How Do I Install a CD Player in Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles factory-installed stereo is purposefully matched with the Vehicles other components to maximize the performance of the Vehicles system. Vehicles owners who desire a more powerful system or wish to include additional speakers, will need to include a more powerful aftermarket head unit. Removal of the factory deck can be performed in minutes and installation of the new CD player requires standard tools and adapters. Purchase the Vehicles stereo-installation kit to bridge the compatibility gaps between the Vehicles stereo wiring and the outlets of the replacement CD player. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery before removing or installing stereo components.

Under The Hood:

 How Do I Install a CD Player in a Mercury Marquis?

Turn the engine off and pop the hood. Move to the front of the Mercury and lift the hood. Loosen the bolt on the negative battery cable clamp with a 10 mm wrench. Lift the cable from the battery terminal and set it aside until the new CD player is installed.

Slide the Ford installation kit faceplate adapter into the empty stereo mounting dock. Pull the stereo wiring and antenna cable from the back of the dock to the front of the faceplate adapter.

Plug the Marquis' stereo wiring connectors into the wiring harness adapter leads. Plug the wiring harness adapter lead connectors into the corresponding outlets on the back of the new CD player. Plug the antenna cable into the outlet marked "FM ANT" on the rear panel of the CD player.

Slide the CD player into the faceplate adapter until it snaps into place.

Reposition the negative battery cable clamp over the negative battery terminal post. Tighten the bolt with the 10 mm wrench. Close the Mercury's hood.

Items you will need

  • 10 mm wrench

  • Ford aftermarket stereo installation kit (including faceplate adapter)

  • Wiring harness adapter

 How to Install a CD Player in a Chevy Caprice

Gather your tools and determine what specific parts you will need to install the CD player. If you are installing a factory CD player, the conversion will be "plug and play", meaning you need no conversion parts. If you are installing an aftermarket CD player, you will need a dash mounting kit, antenna converter and a wiring harness specific to the CD player.

Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety, and then use a standard socket wrench to remove the six bolts beneath the steering column.

Remove the fuse box panel on the driver's side end of the dash. Remove the bolt located behind the fuse box panel.

Remove the two bolts securing the instrument cluster cover to the dash. Carefully slide the instrument cluster cover away from the dash.

Lower the glove box door and unsnap the right side from the dash. Work your way to the left, pulling the entire panel from the dash until it comes free.

Remove the two screws mounting the radio into the dash. Pull the radio out and unhook the antenna cable and factory wiring harness.

Install the wiring harness and antenna adapter according to the specific package instructions, if you are installing an aftermarket CD player. Install the CD player mounting bracket into the radio cavity (aftermarket CD player only).

Attach the wiring harness and antenna cable to the new CD player. Insert the CD player into the dash. Secure it with the provided hardware (if aftermarket) or use the factory mounting screws.

Reattach the dash panel. Use the clips on the back of the panel as a guide. Snap the clips into the dash. Once the clips are attached, replace the fuse box screw, the six steering column screws and the instrument cluster cover. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Socket wrench

  • CD player installation kit (aftermarket only)

  • Replacement CD player

 How to Install a CD Player in a GMC Sonoma

Removing the Dashboard Panels and Factory Stereo

Remove the two bolt screws below the steering wheel and single screw above the instrument panel. Use a 7 mm socket and ratchet to extract the screws.

Pull the lower dash panel away from the left side of the dashboard and remove the screw behind the panel with the socket and ratchet.

Grab the main dash panel at the top-left corner (driver's side of the Sonoma) and pull it away from the dashboard. Reach behind the panel to unplug the wiring connectors plugged into the back of the wiper-control panel. Work your hands across the top of the panel to detach the panel from the dashboard completely.

Remove the two bolt screws holding the stereo into the mounting bracket. Slide the stereo from the dock and unplug the wiring connectors from the outlets on the left side of the radio's rear panel. Unplug the black antenna cable from the outlet labeled "FM ANT."

Installing the New CD Player

Place the faceplate adapter into the Sonoma's empty stereo-mounting dock. Screw in the two bolt screws to hold the adapter in place. The faceplate adapter will provide a uniform platform on which the new CD player will be mounted. Pull the stereo wiring and antenna cable from the back of the stereo dock.

Plug the two plastic wire binders at the ends of the Sonoma's stereo wiring into the connectors of the wiring-harness adapter.

Plug the wiring-harness adapter leads into the outlets on the back of the CD player. Plug the antenna cable into the corresponding outlet on the rear panel of the new unit.

Slide the CD player into the faceplate adapter inside the GMC's stereo dock. Push the player in until it locks into place.

Replace the main dash panel against the dashboard. Plug the electrical wiring connectors into the wiper-control panel.

Press around the perimeter of the dash panel to reconnect it to the dashboard. Replace the two screws beneath the steering wheel and the single screw above the instrument panel.

Items you will need

  • 10 mm wrench

  • 7 mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • Wiring-harness adapter

  • Faceplate adapter

 How to Install a CD Player in a Chevy Truck

Disconnect the negative battery cable before beginning the procedure.

