Factory Car Stereo Repair

"Let's keep it original"



 "Why is keeping it factory the best?"
(or at least a very good idea!)
Shouldn't I just buy a used one?

Many "How To Send" type questions are answered on our Send In Form  (Take a quick look)          Tech help is offered at Email A Tech

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My stereo system has a problem, where do I start?
A: Most people have a few "advertising influenced" misconceptions about what they should do. They think "I'll just have another one put in." Be sure to take some time and look at  "Why is keeping it factory the best?" and decide for yourself if you think repairing is for you. We believe it is much less hassle to repair something then to try to replace it or match something else to your vehicle.

Q: I think I'll check with the junkyards and see if maybe there is a used unit that works but was just in an accident so the stereo is perfect and will work for me.
A: We, and many others, have had some experiences buying used equipment - learn from them (here)

Q: How do I get my cd's out?
A: We see so much damage after someone takes the cd's out manually. The best way to explain this is to just copy our response to an email asking if these are ever unrepairable. "unrepairable results don't usually happen. What really helps ensure that it is repairable is not letting someone that isn't familiar with how these work take it apart internally, usually done to remove stuck CD's. That's when damage that isn't repairable can happen. It's also best if we can see the player in it's current broken condition so we can tell what has happened. When someone causes more damage, then we have to repair that damage and then determine what the original problem was, trickier after everythings been moved around and many times bent. Also, we remove the cd's gently and someone else taking them out doesn't render the player usable anyways, these are tons more mechanical and complicated then that."

Q: OK, I do want to look into keeping it original, instead of replacing it, what's next?
A: People become more comfortable with the repair process when they know what is involved and why. One of the first things to do is go to the section of the website that addresses your vehicle. Look there for information there on what may need to be repaired. 

Q: Where do I start to send equipment in for repair?
A: Once you have looked at the info on the site for your car, you know what piece needs repairing, and you can tell that we fix it, then go to the "Send In Form" link/page so you can print off that page and send it in with the equipment. The page includes our address, a place to let us know your approved amount, payment types, and other info needed for smooth, quick, & successful repair for you.  

Q: How much does it cost?

Q: What if I don't know how to get it out of the vehicle?
A: Check the removal tips linked from your vehicle's model page. If you don't see it there then email us and we'll give you any tips we have that will help you or your mechanic, or we'll let you know the difficulty of the job. One option would be to run it by a stereo shop and ask them to remove it for a fee. Just know that they are going to encourage you to replace it, that's what they do, even if that is not the best thing for you to do. They don't make money by telling you to keep it original. See replace it?

Q: I have been emailing your technician and am going to send it in. Do I need to re-write the problem on the Send In Form
A: No, you don't need to re-write it, just enter "see emails" for the "problem with unit" or attach copy of emails to the Send In Form. We keep all the emails and match them up with the unit when it arrives at the shop. This makes sure the repairing technician understands all you've told us about the problem.

Q: How much to just check it out?
A: When you send it in, we will verify that the unit is doing for us what you tell us it was doing for you. If we don't see the same problem, we are going to contact you for clarification of the problem. We make sure to see the problem first, so we're sure we can see that it is fixed before sending back to you. If we don't see it, we don't fix it because the last thing we want is to send it back and you have the same problem. So, we go into it with you approving the initial estimate, this amount is for repair (not for just checking it out) we will return it at no charge if it's not broken.

Q: What if the cost is more than you estimated?
A: We'll notify you of the new amount before any work is done and you'll be given the option of spending the additional or deciding not to do it.

Q: How long do I have to decide if I want to accept your estimate?
A: Generally there is no timeframe, we will give you as long as you need. However, equipment left over 6 months with no direction from you is considered abandoned and will be discarded.

Q: Do you have a warranty? Our warranty is 12-months and we will be fair with you if it's after that time. We do not want you to have continuing problems with it.

Q: I'd like to just take it to somebody local, wouldn't that be quicker?
A: It is a common misconception to think just any shop can repair factory equipment correctly. That is totally false, be selective who you let work on it. A person or place not having the correct training and trying to work on something is the most common reason equipment becomes unrepairable. As far as the repair, you might think itís an easy problem, probably just a loose wire, certainly the local guy can figure it out. We talk to many car owners and they say to us ďmaybe itís a loose wireĒ.  As youíll see, if you go to unplug the factory wiring plug, the factory wiring is very tight and does not become loose; it really isnít ever just a loose wire, but we know many times it seems like it is.

Most stereo shops will suggest you just replace it with what they sell (non factory). Since they donít do repairs, the only way to get your business is to convince you itís best to just replace it. That may be best for the stereo store but not best for the car owner who now has to deal with theft problems, and broken windows. The reason aftermarket gets stolen is not because it is better, it is because the thieves know the non-factory stereos have the wires labeled, and it is designed to be installed in any car. Aftermarket is easy to hook up and factory equipment is hard to hook up (not hard to unplug, just hard to rewire in a different car). Thieves are very uneducated and they do not want to steal something that is hard to wire up right.

Common places people look to for help are.
1) The Dealer - Did you know that the car manufactures most always have a contract with the stereo makers not letting the stereo makers give direct support to the customer, even though the stereo maker knows the equipment best and can do a great job at servicing the equipment for the car owner. This contract is done so you have to get the service from the dealer. The dealer generally wants big $$$, they have a lot of overhead, they need it. We love the dealers and they are great when it's in warranty, but after that when it is coming out of your pocket - even they know it can be unreasonable charges. 

2) Person online, maybe a car club. (Many have learned from the stereo stores) Some surfers think "Someone online has to know this info that can give me free advice". What we witnessed when looking for same help was the most common advice is "replace, replace, replace". They say "If it came in the car, it has to be low quality and be changed out" Never mind the fact that the car makers subcontract out to the best stereo manufactures in the world because they don't make stereos at a car plant. We witnessed a forum where a person was asking about how to fix a bent antenna. The advice had him rewiring one that didn't belong there, spending hours when that part that was bent can be replaced in less than 15 minutes and work perfectly, unlike the one he might eventually get hooked up. And, "Where is that fuse located that might of blew?, this has been a hassle."

3) Stereo Store - These young guys at the Stereo Store want you to replace it. It's not that they aren't doing a good job. They just don't know about factory equipment and are trained to do installs that they call upgrades. Some workers are new in the work force and they want to get their experience by practicing on your car. We've had many customers say "never again." will they do that.

4) Online Auctions - This is such a hassle for the buyer, we have a whole section just about buying used equipment. It's not always a bad idea but you have to purchase from a reputable seller that knows what is good equipment and what is terrible. We have seen people pay hundreds for stereos that are not worth $20.00, because they aren't going to last a month. More info here 

These are not good choices for someone that just wants low cost, low hassle help. We have specialized knowledge that if you are not going to use our repair service, we want to share with you. We can save you money and time by providing the info straight to you, with lower overhead. But, we are a brick and mortar business and do have overhead, it's just not on the main interstate like a dealership. We have personnel that all they do is collect information so we can help you, the car owner. We know you need accurate info and few places know about the equipment that came in your car.