Introduction: Cheap Anti Theft Device for Your Automobile's Cd Player

Picture of Cheap Anti Theft Device for Your Automobile's Cd Player

Has somebody stolen your expensive (or cheap) cd player in your car? Tired of removing and hiding your radio's faceplate everytime you park your car? Well here is a simple solution. Make a fake cassette face plate for your expensive radio! Fool those conniving thieves. It should cost you $free - $5 the most.

Things you need:

Old OEM (original manufacture equipment) radio that came with your car or from a pick n pull junkyard.
Glue or glue gun
Cutting device ( dremel like tool or other sharp object)
card board
black marker

Step 1: Remove Cassette Face Plate

Picture of Remove Cassette Face Plate
Most oem radios has a plastic face that are held by snap on tabs. Just pry these tabs to get the plate off the radio's mainbody. Keep all plastic knobs ,buttons, cassette flap and anything that is visible from the face plate. If there are wires just cut them. You can toss the main body, what we need is the face plate and its buddies.

  • remember to dispose old electronics properly

Step 2: Clean Up the Inside of the Face Plate

Picture of Clean Up the Inside of the Face Plate

What we need to do is remove extra plastic that is sticking out inside the face plate. Use a dremel to clear things out or some really sharp knife.

*careful with the sharp tools

Step 3: Place Some Backing Materials

Picture of Place Some Backing Materials

After gutting the face plate we need something to glue the buttons, knobs, lcd etc. I used some card board. Keep in mind we need the inside of the face plate as recessed as possible cause this is where your cd player's faceflate will "hide".

Glue the buttons and knobs. I also glued the lcd screen to the face plate to convey a more authentic radio. If there are card board showing just use a black marker to hide it,

Step 4: Finish Product!

Picture of Finish Product!

In order to keep the face plate from falling from your cd player you can glue some extra plastic, velcro, small magnets, paper clips or what ever you think will keep it from falling. Be creative! I used a 1inch by 1/2 inch pice of metal that I glue to the face plate which slides in to a gap on top of my cd player.


stich626 (author)2015-09-05

I like the idea, but it only work in vehicles old enough to have used a unit with a tape deck..
I did this years ago in my s-10 that had a din and a half g.m. radio.. put the am/fm face plate over the "better radio" .. it worked, as this was before the head units had removable faces, and you took the whole radio out of the cage, and took it with you.. great idea, back in the day, but if a thug saw you walking with it, they asked themselves what else is in that vehicle?

Napalmjerry1391 (author)2007-12-27

yeah, or you could just take the face off like a normal human being

The thing is.... that a lot of people DO take the faceplate off & then stash it under the seat or somewhere else in the car... because they are lazy. ANd thieves know this.... so they may break into your car anyway in hopes of finding the stashed faceplate. And if they dont find it... they will often damage your headunit (or another part of your car)out of retribution. I PERSONALLY prefer to affix razor blades to the edges of my headunit (and remove the facplate). Sure, I may have to clean up a bunch of blood, but at least the thief gets what he deserves.

DriX (author)Cousin eddie2012-03-01

You can attach razor blades to the underside of the seat, so when the thief searches with his hand, he will get a nice surprise.

vallesan (author)Cousin eddie2009-08-28

lol great idea thx

andrew101 (author)Cousin eddie2008-01-10

ok do that and leave ur car unlocked in a busy parking lot with a hidden camera fr like 6 hours and send me the footage pleez :D

cry_wolf (author)Cousin eddie2007-12-30

If you actually do that i give you maddd props :D

But they might want the unit itself because a lot of times multiple faceplates fit multiple DACs.

camp6ell (author)Napalmjerry13912007-12-28

and not every head unit has a removable faceplate, einstein.

Derin (author)camp6ell2008-04-26

yea but for oem wolkswagens the interesting thing is that one has removable faceplate one does not.the one with the remvble is from a vw 2001 transporter and both are blaupunkt

z3ds (author)Napalmjerry13912007-12-27

Yeah you are right! but I think it is also normal for a human being to be innovative don't ya think?

