Buying a new car stereo can be an integral part of upgrading your car. Whether you want 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.
In case you don't know, 'DIN' stands for 'Deutsche Industrie Norm' and is, as as those of you who speak a little German will have guessed, the standard measurement for all aftermarket car radios 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 - the depth is dependent on the design. Other common measurements of aftermarket car stereo include the double DIN, which 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 shouldn't be too difficult. If, however, it isn't - and most car radios aren't - then you will need a DIN adaptor kit/double DIN kit. These kits fill in the empty socket left by removing 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 radio in. You might have better sound, but you've cheapened the appearance of your 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 Land Rover Discovery, a Skoda Fabia or a Kia Rio. This is where fascia adaptors come in. Each is a plastic frame designed to fit around the outside of the new head unit, blending it into the 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 Renault, Honda, Saab, Land Rover and Volkswagen.
Please do note, however; some fascia adaptors will require you to buy the appropriate '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.
A fascia adaptor allows your car to have style, consistant design and the very best quality of music and audio. 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 any small instructions you might need should be easily available online.