Cars & Vehicles Car Audio

Replace a Car Radio

    • 1). Remove the instrument panel covering the front of the radio. Most instrument-panel coverings use snaps and will just pull off. Some have four screws under the dash---look for the screws and remove them. If there is a center console in the vehicle it could interfere with the removal of the instrument panel cover. If your vehicle has a center console, go to Step 2, otherwise go to Step 3.

    • 2). Remove the screws on the sides of the console. Move the front seats forward to access the screws on the back of the center console. Remove the screws under the ashtray. Remove the screws holding the shift lever cover, lift the cover up and remove the 10 millimeter bolts under the cover holding the console down. Open the armrest in the rear of the console and remove the screws at the bottom. Lift the emergency brake handle all the way up and lift the console up and over the emergency handle and lay it in the back seat.

    • 3). Remove the two screws on the face of the radio. These are the screws that hold the radio in. Pull the radio out gently so that the wires and connector are not damaged.

    • 4). Disconnect the plug on the back of the radio and gently remove the antennae cable from the radio by slightly twisting as it is pulled out.

    • 5). Measure the radio for width, height and depth. Look at the cavity the radio was extracted from and look for excess clearance. This will let you know if a larger diameter radio could be installed.

    • 6). Purchase a radio faceplate or kit for your specific car and radio when you purchase the radio. This will make for a professional and easy installation since the new faceplate will fill in the gap and make it easier to bolt or screw into the dash. Purchase a wiring pigtail. This is a connector that plugs into your vehicle's wiring and into the new radio. If the radio you are putting in is not an exact duplicate of the one taken out, the original faceplate and wiring are guaranteed not to fit.

    • 7). Install the faceplate on the front of the radio. If you were given a kit for your vehicle it will have several faceplates to fit the radio options for the car. Check to see which faceplate fits your radio. Hold the faceplate tight against the radio and pry several of the triangular cut-outs up enough to secure the face plate to the radio. Turn the radio over and do the same thing. These were designed to keep the radio from pulling out past the faceplate once installed.

    • 8). Hold the radio close to the radio cavity and plug the adapter pigtail into the original connector. Plug in the antennae. Push the radio into the cavity and install the two screws in the faceplate and screw them into the dash to secure the radio.

    • 9). Reinstall the center console in the reverse of removal. Install the instrument panel cover. Care has to be taken to make sure that the snaps on the cover line up with the holes in the dash before you use your hand and push them in. They break easily. Install the screws in the bottom of the cover, if there are any to install.

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