What is the Pink Wire on Car Stereo?

Unlike the blue, black, or red wires, the pink wire doesn’t come with all car stereos. And its purpose varies among different brands.

While some manufacturers use it as a parking brake or reverse wire, others use it as one of the speaker wires.

What Is The Pink Wire on Car Stereo?

For those who don’t know, the parking brake wire sends signals from the vehicle to the head unit. It signals the head unit to enable video playback only when the car is parked. This is a safety feature whose primary purpose is to prevent the driver from any distractions when driving.

Similarly, the reverse wire triggers the different rear camera-related features when you shift the car into reverse gear.

This wire allows the head units to automatically switch to the rearview camera input when the car is in reverse gear. This, in turn, allows the driver to see who’s behind the vehicle so they can back up easily.

What is the pink wire on car stereo toyota

The pink wire on a Toyota car stereo can have different functions depending on the specific model and year of your vehicle. Here are some possibilities:

1. Power Antenna

This is the most common use for a pink wire in Toyota stereos. It provides power to extend the antenna mast when you turn on the radio. If your Toyota has a power antenna and the pink wire isn’t connected, the antenna won’t extend and you’ll likely have poor radio reception.

2. Amplifier Turn-On

In some Toyota models, the pink wire might be used as a remote turn-on signal for an external amplifier. When the head unit turns on, it sends a small voltage through the pink wire, telling the amplifier to power up as well.

3. Accessory Power

In some rare cases, the pink wire might be used for general accessory power. This could be used to power a phone charger, dashcam, or other aftermarket device.

Important: To accurately identify the function of the pink wire in your specific Toyota, it’s crucial to consult the wiring diagram for your car’s audio system. The diagram will usually be included in the owner’s manual or readily available online. Messing with the wrong wire can damage your car’s electronics, so proceed with caution if you’re unsure about its purpose.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Look for labels or markings on the wire harness to see if the pink wire has a specific designation.
  • Consult online forums or communities dedicated to your specific Toyota model for further guidance.
  • If you’re not comfortable working with car electronics, it’s always best to consult a professional car audio installer.

What is the pink wire on Nissan car stereo

The pink wire on a Nissan car stereo can have different functions depending on the specific model and year of your car, as well as whether it’s the factory stereo or an aftermarket unit. Here are the most common possibilities:

1. Amplifier Turn-On:

  • In many Nissan models, the pink wire is used as a remote turn-on signal for an external amplifier. When the stereo turns on, it sends a small voltage through the pink wire, which triggers the amplifier to power on as well.

2. Power Antenna Trigger:

  • In some older Nissan models, the pink wire might be used to power an antenna. When the stereo receives a radio signal, it sends voltage through the pink wire, which activates the antenna and extends it from the car.

3. Illumination Wire:

  • Some Nissan stereos use the pink wire as an illumination wire. When the headlights are turned on, the pink wire receives voltage, which dims the stereo’s display or buttons.

4. Accessory Wire:

  • In some cases, the pink wire might be an accessory wire that can be used for various purposes, such as powering a hands-free system or a phone charger.

5. No Function:

  • In some Nissan models, the pink wire might not be used at all. This is more common with newer stereos that don’t have features like an external amplifier or a power antenna.

It’s important to note that the best way to determine the exact function of the pink wire in your Nissan is to consult the car’s wiring diagram or owner’s manual. You can also find wiring diagrams and information online specific to your Nissan model and stereo.

What is the Pink Wire in Aftermarket Head Units?

Here we will discuss how different car stereo manufacturers implement the pink wire.

Pioneer Head Units

What is the Pink Wire on Pioneer Car Stereo
What is the Pink Wire on Pioneer Car Stereo?

There are very few Pioneer head units that feature a pink wire. In such units, this wire is for the car speed input signal

Also known as the VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) wire, it’s connected to your vehicle’s speed sensor and sends speed-related information to the car stereo.

The car stereo, in turn, uses the information to perform different actions, such as automatically decreasing the music volume while the car is in motion.

Kenwood and JVC Head Units

The Kenwood and JVC head units usually have their VSS wire colored pink.

Sony Head Units

Sony head units generally don’t feature any wire colored as solid pink.

Alpine Head Units

Some Alpine head units, such as Alpine CDE-133BT, come with a pink wire that functions as an Audio Interrupt In wire.

Also known as the audio interrupt, or mute wire, this wire mutes your car speakers temporarily when your phone signals it to.

For example, when you connect your phone to the car stereo and have an incoming phone call, the phone will signal the car stereo through this wire to mute the music so you can hear the phone call.

DUAL Head Units

In DUAL head units, the pink wire functions as the parking brake wire.

What is the Pink Wire in OEM Stereo Systems?

Just like their aftermarket siblings, many OEM car stereos feature pink wires.


What is the Pink Wire on Ford Car Stereo?
What is the Pink Wire on Ford?

Most Ford vehicles have the right-rear speaker wire colored brown/pink. But some F250 models use pink wire as accessory wire.

For those who don’t know, the accessory wire is the one that provides power to the car stereo when the ignition is in the accessory position. Due to this power, you can turn on a car stereo when even the engine is off.

General Motors

The GM vehicles generally have their power antenna turn-on wire colored pink. This wire sends a turn-on signal and enables the power antenna to raise or lower the antenna mast – depending on whether the car stereo is on or off.

The sole purpose of this wire is to have better signal reception.


The same is the case with Honda vehicles. In Honda CRV models (2002-2006), you get a right-rear speaker negative wire colored pink.

In Honda Accord (2008-2012) models, the left-front speaker negative wire is colored pink.


In Jeep vehicles, the pink wire functions as a constant +12V or switched +12V wire.

Other Car Stereo Wires

Other Car Stereo Wires

Apart from the ones that we talked about earlier, there are additional wires you need to pay close attention to while installing a car radio.

Constant Wire

This wire provides constant +12V power to the car stereo. The car stereo uses this power to store critical information, such as current time, radio station presets, equalizer settings, etc. This constant power is why the car stereo retains this information even when you turn it off.

Remote Turn-on Wire

This wire sends a turn-on signal to the external amplifier when you turn on the car radio. The external amplifiers are power-hungry, and keeping them turned on all the time would drain the vehicle’s battery.

The turn-on wire ensures that the amp only turns on when you need it.

Ground Wire

The ground wire allows the vehicle’s metal frame to be used as a ground connection. The ground connection is essential for the car stereo to work properly, as you’ll otherwise have electrical noise and interference in the sound.

Illumination Wire

The illumination wire provides power to the head unit’s display and controls. Its primary purpose is to illuminate the head unit’s display and controls when you turn on your vehicle’s headlights.

Dimmer Wire

The dimmer wire enables the head unit to adjust its brightness according to the vehicle’s interior lights. Its primary purpose is reducing eye strain and providing better visibility while using the car stereo at night.


As mentioned earlier, the functionality of pink wire varies according to the manufacturers.

While the information is up to date for most vehicles/head units, new models may have a slightly different color scheme.

Therefore, you should always go through the owner’s manual or do online research before installing a car radio.

I'm Miles Walker and I'm the founder of autoaudiolab.com I've been in the car audio industry for over 20 years and have a wealth of knowledge to offer on all things related to car audio. I graduated from UC Berkeley with an electrical engineering degree, so you can rely on me for top-notch expertise and advice when it comes to upgrading your sound system.

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