2018 Ram 1500 Radio Replacement

Need a new radio in your 2018 Ram 1500? With a little elbow grease, you can DIY the replacement—and upgrade your truck’s audio while you’re at it.
Written by Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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To replace the radio in a 2018 Ram 1500, you’ll need to remove the upper and lower trim panels on your center console, disconnect the wiring harness, and modify the radio cavity before replacing it with a new product. 
There are a lot of reasons one might want to change the stock radio in a Ram truck. As far as radios go, the factory unit in the Ram 1500 is decent—but it’s far from a life-changing music experience. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of a more custom setup—or maybe it’s just time for a change. In any case, before you can make any changes to your Ram’s sound system, you’ll have to remove the current radio. 
If you’ve never replaced the radio in your Ram 1500 before, don’t worry—
Jerry
, the
car insurance
comparison app, is here with a breakdown of what you need to know. We’ll give you a step-by-step overview of the process, recommend some sweet upgrades, and give you tips to lower your
Ram 1500 car insurance costs
.
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How to change the radio on a 2018 Ram 1500

To replace the OEM radio in your 2018 Ram 1500, you’ll need to remove the trim panel on your console, disconnect the wiring harness, and modify the radio cavity itself before you can install a new car head stereo unit. Before you get started, you’ll need a couple of tools on-hand, including a T-20 Torx screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, and a 7mm socket
When it comes to altering the metal frame that holds your truck’s radio inside the dash cavity, you may need the help of a hacksaw blade to get the job done. Cutting the radio’s frame won’t prevent you from installing a new product, nor will it cause interior damage to your dashboard—just think of the radio frame as a component of the stock radio you’re removing.
When you’re ready, make sure your vehicle is off, the parking brake is engaged, and the negative battery cable is disconnected (to prevent an electrical mishap). Then, follow these steps:  

1. Open your console’s storage compartment

On the top of your dash console, you should find a lid that covers a small storage compartment. This is your access point to the radio cavity. With the lid opened, use a panel tool (the back of a flat screwdriver also works) to gently pry up the edges of the shift trim ring
You’ll have to remove nine clips before the ring comes loose. With it out, you can use your panel tool to pry up the small rubber mat inside the storage tray and loosen the pair of Phillips screws hidden beneath.  

2. Remove the upper trim panel

Next, use a panel tool to pry up the edges of your center console’s upper trim panel. The panel is clipped into place, but with the edges loosened, you should be able to release the retaining clips (there are seven of them) and remove the panel entirely. 

3. Remove the lower trim panel

Now it’s time for the center console’s lower trim panels. In the same general idea, use your panel tool to pry up the edges of both lower trim panels and unclip them.  

4. Remove three T20 Torx screws

With the lower trim panels removed, you should have better access to your truck’s receiver/climate control unit. Beside it, you’ll see another (smaller) storage container with a rubber mat. Remove the rubber mat to reveal the Torx T-20 screw beneath
Loosen and remove that screw, then repeat the process again with the storage tray above your dash display, prying up the rubber liner to reveal an additional two Torx T-20 screws. 

5. Disconnect the wiring harness

Getting to your radio cavity is hindered by the proximity of the receiver/climate control unit. That’s why you need to pry off the receiver trim panel using your panel tool. With the edges loosened, the retaining clips that hold it in place should release.
With the panel removed, you can now access and disconnect the wiring harness for your radio. 

6. Remove the OEM radio

The path is now cleared: all you have to do is remove the four 7mm screws that hold your factory radio in place, disconnect the radio from the wiring harness, and remove the unit from the cavity inside the dashboard.  
But the work doesn’t stop there—don’t forget about modifying the radio cavity itself! Now it’s time to bring out that handy hacksaw
Because your stock radio has a number of receivers, you’ll have to disconnect its center frame from numerous “arms” that connect to it on all sides. Use your hacksaw to cut these “arms” off of the center frame, then pull out just the center frame (you can leave the arms behind).  
Don’t worry—hacking away at these arms won’t damage any receivers or the structural integrity of your radio cavity (so long as you’re careful!). It’s necessary to remove the stock center frame before attempting to install a new radio. 

The best aftermarket car stereo head units for a 2018 Ram 1500

Not sure where to start looking for a replacement stereo? The cost of a new OEM Ram 1500 radio can top $2,000 and rarely dips lower than $1,000—so if you’re looking for a cheap substitute, you’ll have to choose the aftermarket route. 
Whether you want an unfussy audio upgrade that excels at all the basics or an amped-up multimedia system that makes your truck a customized concert experience every time you go for a drive, we’ve got you covered with top-rated recommendations. 

Best all-around stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Kenwood Excelon DPX594BT

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, standard stereo unit that improves upon all the basics, look no further than the
Kenwood Excelon DPX594BT
. Its simple-to-use display buttons and Bluetooth compatibility let you control your sound with ease, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto let you enjoy your tunes whenever you want. 

Best stereo with GPS navigation: Boss BE7ACP-C Package

If you’re looking for a radio that doubles as a navigation display, the
Boss BE7ACP-C Package
fits the bill. No more struggling to navigate apps on your phone while you drive—just plug in your phone (via one of the unit’s two USB ports) to use the Boss’s touchscreen display instead! This stereo also features a built-in 10-band EQ that makes it the perfect choice if you’re also looking to customize your in-car audio experience with extra amps and a subwoofer. 

Best budget radio replacement: Sony WX-920BT

With built-in Bluetooth, a CD player, and even Siri compatibility, you’d never expect the
Sony WX-920BT
to be a budget radio. But with a price point of just $138.00, you won’t have to sell an arm and a leg to get the customizable music experience you’re looking for. 
The Sony WX-920BT lets you enjoy your music exactly the way you want to—whether it’s via aux cord, Bluetooth pairing, SiriusXM, or Pandora radio—and with a few minor wiring tweaks, this radio can even be connected to your truck’s steering wheel controls! Score!

Best stereo with a backup camera: Alpine iLX-W650

The Alpine brand is built for the best sound experience—but in the
Alpine iLX-W650
, you’ll get more than just incredible volume and
KTA-450 power pack amp
compatibility. Because on top of built-in Bluetooth features, USB and auxiliary hook-ups, and built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this all-in-one touchscreen display stereo also features two camera inputs for both front and rear viewing, along with built-in parking guides that make safe backups in your truck a breeze. 
MORE: Easy car mods

How to save on Ram 1500 insurance costs

Maybe you’re looking to spend the bare minimum on a new stereo unit—or maybe you’re ready to drop big bucks on an upgraded audio system. Whether you’re looking to protect your new sound with
sound system coverage
or simply cut costs where it counts,
Jerry
can help you find savings on Ram 1500
car insurance
It’s this simple: download the Jerry app, answer a few questions about you and your truck, and let Jerry take care of the rest. With the information you provide, Jerry can find you the best
Ram 1500 insurance rates
for your coverage level from a pool of over 55+ name-brand providers. Compare rates side-by-side, make changes at any time, and even swap insurance providers—all right in the app.
Once you’ve made your selection, Jerry can help with everything from securing your new policy to finalizing the paperwork, and will even handle the renewals for your top picks so you don’t have to. Basically, it’s all of the savings with none of the hassles.
Jerry
was easy to use, and they saved me a lot of money on my truck. I would definitely recommend them.” —Johannes T.
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