming from the factory amp, the other side will be going to each set of speakers. You shouldn't need to use the side that runs down towards the factory amp under the passenger seat. The other side should be the side that runs to each set of speakers, you will want to test this side with a digital multi meter. You should get a reading of around 2ohms on each pair of speaker wires. Now depending on the stereo your installing, will depend on how you will want to wire these factory speaker to your new stereo. If your new stereo doesn't support 2ohm speakers, then you may need to wire the front left and rear left speakers in series and the front right and rear right speakers in series to get the impedance up to around 4ohms. You will lose your "Fade" in the stereos settings, along with some volume and quality but should allow you to power the factory speakers off the aftermarket stereo without adding an aftermarket amp. If you are also installing new speakers then you shouldn't have to worry about the impedance of the factory speakers.

Aftermarket Stereo Install In Volvo XC90
After you have all your wiring taken care of, you will want to place and secure the main LCD nicely bellow the stereo. I normally rap it in carpet.

Aftermarket Stereo Install In Volvo XC90
That's just about it, sometimes you will have to cut out some of the plastic behind the stereo to get it to fit in just right. One other thing you may want to be aware of is the headphone controls in the back of the vehicle will be lost. 

Volvo XC90 Air Bag Light Reset Autel AutoLink AL619 Tool

Volvo XC90 Air Bag Light Reset Autel AutoLink AL619 Tool
If you happend to trigger the AIR BAG LIGHT then you will need to get that code deleted at the dealership, or if you want to do it yourself you can purchase a diagnostics tool like this. 
It is the Autel AutoLink AL619
Anyway I hope this helps!

- JEREMY'S Car Audio Tips


33 comments:

  1. Hey Jeremy,
    Thanks for posting this write up. Question for you; What year was the XC90 you did?

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    1. No problem, thanks for checking out my site! It was a 2005.

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  2. This is fantastic! Can you include a recommendation on where you install the antenna?

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    1. Hey guys sorry for the delayed reply, I've been so busy! I mounted it on the passenger side top corner of the windshield, up against the headliner.

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  3. Hi Jeremy, I have a question please. I bought a pre-owned XC90 2005 and unfortunately the front 12v outlet is not working. After checking the fuses and found that there was nothing wrong with them, I removed the AC control unit on the cener console to check the wiring of the 12v socket in case the plug was loose, and for some reason I found that the wires were cut (only a length of about 15cm left attached). I am not sure how to reconnect them, and where should I get 12v power to reconnect the cut wires. Any suggestion? Thanks

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    1. Hi again Jeremy, would you recommend taping into the fuse box on the side of the dashboard (driver's side), should I go for the 15A fuse and get the ground from the body?

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    2. Hey Hamid, sorry to keep you waiting. You said the wires had been cut, can you find both ends? There should be two wires coming off the back of the 12v outlet, the 12v wire and the ground wire. If you can find both ends, then you should be able to slice them back together. You can use the solder/tape method, or if you get some crimp caps and a pair of crimpers you should be good to go. I don't really recommend tapping into a circuit at the fuse box, unless you know exactly what circuit it is. You don't want to accidentally tap into your ABS-SRS fuses and run into issues. If you can identify the fuses, as say the heated seats or windshield wipers you can use a fuse tap, but you won't want to pull much current from these circuits. If you need more than maybe 1-2 amps then I would recommend wiring a SPDT relay.

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  4. I did this install last fall. It was a bit challenging with the new 8 inch Alpine. I still have a few questions that maybe you could help with:

    I used the same antenna you recommended, connected it to power and put it up in the ceiling where the factory one resides but my reception is awful! Where did you place yours and did you connect it to power (and if is so where?)

    My head unit will randomly power off and then can only be restarted by turning the car off and then on again. Once this is done most setting are lost but it always comes back on just fine. Is this a power issue? I ran my switched 12v to my glove box light. My 12v constant to the CD power line. And my ground to the car frame. Where did you run your ground? Any thoughts on what may be wrong?

    THANKS in advance for the help.

