I'm hoping to replace the radio in my '05 Saturn Ion, so I pulled it out to see what connections it has. According to this website, this radio is compatible. I know I'll have to deal with the wiring harness, but that's not a big deal. However, there's one wire on the current radio that is separate from the big connector and I'm not sure what it is. I did some googling but couldn't find this particular model of radio (I might not have found the right serial number) and also couldn't find any other radios with anything similar.

Picture of wire:

silver braided wire with gold connector

The gold connector slides over this tab:

small metal tab on back of car radio

Any ideas as to what this wire is? And do I need to look for a radio that has that particular attachment, or can I safely ignore it?


It is a chassis ground strap. It electrically bonds the case of the radio to the body of the vehicle. It reduces the posibility of static electricity damage and electromagnetic interference from other electronics in the car. It is a good idea to connect it. It also helps improve radio reception because it part of the antenna system.

  • If I buy a radio that doesn't have a connection like the current one does, is there another way to connect that cable? – SpicyThunderDragon May 10 at 17:12
  • @spicy thunderdragon: For most car radios either stock or after market it is pretty much standard. – Old_Fossil May 11 at 6:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.