Jolleyman (author)z3ds2008-01-04

I think putting a fake faceplate on to discourage theft is pretty innovative, don't you?

even with the face plate removed theres still a visible head unit. anyone who really wants it will probably take the time to steal it. for one, you can sell head units without face plates. the plates can be purchased for cheaper than the entire head unit, obviously. also, if i was a thief and i saw a head unit, face plate or not, i could deduct that they could have more audio devices in the trunk, ie subs, amps, cd changers, etc. once i know this it would be worth it to break in and try to take them. on the other hand, if i see that theres an old crappy stock stereo in there im gonna move on to the next car.

jomac_uk (author)2010-12-18

To be honest, i would rather hide the face plate, its OK making a false cd player front that looks good, and saves your real cd player from theft, but what about the damage the thief makes getting into your car after the dummy CD player, not counting any extra damage he causes because he then trashes the inside of your car in temper. I think its simpler just to remove the faceplate and take away all temptation, nice idea though.

Blackice504 (author)2010-06-10

great idea and to the man who said put a tape that sticks out that would be great as well but i think that you should be able to install the security system from Robocop MagnaVolt if you not seen this its a little ad in the movie and basicaly it kills the low life that try's to break in the car by electric shock. coz at the end of the day they are in the wrong and should pay for that. same with homes. sure maybe have a warning on the car window or house window or something and if there dead the police just remove the body from your car or home.

slaggerr (author)2010-04-26

 Might be nice if you cut a tape into say 1/4 and have it sticking out.  I would think that a thief would spend less time inspecting your goods if he sees a tape in there.  Good idea all around.

1dot21gigaflops (author)2007-12-28

My 240 got broken into a few months ago, they didn't take my crappy CD deck though. I thought about using hex or square screws for the deck and the module it screws into. or even welding it in there...

yeah my kicker subwoofers, diamond audio amp and Side Speakers and alpine ceck were stolen, $5600 down the drain, who takes the side speakers anyway, lmfao

Derin (author)Yerboogieman2009-09-11

my dream is fitting the alarm to a car stereo so the thief gets to cr** his pants

syrax (author)2009-09-11

That car look like mazda ? :) Or wrong?

taria (author)2008-12-12

not a bad idea, but what if your radio,(like mine) has one of those faces that don't remove, but it opens, (push a button the face plate slides down like a keyboard type of deal) how do you make something to cover it? Cause of the way it's put in, it sort of sticks out a little to far.

mylarjorgen (author)2007-12-28

What a waste of time. Just install (very carefully) a device that covers the thief with florescent/uv/ir spray using the entrails/principles of an airbag mechanism or a simple pressurised vacuum draw spray-gun or similar release device. You can buy micro beads with your post/zip code from some places (???) to add to the spray if you really want to get the furkin scumbag good style. ***beware of (avoid) harming the thief as you may be liable*** i have to say this for reasons of decency and humanity.

solo.card (author)mylarjorgen2008-02-15

So the theif gets a light coating of UV ink, and a free stereo?

jongscx (author)solo.card2008-08-31

that would work until you chase him into a rave club... then you're just SOoL...

mylarjorgen (author)solo.card2008-02-16

Hmmm, good point. Maybe Pepper-spray. Or a removable stereo.

pen gun dude (author)2008-02-15

or you could put a bunch of razor blades in the back. my friend did that then this guy tried to steal it and he heard him. so then he ran out in the middle of the street chasing this guy with a bow in his underwear at 1 in the morning lol

CyberBill (author)pen gun dude2008-07-08

Why did he put a bow in his underwear? That just seems silly!

reedz (author)CyberBill2008-07-08


Antexter (author)2008-01-18

Brilliant Idea, but I can still imagine people trying to steal a tape player :D. Someone stole the airfreshner out of my car LOL ended up with a bill of over $100 to replace the glass.

