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Questions to Ask When Getting Your Car’s Audio System Upgraded

Car interior

Installing Car Audio Equipment? Ask These Questions First

You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘there’s no such thing as a stupid question.’ That’s more true than ever when you’re getting an upgrade to your car’s audio system.

Your car and its technology matter to you, and you want to ensure that every dollar you spend on your vehicle is worth it. That’s why auto technicians are there to make everything easy for you to understand, whether you’re an automobile aficionado, or you find yourself confused by the terminology used in the world of vehicles.

When speaking with a professional technician, car owners should feel comfortable asking questions and learning about their new equipment. Read below to learn what questions to ask and things to consider as the upgrades are being performed.

READ MORE: Get Your Car Road Trip Ready with the Audio Upgrade It Deserves  

The Basics: What Parts are in a Car’s Audio System?

It’s your vehicle being worked on – so it’s totally normal to want to know more about what parts are being upgraded or added. We’ve included brief descriptions of these parts below. Still, don’t hesitate to ask your auto technician more about these upgrades.

Head Unit

The term ‘head unit’ refers to the control panel on your dashboard that is used to operate your car’s audio system. In most modern vehicles, the head unit consists of a tablet or screen that displays the time along with other information – the song you are listening to, the forecast, a GPS, or other apps.

This is an important part of your audio system because it is the component that the user actually interacts with. For that reason, your head unit should be optimized to make it appeal to you as the user.


Many pieces of audio equipment get mistakenly called a ‘speaker,’ but what actually qualifies as a speaker?

Speakers rely on amplified electrical signals to create sound. Technically, a speaker is any piece of audio equipment that converts that signal into pressure or energy that pushes an object called a ‘speaker cone’ back and forth – this vibration is what actually produces sound.


Amplifiers play the role of ‘sidekick’ to your speakers. That’s because most speakers aren’t equipped to play music or audio at loud volumes. Amplifiers boost your audio signal to a higher voltage, producing crisp and clear audio at higher volumes. Otherwise, you’ll end up with fuzzy noises coming out of your speakers.


While amplifiers boost your audio signal as a whole, subwoofers improve the sound of the audio’s bass. This is the trickiest part of the audio to work with, as low-quality bass sounds fuzzy and unpleasant when turned up without a subwoofer.

READ MORE: Does My Cars Audio System Need to Be Repaired

Questions You Should Ask

“What will the audio sound like after upgrades are complete?”

You want to make sure the audio technician you’re working with knows what they’re doing. Ask them to describe the end result of their effort. This way, you’ll ensure that there’s actually a reasonable end goal in place.

“How can I prevent damage?”

Audio technology is sensitive. One minor issue can throw off the entire quality of sound that your system produces. See what your technician can tell you about error prevention.

“What should I do if I notice damage?”

There are two great reasons to ask this question. First, you’ll learn direct tips that you can apply to ensure that your audio system can be properly cared for.

Second, you’ll learn if your installer has any warranty or maintenance options.

“What other upgrades can I get?”

Why stop at one upgrade? You might be interested in transforming your entire audio system, but you may not be aware of which options are right for you. See what your technician suggests.

“What if I want to sell my vehicle?”

It’s important to make sure that the audio upgrades you choose don’t invalidate your existing car warranty – especially if you someday plan to trade or sell your vehicle. Make sure your technician is performing upgrades that don’t violate these agreements.

“Are there any risks to getting an upgrade?”

Your technician shouldn’t reply with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – instead, they should further explain to you what to expect with this system in your vehicle, and what you should look out for.


Ultimately, having an upgraded audio system can transform your driving experience. However, you should be aware of what upgrades are being performed – especially if you’re paying! Don’t be afraid to ask your technician to explain what they’re installing or changing, as knowledge is power.

About AudioMotive

For over 10 years, AudioMotive has and continues to be, Ottawa’s premier vehicle upgrade experts. With more than 25 years of combined industry experience, we proudly specialize in all things related to HID lighting and mobile electronics sales and installation.