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My car stereo on my 96 Honda Civic is dying a painful death. It
got terrible radio reception, even during its prime. I'd like
to have a new one installed. My car is pretty old and I'm not
an audiophile, I'd just like a CD player and a radio that sound
decent because I listen to the radio constantly. I'd like it to
cost under $500. Is this possible? I checked the archives but
couldn't find a recommendation for a place to purchase and
install a car stereo. Should I just go to Good Guys or Circuit
City? Any recommendations on where to go and what to buy would
I Want My KQED & KNBR
Frank's on Allston Way in Berkeley! I bought a CD player/AM/FM
radio for my car in the summer of 2003, and it was definitely
under $500, even though I also needed new front speakers.
They're open Saturdays, too.
Our car stereo system has been broken for some time (CD and
tape...the radio works). It's the system that came with the car
and would be expensive to take out and send back to the
manufacturer so my husband has just left it and we just use the
radio. For longer trips we bring a portable ''boom box'' but the
sound doesn't transfer to the back as well.
We're going on a longer trip soon and I want to replace the
stereo with one with that works.
It can't be THAT expensive, can it? How much is a new car system
(we don't need speakers). CD and tape, or even just tape?
How much to have it put in? Where did you go where the service
was great? It just seems like not a big deal but my husband has
this idea that it's exorbitantly expensive. Thanks for any info.
Go to EBAY. You should be able to find a replacement car stereo
for $20 and up. Many people sell the stereo the car came with
because they want something fancier. And then put it in
yourself. This is really easy - I am anything but handy, but if
I was able to do this, so are you.
not a handywoman
We just replaced the factory car stereo that came with our 1996
Toyota with a cassette/CD/radio unit from Crutchfields.com. My
husband, who is reasonably handy but no Bob Villa, did it
himself with the handy-dandy instructions from Crutchfields.
Took maybe 30 mins to do, and they will sell you the necessary
gear along with the stereo unit. It really was no biggie.
My factory car radio stopped working last year, and I was told
by the technician at the car repair place that if they replaced
the car stereo in my 10-year-old car, it would cost $800 just
for a stock radio. He advised me to go to Circuit City and buy
a radio there. I did just that, and got a respectable Alpine
CD/radio for $159, on special for $119. Installation was free,
but there are other wires you need to have for the installation
which bumped the price back up to about $150, which is still not
a lot of money. If Circuit City is not busy at the time of
purchase, your CD/radio can be installed within the hour. I
bought my radio on a Friday afternoon and the wait was more than
2 hours, so I decided to return Saturday morning as soon as it
opened and the unit was installed in about 40 minutes. There
price range for the CD/radios is wide and I selected something
from the low end. Even so, the new Alpine CD/radio is a vast
improvement over the factory radio - it even makes the old
speakers sound like better speakers! I also love the option of
playing a CD when the airwaves are inundated with commercials.
North Berkeley mom
My wife and I are on our fifth or so car radio in our 92 Honda
Civic. What I have figured out over time is that if you limit
yourself to a ''factory'' radio -- that is a radio that comes
specific to your car -- it is less likely to get stolen.
To find one -- you should look on craigslist.org, or ebay.com.
If you get almost any ''aftermarket'' radio from Circuit City,
Best Buy etc.... my experience is that it won't be long before
why not get a few free estimates from the dealer, indep.
mechanics, or car audio specialists? then you'll know exactly how
this page was last updated: Oct 15, 2006
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