Examine the dash panel that extends around your gauge cluster and your old radio. The entire panel is one piece. It is attached by clips only.

Grasp the left side of the panel around the instrument cluster and pull it to release the clips. Work your way down the panel, pulling on sections until all of the clips are released. When the panel is disconnected, set it aside.

Examine the factory mounting bracket for the radio. Look closely at each side of the radio to find the levers. Lower the levers to disengage the radio clips. Pull the radio from the dash.

Disconnect the factory wiring harness and the antenna cable. Set the old radio aside.

Follow the directions in your aftermarket installation kit to attach the new wiring harness and antenna converter to the vehicle. If you are installing a factory CD player, skip this step. Install the aftermarket CD player mounting kit according to the specific package instructions.

Attach the wiring harness and antenna to the rear of the new CD player. Place the new CD player in the dash. Raise the lever if you are installing a factory CD player. Use the provided screws to mount the radio if you are installing an aftermarket CD player.

Reattach the dash panel to the truck. To attach the dash panel, place it in its correct position and push it to engage the clips. Once the dash panel is attached, reconnect your negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Pliers

  • Replacement CD player

  • Aftermarket installation kit (optional)

  • Screwdriver (optional)

 How to Install a CD Player in a 1998 Chevy Lumina

Radio Removal

Turn off the vehicle and remove the key from the ignition. Open the vehicle's hood and disconnect the negative battery cable from the “-” battery post using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Loosen the screws securing the knee panel, located below the steering wheel, using a screwdriver. This will reduce the chance of the bezel binding during the removal process.

Separate the dash bezel from the dashboard using your fingers or plastic pry tool. Place the dash bezel outside of the vehicle or on the rear seat.

Remove the two screws securing the radio to the dash using an extension, socket and ratchet.

Slide the radio out of the dash opening. Disconnect the main wiring harness connector and antenna cable from the rear of the stock radio unit. Place the stock radio unit out of the way.

Examine the inside of the radio opening and remove the center-mounted radio support from the floor of the cavity using a sharp utility knife to score the plastic and your fingers to break the support free.

Installation

Examine the wiring diagrams supplied with the aftermarket radio and factory radio harness adapter. Splice the wires from the factory radio harness adapter to the corresponding connector wiring for the aftermarket stereo, using butt connectors and a pair of wire crimps. Always refer to the wiring diagrams supplied with the two products when making each connection.

Wrap the harness adapter splice connectors and wiring with electrical tape.

Assemble the mounting kit according to the product's specific instructions. Remove the chassis sleeve from the aftermarket radio. Fit the chassis sleeve into the mounting kit opening and use a flat-head screwdriver to bend the appropriate sleeve tabs outward to secure the piece in place.

Slide the aftermarket radio into the chassis sleeve. Connect the harness adapter to the factory radio harness; connect the remaining end to the rear of the radio.

Connect the antenna adapter to the antenna cable; connect the antenna cable to the back of the stereo.

Slide the mounting kit and installed radio into the dash opening. Secure the mounting kit to the dash with the original screws used for the factory radio with an extension, socket and ratchet.

Line up the dash bezel to the dashboard; press-fit the bezel to the dashboard with your hands. Tighten the screws for the knee panel.

Reconnect the negative battery cable to the “-” battery post using a wrench or socket and ratchet to complete the installation.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Wrench set

  • Plastic pry tool

  • Stereo mounting kit

  • Wire harness adapter

  • GM antenna adapter

  • Butt connectors

  • Wire cutter

  • Wire crimps

  • Electrical tape

 How to Install a CD Player in a Sebring

Disconnect the negative battery cable (or grounding cable) from the Sebring's battery. The grounding cable is the black cable that connects the battery to the frame of the vehicle. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the bolt holding the cable's clamp around the negative lead. Remove the clamp from the lead.

Remove the trim panel surrounding the stock stereo system. Insert a flat screwdriver along the seam of the panel trim and pry the panel loose. Cover the blade of the screwdriver with a thin cloth to protect the finish of the trim panel during removal. Work the screwdriver around the perimeter of the panel with moderate force until it is completely removed.

Remove both of the screws on either side of the factory deck. Use a 10mm socket and ratchet for the screws.

Pull the factory deck from the dash until the wiring connections are able to be reached at the rear of the deck.

Disconnect the wiring groups at the rear of the factory deck. The four groups connected are for the antenna, the power supply (battery), the speakers and the amplifier. The wiring groups can be removed by hand with a moderate amount of force.

Insert the faceplate adapter into the space left by the factory deck. The faceplate adapter should be a single DIN-sized adapter. Feed the wire groups through the back of the faceplate adapter.

Connect the wiring groups to the CD player. If the CD player is not compatible with Chrysler wiring, connect the wiring groups to a wiring harness adapter and then to the CD player.

Place the CD player into the faceplate adapter. Push the CD player into the slot until the face of the CD player is flush with the trim of the faceplate.

Reconnect the grounding wire to the Sebring's battery. Lace the clamp around the negative lead. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten the clamp around the lead. The lead needs to be tighten only to the point that the clamp cannot be moved about the lead by hand.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • 10mm socket and ratchet

  • Flat screwdriver

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • Universal faceplate adapter

 How to Install a CD Player in a Chevy Cavalier

Purchase a CD player with a kit that fits the Chevy Cavalier make and model you own.

