CHOOSING THE BEST INSTALLER
So, you are going to buy an alarm or car stereo or have something else installed in your car? Most folks spend a lot of time comparing specs and prices to make a good decision and get the right sound or performance for their car. Most folks do not compare the specs on the installer that ends up doing the work on their precious car. When i was a kid i remember reading where some stereo expert said "The system is only as good as it's worst component" In the last 40 plus years i have never found this quote to be untrue. This means if you have speakers that sound bad the whole system sounds bad, no matter how good your amp is. It means if you have a bad sounding CD player then the whole system sounds bad no matter how good your speakers are! and so fourth.!! In the world of Car electronics, this includes your installer!! If the installer installs your top of the line speakers *out of phase* then the system will likely sound bad! If the installer does not correctly connect the radio or amplifier then the system could sound bad! If the installer does not install your Security system correctly you could be STRANDED some where.
Does your installer have the correct tools?
There are special and unique tools needed for many of the cars we do. If an installer does not have the special radio or dash removal tool, do you really want him just prying things apart with his biggest screwdriver and hammer? The best installers ALWAYS have the right tools and are proud of the tools
How much experience does the installer have?
Beware the 16 year old Installer claiming 10 Years of experience! Now there may be some decent 16 year old installers out (maybe?) there but there is no reason to use one that lies to you.. Some shops add up all the installers experience and suddenly they claim 1000 years of car installation experience.. ha ha From my experience, a decent installer will have years of experience and will have worked at a few professional stereo shops in his past. Look for MECP certification, although it does not mean he is great, it does mean he has at least a genuine interest.
DOES THE INSTALLER HAVE SPECIAL TRAINING?
Look for an installer that knows cars and knows electronics! Do not be afraid to ask him about his training or questions about electronics.
Does the installer have a good attitude?
If the installer is whining because the store manager is making him do your car, you may be in trouble!! You always want to look for an installer that has done cars like yours before and loves to do the work! You want the guy that is passionate and wants to work on your car! If he does not want to work on your car, he will likely NOT do his best work!!
WILL THE INSTALLER INSTALL IT SAFELY?
Will your installer properly FUSE the equipment? The FUSE is a safety device to prevent fire! Will your installer mount the equipment safely and securely? Will your installer snake a mass of wires behind your car brake pedal? Will your installer disconnect your airbags by mistake?
DOES THE INSTALLER WORK LOOK GOOD AND SOUND GOOD ?
Your system should not only look good but should be engineered to look good for a long time. You do not want something installed that will rattle loose in the a few months of driving. This is one of the most important aspects when choosing an installer.
Does he really Know good sound if he heard it?
Too many installers will adjust the fine settings and controls on your new system with his own favorite ear shattering rap music and then it may not sound right for your Jazz or Classical music. (very common) Believe it or not, I have even seen installers blow the speakers before the customer takes delivery of the vehicle.