factory wiring harness ford radio wire harness color codes

How often have you found a factory wiring harness ford radio wire harness at a local auto parts store only to discover it has no color code or label? I am going through my old repair manuals to see if I can find any info on wire colors to match these connectors. Can you tell me what they are called and where I might find them without opening the car up? 

The most common way to identify wires is by using color codes. Every wire has a specific color that identifies its function. Some manufacturers have undergone to great lengths to ensure that their products conform to national standards.

Wires and cables typically carry electrical power from one component to another in a vehicle. They connect batteries and other components such as motors, sensors, and control boxes in cars.

These electrical connections can be identified by color-coding. For example, red represents positive voltage, blue represents negative voltage, black represents the ground, and yellow represents neutral. If you want to get acquainted more with automotive wiring, check out our article. 

Is It Simple to Install Radio Wire Harnesses?

An aftermarket wire harness that clamps into the original harness you removed off the rear of the factory stereo during its disassembly is required when introducing a new car radio into your vehicle.

When you connect a wire harness for your audio, you’re simply allowing the flow of the electrical circuit. Use the right tools for your connection, such as solder or “crimp caps.”

Crimp caps are readily available at your local vehicle audio store. Soldering is a little more tricky; you’ll be using a scorching soldering iron to melt lead-free solder into the wiring connection.

For first-timers, installing an aftermarket vehicle radio might be intimidating, but it becomes a lot easier once you get the hang of it. Knowing the wire colors is the key to a sound installation. 

In a car stereo, what color wires go together?

There was a period when the color code differed from one brand to the next and even from one model to the next. Automobiles are typically built to a standardized car stereo wire color in today’s world.

In most circumstances, a schematic should be included with the upgraded stereo and your vehicle. Stick to the standardized aftermarket radio wire colors if you can’t find a label.

These wires may be classified into four categories based on their intended use. Let’s get started. 

Ground Wire

The ground wire is the one black wire that runs through all of the audio cables.

Power Wire

Power cables are a total of 3 in number. The yellow wire provides a steady 12V supply, the red wire for attachments, and the orange wire encompassing white stripes is for the dimmer or lights.


The speakers will come in four different stereo wire colors, each of which will be available in two different variations: solid and striped. The gray wire with black stripes, for example, is the meant for right front speaker, whereas the gray cable with black stripes is the (+) for the same speaker.

The white cables go to the left front speaker, the purple wires to the right rear speaker, whereas the green wires are for the left rear speaker.

Amplifier & Antenna Wires

The antenna is connected to the blue wire, and the amplifier is connected to the blue wire with white stripes.

What Is The Best Way To Locate The Correct Wiring Harness?

Believe me when I say that finding the right harness for your car is not an art, and you don’t require a specialized degree to accomplish it. Note that there are several things you need to know before finding out.

You should know who they are if you don’t already. They’re all about your car and the alternatives it has or doesn’t have.

What is the model year of your car?

What is the model and brand of your car?

Do you have a factory-amped system in place?

Do you already have the aftermarket radio?

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What does a factory wiring harness mean?

A factory wiring harness is a collection of wires connecting various components inside a vehicle. The factory wiring harness is designed to provide power to the car’s electrical system and carry signals between the various electronic devices.

  1. What are the 2 types of factory wiring harness?  

Factory wiring harnesses come in two types: the original factory wiring harness and aftermarket wiring harness. The difference lies in whether they are compatible with the vehicle’s original equipment (OE) wiring harness. 

  1. What is the purpose of an additional wiring harness?

The wire harness adapter you want is particular to your vehicle’s year, make, and model. Even more remarkable is that it uses the same CEA wiring color codes as indicated in the image above. All you have to do is link them by matching their colors.

The Bottom Line 

Once you understand what aftermarket radio wire colors imply, installing aftermarket audio becomes easier. The use of a harness will also assist you in getting through this with ease. We strongly advise you to be cautious while selecting gear for your vehicle.

It’s critical to have a harness that fits both the head unit and the aftermarket stereo as you won’t be able to get both to work otherwise.