How do you remove a Pioneer touch screen radio?

Removing and replacing a Pioneer touch screen car radio is a common task for many car owners looking to upgrade or repair their vehicle’s sound system. Pioneer is one of the leading brands in car audio and is known for their high-quality touchscreen stereos and media receivers Pioneer Car Audio. As technology improves over time, many choose to upgrade their older Pioneer touch screen models to newer ones with more features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and larger displays. According to eBay sales data, Pioneer touchscreen stereos remain some of the most popular aftermarket head units on the market Pioneer Touchscreen Car Audio on eBay. Others may need to replace their Pioneer radio if it has been damaged or if certain features no longer work properly.

When removing a Pioneer touch screen stereo, it is important to follow proper precautions and procedures to avoid damaging the car’s electrical system or interior components. This involves having the right tools on hand, taking things apart methodically, labeling wires, removing mounting bolts, making necessary wiring harness adapters, and carefully installing the new unit. With some time and patience, car owners can successfully upgrade or repair their Pioneer head unit and restore their vehicle’s entertainment system.

Safety Precautions

When removing and installing a car stereo, it’s important to take safety precautions to avoid electrical shorts, damage to components, or personal injury. Here are some key tips:

First, be sure to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery before beginning any work. This will prevent short circuits that could potentially damage the vehicle’s electrical system or stereo components (Risks of DIY Car Audio Upgrades1).

Use the proper tools for the job, such as trim removal tools, wiring harnesses, crimpers, etc. Improvised tools can damage trim pieces or wires (Car Stereo Installations That Need a Rescue2).

When removing trim pieces, radio brackets, or connectors, avoid forcing anything. Components are designed to detach in a certain way. Forcing can lead to cracked brackets or damaged connectors that won’t work properly when re-installed (Why DIY Car Stereo Installation Is A No-No3).

Gather Tools

Removing and replacing a car radio requires some basic hand tools that most DIYers likely have on hand. You’ll need standard and phillips head screwdrivers in various sizes as well as trim removal tools to help pop out the panels covering the radio. Plastic pry tools can help remove trim pieces without damaging them. You may also need torx screwdrivers or socket bits if your car uses torx screws.

In addition to basic hand tools, you’ll need wiring harness adaptors to connect the new radio’s harness to the one already wired into your car. Manufacturers sell adaptors that plug right in between the car harness and new radio harness, making installation simpler. Just make sure to get the proper adaptor for your specific vehicle and radio model.

An antistatic wrist strap is also recommended when handling electronic components like a car radio. The wrist strap grounds you to prevent electrostatic discharge that could potentially damage the radio’s sensitive circuits.

Remove Trims and Panels

After disconnecting the battery, you’ll need to start removing any trim pieces, bezels, or panels that are covering the radio mounting bolts. This will give you access to remove the radio itself later.

Use plastic pry tools to avoid damaging the trim pieces. Insert the pry tool under an edge and gently twist to pop the clips loose. Pull the trim piece out and set it aside.

It’s a good idea to take pictures with your phone as you disassemble the dash. This will help you remember how to put everything back together properly.

Focus on removing trims around and above the radio. You may need to remove things like the climate control panel, hazard switch panel, or entire center stack surround to fully access the radio. Consult your vehicle’s service manual if you’re unsure what needs to be removed.

Disconnect Wiring

To continue removing the Pioneer touch screen radio, you’ll need to disconnect all the wiring connecting it to your car. The main connections to be aware of are the wiring harness adapter and antenna cable.

First, locate and unplug the wiring harness adapter that connects the back of the radio to your car’s electrical system. This adapter provides power and audio signals to the radio. Carefully unplug it by disengaging any locking tabs and pulling it straight out.

Next, unscrew the antenna cable from the back of the radio if it uses a separate screw-on connector. Otherwise, unplug it like the wiring harness. Removing the antenna cable disconnects the radio from receiving broadcast radio signals.

With the wiring harness and antenna cable disconnected, the radio will now be free and ready to slide out once you remove its mounting bolts in the next step. Just be careful not to tug or strain the wiring.

Remove Mounting Bolts

The mounting bolts that secure the touchscreen Pioneer radio are typically located at the sides of the unit or behind trim pieces. According to Reddit user “48150282K”, you can try to slide a thin butter knife into the sides to pop the clips if the mounting screws are unreachable (Source).

Be very careful not to scratch or damage any interior panels while trying to access the mounting bolts. Pushing too hard with a knife or tool can cause unwanted damage. Go slowly and check for access behind all surrounding trim pieces. If the mounting bolts do not easily reveal themselves, it may be possible to carefully pry off additional trim to gain access.

Once you locate the bolts, use the appropriate screwdriver to loosen and remove them. These are typically Torx or hex head mounting bolts. Removing these bolts will release the Pioneer radio from the mounting brackets secured behind the dash. Be prepared to support the weight of the radio once the bolts are removed.

Slide Out Radio

Once the radio is free from the mounting bolts and disconnected from the vehicle’s wiring harnesses, you are ready to carefully slide it out of the dashboard. Grip the sides of the radio and gently pull towards you while wiggling it side to side to help free it from the mounting location. Go slowly to avoid cracking any trim pieces or damaging any remaining wiring connections. All dash kits include brackets that allow you to slide the radio into place, and these same brackets should allow the factory radio to slide free once fully disconnected.

As you remove the radio, take note of any mounting sleeves, spacers, or brackets that are attached to the sides or back. You will want to transfer these parts over to the new radio so it can properly fit into the same opening. Setting the factory radio aside once removed allows you to fully inspect the opening and ensure no screws, clips or bolts were missed during the initial disassembly.

Transfer Parts

Once you have removed the old touch screen radio, now it’s time to take the related buttons, brackets, trim pieces and other parts from the old radio and transfer them to the new radio before you install it. According to

To install a new Pioneer touch screen radio, reverse the removal steps in order. Refer back to the sections on removing trims, panels, wiring, and mounting bolts, but perform these steps in reverse order:

  1. Slide the new radio unit into place in the dash, lining up the screw holes.
  2. Replace and tighten the mounting bolts to secure the radio to the dash frame (according to specs).
  3. Reconnect all wiring harnesses and connectors to their original ports.
  4. Replace any brackets or support pieces that were set aside during removal.
  5. Carefully reinstall the dash trims and panels around the radio in reverse order.
  6. Snap all trims back into place securely.
  7. Test the functioning of the new radio unit before reinstalling the remaining interior panels.

Take care not to bend or damage any trim pieces or connectors in the process. Refer to your Pioneer touch screen installation manual as needed. If installed correctly, the new radio should function properly within the vehicle’s electrical system.


In summary, the key steps for removing a Pioneer touch screen radio are:

  1. Remove all trims and panels to access the stereo mounting area
  2. Disconnect all wiring harnesses from the back of the stereo
  3. Remove the stereo mounting bolts to slide the unit out
  4. Carefully transfer any parts to the new stereo unit

Some tips to make the process go smoothly include using proper tools so as not to damage any trim pieces, labeling wires so reconnection is easy, and referring to the installation manual as needed.

Once the new Pioneer stereo is installed, reconnect wires properly, reinstall all trims, and verify complete operation. You can then enjoy upgraded audio and features from your replaced touch screen radio.

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