Gamernotnerd (author)Antexter2008-04-02

Must have smelled good 0.o

iluvpandas4 (author)2008-01-13

hey its a 240sx!

ryanzxc (author)2008-01-01

I would just saw the last inch or so off of an 8 track and glue it to a strip of plastic and stick it in my cd tray, to make it look old. This seems more believable in a later model car though.

FunkNattidelic (author)2007-12-30

hook up a capacitor or high voltage low current transformer from a microwave up to it. then ny one who touches the capacitor is screwed over. i used to do that on my bedroom door so my siblings wouldn't get in... pure evil but hilarious to watch!!

i did it with relatively low (330v 4700mf) capacitors though so i wouldn't kill them...

Eekeemeekeewaka (author)2007-12-30

cool idea aren't the little vents that blow on your hands the best in those old SXs? i miss mine

bart_eu (author)2007-12-30

I have done this about 2 years ago for my clarion. I take the face and put the dummy on. It works only when you do not listen loud music at parking place ;]

crestind (author)2007-12-27

Smart idea! I smell an excellent product! Try and sell these - I'm sure many people would buy one!

Cousin eddie (author)crestind2007-12-29

There was already a product like this. It was basically a plastic shell of a faceplate that you stuck over the real faceplate. I saw it in a "parts express" or "MCM electronics" catalog years ago. It kinda looked hokey & cheap.

technodude92 (author)crestind2007-12-27

But once you start selling these its only a matter of time before thieves find out and begin testing "OEM" radios too see if it really is just a fake face

coonass (author)2007-12-29

This guy deserves major points for good intentions. When I was a cop, we had a saying - "Locks are to keep honest people out." Car thieves may not be rocket scientists, but they're bright enough to think "Wups, somebody taped a fake head unit onto what I REALLY want to take." Most of them, anyway. But this device may just be enough of an impediment to deter someone who's basically honest from making a life-ruining mistake; or to cause a less than totally bright thief to go elsewhere. Any little thing helps, right? Keep up the good work.

Fitwit (author)2007-12-29

How about a golf towel to cover the radio. 3 second fix.

thepaul93 (author)2007-12-28

have to fix

step 2 ******Gut***** the face plate
What we need to do is remove extra plastic that is sticking out in side the face plate. Use a dremel to clear things out or some really sharp knife.

*careful with the sharp tools

hondagofast (author)2007-12-28

Hah, I can't drive yet, but I did something similar to this on my sister's car because she has a $300 CD player in her car, and she doesn't really live in the best of neighborhoods. They already tried to take the crappy rims on her car. O.o I also modified the car alarm to play a really high pitched noise instead. It made my ears ring for hours. XD

MadMechanicMike (author)2007-12-27

looks pretty fool proof from the pictures. nice one. id do it if i had the patients lol

Good , because you would not make a good doctor . :O)

i lol'd

j626no (author)2007-12-27

this is a cool idea, dont get me wrong...but how is the any less labor intensive than simply removing your head unit every night? you still have to attach this do you not?

z3ds (author)j626no2007-12-27

I guess its not really a less labor intensive solution. I just put that cause I can't think of a catchy blurb. hehe. In my case I have a cd changer and I have a remote control for my radio so I just keep it there. I have a small hole in the face plate so the ir signal can go thru. Even with a cd detachable face plate a thief will sometimes still break in to the car steal the faceless cd player. I guess like most people I just hide my detachable face plate under my seat or anywhere inside my car. Those clever thieves sure know where to find them.

Pkranger88 (author)2007-12-27

I've had friends who have been doing this since the late 80s. It works great. One friend had his car broken into only to have nothing stolen. He had a Clarion $400 plus head unit and about $500 in subs in the trunk. And the thing is you can find cheap crappy head units as a donor for virtually free.

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-27

Wow, AWESOME idea! I totally agree with faust, try to sell these, this is just brilliant!

About This Instructable




Bio: UW Milwaukee inter arts grad
More by z3ds:Build/modify a wrist watch! A great gift or just for yourself!Another aquarium LED hood light Easier! cheaper!-=ver 2.0=- Literally : Dock your Iphone itouch ipod to your car audio cassette slot
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