Helping Your New Head Unit Fit In with Your Dashboard

Aftermarket car stereos are built to a standard. While this means they will fit almost any type of car, it also means they're not designed to match the style of any particular model. Fascia adaptors are plastic, clip-on frames which blend your new stereo into the pre-existing design of your car.

Lots of people want the best stereo for their car. Whether you want something with better sound quality, if you want to be able to listen to DAB digital radio on the go, get better reception or an integrated LCD screen, it can be an exciting purchase. But there’s a problem a lot of people don’t consider until they come to fit the stereo; it doesn’t look right. To fit your new stereo you’ve had to take off the fascia that surrounded the old one, and now it won’t fit back on again. A fascia adaptor can help. They’re available in both single and double DIN sizes and will help blend your new car stereo into your old car design.

“DIN” is short for “Deutsche Industrie Norm” and is, as the name suggests, the standard measurement for all aftermarket car stereos sold in the UK (if you don’t speak German, keep up). A DIN is 2 1/8 inches tall and 7 /18 inches wide, with depths varying depending upon the design. A double DIN radio is twice the size and is generally the dimension used by the more showy car stereos boasting LCD screens, SatNavs, DVD screens and the like.

If your old car head unit is a standard DIN or double DIN size, then fitting your new one should be the work of mere moments. If, however, it isn’t - as is the case with most retail cars - then you will be needing a DIN adaptor kit or double DIN kit. These aren’t complicated; they fill in the empty socket left by the removal of your old car head unit, leaving a socket into which your new DIN or double DIN aftermarket stereo can be fitted. And there you have it. Your DIN/double DIN kit has left you with a spanking new stereo complete with LCD screen, iPod socket and everything else you could possibly want to blast out your Basement Jaxx on the Monday morning commute.

But now there is a new problem; your head unit doesn't fit in with your rest of your car. It's obvious that you've pulled off part of the dashboard and just stuck a new stereo in. You might have better sound, but you've cheapened the appearance of the rest of the car as a whole.

This shouldn't be too much of a shock. Your new car stereo wasn't designed to fit in specifically with your make and model of car. It was designed to fit equally well into a Peugeot 206, a Mini Clubman or a Kia Rio. You need a fascia adaptor. A fascia adaptor is a plastic frame that fits around the outside of the new head unit, blending it into the surrounding design of the dashboard. The genius of the piece is its simplicity. It doesn’t obscure the display or controls of the stereo, but it does make it look smart. DIN and double DIN fitting kits allow you to fit an aftermarket car stereo without radically altering the appearance of your car’s dashboard. Fascia adaptors are available for a wide range of major car brands, including Peugeot, Honda, Ford, Volvo and Vauxhall.

Depending on the make and model of your car, you may need a “cage” to hold your stereo and fascia in place. If this is the case, ensure that your fascia adaptor comes with the cage, as it could otherwise prove a headache to find a matching one. Quality suppliers of car stereo paraphernalia should offer this combination as standard where it is appropriate.

If you want the best quality stereo for your car, but don’t want to sacrifice style and elegance, then you need a fascia adaptor. Like all great ideas, it is simple but effective. You don’t need any technical expertise to fit the adaptors, it’s a quick process and one even the staunchest of technophobes can perform with ease.

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