If you've purchased an in-dash DVD player and wish to do the installation yourself to save money, here's a step-by-step guide that'll help you along the way. An item you'll need before you begin is an installation kit for your specific car. You can find one at an electronic store or a any car audio shop. Also, there are plenty of websites that are sure to have the exact installation kit you need if the selection locally is scarce. You'll need screws and a screwdriver to fit the DVD player into the installation kit. If you're a handyman but don't already have one, a multi-bit ratcheting screwdriver will make the job a lot easier. Finally, you'll need a pair of removal tools to be able to slide the head unit out. They can be called Ford removal tools or Radio removal tools, but as long as they have that horseshoe shape, they should do the job just fine. I've seen some from 4 dollars all the way up to 17 bucks. If this is only a one-time job, it's probably best to go with the cheaper model, but if you install in-dash DVD players frequently, then go with the more reliable, expensive brand.

A heads up

Steps on installing a radio DVD player can vary depending on your vehicle. This guide should cover Ford, Mercury, Audi and other cars with the miniature holes used by the removal tools. So before proceeding, make sure those are present. Additionally, some Ford Focus models you just pry the CD player out with prying tools. Now that you're equipped, we're ready to begin.

car radioCredit: Stefan Krilla

Step one

With the Radio (or Ford) removal tools, slide the prongs into the available slots on the head unit. These are easy to find and are small; practical yet not diminishing the design of your dash. Once in, pull the removal tools away from each other. This action retracts the springs that hold the head unit into place inside the dash. Now just slide head unit out, exposing the wire harness and antenna cable on the back of the CD player.

Step two

Remove all the connectors from behind the CD player. There maybe buttons that you can push making it easier to disconnect each connector. After you've removed them, remove the antenna cable as well.

Step three

Slide the new radio DVD player into the installation kit designed for your specific vehicle. This is where the ratcheting screwdriver will come handy. On each side, screw in at least three screws to make a secure fit.

Step four

Connect the wiring harness to the new DVD player and then connect the antenna cable. Making sure every connection is secure, insert the DVD player into the dash. Once in, turn the vehicle on and make sure the head unit turns on as well. It's a little less work than if you were installing an overhead DVD player, but still gives you something to watch if parked.

Tips and warnings

Again, ensure that the head unit you wish to install is compatible with your vehicle. If not, you may need to do a bit more work customizing the dash so the device can fit in securely. It'd be easier to find out what size DIN your car has and find a matching DVD player. There are single DIN DVD players with motorized screens that come out when you're ready to watch a movie, and double DIN DVD players have screens that stay displayed permanently.

Additional Info

Adding quality dual-screen DVD players to the headrests for the people in the back is a good way to share the entertainment. Plus many in-dash DVD players have A/V inputs so you can let the people in the back view a movie playing in the front with external monitors. You can even hook up a game console.

image by Stefan Krilla/stock.xchng