How Much Does It Cost to Replace Car Stereo [Simple Tips]

There are many reasons that you might need to purchase a new stereo for your car. Perhaps the sound quality has deteriorated over time, or you’re just looking for better functionality and more modern features. Whatever your reason for upgrading is, you may first seek to know how much does it cost to fix a radio in your car.

The first thing to know is that there are two types of stereos: standard and premium. Standard stereos use speakers and an amp, while premium stereos have additional features like Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, and more. If you’re replacing an old standard stereo with one with extra features, you’ll need those features before installing the new stereo.

In this article, we’ll discuss tips that will help you with your next car stereo replacement, factors that determine the cost of a stereo, and why you need to replace your stereo. So let’s get started!

Tips on Saving for Car Stereo Replacement

Here are some tips to help you save money on your next car stereo replacement:

1. Visit a Salvage Yard First

Visit a Salvage Yard First

Before buying a new car stereo, check out a local salvage yard first. You might find an old stereo that works perfectly fine and costs far less than a new one! Salvage yards are also great places to get parts if you want to upgrade or replace other components in your car stereo system.

2. Check Online Forums for Advice From Other DIYers!

There’s nothing worse than spending money on something that doesn’t work and having no idea why it didn’t work or what went wrong with it — or even how much it will cost to fix. So before you go out and buy anything, talk to people who have done this before! They’ll be able to tell you the expected labor costs, which will help you make an informed decision.

3. Aftermarket or Factory Stereo System

If the car audio system is factory, you will probably have to take it to a professional. The only reason is those factory systems are more complicated than aftermarket ones and require special tools to remove them from your vehicle.

If your stereo is an aftermarket system, then you can follow these simple steps:

  • Remove all wires from the back of the stereo and disconnect them from their respective places on the vehicle’s electrical system;
  • Remove any screws or bolts holding the stereo in place
  • Disconnect any wiring connected directly into the back of the unit;
  • Carefully pull out the old unit and replace it with your new one!

4. Your Preference

Suppose you replace your old stereo with something newer and more sophisticated. In that case, there are plenty of options, such as Bluetooth-enabled speakers that allow you to stream music from your phone or tablet.

Factors That Influence the Cost to Install an Aftermarket Radio

The average cost of radio installation is about $50-$100, but the price can vary depending on several factors. Let’s dig deeper.

Vehicle type:

The vehicle you drive will significantly impact how much it costs to replace your car stereo. For example, if you have an SUV with a double-DIN stereo system, you’ll need to pay more than someone with a compact car with a single DIN stereo system.


How accessible is the car stereo? If you have to remove the dashboard and other parts of the car to get to it, that will cost more money than if all you need is a screwdriver or wrench.

Model of the car stereo:

The model of car stereo you have will also influence how much it costs to replace it with another model. For example, if you have a premium brand name product like Alpine or Kenwood, it will cost more money than an off-brand product like JVC or Sony.

Installer’s experience and skill level:

Professionals can assess your vehicle’s current state and properly install a car stereo. Also, they know how to install all necessary components, such as a wiring harness or mounting bracket, so you don’t have to go back for another appointment.

The installation method:

The installation method is the primary factor determining how much it will cost to replace a car stereo. The installation method can be divided into two categories: professional and DIY.

If you want to install a new stereo yourself, it will not be easy. You’ll need special tools and training, which will make your project take longer than if you hired someone else to do it for you. If you’re not sure how to do this kind of thing, you should probably just let someone else do it for you.

Condition of the wiring in your car

If you have old wiring that’s frayed and cracked, it can increase the risk of short circuits and electrical fires. That means you’ll need to get your wiring checked out by an expert before you start replacing parts, which will add time and money to your project.

Reasons Why You Need to Replace Your Stereo

You’ve been driving a car for a while now and probably don’t even think about it. But as time goes on, your car’s stereo system becomes less and less reliable. Depending on where you live, your car stereo may be more than just an accessory. It could be a vital tool in helping you get around and stay safe.

Here’s why:

  1. It provides safety: If your car stereo isn’t working perfectly, it could be sending out a false signal that tricks you into thinking traffic is clear when it isn’t—and that can lead to accidents.
  2. It keeps you informed about road conditions: If your car doesn’t have a working radio system in place, then you won’t know if there are any problems with the road ahead of time—and if there are, then you might not have time to react before hitting them head-on!
  3. Your car stereo is a source of entertainment, and it should be able to keep up with you on the road. If your stereo is missing features like USB hookups, AUX inputs, and Bluetooth capabilities, then it will not be able to keep up with how you listen to music.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace Car Stereo

Is the Car Stereo Installation Process Costly?

Car stereo replacement is a major expense, but there are things you can do to enjoy a premium head unit in your car without digging so much into your pocket.

First, choose a reputable service provider. Make sure they have experience with your car type and stereo system.

Second, look for deals on parts and installation. You might be able to get a discount if you buy multiple parts at once or if you pay in cash instead of using credit or debit cards.

Third, choose an installer that offers multiple payment options, including financing and leasing. This will help reduce the cost of replacing your stereo over time, so it doesn’t seem as gigantic when it comes to due all at once.

Wrapping Up!

Overall, the cost of touch screen radio installation depends on your current components. Just make sure you aren’t being scammed by a shady car stereo shop along the way. But if you follow this advice, you should be in good shape. The key is to know what kind of radio you have to match it with a suitable replacement.

If the whole thing still leaves you scratching your head, feel free to take your car to a local service center and have a professional look at your car audio system.

Avatar for Jamie K. Martin

Jamie K. Martin holds a degree in Audio engineering from Husson University, Bangor. Martin spends most of his time testing and trying the technology he writes about to ensure that he provides first-hand information to our customers from all walks of life.

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