Posted by & filed under Car Headlights.

Three of the most popular choices for car headlights on the market are Halogen, Xenon and LED lights. However, many people still don’t know what the difference is between them. To help, below is an outline of the differences between these car headlights and who they may benefit.

Halogen Headlights

Currently, the most common option for car headlights on the market is Halogen LightsOne of the main benefits of halogen bulbs is longevity. In most cases, a halogen bulb will last for 1,000 hours of use. These lights are also inexpensive to replace. The biggest downside to halogen headlights is their lack of energy efficiency due to the amount of heat they waste. If you’re big on being “green,” halogen bulbs may not be your first choice.

HID Headlights

Xenon headlights are also sometimes referred to as high intensity discharge headlights or HID headlights for short. These kinds of bulbs produce light by allowing electricity to pass through xenon gas inside the bulb at a very high pressure.

One benefit that Xenon bulbs have over halogen is the fact they are far more energy efficient; less heat is required to produce light inside a Xenon bulb. Unfortunately, this also produces a side effect; the light isn’t as strong as halogen overall. In fact, a halogen bulb can produce light that is over four times stronger in intensity. HID headlights also tend to be much higher in price. 

LED Headlights 

Lastly, there are LED headlights. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED lights use sets of diodes in a pin like configuration that produce light when electrons inside these diodes move and create photons.

The largest benefit of LED headlights is they do not require a lot of energy to operate. They require less power than a halogen bulb but more than a xenon bulb. However, LED headlights do produce some heat at the bottom of the emitter that may pose a risk for cables or components nearby. For this reason, they are rarely implemented as factory headlights by automakers. They are also quite expensive.


Halogen, Xenon and LED car headlights all have their own possible benefits and downsides. Decide what is important for you whether it is longevity, brightness, efficiency or cost and factor that into your decision when choosing between them. For any questions regarding car headlight installation or repair, please give us a call or swing by any of our two locations in San Diego, California.

UV rays effects on Skin

Posted by & filed under Window Tinting.

When most people think of the hazards that occur on the road, the last thing that runs through their mind is skin cancer and driving. Unfortunately, being exposed to the sun while driving is a serious problem. One viable and easy solution to reduce exposure to UV rays while driving is to get your car windows tinted.

UV Rays and Photo Aging

Being exposed to the sun while driving can really do a number on your body. For starters, UV ray exposure can cause you to experience wrinkles, leathering and sagging of the skin, brown “age” spots and even cancers. However, since the glass in your car is designed to block out UVB, you’re typically protected from the face forward. Similar to this, the windshields are also created to prevent UVA from reaching you. This, however, leaves out the car’s side and rear window, which means you’re getting direct exposure to UVA as you’re driving.

This is why being exposed to the sun while driving can cause sunburns to develop in the head, neck, arm and hand. In fact, cars such as convertibles or ones that have sun-roofs, mean the driver and passengers are left with even more UV exposure. All this UV exposure can cause melanoma cancer to occur. While skin cancer can be treated, if it’s diagnosed early enough, it can also be deadly. Be sure to take the proper precautions on the road to avoid sun hazards. If you get heatstroke that can affect your driving significantly. You could end up in a car accident, if you have ended up in a car crash, consider conversing with a personal injury law firm. They can give you some perspective on how to move forward legally.

Protective Clothing

For instance, you should wear protective clothing while out on the road. This can include sunglasses, so that you protect your eyes from the UV rays and don’t have to squint as your driving. It can also mean wearing layered clothing or hats, so that no part of your skin is bare. When your skin isn’t bare, that means there’s no direct contact between your skin and the sun.

Window Tinting

Another way to block out sun hazards while driving is investing in window tinting for your car. Window tint will help to greatly reduce your exposure to UV rays, as well as the excessive sunlight that comes through. Check out this last blog entry where we discuss the best tinting options for your vehicle.

Different levels of window tint

Remember, the sun is very dangerous for your well-being, especially when you’re being exposed directly to UV rays; it’s vital that you stay protected from all the sun hazards while driving. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure that you’re staying safe while on the road. Trust Joe’s Stereo tinting professionals to keep your interior cool during those sunny San Diego days with our window tinting services. We use industry standard window tint film so no peeling, fading, or bubbling will occur.

Posted by & filed under Car Alarms.

Best After Market Car Alarm Systems of 2014

For most people the loss of a car or truck to theft is a disaster. Fortunately there’s no shortage of options for protecting your ride and we’ve compiled a short list of the best after market car alarm systems of 2014, all of which are available at Joe’s Car Stereo. For additional security measures, particularly when driving, you may also want to consider installing one of the dash cams recommended by BlackBoxMyCar. They can help provide invaluable footage for any insurance claims you may have to make, and offer peace of mind when driving.

