How to take out a car radio in 4 easy steps

Are you fed-up with your old car radio and want to upgrade it? There are many modern stereos to choose from. All you have to do is get your desired stereo and carry out the process of the installation yourself. However, if you doubt your skill, then contact a professional for the deed.

If you have planned to carry out the process yourself and think you are capable of removing that old car radio by yourself, here are some key steps you need to follow.

Before everything else, keep your owner’s manual with yourself. No one can guide you right, other than the manufacturer on how to take out a car radio. So study your manual thoroughly to see if there are any instructions given regarding the removal of the car radio. If there is, then it is highly advisable to follow that. However, if not, don’t worry, because we have got you covered.

How to take out a car radio in 4 easy steps

Step # 1 – Select the right tools

When you are becoming a car electrician yourself, you must ensure that your toolbox has all the required tools in it. Make sure that you have a Phillips screwdriver, a flathead, pliers, and wire strippers. Moreover, you will also need a nylon prying tool. If you don’t have it yet, you can order it online or get it from a nearby tool shop. Nylon prying tool is highly advisable because it eases car radio removal while shielding the dashboard from damage.

Step # 2 – Make sure you disconnect your car’s battery

You’ve got all your tools now and you are ready to start the actual process. Well, the question is how to take out a car radio. Before you carry forward the process, there is one more thing you must do, and that is to disconnect your battery. However, before you take the lead, make sure that your engine is switched off.

When you are disconnecting your battery, make sure to take out the negative wire from the terminal and set it aside. Either cover the end of the wire with a dried cloth or tape it down till you complete the process of removal and installation. All in all, ensure that the wire is unable to touch the terminal or any other material that can conduct electricity. Moreover, if you know how to remove your car’s battery and install it again, it is recommended that you remove the battery.

Step#3 – Take out the radio from the dashboard

Once you have gathered the tools and have disconnected the battery, get into your car.  Start by removing the screws that are holding your stereo to the dashboard. Make sure you don’t miss any screws.

If you fail to do so, you may damage the internal wiring while you pull the stereo out of the deck. Also, ensure that all the screws that you are taking out are kept in a secured container.

As you fully unscrew the radio, start pulling it out gently. Usually, the radio will come out easily. However, in some cars, you may have to remove a few panels from the dashboard as well.

After pulling the radio out of its housing, start disconnecting the wires. If you are not sure about how to do it, you may ask someone for help. But if you think you are capable enough to handle it yourself, then start with the deed.

As you pull it out, take care of the connected wires and a wiring clip. If you start pulling out the wires aggressively, you may damage the wiring and the radio as well. Be patient while you wait for the wires to get loose, and move the radio in all the directions; up, down, right, and left.

Step#4- Install your new stereo and store the old one

As you pull down the old radio system without damaging the wiring, you’ll be ready for the next step. You can use the manual to get some guidance on how to install the new stereo system and then follow the instructions given.

Make sure you do the wiring properly and carefully. As one wrong wire can damage the system, and in some cases, it may damage your car as well.

If your stereo doesn’t fit in the dashboard, you can get a dash kit to fit it properly. Moreover, it would also make your installation process easier.

After completing the installation, put everything back in its place. Don’t forget to reconnect the battery. If you took it out, then install it again.

After completing the process, store the old radio in a safe place.


We have listed down all the important steps for how to take out a car radio that you need to follow if you are planning to take out your old car radio and install a new one by yourself.

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