The VW Beetle is not the most engaging car to drive but that's hardly likely to bother fans of its classic retro styling. Many owners of the VW Beetle take great efforts to customize the car and make it their own. One of the first changes many VW Beetle owners make is to upgrade the factory radio. Swapping out the factory head unit gives better sound quality and more features than the original unit.
Before starting, be sure to have the code for your factory radio on hand, either to resell it to someone else or keep as backup in case your installation goes all pear shaped. Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable. Secure the cable so that it can't come in contact with any metal parts.
Slide the VW radio removal tools into the slots at the sides of the stereo. Apply pressure to the outside of the stereo while pulling forward. Listen for a click as the clips release and pull the head unit out of the VW Beetle dash. Mount the new stereo into the VW radio mounting kit per the manufacturer's instructions. Connect the wiring harness adaptor to the original harness and the VW antenna adaptor to the antenna wire. Plug the wiring harness adaptor and antenna adaptor into the new stereo. Slide the stereo into the dash, taking care not to crimp or pinch the wires.
Are the speakers on your VW Beetle simply not up to par anymore? Do they crackle or buzz or even not work at all? It may be time to replace them. Don't worry. If you want to squeeze the best possible sound out of your factory sound system, and you don't have an enormous budget, the speakers are a great place to start Premium aftermarket speakers also tend to be engineered better and constructed from higher quality materials than factory speakers. VW factory speakers use surrounds that are made out of foam and paper, which deteriorates over time. When the surrounds wear out, the sound quality drops significantly.
Grab the door panel and pull it toward you. Once you have each door panel about 8 inches off the metal, you will see plastic clips that still connect them to the door handles. You will also see some electrical wiring plugs. Disconnect these items, but remember where they go. Take a picture if necessary. Then pull up on the plastic to remove the panels entirely.
Take out the four screws that secure each speaker to its door, but do not remove the wiring harnesses. Instead plug your new harnesses directly into the old ones. Then mount your new speakers in your doors, securing them the same way the old speakers were attached. Now put the doors back together by performing steps 1 through 3 in reverse order.
Remove the old rear speakers, which are attached with either nuts or screws, and disconnect the wiring. Set the new speakers in place and attach them. Then replace the panel. If you replace car speakers that fall into the "full range" category with 2-way or 3-way speakers that have multiple drivers, the difference in sound quality can be remarkable.
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