Each of the car alarm systems listed below are excellent choices for car security with features that cover just about any vulnerability your vehicle may be subject to.

Viper SmartStart

If you want the ability to lock and unlock your car regardless of your proximity to it, Viper SmartStart is for you. The main feature of this system is a mobile app that could be great for individuals who want additional peace of mind and love flashy features. It is also extremely useful for fleet vehicles, taxis and delivery services.


  • Smartphone integration
  • Hands free unlocking
  • Global locking/unlocking with SmartStart app.
  • GPS feature shows vehicle location and allows sharing this info. With family and friends
  • Remote starter and trunk release
  • Control multiple vehicles


  • Global lock control is slower than remote key
  • Adjusting Bluetooth proximity settings can be difficult

Python 911

This system’s best feature is its two-way capability. This alerts you to anything that is happening to your vehicle. Python 911 systems are unusually durable and remote interface is intuitive to use.

Python-Best After Market Car Alarm Systems of 2014


  • Detailed real-time incident reporting
  • Durable remote device
  • Comprehensive tech. support


  • Limited range
  • No smartphone integration


Lojack is a fairly pricey anti-theft option, but for owners of expensive luxury or performance vehicles it may be the best defense against the professional criminals who target these vehicles. The makers of Lojack have experience working with law enforcement agencies to recover stolen vehicles. And with a 90% recovery rate for stolen cars, they’ve earned a solid reputation.


Lojack-Best After Market Car Alarm Systems of 2014



  • High rate of stolen-vehicle recovery
  • Radio frequency emitter cannot be easily hidden
  • Law enforcement familiarity with Lojack systems


  • High sticker price
  • Not supported by all police agencies

Skytek Vision Guard 8000

This unique security system features a full color camera with night-vision capability. The Skytech Vision Guard 8000 easy to mount wide angle camera sends a picture of whoever is attempting to steal your car and sends the image to your remote.



  • Wide angle camera lens covers the entire vehicles
  • 2 way paging system lets you take pictures remotely
  • LED flash ensures clear images


  • Features limited to camera related functions
  • Does not physically prevent theft

Protecting your loved ones and your vehicles should be a top priority. Crime prevention and security experts estimate that a vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds in the United States; that’s over two million stolen vehicles each year. This year experts predict that there will be over 40,000 potentially deadly carjackings, nearly half of which result in personal injury. One out of every 29 vehicles will be stolen this year. Don’t let yours be one of them.

Visit either of our two locations or give us a call if you have any questions regarding car alarm security systems.

Posted by & filed under Auto shows, Car Alarms, Car Audio, Custom Wheels, Exhaust Systems.

Returning to the Dodge brand name in 2015, the Viper looks to be on track to continue melting tires and faces. Refreshed, if not completely overhauled, for the new calendar year, the viper will receive a 5 horsepower bump, up to 645 bhp over last year’s 640, bringing the power to weight ratio up by 8 percent. Toque is sticking at 600 lb-ft, still nothing to sneeze at. With the snarling leviathan that is the 707 bhp, supercharged v8 Hellcat engine shoehorned into the Challenger, it seems odd that Dodge would chose not to give the Viper that much more bite. Remember, though, that the car currently housing the 6.2 liter brute weighs in at a hefty 800 pounds heavier than the viper. It’ll definitely be interesting to see the two go head to head. The Hellcat-equipped Challenger would appear to have the edge in the quarter mile, but the Viper is likely to best it in the curves.

What’s more, why mess with success? The Viper’s V10 has been a loyal workhorse since the nineties, with displacement rising from 8.0 to 8.4 liters, and horsepower increasing by an impressive 245. If the madmen over at Dodge and SRT can keep squeezing more ponies out of that engine, there’s no need for a potentially messy swap. The Hellcat is 180 pounds heavier than the Viper’s powerplant, and with the big old supercharger that kicks it up to such ridiculous numbers it wouldn’t fit under the Viper’s stock hood. Not much other information exists as to Viper updates for 2015, as the boosted power stat was gleaned from the same certification document that brought cackling enthusiasts everywhere the news of an impending Hellcat powered Charger sedan.

