Author: custom kar tops
Are you familiar with the touchscreen technology for your car? It‘s by far the easiest (and safest) way to operate your vehicle’s audio. You can count on it to be a huge upgrade over your factory stereo, both in terms of features as well as user-experience. Here’s how.
Touchscreen car stereos let you control built-in phone functions, activate the navigation feature, and play videos with a gentle tap of your fingertips. Some of the best touch screen stereos also offer user-friendly app interfaces like AndroidAuto and Apple CarPlay to make your road journeys more fun.
Keep these benefits in mind as you learn how to install touch screen stereo in car:
Before you install touch screen stereo
Here’s what you need to do:
Measure and remove the factory stereo
You need to measure the factory stereo because it is these measurements that you’ll be using when purchasing a new model. Most factory stereos come in two sizes: single-din (which consists of a 180 x 50 mm panel) or double din (which has a 180 by 100 mm panel).
Once you have noted down the measurements, follow these steps to remove the stereo:
- Step 1: Remove the plastic trim surrounding the stereo
The plastic trim surrounding the stereo will have bolts or screws holding it in place. It will also have a metal clip (or clips) attaching it to the dash.
To remove both, first unscrew the screws with a flathead screwdriver. Follow it up by gently pulling the metal clips off the dash.
- Step 2: Take off the stereo
Now that you have removed the trim and exposed your stereo, you might be able to see the four bolts, one at each corner of the stereo. Unscrew them.
Gently pull the stereo out of its spot. Don’t yank it off as you still have to remove the radio antenna and wiring harness out of the back of the stereo.
- Step 3: Remove the antenna and harness
Both these parts will be connected to your radio via metal clips, similar to the ones that you removed in the first step.
Pressing down on the clips will loosen their grip on the wiring harness and the antenna harnesses, making it easy for you to remove both.
Purchase a Dash kit
Most people think that they only need a new stereo to replace the existing one. That thinking is misguided as you also need a dash kit to go along with the new stereo. You need to buy a dash kit that was designed specifically for your vehicle’s model and year. It is required because you want the new stereo to fit flush in your car.
Purchase a Stereo Harness Adapter
Are you willing to cut any wires to install your new stereo? Especially the ones that are located deep inside the dashboard? Neither do we. That’s why we recommend that you purchase a stereo harness adapter. It will let you connect the new stereo to the stock radio connector without forcing you to cut and remove any of the existing wires.
Purchase an Antenna Adapter
Similar to stereo harness adapters, an antenna adapter will let you connect the aftermarket stereo without cutting any wiring. However, while the former joins the new stereo to the radio connector, antenna connectors will connect your touchscreen stereo to the antenna cable.
Pro Tip: Check your stereo’s installation instructions before purchasing an antenna adapter as some of the latest models work seamlessly without one.
Installing a Touchscreen Car Stereo
What you’ll need for touch screen radio installation
- Aftermarket touchscreen car stereo
- Dash kit
- Stereo harness adapter
- Antenna adapter (optional)
- Electrical tape
Step-by-Step Guide for touch screen radio installation
- Step 1: Install the dash kit
After you have taken out the old stereo, install the stereo in the dash kit. The dash kit must have come with clips that you can piece it together with the stereo. Then, slide in your new stereo and tighten the screws around it. Make sure the screws are tight.
- Step 2: Wire the harness
This step involves wiring up the stereo harness adapter. Its wires need to be connected with that of your stereo. There will be several wires of different colors. Make sure that one color wire of the adapter is connected to a similar color stereo wire. Connect all the wires in the same way.
When you’re connecting the wires, you have two options to tighten their connection. You can either solder and heat shrink the connected wires, or you can twist the connected wires together and wrap them with electrical tape. The first option is recommended as it leads to a sturdier connection.
- Step 3: Connect the touchscreen stereo
Untangle the wires you have just connected by securing them with zip ties. Plug the radio and harness antenna into their respective ports on the backside of your new stereo. Connect the other side of the harness to the factory harness you removed from the old stereo. After completing this step, your touchscreen stereo should be up and working.
- Step 4: Put the dash back together
Make sure that the stereo is working as intended. Try to check all its functions one by one to ensure that there isn’t an anomaly. Play music and test all speakers in your car. If everything is working time, it’s time to reassemble the dash.
To do that, all you have to do is to take the dash kit into which you slid in and screwed the new stereo, and push it into the spot from where you removed the old stereo. Secure the new model by screwing in original screws. Reattach the plastic trim.
Although you do have to deal with wires when installing a touchscreen car stereo, the process isn’t as difficult as it’s made to be. Just follow the instructions given above and there’s no reason why you won’t have a fully functioning stereo connected in its places in less than an hour.