What’s the Catch?

This morning I took a call from a fellow trying to add an AUX jack to his Golf GTI, but he couldn’t get the radio out of the dash. He had bought the right tools to get it out: four flat metal spears that are supposed to release a spring clip in each corner of the stereo that grabs a metal bracket inside the dash. I told him I’d give it a go if he could come by later in the day, so he showed up at 4:30 as planned.

I tried releasing it with my own tools first, working from the passenger seat while he observed from the driver’s seat. He said my tools seemed to be made of better quality than the ones he got from Amazon, but that didn’t matter a bit. I could feel that they were not releasing the spring clips. Could we maybe take the dash apart? He said he had seen youtubes, and it wasn’t easy. “It starts all the way back here,” he said, pointing behind us.

He asked if I had experience removing the front cover from the radio in order to get to the clips. I had, several times in the past, had to do that, but in those cases I was putting in a new stereo so didn’t have to worry about what if something got broken or defaced. But I had had a good day and was feeling extra confident, so I said I could do it with minimal damage.

He was OK with that, so I removed the two tiny screws on the bottom of the faceplate and ver-r-r-r-y slowly and patiently massaged it off of the radio, one by one releasing the plastic clips holding it to the frame of the radio. I got it off with no damage at all, and then the spring clips were exposed from the front, where I could manipulate them with a small screwdriver as well as the removal tool.

Even then it took a lot of effort, and an extra hand from the customer, to wrestle the stereo out, but it finally gave way. I could see why it took so much effort to get it out. The spring clips were bent. No way the removal tool alone would release them.


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