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    1. Hey, I mounted my antenna to the windshield in the top passenger corner up against the headliner and powered it up. The Metra 44-UA205 is also a great antenna if your having problems with the Metra UA200. It sounds like it could possibly be a power issue, I would use the switched power and ground off your cigarette outlet. If it still shuts off, I would meter your power wires and check the harness that plugs into the stereo. If all is good, then I would say there is something wrong with your stereo or maybe even the way your speakers are wired. If the speakers are wired to 2ohms then your stereo maybe going into protection mode.

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  5. Any news on the reversing sensors? I'm guessing they're integrated into the stock system :(.

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    1. Yeah, unfortunately as of now if the vehicle is equipped you will lose them. I was working with a buddy to try and see if we could get them integrated. We have a couple ideas, but we haven't had the time to try them yet. I will definitely keep you posted!

      Thanks,
      - Jeremy

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  6. Have you actually used the Axxess ASWC with XC90 and had it work? We're looking to do an aftermaket radio, but everywhere we looked has said it's incompatible with the XC90's (we're an 04, but the compatibility charts show the same for the 05)

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  7. I really believe you will do much better in the future I appreciate everything you have added to my knowledge base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.

    Car entertainment unit & Toyota car DVD player

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  8. I have been a regular visitor of this site and I love reading blogs posted here. They are truly very well written, precise and to the point. Thanks.BMW GPS DVD player & Mazda GPS DVD player

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  9. Hi, I have a 2006 xc90 and the radio and everything works fine except for the display so i cant see which station i am on or any of the other options i can just scan stations or use the presets and switch to CD mode. volvo says the only way to fix this is a new system which is $600. (this was over the phone with my description they didnt look at it) is there anyway to JUST replace the display?

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  10. Hey, Jeremy. Thanks for this detailed page. Can you tell me:does the 2005 XC90 stereo use a standard antenna input? I want to install an auxiliary jack (iSimple Is31), but it needs to plug inline to the antenna.

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  11. Hi Jeremy, I don't know if my first message went tru. Anyway, first you did a great job on this step by step installation.I got a 2005 xc90 and I'm planing to replace the radio also. But this car came with headrest DVD facing 2nd row. If I'm going to replace the stereo, is the audio still work on the DVD or this DVD has his own seperate connection on the speaker? thank you in advance.

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  12. Have you ever had a problem with feedback when running the wires back to the amp

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  13. Hello, thanks for your turtorial. I own a 2006 XC90 with factory audio set. If I replace the OEM stereo, what is going to happen with rear parking sensors? Will they beep as usual or what?
    Thanks in advance. Adam

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  14. Let us commence a journey into the much travelled topic of Amplifier OEM and aftermarket repair. Underestimate Amplifier OEM and aftermarket repair at your peril. While it has been acknowledged that it has an important part to play in the development of man, it is yet to receive proper recognition for laying the foundations of democracy.

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  15. This is great information. I replaced my non-operational XC90 stereo with a 3rd party receiver with confidence. A local car audio store would charge $300 labor for the job. The bonus is the AUX and USB functions that were not available on the original stereo. But since the new receiver only supports 4 channels, I lost the center speakers on the car.

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  16. Especially thankful for the tip that the LCD panel needs to be kept. Great tip!

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  17. Thanks Jeremy. I did everything step by step, finally I got rid of the ugly factory radio, didn't take me that long after flowing all your advices.

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  18. Jeremy - thanks for the detailed info!

    Thinkoutside and others -

    Does a double DIN unit fit OK?

    Any loss of factory controls/features? (I read about the parking sensors)

    Anyone know if this works for 2006-2014 XC90s? I found this which makes me think it should:

    http://www.carid.com/2006-volvo-xc90-stereo-installation/metra-stereo-dash-kit-14756066.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiA-aujBRDqj772vpGfgooBEiQAzWAZUq9s4vO5Vat1yVYX9RVVcdm0A7kIQ9wnRwHM8BdtL6caAvrK8P8HAQ

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  19. I only want to replace the factory amp. Do I need to run speaker wires from the back of the stereo?
    I did not get the speakers information.

