Do you want to sell your car, but the stereo is so nice you can’t bring yourself to remove it? How about giving it a fresh new look with a hidden vintage look instead? Or maybe you just don’t like staring at that outdated technology every time you get in the car. By removing your current stereo and installing a hidden one, you can practically have the best of both worlds. The process is not difficult, but it can be a little tricky because there are wires involved. If your car has an old radio with a tape player, then removing the radio and installing a hidden one is fairly simple. But most newer cars do not have an accessible radio at all; in this case, you will need to remove almost everything from above your steering wheel and from under your steering wheel as well. So read on for our step-by-step instructions on how to remove your car stereo and install a hidden one!
How To Remove Your Car Stereo
- First, you will need to remove your car stereo. This is very easy in newer cars, but it can be a little more tricky in older ones. First, you will need to remove the radio from your dashboard. You might have to use a screwdriver or something similar to pry it out, depending on how it is attached.
- Once the radio is removed, you can then remove the rest of your dashboard by unscrewing any fasteners that are holding it in place. This will ensure that you do not damage anything while removing it and putting it back together again.
- Next, you will need to remove the steering wheel cover (if applicable). You can do this by unscrewing all of the bolts that hold it in place or by removing all of the nuts and bolts holding on each side of the steering wheel itself. These parts are usually held on with nuts and bolts and there are usually two sets of fasteners for each side so that you can remove the cover without having to pull on it.
- Then, you will need to remove any trim pieces or panels from your dashboard and steering wheel if necessary. You can do this by unscrewing any nuts and bolts that are holding them in place with a wrench or screwdriver.
- Once everything is removed, you will need to loosen all of the bolts that are holding your stereo in place. If your car has an exposed radio with a tape player, then you will only have to loosen four of these bolts as opposed to six for a hidden stereo installation, but if it does not have an exposed radio or tape player, then you will need to remove all six bolts holding it into place. Then, you can simply pull the radio out toward the front of your car and let go of the wires that are attached to it. If there is any wiring attached to your radio at all (usually only in newer cars), then you should note which wires are attached so that you can put it back together in the same order.
- Now, you will need to unplug the wires from your old stereo and plug them into the new one. If your car has a tape player, then you will only have to plug in the wires for it if there are any. However, if your car does not have a tape player or any other component attached to it (such as an MP3 player), then you will need to plug in all of the wires for everything (radio, tape player/CD changer, etc.). If there are multiple components on your radio that you want to replace with a new one (such as an MP3 player and a CD changer), then make sure that each component is plugged into its own separate jack so that they do not interfere with each other when plugged into the same jack.
- Now, remove all of the screws and bolts from your dashboard and steering wheel cover so that you can remove them.
- Before you begin, you’ll need to remove your car stereo.
- To do this, you’ll need to disconnect the battery and the ignition. To do this, turn off the ignition and remove the key from the ignition lock. Then disconnect your battery by removing the negative cable first and then slowly pulling it out of its socket.
- Once you have disconnected your battery, make sure your car is parked in a safe spot with nothing nearby it can hit as it rolls away! Also, make sure that there are no obstacles behind or in front of your car that could cause damage to it if it were to roll away!
- Now that you have disconnected your battery, it’s time for STEP 1: Remove The Steering Wheel And Radio Tray! This will take some time since there are many wires attached to this piece of equipment and you will need to carefully remove them all from their respective places.
What Tools Do You Need To Remove A Car Stereo?
- Your hands – in order to remove your car stereo you will need to remove the faceplate. Your hands are the most important tool of all. You will need to use your hands to pry and pull things apart, so you may as well learn how to use them.
- A screwdriver – if you have a radio with a tape player, then removing this part should be fairly easy for you. If it is not, then you will also need a screwdriver since there are wires involved in this part of the process.
- A drill/screwdriver – if you do not have a screwdriver handy and want to add an amp and subwoofer, then this is the tool for you! This can be used to drill holes in speaker enclosures and into the subwoofer box so that wires can be run through those holes into the car stereo’s wiring harness or up through other holes that were drilled earlier into the car’s interior.
