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How to Install a Radio in a Kia Rio

by Jule Pamplin

The Rio is a subcompact sedan manufactured by South Korean automaker Kia. While Kia makes several options available for the Rio's sound system, there are still those for whom an aftermarket stereo fits their audio needs best. Whether you wish to upgrade your Rio's stereo, or replace a malfunctioning radio, you have two options: Trust the service of a technician at an aftermarket retailer to install a new radio for a price, or change the stereo yourself.

1

Remove the grounding cable from the Rio's battery. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen the cable's clamp around the negative battery lead.

2

Remove the dashboard trim panel on the center dash console. Use a trim panel tool to pry the bottom edge of the panel free from the dash. Grab the panel once it is pried free and work your hands around the perimeter of the panel until it is free from the dash.

3

Pull the wire connections to the climate control knobs away from the trim panel by hand. Place the panel to the side until the installation is complete.

4

Remove the four screws at the corners of the stereo using the screwdriver. The screws hold the mounting bracket into the dash of the Kia.

5

Pull the entire dash assembly from the dash. Remove the two screws on either side of the mounting bracket.

6

Disconnect the wiring to the back of the radio. Pull the wiring by the plastic binders. Disconnect the antenna cable and the power supply wire. Slide the factory deck from the bracket.

7

Connect the vehicle's stereo wiring to a wiring harness adapter. Slide the new unit into the mounting bracket. Replace the screws into the side of the mounting bracket. If the aftermarket stereo is without holes for the screws to be replaced, you can insert a faceplate adapter to hold the new system in the bracket.

8

Replace the mounting bracket into the Kia's dash. Replace the four screws surrounding the stereo assembly.

9

Connect the wiring to the climate control knobs on the dash trim panel. Replace the dash panel starting at the top edge. Once the top is aligned, press the panel around the edges to secure it to the dashboard.

10

Place the grounding cable clamp around the Rio's negative battery lead. Tighten the clamp with the screwdriver.

Tip

  • The Rio accepts a single DIN-sized stereo. For double DIN units, remove the screws on the mounting bracket that hold the stereo pocket in place (below the radio). With the factory stereo and pocket removed, the Kia Rio will accept a double DIN stereo unit.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jule Pamplin has been a copywriter for more than seven years. As a financial sales consultant, Pamplin produced sales copy for two of the largest banks in the United States. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University, winning a meritorious scholarship for the Careers in Applied Science and Technology program, and later served in the 1st Tank Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps.

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