How to Remove the Radio From a Subaru Outback Legacy

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The radio (head unit) on a Subaru Outback Legacy is mounted in the dash just above the center console. If your factory-equipped radio is broken, you may wish to replace it. In addition, aftermarket companies offer direct-fit replacement head units for better sound quality or so you can play an MP3 player through the speaker system.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Right-angle Phillips screwdriver
  • Disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal by loosening the retaining bolt and pulling the clamp off the negative terminal.

  • Locate the shifter trim plate, which is the plastic plate around the shifter. Insert the flat-head screwdriver between the rear of the plate and the center console. Pry the back of the plate upward then pull it toward the rear of the vehicle to remove it.

  • Pull out the two screws in the bottom of the small cup just ahead of the shifter. Lift the cup straight up to remove it.

  • Pull the ashtray cup forward, and press down on the front of the cup to disengage it from the housing. Then remove the one screw in the back of the housing and the two screws on top. Pull the ashtray housing from the dash.

  • Set the parking brake. Insert your key into the ignition, and put the transmission in drive.

  • Remove the trim panel that surrounds the radio and heater control unit. Start at the bottom, using a flat-head screwdriver, and carefully pry the trim panel away from the dash. Be careful not to damage the trim panel.

  • Remove the four screws that connect the radio to the steel frame, using the right-angle Phillips screwdriver and being careful not to lose the screws.

  • Pull the radio out from the dash.

  • Disconnect the radio wiring harness by disconnecting the plastic wiring connector from the back of the radio. Depress the retaining tab with your hand and pull the connector off the back of the radio.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a plastic jar with a screw-on lid to store all the screws after you remove them.

References

  • "Haynes Subaru Legacy 1990 thru 1999 Repair Manual"; Ken Freund; 2007
  • "Chilton Subaru Legacy & Forester Repair Manual"; Robert Maddox; 2007
  • "Chilton Asian Service Manual 2008 Edition Vol. IV"; Chilton; 2009
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