2015 Z06


While we’re on the subject of absurdly powerful American vehicles, another comparison readily comes to mind. Corvette has announced official figures for their 2015 Z06, and they sit at an impressive 650 bhp and 650 lb-ft of torque. With its extra five horses, the Viper is perilously close to catching up. The current Viper weighs in at 3,354 pounds, and that number could be lower in the new calendar year. The current Stingray is a slightly more svelte 3,298 pounds, a number that is also likely to be reduced in the race-ready Z06 trim. It would seem the ‘Vette will continue reign supreme as the pinnacle of American muscle meets supercar speed. Only time-and the inevitable race between the two-will tell.


Posted by & filed under Audio Insulation, Car Audio.

An installed car stereo system provides vehicle owners with superior sound quality so long as exterior noise and car vibration is kept to a minimum. Dampening the effects of road and wind noise is extremely important. That’s why we go the extra mile when preparing a vehicle for a brand-new, custom-designed audio system.



From the placement of the speakers to the sound-absorbing quality of the cabin materials, sound quality enhancement is truly a science. Auto insulations are carefully selected for their ability to dissipate unwanted vibrations, eliminating the negative effect on the sound waves emanating from the speakers. Superior insulating materials also help keep the cabin interior at a comfortable temperature, reducing the amount of stress put on the air conditioning system.

Sound Quality Matters

Car audio quality depends on how sound waves from speakers are affected by ambient noise from vibration. The wave patterns can be disrupted in such a way as to cause distortion and a drop-off of certain frequencies. This is why sound-absorbing materials are often used in the door panels, beneath the speaker housings, and inside the firewall.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.03.33 AM

When customers have their stereo system installed by the professionals at Joe’s Stereo, their car is carefully inspected inside and out and potential problems with noise are given the highest priority. How the speakers are placed and cushioned makes quite a difference in the actual sound quality as well as reverberation effects. All this is taken into consideration when an installation project is designed and implemented.

Introducing Dynamat Insulation

One of the most advanced sound-dampening and heat-blocking materials on the market, Dynamat insulation is the preferred choice for those who want the quietest possible ride. Made from a butyl rubber that is affixed to an aluminum alloy skin, Dynamat insulation sheets are used for the absorption of high-frequency vibrations as well as low-frequency sound waves.

This superior product also helps block the conduction of heat. When properly installed around the perimeter of the powertrain, heat from combustion is reflected, meaning that the interior of the vehicle is not affected by the energy produced by the engine.

Using a thermoacoustic liner virtually eliminates engine hum with the result being dead air inside the cabin. Rich audio quality is unaffected by interference from sound waves caused by vehicle vibration, allowing vehicle owners to enjoy the sound quality of their stereo system to the fullest.

The Finest Car Audio Installations

Rather than having your car’s audio system installed by the guy next door, take your onboard music entertainment system’s quality to the next level by scheduling an appointment with Joe’s Stereo. With special attention given to details such as sound insulation and vibration control, our expert installation techs will produce a result that your stereo system deserves. Your driving experience will be much more enjoyable because you have chosen the right folks to install sound and vibration insulation on your vehicle.

Posted by & filed under Car Audio, Custom Audio/Video.

Sooner or later, every car audio system experiences a malfunction of some kind. It could be the result of something fairly trivial like a loose ground wire. Or it could be something more serious like a blown car speaker. You have two options at this point. You could also have a look into upgrading your cars sound system and get a brand-new speaker. But why just do this? Why not go all the way and get a subwoofer too? It’s a great combination and it’ll give you the best audio sound! Check it out here for more information.

If you think you’ve got a blown car speaker on your hands, look for the following tell-tale signs when diagnosing the problem. a8e22c43a3c0df76136ed9b5ebfb8354faceec8c12a2ad409f224cdb6d13ba0f

Distortion at Moderate Volumes

The unmistakable hiss or “fuzz” that comes from a partially blown speaker is tough to miss once you know what to listen for. It should be fairly obvious that something is amiss if increasing volume leads to ever greater levels of distortion from your car speakers. Fuzzy speakers are usually the result of damaged or loose voice coils. Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 10.35.14 AM

System Range Is Incomplete

Bad speakers under-perform for a variety of reasons. Unless the voice coil has become detached from the cone, you’ll still get some audio though it will be incomplete. For instance, a lack of high frequencies or bass is a surefire sign that your speakers are at least partially blown and need to be looked at. DSC_0345_zps12e04551

There’s No Vibration

As we all know, speakers create sound through vibration. If you touch the front of your speakers and don’t feel any vibration, the cone isn’t receiving any power. This could be the result of a wiring problem or a malfunctioning component farther back. In either case, you’ll need to crack your speakers open to solve the problem. blown-speaker-voice-coil-300x225

Audible Rattling and Popping

Besides classic fuzz and distortion, there are other clear-cut audible signals that point to major problems. For instance, nothing but rattling coming from your woofers indicates a fully blown speaker. Likewise, a popping sound generally means that your tweeters are finished. Fortunately, these problems can be easily fixed if you know what you’re doing.