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  20. Hey, thanks so much for these car audio tips! I also really appreciated that you included a link with instructions for stereo removal. You mentioned that you removed the CD changer portion of the stereo. Is that necessary with this project, or can the CD changer be left alone?
    Megan | http://safeandsoundalaska.com

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  21. Thanks for this blog it was very helpful to findout car stereo systems

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  22. if I have this radio as pictured on metra http://metraonline.com/files/products/INST99-9225_web.pdf in my 07
    xc90 do I only have to leave the LCD in car and disconnect everything else.Right now the display turns on for a few seconds premium sound system then shuts off http://metraonline.com/files/products/INST99-9225_web.pdf
    Any suggestion of what radio to put in I prefer square 4-6 inches I don't need cd player

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  23. Hey, thanks for this awesome info. I was giving up even thinking about upgrading my stereo in my 2005 XC90 but you gave me the push. Even though this was by far the biggest pain in the neck install I ever encountered in my 50 years, I installed an awesome Double Din Kenwood with new front and rear component speakers, SiriusXM radio, SWC interface, Backup Cam..etc. I just wanted to give you all an update as to what to do and not to do if you try this:
    1) All the speakers are 2 ohm (as Jeremy stated) and you SHOULD replace all four speakers.
    2) Front speakers are component (separate Woofer and tweeter, while rear door are integrated. If you wish component in the rear, you will have to cut a hole in the door to accommodate (which I did, it's really nice)
    3) All speakers are riveted in. You may want to buy some ring spacers after you drill out and pop the rivets to remove the woofers. Try these (Universal 1/2 Inch Plastic Depth Ring Adapter/ Spacer for 6.5" Car Speakers)
    4) Being that there is not wiring harness for this car, you are only operating with the length of wire that came with the radio. Some wires will be to short to make it to the radio once wired in (especially when you cut into the speaker wires if you are not using an amp bypass like Jeremy suggests). The way around this is to make at least all of the speaker and power wires longer from the radio harness - at least 1 foot extra to give you wiggle room when installing the head unit and positioning the parts in the dash.
    5) All of the Metra internal antenna's - powered or otherwise - really suck! I mean BAD. I practically had to position it on the middle of the front window to pick up any local station. I scrapped all of the interal powered antenna ideas and bought a roof antenna and ran the wire with my Sirius antenna wire. They now sit next to each other on my roof and work awesome. Try some options before you commit if you plan to use the radio, especially if it has HD radio.
    6) If you plan to run a backup camera - even in the future - do two things. But a short video out cable (will cost you a buck) and get a spool with about 15 feet of 18-20 gauge wire and hook it to the reverse gear wire on the stereo harness. Hide this under the passenger side kick panel after the radio is installed so you don't have to pull the radio to install the backup cam. The spool of wire is to hook to the backup light power because it is almost impossible to decipher the backup gear power under the dash on this stupid car :( Also, I hooked up a small line conditioner capacitor to the power line to the backup camera itself. This is because the power is pulsed from the computer so it can check it when the bulbs are out. The capacitor evens out the power so and prevents the picture from getting interference.
    7) I used a Metra Double Din kit for my dash install and it did not accomodate some of the screws that were supposed to hold in the top of the climate control panel. I had to really work at getting it to stay in by setting up a bracket system. Do a dry run with you dash kit before trying to complete the install to see if everything jives.
    8) I did a great job not setting off the SRS airbag light until the very last step when I unplugged the climate control harness plug from the back of the unit to re-position things while the key was in. Just Hide your keys while reassembling everything...best bet :)
    Anyway, hope these tips help! Lessons learned on my end. Send any questions and I hope I can answer. Thanks again Jeremy - awesome stuff! I anyone wants a list of parts, let me know.

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    1. Thanks for the breakdown Peter this really helped out along with Jeremy's breakdown. I have the same year and model car 2005 XC90 and a double din Pioneer radio thats been sitting in my garage for months because I didn't want to spend the $500 to get it installed.
      I'm going to give it a try this weekend and see how it goes, only thing I'm not going to change the speakers I'm fine with the ones thats in there. What roof antenna did you use and how did you install it?

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  24. This post was from 2013 but in 2016 it is still helping people! Thank you for your great guide. I just swapped out my factory stereo with a Kenwood DDX23BT and it all went without a hitch largely due to your very accurate and clear guide.

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  25. Hello Jeremy.
    Just to let you know how much I appreciate the good material you gave us here. Thanks to you my day, this day went out without stress.
    Thank you very much.

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