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Aftermarket Stereo install questions on a 2004 Malibu classic

09-23-2007, 02:02 PM
I own a 2004 chevrolet classic with the base am/fm/single cd player. I keep receiving an error message when I try to play cd's and the stereo spits them out. I've tried cleaning the cd player several times but the error persists. I am considering replacing the stereo with an aftermarket from either best buy or circuit city. I wanted to know if a special harness had to be purchased in order to install an aftermarket stereo, or if anyone had some suggestions on which stereo's to purchase and how much I'm looking at spending. I called my local dealership and they said that to replace the delco stereo with a new one would cost around $265.00 plus labor (which I think is rediculous). Any information or help would be greatly appreciated since I know very little about cars.

09-23-2007, 05:02 PM
The answer to your harness question is yes. You should buy a harness which mates your new stereo to the Chevy factory harness. My son and I just replaced the factory stereo on his 97 Accord with a Pioneer unit from Crutchfield. The nice thing about Crutchfield is that if you spend $129.00 or more they supply not only the wire harness but the dash install kit as well. We bought the Pioneer DEH-P4900iB on sale for $159.00. It took us a few hours, partly because I took my time and soldered and used heat shrink tubing on the wire harness. When we were done it all just plugged right into the factory harness. Came out great. Here's the Crutchfield website. Plug in the details of your car and it will display all the car stereos that will fit in your car. Even if you decide not to buy from Cructhfield you'll learn a lot from the website.

09-25-2007, 01:57 PM
i would purchase the equipment onlile first from a site like or, i have spent alot of money from both sites and had no problems. crutchfield while very helpfull is also very expensive. on the 2 sites i mentioned im pretty sure they include the mounting kit,wire harness (for most cars not the malibu,though.) they gave me the antenna adaptor in place of the wire harness.
I would then take the said equipment to a locally owned stereo shop for installation as it would also be cheaper than the big chain stores. your going to find out the wiring harness for the malibu is very expensive and will not be included with "free install gear" offers. the cheapest i found one was around 60.00 while crutchfield says a hundred something i think. then again i used a 5 dollar harness for a saturn in my car, with a few tweaks it works just fine.

my install:

i have a pioneer headunit and no EQ now, but no recent pics

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