How to Replace My Mini Cooper Radio

Written by jule pamplin
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The MINI Cooper has seen its fair share of revisions. What started as a British Motor Company subcompact staple is now a trendy model of the BMW line of vehicles. Though, as a BMW vehicle, the MINI Cooper has many car stereo options, there still exists the opportunity to upgrade the stereo with an aftermarket unit. Whether to replace the radio or perform repairs, you can either solicit the assistance of an audio professional, or you can do it yourself.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Trim panel remover tool
  • 10 millimetre wrench
  • T-20 Torx wrench
  • T-40 Torx wrench
  • Faceplate adaptor
  • Wiring harness adaptor

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  1. 1

    Remove the grounding cable from the negative lead of the MINI's battery. Use a 10 millimetre wrench to loosen the cable clamp and pull the cable from the negative lead post. Rest the clamp away from the lead until the radio replacement is complete.

  2. 2

    Remove the two screws in the bottom of the cupholders with a Phillips head screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Remove the panel housing the mirror and seat heater switches with a trim panel removal tool. The panel is located directly to the rear of the gearbox. Beneath the panel are two screws. Remove the screws with a Phillips head screwdriver. Slide the entire gearbox assembly back, away from the dash, to allow access to the stereo.

  4. 4

    Open the glovebox. Pull down the dash panel beneath the steering column.

  5. 5

    Remove the two screws on each of the vertical trim panels on either side of the stereo using a T-40 Torx wrench. Remove the two panels.

  6. 6

    Remove the four screws at the corners of the stereo unit with a T-20 Torx wrench. Pull the stereo from the dash far enough to access the wire connections to the rear of the radio.

  7. 7

    Connect the wire groups to a wiring harness adaptor. Insert a faceplate adaptor into the mounting bracket left vacant by the removed factory radio. Feed the wiring harness leads through the back of the faceplate adaptor.

  8. 8

    Connect the wiring harness leads to the aftermarket stereo. There are typically four wiring groups that need to be connected: the antenna, the speakers, the amplifier and the power supply.

  9. 9

    Insert the aftermarket deck into the opening of the faceplate adaptor. Replace the two trim panels on either side of the stereo. Replace the screws using a T-40 Torx wrench.

  10. 10

    Replace the gearbox in its normal, forward position. Screw in the two screws with the Phillips head screwdriver at the bottom of the cupholders and the two screws in the opening behind the gearbox. Put the seat and mirror heater switch panel back into its slot and press down until it snaps back into place.

  11. 11

    Close the glovebox and replace the dash panel beneath the steering column. The dash panel will snap into place with moderate force by hand.

  12. 12

    Place the grounding cable clamp around the negative battery lead. Tighten the clamp using a 10 millimetre wrench.

Tips and warnings

  • A single DIN stereo is the proper size for the MINI radio.

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