If you want to replace your Toyota Tundra’s OEM radio with an aftermarket upgrade, you will first need to remove the dashboard panel and the four screws holding the radio in place.
There’s nothing quite like hopping behind the wheel of your truck and queuing up your favorite playlist, podcast, audiobook, or whatever else hits the spot. Regardless of what you listen to, hearing it over a scratchy or muffled sound system doesn’t quite pack the same punch. And, if you drive a Tundra, you may be considering swapping out your truck’s original stereo system with something that produces a crisper and clearer sound.
With help from
insurance comparison app drivers trust to score them the best deals on
car insurance, you can remove your Toyota Tundra stereo and replace it with the one of your dreams: whether it’s an unfussy system with stellar audio quality or a snazzier touchscreen with impressive smartphone compatibility.
We’ll walk you through how to remove your old stereo, give you our aftermarket replacement picks, and show you some easy tips on how to lower the
cost of Toyota Tundra car insurance.
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How to change the radio on a Toyota Tundra
To successfully do a Toyota Tundra radio upgrade, you will need to unscrew the four 10mm screws that secure your OEM radio to the rest of the truck. To access those screws, you must remove the dashboard panel and gear shift cover panel. Once the original stereo is out, you can replace it with your aftermarket upgrade.
You’ll need a
flat panel removal tool, a 10mm drill, a six-inch drill extender, and a couple of minutes of your time. Here’s how to do it:
1. Disconnect the battery and put on the parking brake
During this process, you’ll expose many of the wires and cables that connect to your vehicle’s electrical outlets and dashboard—which could potentially be a recipe for an electrical shortage. To prevent that, disconnect the negative battery terminal and engage the parking brake before you begin taking out parts.
2. Unscrew shift knob
Now, look down to where your gear shift is. We’ll need to pry off that entire panel (plastic cover, cupholders, and all) in the next step. But first, you’ll need to unscrew the gear shift knob. To do this, simply twist the knob counterclockwise a few times until it threads off.
3. Pry off gear shift cover panel
With the knob removed and set aside, you can now grab your flat panel removal tool and pry off the gear shift cover panel. This is the panel that sits between the dashboard and the center storage console, where you shift gears and place drinks in your cup holders.
Take your flat panel removal tool and begin prying where the gear shift cover panel meets the center storage console. With gentle pressure, the gear shift cover panel should pop right off, and you can set this piece aside.
4. Pry off the lower dashboard panel
Next up we’re going to turn our attention to the lower dashboard panel that houses two electrical outlets, and the auxiliary and USB inputs. Open the two electrical outlets, insert your thumbs into the openings (see why we disconnected the battery earlier?), and grab the bottom of the panel. If you gently pull, the lower panel should snap off. The electrical outlets, AUX port, and USB port will be connected by some wires that run deeper into your car, but you can just leave them plugged in for the time being.
5. Pry off the upper dashboard panel
The upper dashboard panel in your Toyota Tundra contains the two climate control knobs and seat heater switches, and sits directly above the lower dashboard panel that you just removed. You don’t need the flat panel tool to remove this one; if you place your hand at the bottom of the upper panel and pull outwards, it should unsnap.
Like the lower dashboard panel, the upper dashboard panel will also have wires running from the back of the vehicle deeper into your vehicle. You don’t need to disconnect these wires: they are long enough that the upper dashboard panel can safely dangle from them.
6. Unscrew the four 10 mm bolts that secure the radio
And, finally, with the upper panel removed, you will be able to see what we’ve been working towards this whole time: the four 10mm bolts that hold your OEM radio in place. Take your drill and attach the six-inch extender (the bolts are pretty deep in your car, and this will help you reach them) and a 10mm head and remove the four bolts.
And voila! Once you’ve removed the four bolts and disconnected the cables attached to the stereo, you’ll be able to take out your OEM stereo.
Installing a new aftermarket sound system, however, is slightly more complex. Some Toyota Tundra stereo upgrades require certain electrical modifications to your vehicle before installation. If this rewiring is done wrong, it could spell disaster (and costly repairs) for your Tundra. So when it comes to that type of installation process, you’re better off leaving it to a Toyota mechanic.
The best aftermarket stereo head units for the Toyota Tundra
If you really want to change your Toyota Tundra’s stereo, you’ll need to go aftermarket to find what you’re looking for: whether that’s a basic AM/FM radio or an elaborate, tech-savvy setup with a touchscreen. Here are our top-rated recommendations:
Best simple radio upgrade: Pioneer MVH-S322BT
If you’re looking for a simple radio that does just a little bit more than your OEM one, look no further than the
Pioneer MVH-S322BT. At an even $100, this is the most affordable radio on your list—but your Benjamin Franklin will get you quite a bit. Not only does this model have stellar Bluetooth connectivity to help you keep your eyes on the road, but you can also connect via an aux cord or USB.
Don’t let its small, sleek size fool you: this radio comes with an amplifier built in and four additional preamp outputs if you really want to crank up the noise.
Best radio upgrade with smartphone compatibility: Boss BE950WCPA
We don’t need to get into the blue text versus green text debate: the
Boss BE950WCPA works seamlessly with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It allows you to access your favorite Spotify playlists, audiobooks, and podcasts completely hand-free with Siri or Google Assistant. And with backup camera compatibility, this stereo will turn your Tundra’s center console into a true command center.
Best radio upgrade with excellent sound: JVC KW-M560BT
If punchy sound is your endgame, you’ll love the
JVC KW-M560BT. Like the Boss BE950WCPA, this one also displays everything on a gleaming 6.75-inch touchscreen. But it takes audio quality to another level with a 13-band equalizer and high-pass, low-pass, and subwoofer adjustments. And, if that isn’t enough sound for you, it boasts 5 additional preamp outlets.
Best radio upgrade with CD compatibility: Kenwood DDX5707S
Kenwood DDX5707S is comparable to both the JVC and Boss stereos on our list, but this one has one key difference: it can play CDs! It’s got added backup camera compatibility and a stellar navigation display.
How to save on Toyota Tundra car insurance
While upgrading your Toyota Tundra with an aftermarket stereo can vastly improve your ride, it also increases the chance that someone nabs your sweet new sound system. To insurance providers, this makes your truck a greater risk to insure—and with greater risk comes higher insurance premiums.
So, if you plan on going all out with your Toyota Tundra stereo upgrade, you should consider adding
comprehensive coverage and
sound system coverage to your policy to protect your aftermarket investment and then consider shopping around for a cheaper
car insurance policy to pay for it all.
Jerry app lets you do both!
After you download our
trustworthy super app and take just 45 seconds to answer some questions, you’ll be presented with customized Toyota Tundra car insurance quotes that match your coverage needs. Not only is Jerry easy to use, but it can work wonders for your wallet: on average, Jerry users save over $800 a year when they shop with the app.
Jerry really just saved me $954 on my new car insurance payment. I’m feeling great!” —Irene M.
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