How to Change the Radio on Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

Chevrolet car line of light and full-size Chevrolet car came equipped with standard AM/FM stereo cassette players. Optional stereos included single-disc CD players. Chevrolet car owners who seek a more powerful and capable stereo system can upgrade their stereo systems with aftermarket units. Use a GM aftermarket stereo installation kit to ensure a quality fit and simple installation.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Radio on a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban

Remove the screws on the bottom of the steering column cover using the Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull off the trim and tilt the column down to its lowest position. Put the key in the ignition. Turn the key to the "On" position. Put your foot on the brake and shift the gear shifter to the lowest available spot.

Pull the bezel around the gauge cluster and radio off the dashboard with both hands. Reach behind the bezel and unplug the wiring to the bezel with your hands, or if necessary, with a flat-head screwdriver.

Locate the tabs on either side of the radio. Push down the tabs with your thumbs and pull the radio out of the dashboard. Unplug the wiring and antenna from the radio and set it to the side.

Plug the antenna and stock wiring into the back of the replacement stereo. Push the stereo into the dashboard until it makes a clicking sound, indicating the tabs have locked into the dash.

Plug in the wiring to the radio bezel with your hands. Reinstall the bezel onto the dashboard by pushing it in place to secure the clips. Then shift the shifter into the Park position and turn the ignition off. Reinstall the steering column cover with the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Factory Suburban replacement stereo

  • Flat-head screwdriver

 How to Change Out the Radio in a 2003 Chevy Silverado

Locate the screws on your dashboard and undo them with the Phillips screwdriver. Slightly pull out the dash and undo the hidden screw under the steering wheel, releasing both the upper and lower dash. Gently pull out the dashboard around the radio.

Remove the bolts around the radio, using the ratchet. Pull out the radio and remove the black cable and the wire harness from the back.

Plug the black cable and wire harness into the back of the new radio and slide it into the radio slot in the dash.

Replace the bolts around the stereo, push the dash back into place and replace the screws around it.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Replacement radio

  • 7-millimeter ratchet

 How to Replace the Radio for a 1994 Chevy Truck

Disconnect the grounding cable from the negative battery terminal with a 10mm wrench. The grounding cable connects the negative lead post with the frame of the truck.

Open the glove compartment and remove the two screws on the left edge of the compartment opening with a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Open the ashtray and remove the screw at the left corner, inside the ashtray compartment, with the screwdriver.

Pull the dash trim panel away from the dashboard to reveal the stereo mounting bracket.

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

Pull the factory stereo from the stereo mounting dock and disconnect the stereo wiring connected to the back of the unit. The speaker wiring and power supply cables are on the left side of the stereo, the antenna cable is connected to the right side.

Place the antenna cable adapter (from the GM stereo installation kit) onto the antenna cable plug.

Connect the stereo wiring from the Chevy to a wiring harness adapter. The wiring harness adapter will have illustrations in the accompanying manual or on the harness itself, to show where the appropriate connections are to be made.

Place the faceplate adapter (from the installation kit) onto the face of the aftermarket stereo.

Connect the wiring harness adapter leads to the back of the new stereo. Plug in the adapter antenna cable to the back of the aftermarket stereo.

Slide the new stereo into the stereo mounting dock of the Chevy truck. Secure the radio with the two 7mm bolt screws.

Replace the dash panel around the stereo dock. Replace the screw in the ashtray opening and the two screws on the left edge of the glove-compartment opening with the screwdriver. Close the glove-compartment.

Place the grounding cable clamp around the negative lead post of the Chevy battery. Tighten the bolt, securing the clamp around the lead post, with the 10mm wrench. Close the hood of the truck.

Items you will need

  • Wrench, 10mm

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Socket, 7mm (and drive)

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • GM stereo installation kit (with faceplate adapter)

 How to Change a Radio in a 2008 Chevy Silverado

Raise the Silverado's hood and loosen the bolt on the negative battery cable with the wrench. The bolt holds the cable to the negative battery terminal. Lift the cable from the battery and set it aside. Move to the inside of the truck.

Pry the trim panel surrounding the stereo assembly from the dashboard with a trim panel removal tool. Work the tool around the perimeter of the panel until it is completely freed from the dashboard.

Remove the four screws on either side of the truck's stereo bracket with the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Slide the stereo from the vehicle stereo bracket. Disconnect the stereo wiring and antenna cable from the back of the Silverado's stock radio.

Insert the aftermarket radio's installation cage into the empty stereo dock. Fold the metal tabs inside the cage outward with the flat screwdriver. The tabs will secure the cage in the stereo dock. Pull the stereo wiring and antenna cables from the back of the Chevy's stereo dock to the front of the dashboard (through the installation cage).

Plug the stereo wiring connectors into the wiring harness adapter leads. Connect the antenna cable lead to the GM antenna adapter.

Plug the wiring harness adapter's lead connectors into the outlets on the rear panel of the new radio. Plug the antenna adapter lead into the FM/AM antenna input on the rear panel of the aftermarket radio. Slide the radio into the installation cage until it snaps into place.

Place the trim panel back around the stereo assembly on the Silverado's dashboard. Press firmly around the edges of the panel to snap it back into place on the dash. Move back to the battery.

Replace the negative battery cable clamp around the negative battery lead. Tighten the bolt on the clamp with the wrench. Close the Silverado's hood.

Items you will need

  • 10-mm wrench

  • Trim panel removal tool

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • Installation cage

  • Flat screwdriver

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • GM antenna adapter

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