Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How did I change my 2003 Honda Civic Stereo

My 2003 Honda Civic had factory made stereo, which don't have a provision to hook up my iPod using either Auxiliary or USB. I decided to replace that with an after market CD receiver (Sony XPlod). When I heard about hefty bill from service centers/dealers for changing a car stereo, I decided to do it myself. After all, it's not as tough as I thought. Here are my learning and mistakes.

Sony Xplod from
I bought a new Sony MEX-BT3800U from The unit looks good (front-panel) and the bluetooth and iPod controls are just awesome. The call sound quality is satisfying without an external mic. gave me instructions and master sheet for changing the car stereo. You might find same unit for lesser price in amazon, but the instructions are worth few extra bucks.

Research / References:
Crutchfield gives you instructions that are easy to follow with suggested tools. I had done some research before started doing the work. I found the following two links and the videos are very useful and gave me some clue.

My 2001 Honda Civic Car Stereo Removal

Ben Johnson's Weblog

Youtube Videos:
Part 1
Part 2

I found little hard to pry out 'gear shift panel', 'gear shift ring' and climate control unit. At some point, you might have to apply little extra pressure to pry few parts out. So, always look for any clips or clamps or even a screw holding up the parts, oversight might cost you fixing the broken parts.

I really don't have much to say besides the images below.

In above picture, The highlighted clamps holds up the gear shift rim. The clamps highlighted in white are the ones holding up the top cover and the red color pins from sides are holding the side cover. Remember, the side cover is a single part should be dismantled with "12V" outlet assembly.

This one shows the pin I broke (highlighted in RED) and green one shows an unbroken pin. I thought I put the panel tool in the gap and pry out the part and it broke the pin. So, don't use any tools near the pins. It will damage the pins.

Clamps holding your 12V dash. The center would the last one to come out. It was pretty tight.

Climate control unit with clamps highlighted.

Also, make sure you disconnect the car battery as instructed. Failure to do so, might cause short circuit and blown up fuse.  It happened in my friend car. 

So..  thats it!!! Leave your comments!


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