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Car Stereo

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Admit takes your driving experience into a whole new level. Listening to your favorite tunes reduces stress especially during long-distance driving. It also makes you feel calm and takes off the stress caused by heavy traffic. So once your car stereo gets busted, repair or replace it as soon as possible, unless you want your everyday commute to be so taxing.

Most drivers dread this type of auto repair because they don't have enough money to pay for the services of a professional installer. Don't be one of them. Dare to be different by being one of those plucky vehicle owners who accept the challenge of repairing and maintaining their rides all by themselves.

One of the tricky steps in car stereo replacement is the removal of the stereo itself. But if you want to take the challenge and gain new skills, here are the steps in removing a basic automotive stereo:

Things you'll need:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • Adjustable jaw wrench
  • DIN tool (if necessary)
  • Trim removal tools (if necessary)

Step 1: Disconnect the negative battery cable. There's actually no threat of experiencing an electrical shock when uninstalling a vehicle stereo, but disconnecting the negative battery cable is a basic precaution when working with an automotive electrical component. So get your adjustable jaw wrench and release the clamp that's attached to the battery's negative terminal. Remove the cable and set it aside.

Step 2: Remove the trim piece that runs around the stereo. An in-dash car stereo is also called head unit, and most vehicles have a trim piece that runs around its edges. To access the clips or bolts that secure the head unit as well as the electrical connections on its side, you need to carefully remove this trim piece.

Find out how the trim is installed so you'll know the process and the right tools to use when removing it. In some vehicles, the trim is held by hidden screws, which you need to loosen first before you can pop the trim off. In most cases, you can simply pry the trim away using a flathead screwdriver. Use the screwdriver with care to avoid damaging the trim. You can also choose to purchase trim removal tools.

Step 3: Unbolt and pull the stereo out of the dash. Once the trim has been removed, you can now start removing the car stereo from the dashboard. The process can be a bit complicated because the stereo is, in most vehicles, held in place by bolts or screws, and you may find it difficult to reach the said hardware with your flathead or Philips screwdriver. You may use a flashlight to locate these bolts.

It's also wise to consult your owner's manual as it contains information about how the stereo is installed. There are car stereos that are secured to the dash by spring-loaded clips that can be disengaged with the use of a DIN tool.

Step 4: Disconnect the wiring. Now that the car stereo is released and can be taken out of the dash, the next step you have to take is to disconnect the wiring, such as the antenna cable, which can be taken off by unscrewing it. You also need to disengage the power connection and the wiring harness containing the connections to the speaker.

With the malfunctioning head unit out of the dash, you can now start your replacement car stereo installation.