When installing a new stereo or fixing an electrical issue with your stereo, you’ll need to know the correct colors to avoid any problems.
Fear not, though; in this article, we’ll outline all the Ford stereo wiring color codes so you can crack on your project.
In summary, see the core color codes in the table below:
|Red||+12V ignition On||Yellow / Green|
|Yellow||+12V Battery Constant||Orange/ Black (Thick)|
|Black||-12 Negative / Ground||Black / Green|
|Blue /White||External Amplifier|
|Orange||Illumination||Orange / Black|
|Orange / White||Dimmer||N/A|
This video also walks through typical Ford stereo wiring codes. Although it is about a Ford Focus, other Ford vehicles should follow the same format.
Main Ford Stereo Wiring Color Code – Explained
Here are the main wire colors and the corresponding explanation of how and what they are used for.
The red wire is the 12V ignition on the wire. This will provide power to the stereo when the key is turned.
The yellow wire is usually the 12V battery constant (Regardless of whether the key is turned or not). This supplies power to the radio and parts of the system. It can be connected to the battery or via a fuse panel.
It’ll help the radio save things like the time or the last song played.
The black wire is the 12V negative ground wire. In many places, this is commonly known as an “earth” or “ground wire”, usually connected to the solid frame of the car.
This wire’s purpose is to create a path for the voltage to flow through. Without this wire, your Ford stereo would be useless and not work.
The blue wire is often used for power antenna (if you have one).
The best way to find this wire is simply to trace it back from the antenna.
The blue/white wire is usually used to hook it up to an external amplifier.
The orange wire is usually for the light in your stereo (illumination).
The lighting on your stereo is often thanks to this.
The Orange/White wire allows for dimming. With this, you should be able to dim the lights on your stereo and stop distracted driving from the screen’s brightness.
The brown wire is for “phone mute.” This enables the sound of the stereo to change when receiving calls.
Without this, it’d probably be unbearable for the person on the other end of the phone!
*Please note the wiring diagrams and color codes may not be 100% accurate and should only be used to guide your decision-making process.
Additionally, not all cars will have every single wire. For instance, older models are likely not to have external amplifiers (Blue/white) or “phone mute” (brown), so don’t be surprised if they’re missing.
Example Wiring Diagrams
Here are some examples of wiring diagrams for various ford vehicles.
1998 Ford F150
2001 Ford Taurus
Ford Stereo Wiring Color Code for Speakers
Speakers will have a whole other set of wires. Here are some important things to note regarding this:
- The cables with the stripes / two colors are ALL negative
- The wires with solid colors are ALL positive
To get the best sound quality, you must ensure the positive wires are hooked up to the positive terminals, and the negative wires are connected to the negative terminals.
Ford Stereo Wire Color Saftey
An essential factor to remember is that exposure to heat and the age of the wire can change the color. For instance, a white wire can fade to yellow, so make sure you take your time so incorrect colors do not deceive you.
Also, disconnect your battery before disconnecting or messing with the wires. That’ll prevent you from getting a shock!
Hopefully, now you can more confidently make changes to your car stereo wires with the knowledge of what they are and where some of them are.
For instance, if your Ford F150 radio isn’t working, the wiring could be one of the many reasons. Rest assured, you’ll now likely know which wire that could be.