Car radio service shops offer you everything you need related to your car sound system, from a simple radio CD to a complete sound system with on-board cinema. Car service shops can supply the ideal solutions to all your needs and wishes. You just need to supply the idea and they will make it happen. You probably have seen the numerous ads available online or in magazines. In most of them, the head units are installed for free, while the audio systems are installed for $100 or more. The large chain shops can afford to offer free installation and services, but what happens with the specialty shops? Can they also follow this path? What kind of money will the car radio service ask of you to install a car stereo?
Why are there free installations and what should you expect in this case? There are indeed some free installations offered by car radio service shops. Free installations bring a lot of work and business at once, so many shops are found under pressure to finish the job fast. Rush jobs are almost synonymous to free installations. Vehicles can get damaged, wires can get cut and then you need to prove that the installer actually damaged the car. Free installations sound nice and they are a nice marketing trick to attract more customers, but you should always be cautious and check for potential problems before leaving the service shop.
Moreover, in some cases, free installation of car audio systems are offered if you buy the audio system from the shop. Even though in some cases the package might be cheaper. In some other cases, you might need to pay more for the sound system, compared to the price given by a store with electronic devices.
Typically, if you wish to replace your sound system or install car speakers, you should only pay for what you need. A good quality sound system might cost from $60-160 or even more. It all depends on what you want. If you wish to buy a sound system with a stereo equalizer and a subwoofer, the price will be obviously higher. If you need the wire harness and the in-dash kit, you should expect an average price of $50-$70 for these products as well. Unless you have a DIN sized head, you will also need a dash kit. These kits are the plastic assemblies that allow the service provider to install a DIN head unit to the non-factory opening. Usually they are not included in the free installation and could run $15-20 depending on the type, size and car make.
If you decide to install car speakers with your new sound system, you might get a discount or even a free installation. It all depends on the service shop. However, if you want to install new car speakers and you buy them individually, you will probably need to pay something between $40-$70 for the speakers and the installation.
A good service shop should ensure a factory-installed appearance and professional work at affordable prices. Do some research before agreeing with any service shop.