How to Change the Radio on a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban

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The 2002 Chevrolet Suburban came with a few different stereo options, depending on which model was ordered from the factory. If your original stereo is damaged or broken and you wish to upgrade, one inexpensive way to do it is to change it out for a factory radio from a higher-up model of Suburban. This gives your features that your particular SUV didn't have, and could even bring up the resale value in the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Factory Suburban replacement stereo
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Remove the screws on the bottom of the steering column cover using the Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull off the trim and tilt the column down to its lowest position. Put the key in the ignition. Turn the key to the "On" position. Put your foot on the brake and shift the gear shifter to the lowest available spot.

  • Pull the bezel around the gauge cluster and radio off the dashboard with both hands. Reach behind the bezel and unplug the wiring to the bezel with your hands, or if necessary, with a flat-head screwdriver.

  • Locate the tabs on either side of the radio. Push down the tabs with your thumbs and pull the radio out of the dashboard. Unplug the wiring and antenna from the radio and set it to the side.

  • Plug the antenna and stock wiring into the back of the replacement stereo. Push the stereo into the dashboard until it makes a clicking sound, indicating the tabs have locked into the dash.

  • Plug in the wiring to the radio bezel with your hands. Reinstall the bezel onto the dashboard by pushing it in place to secure the clips. Then shift the shifter into the Park position and turn the ignition off. Reinstall the steering column cover with the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process can be done with an aftermarket stereo instead of a factory stereo as well, but it will take a bit more money to do so. You'll need an aftermarket stereo, vehicle-specific wiring harness, vehicle-specific dash kit, blue butt connectors, wire cutters and wire strippers. The dash kit goes into the dashboard the same way the factory radio does, then the aftermarket stereo mounts in the kit. The wiring is done by matching the color-coded wires on the vehicle-specific wiring harness and the harness that comes with the aftermarket stereo, then crimping them together with the blue butt connectors, wire cutters and wire crimpers. From there, it's plug the harnesses into the stereo and the stock harness, then mount the stereo in the dash.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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