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Selecting a New Faceplate for Your Radio

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Auto and Trucks

If you want to change the look of your radio, you may feel that the easiest way to do this is simply change the faceplate. That can give you a new look. But not all faceplates available will fit all radios.  Or maybe you have a classic car youre restoring. The faceplate should match the model and the year of your classic beauty. The question is where do you find radio faceplates and what can you expect to pay. Not to mention, if youre replacing a faceplate, is there anything out there that is just a little unusual to make your car a bit spiffier?

How about a radio faceplate with a cell phone attached? There is a model just like that. When you unhook the faceplate, youll have a tiny cell phone to use. It gets its power from the radio; and when you put the faceplate back on, it will recharge the cell phone. The beauty of this is that many radios already have the removable faceplates as a means to prevent theft; now, removing it gives you one more useful tool.

Finding a radio faceplate is actually not the easiest thing to do. The manufacturer of your vehicle should have replacements if yours breaks, but what if you want an older one for your classic car? Your best place to look is on ebay. There are always some for sale and often they are from older cars. The prices are usually reasonable; and as long you control your bid, you dont have to spend more than you want to.

The more common radios like Blaupunkt, Motorola, Alpine or Panasonic are easy to replace. Simply call the manufacturer, tell them the type of radio you have in your vehicle; and they will either have it in stock to give you or order it for you. Before you know it, youve got the faceplate you want.

Although changing the faceplate on your radio is one more way of making the car more yours, you have to be certain that the change is for more than just being tired of the color of the faceplate. For example, the Porches from the late 1950s had a particular type of snap on faceplate made by Blaupunkt for their radios. But they did have a few to choose from. All of them were chrome, but some had the company in the middle and others said it on another part. It would be difficult to find these now.

Other sources of faceplates are car magazines. They always have large advertisement sections and you should be able to see if what you are looking for is available. Auto junkyards are another option. If you like to wander through these fields of car pieces you may find something that tweaks your fancy. Most of these huge areas stacked with hundreds of cars are good for a weekend outing to locate something that strikes you as a better option than what you have. Just make sure you know the layout of your radio faceplate so the knobs or buttons match what you choose to buy.