How to Take Out the Radio in 2001 VW Passat


The 2001 Volkswagen Passat came standard with an AM/FM radio with cassette player. Removing the radio and stereo head unit from the vehicle is a relatively simple task that does not require extensive dashboard console dismantlement. Special tools are needed, however, to remove the unit from the Passat's radio opening.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket or wrench set
  • VW Passat radio removal keys


  • Open the vehicle's hood and locate the battery. Disconnect the black negative battery cable from the battery post labeled "-" or "NEG" using an appropriate-size socket or wrench.

  • Examine the stereo head unit and locate the key slots on each side. Insert one removal key into the left-hand slot, below the "BASS" button. Pull out the side of the radio, using the ringed end of the removal key, enough to disengage the lock for that side.

  • Insert the remaining key into the right-hand slot, below the "CC" button. Hold both removal keys and pull the radio out halfway, or at least enough to grip the sides of the unit with both hands. Pull out the radio unit to expose the wiring harness and antenna connected to the rear of the unit.

  • Depress the plastic clips on the side of the radio wiring harness and remove the harness from the rear of the radio. Unplug the round antenna from the rear of the unit.

  • Remove the keys from the key slots; you may need to move the keys back-and-forth and side-to-side to release them from the radio.


  • Connect the wiring harness block to the corresponding connection at the rear of the radio. The arrangement of the wiring harness pins will prevent incorrect or reversed connections to the radio. Make sure the plastic clips for the wiring harness are seated properly.

  • Reconnect the antenna cable to the corresponding female connection at the rear of the radio.

  • Tuck the wiring back into the dash console. Slide the radio back into the mounting area. You do not need the removal keys for installation, as the locking clips on each side of the radio will automatically engage when the unit is fitted flush with the surrounding trim bezel.

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