How to Change the Radio in Cars

by Contributing Writer

The radio in your Dodge car is secured to the dash with two screws. However, you must remove the center dash trim first. If you've owned your Dodge car for a number of years, you may find that the radio doesn't work as well as it used to. This is normal and is part of the natural wear and tear that a radio experiences. Replacement radios can be purchased for your Dodge car from most aftermarket audio companies. Make sure that you purchase a radio that is made specifically for the Dodge car.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Radio in a Dodge RAM 1500 Sport

Open the cup holder and the ashtray in the center console dash area.

Remove the screw that is exposed once the cup holder and ashtray are open.

Pull on the center console to remove the trim around the radio.

Remove the two screws that hold the radio in place.

Slide the radio forward.

Unplug the electrical connector and antenna plug from the back of the radio.

Plug the electrical connector and the antenna into the new radio.

Slide the radio into the dash and secure it with the factory mounting screws.

Replace the dash trim and tighten the factory mounting screw. Then, close the ashtray and cup holder.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace the Radio in a Jaguar XJS

Park the car on a flat surface so it doesn't roll away. Shift the gear selector to first gear.

Remove all climate control knobs by simply pulling them away from the dashboard.

Remove the rings that surround the climate control knobs. Gently insert a small screwdriver between each ring and the dashboard to pry the rings away, one by one.

Pull away the plastic that surrounds the stereo head unit.

Remove the climate control faceplate by pulling at it gently and allowing it to fall out of the way.

Unscrew the four screws that are situated either side of the stereo head unit holding it in place.

Pull the stereo head unit out of the dashboard and disconnect the wire connectors and ground strap.

Connect the wires and ground strap to your new radio. Shift the gear selector to park, and start the car to test that the radio is connected properly. Replace the four screws to hold the new radio in place. Shift the gear selector back to first gear so you can reinstall the rest of the dashboard.

Replace the climate control faceplate, plastic radio surround, climate control rings and knobs.

 How to Change the Radio in a Pontiac Grand Prix

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the Grand Prix battery. Use the screwdriver to loosen the clamp on the negative lead. Rest the clamp away from the battery.

Remove the two screws securing the lower dash panel using the screwdriver. The screws are located at either ends of the panel under the steering column, closest to the dashboard instrumentation. Pull the panel free from the dash by hand.

Grab the dash panel that surrounds the dashboard instrumentation and stereo. Pull the entire panel free from the vehicle. Disconnect the wire connection that powers the hazard switch at the top left corner of the dash. The wire binder can be pulled free by hand.

Remove the two screws on either side of the stereo deck with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the stereo from the dash far enough to access the wiring groups connected at the rear of the unit.

Pull the wire groups from the stereo. Grab the groups by the plastic wire binders, not the wires themselves.

Connect the wire groups to a wiring harness adapter. The adapter will be clearly marked with abbreviations or color codes to show where connections are to be made.

Insert a universal faceplate adapter into the stereo dock left vacant by the old stereo. Feed the wiring harness adapter leads through the back of the faceplate adapter.

Connect the wiring harness adapter to the rear of new radio. Insert the radio into the faceplate adapter. The radio will be fully seated when the edge of the unit is flush with the trim of the faceplate adapter.

Replace the negative battery cable clamp around the battery's negative lead post. Tighten the clamp with the screwdriver until the clamp cannot be moved around the lead by hand.

Replace the dash panel that surrounds the stereo and the dashboard instruments. Reconnect the hazard switch wiring. The dash panel will snap into place. Replace the lower dash panel (beneath the steering column) and screw in the two corner screws with the screwdriver.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • Universal faceplate adapter

 How Do I Change a Radio in a GMC Acadia?

Pull the hood release lever on the left side of the passenger cabin, under the dashboard. Move to the front of the GMC and raise the hood. Loosen the bolt on the negative battery cable with the wrench. Remove the cable from the battery and set it aside. Move back to the interior of the Acadia.

Pry the main dashboard panel from the climate control and stereo assembly with a trim panel removal tool. Set the panel aside. Remove the four screws around the stereo bracket with the Phillips-head screwdriver. Slide the stereo from the mounting dock and disconnect the stereo wiring connectors and antenna cable from the outlets on the rear panel of the stock stereo unit.

Connect the stereo wiring lead connectors to the wiring harness adapter leads. The adapter will bridge the gap in compatibility between the new radio and the Acadia's stereo wiring. Plug the antenna cable lead into the GM antenna adapter.

Slide the new radio's installation cage into the GMC's stereo dock. Bend the metal tabs inside the installation cage with a flat screwdriver to secure it within the mounting dock. Pull the adapter stereo wiring and antenna cables from the back of the dock to the front of the dashboard.

