How to Remove A Car Stereo?

When you buy a brand-new car, you would probably want to change the sound system or upgrade the existing one to better systems like the Boss audio player.

Then comes the question, how to remove a car stereo? You could also wish to upgrade your car and then the thought of changing the stereo crosses your mind.

How to remove a car stereo
Photo Credit: Kevin Foo (Foo Zhen Ning),

Whatever comes to your mind, removing the car stereo is a necessary part of the upgrade and if you feel confident doing it yourself then you can pull it off using this guide.

Nevertheless, if you feel you don’t have the skills to do it you might want to contact a professional to handle it to prevent any damage to your car. If you are ready to detach the car stereo from your dashboard then follow the steps below.

Check the Vehicle Manual

Most manufacturers usually leave manuals that guide the removal of stereos in vehicles. Check to see if the manufacturer has left any instruction to guide you while removing the car stereo.

If you find any, we recommend that you take them seriously as they will help in the installation process. Some car stereos like the Boss audio player have uninstallation guides.

Most guides come with pictorial and diagram illustrations that aid the wiring process so you should always lookout for the manual before you start the uninstallation.

If you can’t find any print instructions, then your best bet would be to check online to see if there are articles (like this one) or YouTube videos that can be of help.

Disconnect the Battery

It is important that you disconnect the battery after checking the user manual. Ensure that the engine has been switched off before you try to check the battery disconnection.

If you attempt to do anything without disconnecting the battery, it could lead to dangerous electrical shock.

Ensure that you disconnect the battery appropriately and separate the negative cable properly by putting it on a side where it is totally unlikely to touch the positive terminal or any conductor at all.

Loosen the Screws

After disconnecting the battery, the uninstallation task starts. You have to get the right kind of screwdriver to remove the screws holding the stereo in the dashboard.

There are screws that are hidden in crannies, so you have to use a flashlight and possibly get someone to help you at this point. Put all the screws in a container to prevent them from getting lost or mixed up with other screws and bolts.

The preference for bolts is usually magnetic containers to prevent losing anyone during uninstallation.

Wiggle it

While trying to remove the car stereo, you might have it easy to pull out the stereo to access the wires that link it to several places.

In other cases, you will have to remove some of the dashboard panels that secure the stereo. Once you have removed the stereo from the housing, you should remove the wires.

There are two wires behind the stereo unit especially if you are dealing with a normal aftermarket part.

There is also a clip housing the wiring that you need to remove. This particular clip stabilizes the wire harness and reduces vibration on the stereo unit.

Detach the Wiring

You have to carefully loosen the wires first to prevent any damage that could occur as a result of plucking the car stereo out with force. You can make efforts to slacken the wires by repeatedly pulling it in a gentle manner.

Also, you may be risking irreparable damage if you yank your stereo out completely without recourse to safety procedures like moving the stereo from left to right slowly while trying to loosen the wires.

Video: How to remove a car stereo

This video gives a guide on how to remove a car stereo from your dash.

Once you observe the wires aren’t holding tightly to the stereo again, then you can remove it by pulling it out carefully to avoid any damage.

Keeping the former stereo

When you are dealing with car parts especially during uninstallation, you have to keep containers close for each part removed. You should take note that even the most minute part can have a huge impact on how that particular car part functions should you take a decision to reinstall it.

Having some parts missing affects the resale value of that particular part of your vehicle especially the car stereo. If the car stereo is in good condition and all the parts are in place, then you could sell it for a higher price.

This will mean that you can recover some of the money you spent on buying a new sound system.

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The Final Step

The moment you detach the car stereo, you will notice a large hole dab in the center of your dashboard. That’s a good sign that you have successfully removed the old stereo.

However, because most stereo systems are relatively the same size, their dimensions are standardized. If the dimensions of your new stereo are different and won’t fit into your dashboard.

The best way is to buy a dash kit to help with the installation. You will usually get one at the point where you get stereo. Make sure you get one that suits the brand and model of your car.

You can now proceed with the installation of your new stereo.

Mistakes to Avoid During Uninstallation of a Car Stereo

Before you get started with the uninstallation of your old stereo, you should have the following in mind. Removing a car stereo is not a careless activity.

You should plan the uninstallation process very well and keep all the resources you will need (both human and material) in place before you start.

Don’t make it an activity you gatecrash as this may likely affect the process due to lack of preparation. Not disconnecting the car battery is also dangerous.

Before any uninstallation process will take place, you should disconnect the car battery and put aside the negative terminal where it can’t come across any terminal.

The essence of this is to prevent any possible case of electric shock. Not using the right tools can hinder a successful uninstallation process.

You should get all the necessary tools and equipment you may need before commencing uninstallation as this will prevent any snapping or dashing of the car panels.

Avoid any usage of the wrong tools and make sure you know how to use the tools you have assembled.

Having read through this article, we believe removing your car stereo will be an easy procedure. Also, you can check here to see how to install a car stereo.

We recommend the Boss audio player for the best audio experience in your car.