Directions for Removing a Radio


Disconnect the negative battery cable (or grounding cable) from the vehicle's battery. The negative battery cable connects the vehicle's battery to the frame or chassis of the vehicle. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen the bolt that holds the cable's clamp to the negative battery terminal. Move the cable away from the battery until the radio removal is complete.


Remove the dash panels that surround the stereo. For most vehicles, the dash panel immediately surrounding the stereo and the climate control panel need to be removed. Consult your vehicle owner's manual for specific instructions on dash panel removal.


Remove the screws or bolts that secure the car radio into the stereo mounting bracket. A common configuration for bolts and screws that hold the stereo unit into the stereo mounting bracket includes screws or bolts on either side of the radio itself.


Pull the stereo from the stereo mounting dock far enough to access the wiring connected to the back of the radio.


Disconnect the wiring connected to the back of the factory stereo. The power supply cable and the antenna wiring can be pulled from the radio by hand. The speaker wires and the patch cables connected to the vehicle's amplifier will be grouped together by plastic grouping binders. Disconnect the speaker wires and patch cables by pulling the binders, not the wires themselves.

Tips and Warnings

  • Once the radio is disconnected from the the stereo wiring of the vehicle, it is free from the dashboard. Save the screws and bolts that held the factory stereo in the stereo mounting bracket; it is likely they will be needed for installation of an aftermarket unit.
  • Do not connect the negative battery cable until your work is complete. Connecting or disconnecting components linked to the electrical system of the vehicle, without having the negative battery cable disconnected, can lead to shock and damage of the vehicle's components and electrical wiring.
  • The directions for removing a car radio can vary significantly among different models of vehicles. Certain categories of vehicles, such as those with the same country of origin, might have similar procedures for removing the car radio. For example; BMW and Mercedes-Benz (both German automakers) have similar procedures for removing the stereo from the dashboard in their vehicles. While there are numerous differences in procedures, there are certain steps for removing a car radio that are relatively universal.