How To Remove Car Stereo With or Without Keys

how to remove car stereo

You finally decide to install a new stereo for your car, but you have no idea how to remove the original car stereo with keys or without keys. You also worry that you might cut the wires that connect to the battery and speakers.

You are torn between consulting an expert technician or just do the task yourself. You are confident with handling wires and screws, so it should not be a problem. Plus, you have your tools ready in the garage.

If you have decided that you can do it yourself, check your tools at hand and prepare them.

How To Remove Car Stereo With Keys

Remove Car Stereo With Professionally Manufactured Release Keys:

Professionally manufactured removal release keys are tools you can buy from car tool manufacturers. Some of these are available online. Find professionally manufactured keys on your car dealer partner stores. Buy generic removal release keys or release keys designed for your car stereo model.

If you’re buying generic removal release keys, check the release slots on your car stereo. Find which type fits the slots at the corners of the outer panel of your car stereo.

using keys to remove car stereo

If your car stereo has keyholes on the corners, you will need the round pin type removal release keys. If your car stereo has key apertures on the corners, you will need the flat pin type release keys.

Watch the Video showing how to remove a Ford car stereo:

Remove Car Stereo With Do-it-yourself removal release keys:

You can’t wait to remove car stereos and you have DIY tools readily available at your garage. Simply check your toolsets. Find reusable scraps. If you have a few scrap metals available to make a DIY removal release keys then you may proceed to remove car stereo without spending money.

Before making any key by yourself, check your car stereo. Remove the outer panel. Check if the slots are holes or apertures. You can find them at the corners of your car stereo.

For car stereos with holes in its corners, you should make DIY round pin type release keys. Here, you will need:

  • Steel cutter
  • Two-wire hangers
DIY round pin type release key

Cut about two 7 inches section of the wire hangers using your steel cutter. Using the forceps, bend each wire to form equal “U” shapes. Now you have a DIY round pin type release key.

For car stereos with apertures, you can make DIY flat pin type release keys. You will need:

  • Four flat metal strips
  • Four round metal holders
  • Steel cutters

Cut the end of the metal strips to form angles that fit the slots of apertures. Insert the other ends to the round metal holders for gripping. Now you have DIY flat pin type release keys.

DIY removal Car stereo

Removing a car stereo using these keys can be challenging. Before you start to remove anything, make sure you have turned off the engine. It pays to start working safe.

Prepare other tools such as a Phillips screwdriver and a 10mm wrench.

Disconnect the negative battery cable using the wrench. Loosen the clamps.

Round Pin Type Release Keys

When you have disconnected the negative battery cable, you can start removing the outer panel gently. Remove the bolts and other hidden screws. Insert the tips of the round pin keys in the keyholes. With a tight grip from U shaped handle, push outwards, then pull them forward.

When everything feels safe to pull, do it gently until the base of the car stereo is removed.

You should see sets of cable wires at the back, loosen them and gently pull out together with the wire binder. Do not pull the wire. Hold on to the binder so the wires won’t tear apart.

Flat Pin Type Release Keys

removal release keys

Once you have disconnected the negative cable from the battery, you may start removing the dash panel gently. Remove screws and bolts that hold the stereo. Insert the ends of the flat pin keys on the slots until it fits well.

You should hear it clicking when it’s ready for pulling. Hold on to the key holder and grip it tightly. Pull the stereo gently from the mount.

Look at the cables and wires. Gently loosen up until they are disconnected from its binders. Don’t pull by wires.

How to Remove Car Stereo Without Keys

Remove car stereo without spending.

If you don’t have any DIY tools at hand, you can simply get two medium-sized knives, screwdrivers, forceps, and a wrench.

On the other hand, if you are someone who has the gift of removing and installing electrical wirings, you cannot have any problems removing car stereo.

  • Turn off the engine. Disconnect negative cable wire using a wrench, and then, loosen the clamps.
  • Remove the outer panel slowly. You can feel it if it doesn’t pull out smoothly. Take off all hidden bolts and screws.
  • Now that everything is set, slide in the knives on both sides of the stereo. When it feels intact, slowly pull off the base of the stereo of the mount. If it feels stuck, use some forceps to hold both sides. Pull it slowly until the base is successfully removed.
  • Check the back of the stereo. Carefully disconnect the wires and cables attached from the binder.

Some Words of Advice

Removing car stereo may sound difficult, but if you have the gift of fixing electric wires and cables, it’s just a piece of cake. It is advisable to use the appropriate DIY tools rather than trying out with knives.

Not only the frames could get damaged, but the car stereo as well. Pushing or pulling can get worse and cables and wires can be cut. But with proper handling, it could be easier than you thought.

removing the dash panel

One more advice is to consult your service technician during the scheduled maintenance check-up. If you are planning to replace your car stereo, you can simply ask for expert ways on removing car stereo. Giving some tips won’t take much for them.

Always refer to the manual for correct procedures. But if all doesn’t get well, consult your expert technician for proper ways to remove car stereo.

About the Author Simon Adams

Simon graduated with a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Degree. He has over 20 years of servicing experience in both Japanese and German car dealerships. He now acts as a freelance mechanic's instructor for local schools.

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