Miata Radio Removal

by Dustin Eves

Purchasing a new car radio is usually an exciting experience, but store installation fees can be expensive, and removing the old system is almost always complicated. The removal of a Mazda Miata radio is no exception, but the task can be accomplished with the right instructions. There are two different ways to remove a Miata radio depending on the car's model year.

Removing the Radio from a 1990 to 1996 Miata

Before removing any electric device on a car, it is important to disconnect and remove the car battery to avoid accidental electric shock. Also, apply the hand brake to prevent the car's rolling while attempting to pull the radio and other parts from the dash. A number of different types and sizes of screws will need to be removed when taking out a Miata radio, so be sure to also have a variety of screwdriver types and sizes on hand. When removing the Miata's center console, the five screws holding it in place can be difficult to find. One can be located under the ash tray, two are near the bottom of the storage box, and one can be found in each the bottom left and bottom right sides of the console. When pulling the console off, be careful not to disturb the trunk and gas levers. Remove the two center vents (often referred to as "eyeball vents") by sliding a flathead screwdriver behind the eyeball vent housing and prying it off using a moderate amount of force. Be extremely careful not to damage the dash with the sharp screwdriver end. The three screws holding the center dash piece in place can be found at the top inside of the left eyeball vent opening, at the same location on the right eyeball vent opening and at the bottom left corner of the dash piece. Using a magnetic screwdriver in this case is wise to prevent small screws from falling into the vent openings. Removing the center dash piece is usually simple but could require some force even after all screws have been removed. There are two screws on the left of the radio and two on the right. Once these are removed, the radio should be removed carefully to prevent scratching and damage. If the radio does not come completely out of the socket on the first try, pulling harder will usually prove effective without damaging radio wiring, but use some restraint as it is possible that the radio wires are wrapped around other parts inside the dash. If this is the case, carefully slide a finger behind the radio and unhook all connections by carefully but firmly pulling apart all plugs.

Removing the Radio From a 1999 to 2005 Miata

The process for removing a radio from a 1999 to 2005 Miata is generally a quicker and easier process. Purchasing a "Ford/Mazda Radio Removal Kit" from an auto parts or car accessory store and following the kit's instructions is generally the best way to accomplish this task. However, the process can also be completed using a wire hanger. Be sure--if using the wire hanger method--to cut the hanger wire into two 8- to 10-inch pieces. Bend each wire into a "U" shape that is about 1.5 inches wide, and insert the ends of each "U" into the two openings on each side of the radio. Curling one or more fingers into both loops and pulling not straight out, but out and apart will ease the radio out of its socket. If the wire slips out, reinsert it and wiggle just a bit on the next pull. With a little effort, the radio should come completely out, and any connecting wires can be unplugged with a firm pull on the plugs.

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About the Author

Dustin Eves is a recent college graduate and professional writer. He has been published numerous times on eHow.com and other prominent websites. Eves has a bachelor's degree in communication and enjoys sharing his authored works with all who wish to read.