Removing a factory VW stereo

Update 2/20/05: Added Passat section. Credit to Matt Logan for pics and description.

Update 4/19/05: Modification to Passat section. Credit to Matt Logan again. This would have been updated earlier, except that I've been busy.

Update 7/11/05 Fixed Matt Logan's email address and added his comment to the Passat section.

Update 10/27/06 Fixed the link to the enfig removal keys.


The Passat is different. See the Passat instructions below.

This is written kind of as a How To, but I make no guarantees as to the veracity of the information, and I'm not responsible for anything you do with this information, including blowing up your car, damaging your hearing, and/or re-electing much-disliked and vilified politicians. However, you're welcome to email me with questions and comments.

What you need:

One set of stereo removal keys for single-height VW stereos. Two sets are needed for double-height VW stereos (such as the Monsoon sound packages). You can order such keys here.

Official Instructions:

Thanks to Christian at Enfig for providing these.
Radio removal instructions
(Click image for a larger version.)

Inserting the keys:

The keys have three ends. The longest end is the one to use.

The keys get inserted with the long flat end toward the outside of the radio, and the notched end toward the inside of the radio, as shown below:
Left Side Key Right Side Key
Left side key. Right side key.

For single height stereos, you're basically done:
Single height

For double height stereos, you need to install the second set of keys:
Double height

Push them in until they snap, about half an inch (about 1.5cm).

Pulling out the stereo:

The stereo should slide out easily. If it doesn't then something is wrong.

Removing the keys:

Once you have the stereo removed, you need to pull the keys out. They've pushed some tabs out of the way, and you need to press the tabs in farther in order to remove the keys.

Here, we see the tabs:

Push in the tabs to remove the keys:
That should do it. Good luck!

Cosmetic bits:

Removing and replacing the stereo tends to scratch the slots. One reader has suggested using a black permanent marker to touch it up. I haven't tried this approach, but plan to and will update folks when I have.

Passat Section

These work for a 1999 (B5) Passat, at least. Credit to Matt Logan for pics and description.

Passat Stereo

You need a #20 Hex driver and a thin screwdriver. Pop off the bezel (colored greenish in the above picture) to reveal the 2 corner screws behind it (magenta). Remove those screws, and the two in the little "cargo area" below the stereo (also magenta). There are 2 more screws behind the bezel that do not need to be removed. After this, the radio should be able to be removed fairly easily.

Matt adds that not all Passats are the same, and includes the following links:

Also, it should be noted that this method removes the whole bezel, along with the defrost, hazard, heater, and other buttons and knobs, as well as the little cubby hole below the stereo.