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What is a Car Stereo Installation Kit?

stereo dash kit

When it comes to upgrading your stereo, you may have to replace the original dash. Not every car manufacturer will consider aftermarket stereos and will have their own sizes for stereos. However, there are many aftermarket dash kit that you can use in order to fit a new stereo without leaving gaps or having to cut off bits of trim.

The most common aftermarket dash kit is for a double din head unit, which will require a 7 x 7 inch opening. Installing the larger head unit allows for much more functionality and it can completely transform the look of the cars interior.

There are even custom dash kits for single din head unit alternatives but they are not as common. The dimensions of a single din are 7 x 4 inches but it is fairly rare for people to convert from a double din to a single din sized opening.

Attempting to trim down the current opening to match the size of your new stereo is not worth the hassle. Not only will it take a serious amount of time but it will never be as good as an aftermarket car stereo installation kit.

Table of Contents

Installing The New Stereo Dash Kit

As you can see from the image below, it may not be only the opening that you have to alter. The new stereo may remove other features of the original dash kit such as the CD disc drive, buttons and other components.

Before you begin, we strongly recommend that you have the correct tools for the job. Trim removal tools and small screwdrivers are essential as they will help avoid any needless damage from using chunky screwdrivers or brute force.

To begin, you will firstly need to remove the stereo if it is yet to be removed. We strongly recommend that you use radio keys to do this to avoid any damage.

We then advise that you look at the new stereo dash kit and see where the mounting brackets are held on with screws. This will therefore indicate the areas of the existing dash that you will need to remove. Once the screws have all been removed, you can then attempt to remove it ready for the car stereo installation kit.

When removing the dash kit, it’s important that you do not forcefully pull it out because there may be many wired connections connected to it. Once removed, installing the new stereo installion kit should be fairly straightforward.

car stereo installation kit

Troubles That You May Encounter

One of the main issues that some people may come across is the incorrect dash kit. Due to the varying amount of different specification cars, some vehicles may have more or less buttons, which may cause issues.

Another issue may be incompatibility with the mounting or that it doesn’t sit nicely and it may stick out too far. The stereo dash kit could also be a different shade or is a completely different color to the rest of the cars interior. If this is the case, you could become creative and use a car vinyl wrap to improve the look and feel of the interior.

Most of these issues can be solved with extensive analysis of the fascia and reading reviews beforehand. Manufacturers of both the stereo and car may offer their own solutions, so its worth looking around for the best option.

Other Components

When you replace your double or single din stereo, not only will you need to replace the fascia but there are other components. When you place the stereo inside the opening of the dash kit, it needs to be mounted securely. This will require a mounting cage, which latches onto the stereo. You may also need additional mounting hardware that secure the cage in place.

Most car stereo installation kits will come as a complete package with everything you require to securely install your aftermarket stereo in place.


Not every car will require a new dash because you may be able to simply switch out the original stereo for your new aftermarket upgrade. However, the majority of cars will require some sort of stereo installation kit in order to fill in any gaps that may exist after removing the factory unit.

we strongly recommend that you analyze the color and placement of the buttons on the stereo dash kit that you decide to purchase. This will avoid any disappointments and delays when it comes to fitting your new stereo.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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