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How to change the radio?

A road trip is not the same without the company of music or podcast. Every road trip needs a soundtrack, and the journey to work is not the same without the morning show.

Since we spend so much time in our cars, the radio has become our loyal companion. That’s why it’s so frustrating when it suddenly fails for no apparent reason.

In this article, you’ll find the major causes of your car radio failures. We’ll also explain how you can change your car radio.

Read also: Engine Control Unit: what is, the features, and possible failures

Three different car radios on a white shelve

What are the main problems with the car radio?

There are many reasons why your car radio may have stopped working. It can be an internal or external fault of this part.

Learn about the 4 most common problems that can affect your car stereo.

Blown fuse

Excluding a battery failure, the most apparent car radio fault is a faulty fuse.

All radios have at least one fuse that protects them from electrical power surges. If the fuse blows, the stereo may receive too much electrical energy and damage the car radio.

So, the first thing you should do when your radio fails is checked your fuses and replace any that have blown.

Damage to the electrical wiring

The second most common cause of a car radio problem is a wiring problem.

Electrical wiring failures don’t usually happen as often in original car radios. Since they have been developed by the vehicle manufacturer, the sound system is specific to the model.

These problems are more common in aftermarket car stereos. Developed by third-party companies, these parts may be used by several car models. By not complying with the standards of a particular car, the radio may have a shorter working time.

However, faults may also occur in the cables of original car radios. If you drive on bumpy roads, the vibration can make an electrical wire come loose. This will be enough to stop the radio from working.

Read also: 10 Myths about cars: Part 1

Problems with speakers

Malfunctions can also occur in the speaker wiring. Each speaker is connected to the radio, but this connection can be interrupted by a cable problem. This may be loose or even damaged.

If this fault occurs, it usually only affects the corresponding speaker. However, depending on the installation and sound set type, it may affect the other speakers. If the car radio is turned on, but no sound is coming out, it is best to find a mechanic to check the speakers.

Antenna or tuner failure

We know this does not even seem like a 21st-century problem. But we mustn’t forget that radio is a classic AM/FM frequency.

So if Bluetooth or other sound system features are working, except for radio broadcasts, there is likely a tuner malfunction.

Diagnosis and repair should be carried out by a specialist mechanic.

Radio and air-conditioning system of a car

Guidelines to change the car radio

Although it’s not a frequent defect, we’ve seen that it’s possible to have problems with your car radio. But you don’t have to drive with a broken one! Changing a car radio can be more straightforward than it sounds.

And we’ll explain it to you!

As an example, we show you the instructions for replacing an original car radio for a Mercedes-Benz W212. And for this repair, all you need is a screwdriver.

To change the car radio, please follow these steps:

  1. Start by disconnecting the car battery. Since you will be touching electrical wires, we recommend disconnecting the battery an hour before starting this repair.
  2. Remove the plastic grille from the dashboard. Look for the snap springs on the bottom of the part and near the air conditioning vents.
  3. Use the screwdriver as a lever and loosen the clips of the part until it is completely removed.
  4. Carefully pull the car radio to release it from its catches.
  5. Release the electric wiring supports with the screwdriver.
  6. Remove the car stereo.
  7. Install the electrical wires in the new car stereo using the screwdriver.
  8. Push the new radio slowly into the corresponding slots.
  9. Fit the plastic grille, pressing along the part to fix it properly.
  10. Connect the battery and give the key a try to make sure the radio works.

If you prefer, you can watch our video tutorial.

In case of doubt, we recommend that you visit a registered workshop.

If you are looking for a radio for your car, you can find more than 20,000 on our website for more than 60 brands.