How to Update a Toyota Corolla Car Radio
Many of us spend a lot of time driving, and would like our experience to be as pleasant as possible. While there is nothing we can do about gas prices or traffic, a good sound system can make any trip more enjoyable. Installing your own car radio isn't difficult if you have the right tools and an aptitude for electronics.
- Access to the internet
- Aptitude for electronics
- Wire strippers, crimper
- Car stereo
Find the correct size and depth for your radio. For a 2004
Toyota Corolla, for example, your car needs a double din stereo with 9-1/8" depth. Do this BEFORE you buy your new radio. Check your car's owner manual for the correct specs for your car stereo. If you can't find what you're looking for or don't have the manual, go to www.crutchfield.com. Under the Shop tab, click Car Audio & Video, then Outfit My Car. Enter your car's information and when it asks to choose the brand of car stereo select Skip This Step. The next screen will show you what size stereo and speakers to choose for your car.
Determine what kind of stereo you will need based on your current music listening habits. Ask yourself these questions. Do you own an iPod, have a large CD collection, or a large library of digital music on your home computer? If so, choose a stereo with an auxiliary output on the front, plays MP3 files, or both. Do you subscribe to XM radio or listen to HD radio? If so, you will also need to make sure your new radio is HD-compatible and/or satellite ready.
Research available models, accessories and prices. The folks at Best Buy and custom car stereo shops are real friendly and can help find a solution that fits your budget and lifestyle, even if you don't buy from them. You can also research online on your own. Crutchfield's website is a great resource.
Purchase a car stereo package that fits your price range. Using a site like Crutchfield is good because you also get free installation instructions and mounting brackets. They offer free lifetime support on anything you buy and excellent customer service ratings. Best Buy has a great warranty program, and comes highly recommended if you are installing yourself. Be sure you price not only the stereo, but all accessories and parts.
Review the instructions for installing your radio BEFORE you do it. Be sure you have all the tools and accessories needed. Most likely you will need to buy an antenna adapter, wiring, and harness which can significantly add to the total cost. Accessories include iPod adapters, CD changers, etc. Be sure you have everything before you take your car apart.
Pick a day to install your stereo. If this is your first time, give yourself 5-6 hours to account for unexpected problems. Don't forget to be sure your radio is grounded properly or you might cause serious electrical problems with your car.