Impedance Is Infinite

One of the easiest ways to diagnose a speaker’s performance issues is by testing out it’s electrical response. With a standard multi-meter, you can quickly determine whether or not your voice coil or cone is busted. If your speaker is completely blown, observed impedance will be essentially infinite. 0004217303300_500X500

Blown Speaker Damage Control

When audio system problems occur, many automatically assume the worst. The truth is that these issues can be fixed rather easily. If you observe any of the mentioned symptoms, consult Joe’s Stereo for an assessment. We’ll quickly tell you what’s wrong with your speakers and how we can help.

Posted by & filed under Car Safety Tips, Fire Satefy.

Why is it important to have a car fire extinguisher? According to the National Fire Protection Association, 20% of all reported fires occur in a motor vehicle. Fires can break out for many different reason, and in rare cases, fires can start suddenly with no warning at all. If you want to err on the side of caution, keep a fire extinguisher in your car. Here’s why you want to be prepared at all times.

Electrical Problems


One of the top causes of car fires is a faulty electrical system. Usually this has something to do with the car battery. When the battery is charging, hydrogen gas can accumulate under the hood, and frayed wiring in the battery can create a current that sets everything ablaze.

Lack of Maintenance


If you want to keep your car in good shape, it needs to get regular maintenance. Failure to upkeep your vehicle can result in a fire because there could be leaks, broken parts, bad wiring, or other ideal conditions present for fire-starting.


Automobile accidents are notorious for starting fires. That’s because a forceful impact can cause a whole lot of internal damage. Gas and oil leaks combined with the heat from friction are a deadly combination.

Undetected Design Flaws

Sometimes certain models of cars have inherent design flaws. This is especially true of new models that are built from the ground up. It often takes time and a lot of consumer complaints before such issues are discovered, and it might already be too late by then.

Overheating Engines

Some people love to push their cars to the max, others travel extensively for work or pleasure. Doing so in warm and dry climates can put added stress on your engine. When the heat becomes too much, parts can fail, and fires can result. In 2012, about 90,000 Ford cars equipped with EcoBoost engines were recalled due to overheating.

So why should you keep a fire extinguisher in your vehicle? Well, because it’s a great preventative step to keep your car safe and protect that killer stereo system you just had installed. You don’t want to get caught off-guard by a sudden fire and not be able to do anything about it. Equipping your car with a fire extinguisher can prevent injuries and save lives. There’s no better reason to have one than that.

Posted by & filed under Custom Audio/Video, RV audio.

If there’s any vehicle that deserves an upgraded audio system, it has to be your home on the road. Stock RV audio systems can be just OK, but for a vehicle that you spend so much time in, its worth investing in an upgraded audio and video system.


Multiple Audio/Video Systems

To hook up multiple AV systems in an RV is not unusual. In fact, many RV units come complete with one TV in the front and one in the back. The options with multiple systems can complicated and a very interesting project for our installers. If you’re yearning for the ultimate RV AV system, the route to go today is a unit called the ZX 800 Multimedia system from a company called Aridian Technologies Concertone. This amplifier/head unit delivers performance that will rival your home multimedia system. It also combines all the AV systems throughout the RV, enabling a user to control multiple systems, for instance the system in the living room, the bedroom and outside. The ZX 800 looks like a small electrical box. The manufacturer designed the system to handle all your AV needs.Concertone-zx800

DVD, Bluetooth, Satellite Radio

Load your DVD, CD or Bluetooth disc into units plugged into the ZX 800, or plug in a USB cord and watch the media from your hard drive. Hook up your cable connection, your satellite system or your rabbit ears; it even runs your Internet radio tuner. With a system as sophisticated as the ZX 800, most people rewire the entire AV system. New hardware includes wiring and high performance speakers in recess holes in the ceiling and subwoofers boxes beneath the furniture in the living space. Wire speaker units into the bedroom space, and add three-way speakers in boxes to the cargo storage, along with about 15 feet of connected wiring so the user can move the party outside if it’s nice. The great thing about the ZX 800 is that it can operate all three systems at the same time. In spite of how complicated it sounds, the RV audio installation is straightforward.
If you’re looking for a high-end AV system for a house, you can get top of the range systems with all the latest technologies, internet connectivity and applications you would want fitted by professional AV Installers. There’s no need to worry about setup in regards to multi room configuration as that is all done as part of the service.

