Upgrading a car radio (for a Toyota Corolla)

Picture of Upgrading a car radio (for a Toyota Corolla)
A step-by-step guide to replacing the factory cassette radio in a Corolla with a mp3- WMA- CD player and radio.

Select the replacement audio. You can obtain CD player with mp3 and WMA from Walmart for $89. The most important features are the ability to play mp3 and WMA format files burnt on a CD but also from a USB drive (thumb drive or removable hard drive). Also has an aux port for mp3 players like the iPOD. This was way better in price features than anything else out there.

These instructions were originally posted by me on
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Step 1: Preparing the wiring harness

Picture of Preparing the wiring harness
Car radio back_of_walmart_radio_655.PNG
Get a wiring harness or adapter that will allow the car radio wiring to plug into the back of the new radio. These can be found at Walmart for $4.99. Make sure that the plug is compatible with your car (check the list on the back of the box).
Have shown the back of the new radio - the black set of pins is where the included black plug will go to. The free wires on the black plug provided with the new audio system will be connected to an adapter that will plug into the car wiring.
For the Toyota Corolla 1995 wagon, the wiring diagram is as shown below. Your car may differ substantially from this.

Step 2: Connecting the wires

Picture of Connecting the wires
Car radio Back_of_Toyota_radio_543.PNG
Connect the wires from the plug that came with the new radio to the wiring harness adapter that you purchased separately. Twist the correct wires together and then solder them (or use wire nuts if you dot have soldering equipment). Cover the exposed wire with electricians tape or heat seal tape. Attached is another table on how you connect your Toyota wiring adapter to the radio plug. Please, do remember that your radio and car will differ a bit.
Samalex671 year ago
..Hey great work.. I loved this post..Thanks for sharing this information. Trailblazer SS parts
abizar (author)  Samalex671 year ago
flio1911 year ago
Wow, did you realize that wikihow just basically stole everything from here?

I was wondering why I couldn't figure out their wiring diagram, and why the images looked so drawn over...
Oh wait. I see you did those. This instructable is definitely more informative though. Thanks for your help, regardless!
jalisvasim2 years ago
can anybody please help me i attached the link below for quary 2011 corolla LE i want to know wiring code that goes to speakers. please help me thanks

tmorrison43 years ago
When you take the bottom screws out, knobs off and the a/c switch out as noted.. The bezel around the radio and a/c controls uses straight tab clips. You have to slightly pull down the panel where the 2 screws attach to the bottom of the bezel. Grab the bottom of the bezel and firmly pull both bottom sides together. The finger tabs on the bottom are horrizonal. If that doesn't work then take a wide screw driver from the bottom up to the locations of the bottom clips, push firmly and pull out one bottom side at a time. Once the bottom is loose a gentle pull will force the top ones out. The top clip on the right side is in the correct spot. The left top is at the very top of the vent on the left side.
sandone14294 years ago
Upgradation is one of the important elements of the modifications that occur with time in all technological changes. car radio is generally quick and easy to install on our car.All the instructions are in this post is very interesting and We eager to know more about on this excellent information of upgrading car video.

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superbro4 years ago
Yo i got a 95 corolla, got a head unit and 2-6.5" speaker combo, head unit is chillin for a 54 x 4, but the speakers started sucking pretty quick, shame for kenwood on those. i installed those in may, and 2-12" subs in the back the month after, about 2 months later i got tweeters on the dashboard and on the back next to the rear speakers to add crisper highs, and also the 4" speakers in the front doors were replaced for 200 watt ones....and today i got new hifonic zeus xi 63 speakers in the back, kicking out 375 watts, suckers were so fat they almost didnt fit, my friend and i had to squeeze them into the stock plastic enclosure. but now my car sounds soooooooo clean now the next step is to get the amp for the speakers in and hopefully a 15" kicker l7.

total investment so far, about $600, it shows its not much, but it still sounds dank. eventually gonna sell my 12" subs if anyones intersted
Derin6 years ago
LUCKY!!!!! here the cheapest radio we found was runnin $150
Derin Derin6 years ago
we bought one,we put it,but our stock BLAUPUNKT radio turned on even when there is no +REM signal,but our Pioneer did not.Half an hour to the mechanic,and that solved the problem.He just tied +REM to the 12V cable.
my wires were so jacked up so i re-did alot of it. for the sub's, speakers, power, amp-power, ground, EVERYTHING.
BuangAyam7 years ago
That's awesome man, I've been thinking about this a while now but I just don't know how to do it..Now that you have posted the instructions and step by step guide, it will now be easy for me..Tnx dude.
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bduffman7 years ago
haha wat i love is in one pic u have a aus corolla and in another u have like a usa one hahaha wats the go there and its not mirror eather look at the sterio says fm 1021 and on the 1st pic look at the on off and heated signs its all right also lol lol he stuffed up some were here and pulled some pic off the net
eight7 years ago

Where were you 12 months ago.
I drove my 1991 Toyota Corolla Seca around for 3 months without a dash after my Saturday afternoon install stalled.
You have gone to a terrific effort. Labelling pin-outs, listing bits, adding pictures.
I can attest to a sterling job my friend.
By the way, I mixed up the Green wire (blue stripe.)
I must have inserted 10 blade fuses before I realised I had screwed up.

My system is un-F**king-believable for the tiny cost.
I used a similar MP3 player to yours.
It has a quad channel 50w RMS output (200w all up)

It came with a sleeve and brackets for free.
For Speakers:
FRONT: 6" - 150W RMS - 3 way (Not PMPO) round speakers in the doors
(Unwound windows make awesome bass ports )
REAR: 9"x6" - 200W - 3 way Oval speakers on a custom deck.

A Toyota Corolla Seca is a lift back.
So I constructed my deck with 2x layers (glued & screwed) of 12mm (1/2") MDF then chamfered apertures because I mounted speakers underneath.
I covered the deck (Both Sides) in Automotive Charcoal coloured carpet.

The "boot or trunk" space becomes the bass enclosure for the 3 ways and although it is reasonably sealed the bits that are open, become a collective bass port.
I don't need a sub woofer as I got all the Q values right along with the cabinet volume.

I used Monster Cable to get the sound to the speakers.
The cost was under AUD200 (about US$175) all up.

You will not find a better EL-CHEAPO install, giving a better sound.
I put my nuts on that.

Thankls for a great instructable !!
tarvid7 years ago
I bought this radio to put in my wife's 1997 Corolla and ran into a few issues. 1) in step 3 there were four clips (not two) and a narrow device (5/16") could be inserted into the socket to release the clip. 2) the Scosche adapter purchased from Walmart had a different color code, take the time to make your own 3) the radio came with a removable piece on the leading edge which had to be removed to mate with the Toyota panel 4) her Corolla was never designed for a CD playet, the cavity is too shallow. The radio fit after removing some ductwork which does alter airflow 5) I bought a battery powered Weller soldering iron for the job - it sucks. Not enough heat to solder properly. 6) I resorted to a Ronson butane micro torch. It flared, belched and general made this an interesting adventure. But I would not have attempted this excellent adventure without this howto. Thanks
namsu227 years ago
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! i have been looking all over the internet for a step by step instruction, this is perfect its about 1 am where i am right now, but tommorow imma try out your instructions and see if it works, looks really thorough great job man. thanks so much!!! (i got an account just so i could say thank you!)
smart! looks complicated.