Plug the wiring harness adapter into the corresponding outlets on the rear panel of the new radio. Insert the GM antenna adapter lead into the FM antenna input on the back of the new head unit. Slide the radio into the installation cage until it snaps or locks into place within the dashboard.

Place the dash panel against the Acadia's dashboard. Press firmly around the perimeter of the panel until it snaps back onto the dashboard. Return to the engine compartment.

Replace the negative battery cable clamp around the negative battery terminal post. Tighten the bolt on the cable's clamp with the wrench. Close the GMC's hood.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Trim panel removal tool

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Installation cage

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • GM antenna adapter

 How to Replace the Radio in a Honda CR-V

Locate the interior knee panel on the driver's side, just below the steering wheel. Remove the two Phillips-head screws, using the Phillips-head screwdriver, then pull the panel away from the dash, using your hands to release the clips.

Move to the passenger side of the vehicle and open the glove box. Hold the sides of the glove box and push the sides in to allow the box to drop down. Remove the two Phillips-head screws on the left side of the glove box opening, using the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Locate the small interior pocket at the bottom of the center of the dash. Use the interior clip removal tool to pop off the clips on either side of the panel, and then remove it from the dash.

Grab the plastic panel below the stereo and slowly pull it away from the dashboard. The panel is held to the dash by the wiring for the cigarette lighter, so disconnect it using your hands, and then pull the panel completely away from the dash.

Locate the two Phillips-head screws and two 8-millimeter bolts on either side of the stereo, which were hidden by the panel you removed in Step 4. Remove them, using a Phillips-head screwdriver and the 1/4-inch ratchet and socket, and then pull the stereo panel away from the dashboard. Unplug the wiring harness and antenna lead from the back, using your hands.

Unbolt the stereo from the stereo panel, using the 1/4-inch ratchet and socket. Slide the factory stereo out of the stereo panel, then install the replacement stereo in its place using the same hardware and tools. Plug the wiring harness and antenna lead into the back of the stereo, and then place the assembly back in the dash.

Reassemble the dashboard in the reverse order of disassembly.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Interior clip removal tool

  • 1/4-inch ratchet and socket set

  • Replacement stereo

 How to Replace the Radio in a 1997 Toyota Avalon

Raise the hood of the Avalon. Pull the hood release lever under the dashboard and lift the hood from the front of the car. Remove the battery cable from the negative battery terminal of the Toyota's battery. Set the cable aside and return to the inside of the vehicle.

Pull the parking brake handle to the upward stowed position. Place the transmission in "Low."

Pry the trim bezel from the dashboard with a trim panel removal tool. Disconnect the wiring connectors from the back of the trim panel and set aside.

Remove the bolts at the corners of the stock stereo. Use the 10 mm socket and the ratchet. Slide the stock stereo head unit from the stereo dock. Disconnect the wiring connected to the back of the unit (antenna and stereo wiring).

Insert the aftermarket Toyota faceplate adapter into the dashboard stereo dock. Plug the wiring harness adapter leads into the Avalon's stereo wiring connectors.

Connect the wiring harness adapter lead connectors into the two outlets on the back of the new radio. Plug the antenna cable lead into the AM/FM antenna input on the back side of the new radio.

Slide the new radio straight into the faceplate adapter until it locks into place. Align the trim panel with the dashboard and reconnect the wiring to the cigarette lighter on the back of the trim bezel. Place the panel against the dash and press firmly around the perimeter to snap it back into place. Move back to the Toyota's engine compartment.

Replace the battery cable clamp onto the battery terminal. Tighten it with the wrench. Close the Avalon's hood.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Trim panel removal tool

  • 10 mm socket

  • Ratchet

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • Faceplate adapter

 How to Replace the Radio in a 2010 F350 Ford Truck

Insert the nylon pry bar in the gap between the power outlet on the left side of the dash and the bezel around the stereo. Pull it back to pop the panel away from the dash. Unplug the wiring to the bezel and remove it from the dash.

Unclip the panel to the right of the climate controls similar to the power outlet panel with the nylon pry bar. Remove the screws underneath both panels with the Phillips screwdriver. Pull off the trim panel around the stereo that includes the climate controls with both hands. Unplug the wiring on the back side.

Unscrew the radio from the dash with the Phillips screwdriver. Pull it out of the dash and remove the electrical connections on the back side with your hands.

Connect the wiring to the back of the upgraded stereo. Install it into the dash with the Phillips screwdriver.

Plug in the wiring to the radio bezel and reinstall it onto the dash. Reinstall the screws into the bezel and push the trim panels back into place.

