Remove your car radio
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Photo 1: Remove the control panel
Slip the nylon prying tool
between the heater control and
the dash. Pop the control panel off.
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Photo 1A: Close-up of nylon prying tools
Use nylon prying tools to prevent
damage to the dash panel. Experiment
to find which tool works best for each
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Photo 2: Remove the trim panel and bolts
Pry out the radio trim panel to expose the radio fasteners.
Then remove the retaining bolts.
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Photo 3: Disconnect the wires
Disconnect the electrical connectors and the antenna from
the back of the radio. Then lift it out.
You own a high-end vehicle with a
broken CD player. You could take it
to one of the “big box” stores where they
offer free installation on a new player. But
the thought of a 16-year-old “customizing”
your dash gives you nightmares.
Besides, you love the look and sound of
your factory system. You would remove
the factory radio yourself and send it in
for repair, if only you could figure out
how to do it.
Removing the radio itself is actually
pretty easy. But to get to that point, you'll
first have to remove some dash trim
pieces. And there's usually a trick or two to
getting those off without wrecking
anything. We recommend investing
in two things: a set of special tools
for trim removal and an online set
of instructions geared specifically to
your car. A set of the four most commonly
used trim removal tools costs
less than $16 online. It's worth every penny.
For help with the radio removal
procedure for your vehicle, go to
carstereohelp.com. This site sells complete
radio and trim removal instructions (with
photos) for over 4,000 different make/
model combinations. The removal instructions cost less than
$10. Some do-it-yourself repair instructions are also available
(see the “DIY repairs” link on the Web site). After you pull the
radio, you can send the unit directly to carstereohelp.com for
repair. Repair rates run from $185 to $300, depending on the
make and model. That may seem high, but new factory replacements
can run almost twice that price.