How to Remove a Factory Radio From Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

If you are looking to replace the factory radio unit in your Chevy Vehicles or if you need to completely disassemble the Vehicles instrument panel, you'll need to remove the factory radio from the instrument panel. The Vehicles model Vehicles has the radio unit mounted in place with screws, but accessing it can be difficult. You must remove a number of rim panels from the bottom to the top in order to completely access the radio unit.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove a Factory Radio From a 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe

Set the parking brake. Put your key in the ignition and turn it to the "on" position. Put your foot on the brake and shift the Tahoe's transmission into the lowest position. Tilt the steering column down to its lowest position.

Pull the bezel around the gauge cluster and the stereo off of the dashboard using your hands. Tilt the bezel towards you and disconnect the wiring to the headlight switch and any switches connected to the bezel in the middle by the stereo. If you have a hard time getting out the harnesses, use the small blade flathead screwdriver to push in the clips. Pull the bezel away from the dashboard, then shift the transmission back into park and turn the key off.

Hold down the two levers on the sides of the factory stereo with your hands. Pull the stereo out and remove the wiring at the backside with your hands. Use the small blade flathead screwdriver to disconnect the wiring on the back if it's too difficult to push with your hands.

Items you will need

  • Small blade flathead screwdriver

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Locate the two Phillips-head screws in the dash recess below the a/c controls. The heads on these screws face the ground. Remove these screws using the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Pull the dash bezel around the radio and the a/c controls away from the dashboard using your hands. This will release the clips that hold the bezel to the dash.

Unbolt the radio from the dashboard using the 1/4-inch ratchet, extension and a socket. Pull the radio out of the dash, and disconnect all wiring and antenna connections from the back of the stereo.

Items you will need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

  • 1/4-inch ratchet, extension and sockets

 How to Remove a Factory Radio From a 2006 Trailblazer

Disconnect the vehicle's negative battery cable with a wrench on the cable clamp.

Loosen the screw near the bottom edge of the gear shift lever's knob and then squeeze the sides of the boot together to release the clips so you can lift the knob off.

Remove the center console--remove all the screws inside the storage bin with a screwdriver, lift up the bin, lift up the parking brake lever, disconnect the electrical connectors under the console, lower the brakelever halfway and pull out the console.

Unscrew the retaining screws for the instrument panel's lower center insulator panel and then remove the insulator panel from the dashboard/instrument panel. Unscrew the left insulator panel and release its clip to lower it.

Detach the accessory trim plate from the instrument panel by removing its nuts and freeing its clips.

Remove the mounting screws for the radio unit. There should be two screws on the left side and one on the right, and they will require either a Phillips screwdriver or Torx wrench.

Pull the radio out of the instrument panel. Disconnect the connectors for the speakers and the antenna and completely remove the unit from the panel.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Torx wrench

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Radio Removal

Wrap masking tape around the tip of a flat-head screwdriver. Slide the tip of the screwdriver between the instrument panel and the bezel surrounding the radio.

Pry outward on the bezel gently, working your way around it until you have released all of the retaining tabs. Disconnect the wiring harness from the rear of the bezel.

Remove the six radio screw, using a nut driver. Pull the radio out of the dash. Disconnect the wiring harness and the antenna adapter.

Stock Radio Installation

Hold the radio close to the instrument panel. Connect the wiring harness to the radio. Plug the antenna adapter into the radio.

Slide the radio into the instrument panel and align the mounting holes. Install the screws and snug them.

Plug the wiring harness into the radio bezel. Align the tabs on the back of the bezel with the clips on the instrument panel. Press fit the bezel to the instrument panel. Tap around the edges of the bezel with the palm of your hand, as to fully seat the bezel.

Aftermarket Radio Install

Put together the radio installation kit according to the manufacturer's instructions. Slide the cage for the new radio into the install kit, and bend the retaining tabs outward until you've secured the cage in place.

Remove an inch of insulation from the end of each wire in the new radio wiring harness and the wiring harness adapter.

Match the wire colors between the radio harness and the adapter harness, then connect them with butt connectors and crimpers.

Guide the radio install kit and cage assembly into the instrument panel. Align the mounting holes, install the screws and snug them. Pull the stock wiring harness and antenna adapter through the cage.

Plug the wiring harness adapter into the stock radio harness. Plug the radio harness into the radio. Plug the antenna adapter into the radio, then slide the radio into the cage.

Install the bezel as in Section 1, Step 3.

Items you will need

  • Masking tape

  • Flat-head screwdriver

  • Nut driver set

  • Radio install kit

  • Wiring harness adapter

  • Clamshell-type wiring connectors

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