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Removing CD player in '04 Malibu?

07-27-2004, 08:17 AM
Hi all... I've got a dilemma here! :confused:

I am borrowing my in-laws' 2004 Malibu, and the other day my 3-year-old son thought he'd shove several coins into the stock CD player. Arrgh! :mad: :2cents:

I removed as many as I could from the CD opening, but I know several dropped into the innards of the player. CDs will not load or play, and the error message "Check disc" is displayed when I try to insert a CD. I need to remove the dash piece and CD player, so I can disassemble the player and remove the coins... but I can't figure out how to get to the player behind all the dash trim.

Can anyone help? It appears that the black cover containing the radio controls and the info display screen is one removable piece. I found some clips up under the whole radio/AC control panel (above the 12v power outlets), but pop them out to remove the piece. I tried bare hands, pliers, screwdrivers, etc. with no luck. If anyone can help me get into this thing, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

07-27-2004, 09:01 AM
I have watched numerous radios removed on 2004 Malibu. I have never see the radio disassembled so can't help with that.

The IP is layered and so requires removal of a little more than you would expect. It isn't that hard, just takes a little longer. You will likely be sweating by the time you are done.

I would recommend you have a battery powered drill with 7 mm driver to speed things up. You might need a universal joint or flexible shaft on drill to reach a couple of the screws.

You will need to first remove both lower hush panels which are just snapped in on driver side and passenger side. The driver side might have a clip going into it from the hood release cable. The passenger side may be attached to a wiring harness and will need to be guided back into HVAC duct when reinstalling which is a bit tricky.

I think you might have to remove some small trim panels on each side. One on driver side contains dimmer switch, adjust pedal switch, etc. The one on right side is just a trim panel.

Also remove the trim panel below ignition switch with the little key rest pad on it. There is a screw beneath it that needs removal.

Then pop off the end covers of IP (just snapped in) and remove the screws holding the driver "knee bolster" and glovebox. You will need to remove all of the remaining screws on these 2 things and then unsnap them from the IP. You will likely have to fold down the glovebox to access all the screws - just squeeze box together in back to allow it to flop down.

Then you can pull off the "center stack" trim plate. This is just snapped in. Start at the bottom clips first and work you way up.

Be careful not to yank off the top. The hazard switch wiring connector needs to be removed or just have someone hold this trim plate up while you get at the radio (or you may be able to hold it up using the rear view mirror).

Then take off screws for HVAC control head to drop it down out of the way and FINALLY you can remove screws from radio and pull it out (it will have an antenna connection and 1 or 2 connectors going to it).

Congratulations, you have now disassembled about half of the IP of the vehicle.

Remember when putting radio back in to line up the plastic bullet into IP which helps secure the radio.

I can probably give you more details if required on any particular part but I know once you start you are going to have to finish the job.
Good luck and repost on your experience.

07-27-2004, 04:56 PM
WOW, thanks for that extremely detailed message (seriously)! I'll poke around tonight to see if I think the labor is worth it... otherwise I may just have to pay my in-laws warranty deductible to have the dealership perform the operation. :disappoin I'll be sure not to leave loose change lying around in the future! Thanks again -

07-28-2004, 11:19 AM
The same thing happened in my sister's Cavi with the CD player. just a warning we got the coins out and the CD player still didn't work and warranty wouldn't cover it. It was considered abuse not just a failure. Also there were seals on the stereo so they will know if it has been opened up.

07-28-2004, 07:19 PM
Understandable (it does require a bit of disassembly). I wanted to give you an idea of what was involved before you really dug into it. There are lots of those snap-in clips things which are amazingly aggressive in retention and sometimes you might think you are going to break something before it releases.

07-29-2004, 11:25 PM
There are lots of those snap-in clips things which are amazingly aggressive in retention and sometimes you might think you are going to break something before it releases.

Exactly... that was my fear when I started pulling on trim panels (before my original post). My in-laws talked the dealership's service manager, and apparently they said they would "work something out" to cover the "surgery" to remove the coins... therefore I did not try to do it myself, since I probably would have fouled things up more. :sly:

Thanks for the replies everyone!

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