Posted by & filed under Auto shows, Local Events.

The San Diego International Auto Show


When the world wants to see what is in store for drivers and the automotive industry in the year to come, they make plans to attend The San Diego International Auto Show. This city is home to hundreds of car shows each year that bring the public the best and the brightest that auto manufacturers around the world have to offer. The biggest event to hit this city each year is the International San Diego Auto Show. This exhibition features the newest makes and models from car manufacturers from all over the world. In many cases, this stage is the first venue at which these designs are being revealed. It offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to any car enthusiast. In addition to just cars themselves, cutting-edge advances in accessories and audio equipment designed for cars make their debut as well. There are no other events geared towards automotive innovation that can compare to this one. The size and scope of the automotive technology on display here will have people itching to get behind the wheel and take a test drive.

kj6b0bnmThe San Diego Auto Show 2014 has plenty in store for eager drivers. This year’s event will be held at the Omni San Diego Hotel. Taking place between December 28 and January 6, it will offer visitors plenty of ground-breaking new cars and trucks in addition to outstanding amenities when it comes to lodging. There are a considerable number of highly-anticipated cars that will be making their debut on these dates. In addition to getting a first look at some of the leading cars and trucks of the future, people attending the show can explore all that is offered by Mazda Family Day. The entire conference center offers an exciting and family-friendly atmosphere, making it the ideal event to attend for people of all ages in the area.

The exhibition will also feature Ride and Drives, an opportunity that allows people to get behind the wheel and experience select new makes and models for themselves. Additional show features will include special deals on cars by select manufacturers and booths set up by car companies of all kinds geared at promoting new products, electronics, and services. Anyone visiting the show must be sure to explore the amazing sounds coming from the audio division of the exhibition. Featuring the latest in digital technology and car audio configurations.
Regardless of whether you like to simply browse or are a serious collector, the International Auto Show coming to San Diego will provide an unforgettable experience.

Posted by & filed under Suspension.


Coil and leaf spring suspension systems both have their own pros and cons , but if you’re considering using a suspension replacement for the purpose of car enhancement, it’s a good idea to have a full understanding of both before making a choice.

Spring suspension systems are essentially a set of leaf springs suspended by the car’s axle to keep the wheels of the car on the road. Coil suspension, on the other hand, is more in line with what we think of when he hear the word “springs”. It’s basically a strong spring wrapped around a short piston. This type of car suspension was first really seen in racing but has become fairly popular lately amongst everyday drivers.

Both of these suspension systems, as mentioned, have a few things that they excel in. Leaf springs are quite a bit more rigid, for example. This means that they’re capable of handling a very heavy load, quite a bit more than coil suspension systems in most cases. Being a somewhat more simple system also means that they tend to be quite a bit less expensive than coil suspension systems. It’s also usually easier to find them than it is to find good coil systems. After all, they’ve been around a good bit longer, so it only makes sense that more people are making them. Coil systems, on the other hand, tend to handle quite a bit better when properly adjusted. The fact that they have so many options for adjustment is another benefit in and of itself. Although new suspension can be fitted onto most cars, Low-offset has produced a guide specifically for the Nissan 350z. However, we still recommend that you take a look at Low Offset’s guide to 350z coilovers because many of the suspension system’s featured can be fitted onto other vehicles too!

Lastly, there is the vanity factor. Even though coil suspension systems have been rising in popularity and availability lately, not many people have managed to actually install them compared to the people that still have leaf spring suspensions. Having a proper coil suspension on your car is, all on its own, worth at least a few bonus points amongst any car buffs you may have in your circle of friends.

Sadly, however, every system has its downside. Spring systems, for example, can’t be adjusted the way that coil systems can. The fact that they’re fixed in place also leads to a noticeably bumpier ride due to the fact that they just don’t have as much room to move as coil systems have. Coil systems, though they have the longer list of benefits, also have a longer list of downsides. Foremost among these is the fact that you can get a pretty rough ride, if not outright failure, if the system isn’t properly adjusted. They’re also the more expensive of the two options by a noticeable degree and you don’t want to skimp on them by paying for the cheaper ones.

If you happen to be in the San Diego area and you’re thinking about switching out or adjusting your car’s suspension, by the way, it’s a good idea to check out the body shop at Joe’s stereo. They’re extremely good with recommending an aftermarket suspension system for practically any car.