Install the kit for the Chevy Cavalier. Most kits will attach to the screw mounts inside the dash that held the original stereo components.

Attach the stereo wires to the connections in the dash following your wire diagram. The red connectors attach to red and yellow to yellow in most models.

Attach the power and ground to the back of the CD player. The power is the red cable and the black is the ground.

Slide the CD player into the mounts on the kit. It will fit inside grooves along the inside of the track and lock into place.

Replace the dashboard cover attaching the inside screws using a Phillips head screwdriver and ratchet.

Items you will need

  • Cavalier stereo kit

  • CD player

  • Screwdriver

  • Ratchet set

 How to Install a CD Player in a 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage

Open the hood of the Mirage and disconnect the negative battery cable from the vehicle's negative battery terminal. Loosen the cable's clamp with a 10 millimeter wrench and remove it from the battery altogether. Move to the inside of the car.

Pull the ashtray from its compartment within the dashboard.

Grab the trim panels that surround the factory stereo on both sides. Pull the panel from the dashboard until it snaps free.

Remove the two bolt screws on either side of the Mirage's stereo bracket with a 7 mm socket and drive.

Slide the factory stereo from the stereo dock and disconnect the stereo wiring and antenna cable from the back of the unit.

Connect the stereo wiring to a wiring harness adapter. Plug the plastic stereo connectors directly into the harness leads.

Slide the aftermarket CD player's installation sleeve into the stereo dock. Fold the metal tabs inside the sleeve with a flat screwdriver to secure the sleeve into the Mitsubishi's dock.

Feed the stereo wiring with wiring harness adapter attached, as well as the antenna cable through the installation sleeve and to the front of the stereo dock.

Plug the wiring harness adapter leads into the outlets on the rear panel of the new CD player. The signal and power outlets are commonly found on the bottom right corner of the CD player.

Plug the antenna cable into the outlet labeled "FM ANT" usually located on the corner of the CD player's rear panel opposite the stereo wiring outlets.

Slide the CD player into the dock until it snaps into place within the Mirage's dash.

Align the trim panel around the stereo dock and press firmly to snap it back against the dashboard. Return the ashtray to its slot. Return to the Mitsubishi's engine compartment.

Place the negative battery cable clamp back around the Mitsubishi's negative battery terminal. Tighten the cable's clamp to the negative post with the wrench. Close the Mirage's hood.

Items you will need

  • 10 millimeter wrench

  • 7 millimeter socket and drive

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • Aftermarket installation sleeve

  • Flat screwdriver

 How to Install a CD Player in your Car

Buy a CD player that is compatible with the already existing slot in your car. There are adapter kits for some models, but these can add to the expense you're trying to avoid by installing the unit yourself.

Read the owner's manual. Usually, you can get a good idea about the specific quirks of the model you've chosen, how it works, and how to install it.

Collect your tools. You will likely need wire cutters and wire strippers, a screwdriver (usually Phillips head), and some electrical tape. Other tools and materials (if needed) are often included with your unit.

Unhook the negative/black cable from your car's battery. You do not want to get shocked, so by doing this you take the power out of your car's electrical system.

Remove the dashboard and your old unit. This can usually be done with just the screwdriver, but when you are having problems consult the owner's manual for the car or unit you are removing.

Check to see if the wires go into the old unit one by one or through a wiring harness. When it is a wiring harness, you can use another harness (for your new unit) and simply connect them all in one shot.

Connect each wire for each speaker (each should have a positive and negative) one by one. Connect the ground to a metal connection (probably a screw) on the back of your new unit.

Connect the power wires to your new CD player. They are both red, and your manual should indicate where they are connected to the back of your CD player.

Plug your car battery back in and test your CD player. When it works, slide it into the slot and screw it in securely.

Items you will need

  • cd player

  • tools

 How to Install a CD Player in a Crown Victoria

Locate the radio removal holes on the face of the factory stereo. There will be four holes, two on each side. Place the pointed ends of the Ford radio removal tools into the holes, pull them apart slightly, and pull the radio from its hole.

Solder the wire harness from the CD player to be installed to the aftermarket radio replacement harness. Seal the soldered connections with heat shrink or black electrical tape.

Place the metal cage provided with the aftermarket stereo in the dash. Use a pick tool to secure it by bending the locking metal tabs on the cage into place. In models that require a dash kit, place the cage into the dash kit and bend the metal tabs into place with a pick tool. Slide the dash kit into the factory radio opening until a click is heard.

Connect the aftermarket harness to the factory harness. It should click in with ease. Plug the other end of the harness into the back of the radio. Plug the factory antenna wire into the back of the radio.

Slide the new radio into its cage until it clicks into place. Test the new radio to insure proper operation.

Items you will need

  • Ford radio removal keys

  • Solder

  • Heat shrink or black electrical tape

  • Pick tool

  • Aftermarket stereo wire harness

  • Dash kit (for some models)