How to change a car stereo

Written by alexis lawrence
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How to change a car stereo
Car stereos come ready to install. (convertible car interior image by Christopher Dodge from

Aftermarket car stereos are often of much higher quality than the stereos that come standard in vehicles. Installing the stereo yourself is an easy way to cut down on the cost of a new stereo system. Car stereos come ready to install, so you don't have to deal with a lot of wiring to take out an old stereo and replace it with a new one.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Car stereo
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Remove the face plate of the old car stereo by pulling gently on it. The face plate will be attached with retaining clips, which should pop loose if you pull. If it doesn't, you may need to use a screwdriver to pry the plate away from the retaining clips. Be careful. The face plate is plastic and can break.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the two screws at the bottom of the radio, and pull the old stereo out of the dash.

  3. 3

    Squeeze the retaining clip to release the wires bundled there.

  4. 4

    Connect the bundle of wires and the antenna wire to the new stereo. The new stereo may have slightly different attachments from the stereo that you are replacing, but the attachments will fit the wire bundle and antenna wire.

  5. 5

    Place the new stereo into the stereo housing, pushing the wires back carefully as you set the stereo into place.

  6. 6

    Secure the radio with screws, as the original radio was secured.

  7. 7

    Reattach the face plate to the dash by pressing it back into its original position. If it is lined up correctly, it will click into place as the retaining clips catch.

  8. 8

    Turn on the car and try out the stereo.Try the radio to make sure the antenna is working properly.

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