Items you will need

  • Nylon pry bar

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Upgraded factory radio

 How to Change the Radio in a Grand Cherokee

Go to a local electronics store or online to buy a new stereo system. Make sure the system comes with a wiring harness adapter that is compatible with your Grand Cherokee's year and a mount that fits as well.

Disconnect your car's power supply by pulling off the black (negative) wire from your car's battery and placing it someplace where it will not accidentally come in contact with the battery.

Remove the four screws that hold the center console in place.

Pry off the center console by going around it with a screwdriver and gently prying off the plastic, freeing it from any clips holding it into place.

Unscrew the four screws that attach the radio to the car.

Gently pull out the radio. Detach the wiring harness and the antenna wire from the back of the stereo.

If necessary, place the stereo mount into the slot and secure it in place. If the new radio is specifically designed to fit in the dash of your Grand Cherokee's year, you can skip this step.

Attach the wiring harness to the wiring harness adapter on the back of the new stereo. Also attach the antenna wire to the appropriate spot on the new stereo.

Slide the new stereo into place, being careful not to disconnect any of the wires while doing so.

Reconnect the car's power supply.

Turn on the radio and check to see if the system works properly. Make sure sound is coming out of every speaker.

Secure the stereo into place by screwing in the four screws that were holding the old stereo into place.

Reattach the center console piece into place by snapping it into the clips and screwing it in with the four screws that held it in place.

Items you will need

  • New stereo system

  • Screwdriver

 How to Change the Radio in a BMW

Pry off the trim cover on the side of the right side of the radio using a flat-tip screwdriver.

Remove the Phillips screw behind the trim cover with a Phillips screwdriver. Slide the radio unit forward.

Remove the antenna plug and the pinned connector on the back of the unit.

Plug the pinned connector into the BMW converter cable.

Plug the converter cable into the back of the aftermarket radio unit and plug the antenna cable into the input jack on the back of the new radio.

Slide the unit back into the dash and tighten the retaining screw. Then push the trim cover back over the screw.

Items you will need

  • Flat-tip screwdriver

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • BMW converter cable

 How to Replace a Radio in a PT Cruiser

Place the clean rag over the tip of the screwdriver.

Wedge the tip of the screwdriver behind the bezel around the PT cruiser's radio console. With the rag covering the tip of the screwdriver and by using care, the surrounding trim should not be marred.

Pry up on the bezel. The PT Cruiser's radio bezel is held in place with retaining clips than snap into the dash. You may have to work your way around the outside edge of the bezel to completely dislodge the bezel from the dash.

Loosen and remove the retaining screws holding the radio in place.

Pull the radio straight out and locate the electrical connection in the back of the radio.

Unplug the connector. The plug-style connectors should pull straight out. If encountering difficulty, squeeze the top and bottom of the connector and wiggle it back and forth to pull it out of the back of the radio.

Install the new radio. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver (slotted and Philips head) Clean rag

 How Do I Change the Radio in My Chrysler Sebring JXi 2000?

Remove the dash trim surrounding the head unit and climate control buttons by carefully prying it out with a blunt, flat object that won't scratch the plastic. The trim is held in place by friction with clips and there are no screws to remove. Remove the 8 mm bolts visible around the head unit. Detach the cables leading from the head unit, including the wires leading to the speakers or amplifier, the thin black antenna wire and the optional round cable connecting to the CD changer.

Compare the wiring of your old unit to the output jacks of your new unit. If they are not compatible, you will have to splice a wiring harness to the output cables from your new unit to connect to the car's system. Essentially, this turns two electrical outputs into six (or more). The wiring harness should come with a diagram detailing which wires should be routed to which outputs. For best results, solder the wires together and insulate with electrical tape.

Connect the wiring harness to the original head unit's output wires. Attach the output cables and the antenna wire to the head unit and slide it into the dash. If your head unit requires an installation kit for an exact fit, follow the included instructions. If possible, reinstall the 8 mm bolts. Carefully position the dash trim and gently push until it snaps into place.

Test your new unit. If the radio does not work, remove the head unit and check the connection to the antenna wire. If problems persist, check for a signal from each of the wiring harness pin slots with a voltmeter.

Items you will need

  • New head unit and cables

  • Socket wrench

  • 8 mm socket

  • Wiring harness (optional)

  • Knife (optional)

  • Soldering iron (optional)

  • Electrical tape (optional)

 How to Replace a Radio in a 2007 Buick Lucerne

Removal

Cover the metal end of a flat-head screwdriver with a thin coat of duct tape to protect the interior panels of the Lucerne.