- A pair of needle-nose pliers – if you want to install a hidden stereo, then this is the tool for you! You will need them to remove faceplates and open things up so that wires can be pulled out of your car’s interior.
- A tape measure – just in case you have a hard time remembering how long something is when you are trying to remove it!
Remove The Dashboard Cover
- Begin by removing the dashboard. This is probably the most difficult part of the job, and it’s not even necessary to remove the entire dashboard. You can remove just the area that covers your stereo. You’ll need a screwdriver and a hammer to get started.
- Remove the screws holding your dash in place by removing them from their mounting holes. Then you can lift up your dash and place it aside for now.
- Next, remove this plastic cover from under your radio by pushing down on it and pulling it out from under your radio unit with a pair of pliers or a screwdriver depending on how much space you have under there.
- Next, you’ll need to remove this cover from around your steering wheel so that you can access the back side of your stereo unit for removal purposes. Simply remove the screws holding it in place and then lift it up.
- Once you have removed this piece of plastic, you can then lift up your stereo unit and place it aside for now.
- You’ll need to remove the screws on the bottom of your stereo unit to get it out. There are two screws on each side of your stereo unit, and you may need a screwdriver or a pair of pliers for this step.
- If you’re going to replace your car stereo with an aftermarket unit, then you will need to remove this piece of plastic that covers up the back side of your radio unit. It is held in place by a single screw, which can be removed with a screwdriver or pliers as needed.
Remove The Center Console And Shifting Knob
1. Remove The Center Console
Most newer cars have plastic consoles, but older cars may have wooden consoles. If your car has a wooden console, you will want to remove it before you begin. If your car has a plastic console, then you can just leave it in place. Start by removing the small panel that is directly above the steering wheel with a screwdriver and then rotate it up and out of the way. Next, remove the two screws that are holding the center panel in place and lift them up toward you. The center panel should slide out of place easily, so pull on it gently to remove it completely from the rest of the console.
2. Remove The Shift Knob And Radio
Most newer cars have one or two buttons on top of your steering wheel that is used to control various functions like volume and radio stations. To access these buttons, you will need to remove some parts from above your steering wheel as well as below your steering wheel where the radio is located. Start by removing the two screws that are holding the steering wheel in place and then lift them towards you to remove them from the steering column.
3. Remove The Radio And Wires From Above The Steering Wheel
Start by removing the two screws that are holding your radio in place at this point and then lift up one side of it with a screwdriver to remove it from its mounting point above your steering wheel. You may need to pull on the wires a bit before they will come out of their connectors at this point, so be careful not to break them or make any knots in them while you’re pulling on them gently with a pair of pliers or needle-nose pliers.
4. Remove The Wires That Connect To Your Steering Wheel Controls
You will want to remove the wires that connect your steering wheel controls to your radio at this point. Start by removing the two screws that are holding your steering wheel controls in place and then lift them up towards you with a screwdriver to remove them from the steering column. You may have to pull on them a bit before they come out of their connector, so be careful not to break or make any knots in them while you’re pulling on them gently with a pair of pliers or needle-nose pliers as you remove them.
5. Remove The Radio And Wires From Under Your Steering Wheel
Remove the two screws that are holding your radio and wires under your steering wheel in place and then lift up one side of it with a screwdriver to remove it from its mounting point below your steering wheel where it is connected by wires to the radio. You may have to pull on the wires a bit before they come out of their connectors, so be careful not to break or make any knots in them while you’re pulling on them gently with a pair of pliers or needle-nose pliers as you remove them.
Installing a hidden car stereo is a fun DIY project. It can be tricky, so make sure to read the instructions carefully. Once you have installed your new hidden stereo, you will not want to go back! When you are selling your car, you don’t want to lose a potential customer just because they don’t like the stereo system. With a hidden stereo, you can satisfy everyone!