How to Replace the Radio in a Toyota Corolla

Written by jule pamplin
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Toyota offers a variety of audio options for their entire line of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Corolla owners have the choice of replacing their factory installed stereo with audio units that perform tasks ranging from MP3 playback to DVD navigation devices. Factory installed Corolla stereos are sized single DIN, the most popular size stereo units. You can have a professional audio technician replace your Corolla radio, or you can swap the old deck for a new one yourself and save the cost of labour.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Trim removal tool
  • Wiring harness adaptor

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable from the Toyota's battery. The negative cable connects the battery to the frame of the Corolla. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the cable's clamp. Remove the clamp from the negative lead post.

  2. 2

    Place the trim removal tool in the seam of the dash panel just below the stereo. Pry the dash panel trim away from the dash. As the panel separates from the dash, work the removal tool around the perimeter of the panel until it is completely detached from the dash.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the wire groups connected to the panel (for the clock, hazard switch, and defrost switch). Pull the groups by their plastic bindings, not by the wires. Set the panel aside until reinstallation.

  4. 4

    Remove the two screws on either side of the stereo, using a Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the stereo forward far enough to reach the wire connections in the rear. Disconnect the wire groups by pulling the plastic wire binders from their connections to the rear of the stereo.

  5. 5

    Connect the wire groups to the wiring harness adaptor. The adaptor will be clearly marked to show where the connections should be made (either by abbreviations or colour code).

  6. 6

    Insert the faceplate adaptor into the opening in the Toyota stereo mounting bracket. Replace the four screws using a Phillips-head screwdriver. Feed the wiring harness adaptor through the rear of the faceplate adaptor.

  7. 7

    Connect the wiring harness adaptor leads to the new radio. Push the new stereo deck into the opening of the faceplate adaptor until fully seated in the dock.

  8. 8

    Replace the dash trim panel that surrounds the stereo. Reconnect the wiring that controls the hazard and defrost switches as well as the clock's power supply. Snap the dash panel into place by hand.

  9. 9

    Reconnect the negative battery cable to the Toyota's battery. Place the cable's clamp around the negative lead post. Tighten the clamp with a Phillips-head screwdriver until the clamp cannot be moved around the lead post by hand.

Tips and warnings

  • Wrap a thin cloth around the trim removal tool when prying the dash panel from the Corolla's dash, to protect the dash finish.

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