When you get a new car, you’d most likely want to upgrade its sound system to match. Perhaps, you want to upgrade your car and you thought that getting a new stereo is the perfect place to start. No matter the reason, removing your car’s existing stereo is a necessary part of the process. If you have the confidence to do so, you can surely do it on your own without the need for any special tools. However, if you’re not sure of your skills, leave it to a professional. If you’re ready to remove your car stereo from the dashboard, follow these steps.
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Check the Car’s Manual
First, we recommend checking your vehicle’s instruction manuals to see if the manufacturer has left specific instructions regarding the removal of the car stereo. If there are instructions for this specific process, we suggest that you take them into account. It would be very helpful if these directions weren’t only in written form, but rather supplemented with pictures and diagrams. This is especially important for the more detailed things such as wiring. If there are no print instructions available, try looking for them on the Internet instead. Another course of action would be to call up an installation technician or a mechanic to help with this task. You may also try searching on Google or YouTube.
Gather the Right Tools
Next, you’ll need to gather a couple of tools. Again, in most cases, you don’t need specific tools for this job. A lot of times, you’re only going to need flathead and Philips screwdrivers, pliers, and wire strippers. Nylon prying tools are a welcome addition to this list since they allow you to remove the stereo without damaging the car’s dashboard. However, if you don’t have these in your arsenal just yet, you don’t need to be in such a hurry to get them. If you have the necessary resources and if they’ll benefit you in the long run, you can easily get nylon prying tools from the nearest construction supply store or from online retailers.
Disconnect the Battery
The next thing you should do is disconnect the battery. Make sure the engine is turned off before you try to do this. Attempting to tamper with any part of your car that’s connected to the fuse box without doing so could come with some literally shocking results. Disconnect the negative cable from your car’s battery and isolate by putting on one side where it can’t come into contact with anything that’s conductive. It would be even better if you can remove the car battery completely, assuming you know how to return it without issue.
Loosen the Screws
Now that that’s done, it’s time to get to work on the stereo itself. Begin by using the appropriate type of screwdriver to remove the screws holding the stereo in place. There may be a few screw hidden in nooks and crannies so a flashlight as well a helping hand would be great right about now. Place all of the screws in a single container to avoid losing them or mixing them up with other screws, nuts, and bolts. If you can afford to do so, get a container that’s magnetic so the stereo’s screws won’t move as much as you’re working.
Wiggle it Around
In some cases, you can easily pull out the stereo in order to access the wires that connect it to different places. Other times, you’ll need to remove a few of the dashboard panels that keep the stereo secured. Once the car’s stereo has been pried away from its housing, the next step is to remove the wiring. You’ll most likely only see two wires at the back of the stereo unit, especially if the one you’re trying to remove is not an aftermarket part. There’s also a wiring clip there that you need to take care of. This is responsible for stabilizing the wiring harness and reducing the effects of vibrations on the unit.
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Remove the Wiring
You’d want to loosen these wires first, as straight up plucking the stereo out could result in damage to both the wiring and the stereo. You can slacken these wires by doing a repetitive, yet gentle pushing and pulling motion. Again, you may be risking unrepairable damage by simply yanking out your car’s stereo. Aside from pushing and pulling, you may also want to try moving the stereo left and right slowly in an attempt to get the wires loose. Once the grip of the wires has lessened, it would be much easier to remove the stereo by pulling it out.
Properly Storing the Old Stereo
When dealing with car pats, especially if you’re going to be removing them, you want to have dedicated containers for each part. Even the smallest part that gets lost can have a large impact on how that car part works should you decide to reinstall it. Missing parts could also affect the resale value of a particular part such as the stereo. If you have all the necessary pieces, and if the stereo itself is in good condition as well, you can sell it for a high price. This means you can recoup most of the money you spent on a new sound system.
The Next Step
Once you’ve removed your car’s stereo, there’s going to be a large gaping hole smack dab in the middle of the dashboard. You’re in luck; however, as most stereos are relatively of the same size since their measurements are standardized. In the off chance that the dimensions of your brand new sound system means that it doesn’t fit in your dash, we suggest that you get a dash kit to make the installation process that much easier. Usually, you can grab one of these at the same place where you got the stereo. Simply check to see if you’re getting one that fits your vehicle’s make and model. Now you can move on to installing your new car stereo.
Those are the steps that you need to follow in order to remove the stereo from your car’s dashboard. Remember, if you’re still not confident about doing this after reading through this article, there is no shame in asking for help from a professional.
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