Insert the blade of a flat-head screwdriver under the radio bezel – the trim surrounding the radio and HVAC controls – and pry around the perimeter of the bezel to disengage its eight retaining clips. The bezel has three clips on each side and two on the bottom.

Pull the radio bezel off the dashboard.

Remove the three screws securing the HVAC controls to the dashboard with a ratchet and a 9/32-inch socket. Pull the HVAC controls from the dashboard and allow them to hang by their wiring, there is no need to disconnect them.

Use a ratchet and 9/32-inch socket to remove the four radio-retaining screws. Slide the radio from the dashboard just enough so you can access the wiring harness on the rear of it. Press and hold the unlocking button on the wiring harness and pull the harness from the radio. Unplug the antenna wire from the rear of the radio. Remove the radio from the Lucerne.

Installation

Plug the wiring harness and antenna wire into the rear of the radio. Slide the radio and wiring into the chassis in the dashboard and tighten the four radio-retaining screws to 18 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and 9/32-inch socket.

Reconnect the wiring harness to the rear of the HVAC controls and set the controls back on the dashboard. Tighten the HVAC controls to 9 foot-pounds with a torque wrench and 9/32-inch socket.

Line the clips on the rear of the radio bezel up with the slots around the radio and HVAC controls and press the bezel onto the dashboard until the clips engage.

Drive the Lucerne to a nearby Buick dealership to have the radio programmed to the vehicle, if you installed a replacement radio – new or used. If you used the original radio, there is no need for the dealership to program it.

Items you will need

  • Duct tape

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Ratchet

  • 9/32-inch socket

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace the Radio on a 2002 KIA Sportage

Unclip the black plastic bezel that goes around the radio using your hands. If you can't get it free with your hands, then you can use a flathead screwdriver to pry the panel out. Then unscrew the screws that hold the deck in place using the phillips-head screwdriver.

Place the cage that comes with the replacement stereo into the vehicle-specific dash kit and lock it in place using the flathead screwdriver to push the tabs on the cage out, locking the cage against the kit. Then slide the replacement stereo into the cage until it clicks into place.

Place the vehicle-specific wiring harness on a work surface in front of you. Strip 1/4-inch of wire shielding from the end of each wire using the wire strippers, then crimp a blue butt connector onto each wire using the wire crimpers.

Place the wiring harness that came with the replacement stereo on a work surface in front of you. Strip 1/4-inch of wire shielding from the end of each wire using the wire strippers. Each wire on each of the two harnesses are color coded and labelled. Match up each wire on each harness to each other, then connect the ends using the wire crimpers. Then plug the stereo harness into the back of the replacement stereo.

Plug the vehicle-specific wiring harness into the stock harness in the dashboard, then plug the antenna lead into the stereo. Screw the dash kit into the dashboard using the phillips-head screwdriver. Then push the radio bezel back onto the dashboard using your hands.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Replacement stereo

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire crimpers

  • Wire strippers

  • Vehicle-specific dash kit

  • Vehicle-specific wiring harness

  • Blue butt connectors

  • Flathead screwdriver

 How to Replace a Radio in a Mitsubishi Montero

Open the hood and disconnect the negative terminal from the battery of the Montero using a socket wrench.

Open the door and use a flat-head screwdriver to pry off the plastic trim from around the radio.

Remove the four small screws from the radio with a Phillips screwdriver.

Pull the radio out and disconnect its wiring connector by squeezing in on the plastic tabs of the connector and pulling it off the radio. Remove the radio from the vehicle.

Install a new radio into the Montero and reattach the wiring connector. Reinstall the four small screws and the plastic trim. Reconnect the battery and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Phillips screwdriver

 How to Change the Radio in a Pontiac Wave

Lift the hood and disconnect the negative (-) battery terminal.

Unclip the radio trim panels on each side of the radio.

Remove the four Phillips screws holding the radio in place.

Pull the radio out of the dashboard housing. Disconnect the wiring from the rear of the radio. Remove the front mounting tabs from the radio housing.

Slide the DIN radio installation cage -- which will house the new radio -- into the vacant radio housing. Bend the locking tabs on the side down to secure the cage. Feed the radio wiring from the dashboard through the cage portal.

Attach a wire harness adapter to the dashboard wire harness. Click the connections together. Attach the other end of the wire harness adapter to the wiring on the right side of the rear of the new radio.

Plug the thick, black radio antenna cable into the radio antenna port on the left side of the rear of the radio.

Slide the connected radio into the housing until it locks into the DIN cage.

Replace the radio trim panels. Reconnect the car battery. Close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Wire harness adapter for Pontiac Wave