2000 Volkswagen Golf Re-Installation of Original Stereo

Tiny
BECKIE0915
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 241,000 MILES
I was just given this car as a gift from my son and when he drove it, he had switched out the factory stereo for a different one. I now wish to re-install the factory stereo but am interested in attempting this myself. If I were able to find a manual for this installation, can I assume that the process would be fairly painless? The unit that's in there now isn't hooked up to receive am/fm and will only play the cd option. I am in the process of having multiple repairs done as the car is at the garage presently but because the total cost of this is running me $1,500.00 I would like to possibly save the labor costs of the stereo hook-up if I can. It's the final thing needing to be done on the list and I'm pretty well busted. Basically I'd like to know the difficulty level of just doing it myself and if manuals are even available for this installation. Thank you.
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 AT 2:11 AM

8 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's nothing in any service manual about putting back something that is already supposed to be done. The radio will just bolt in but it's the wiring you have to look at. Some people will cut off the original plugs, then splice in the harness for the new radio. That leaves a chopped up mess if they take the radio out. What you'd need to do then is visit a salvage yard and snip the original plugs. All you have to do is match up the wire colors, then splice them together.

I don't recommend butt connectors or Scotch-Lok connectors. The only way I repair wires is to splice and solder the joints, then seal them with heat-shrink tubing. Never use electrical tape in a car. It will unravel into a gooey mess on a hot day, and splices will touch and cause shorts.

Be aware that VW has built in some tricks to cost you money after the sale. One of those is needing to enter a code to unlock the radio. I've been told by a couple of very knowledgeable people that you get three attempts to enter the code, and if you guess wrong, the radio will be permanently locked. At that point, throw it away! Other people have told me the dealer can unlock the radio, but you know they won't do that for free.
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 AT 2:29 AM
Tiny
BECKIE0915
  • MEMBER
Okay, thank you for providing that information to me. My son had installed some high-tech sub-woofers in the back along with the different stereo. He removed the subs but left the special wiring that they were hooked up to which runs from the trunk, up along the drivers side and into the underside of the steering column. I mentioned this to the mechanic in case it was found that the issue I was having was due to an electrical drain but he found that the brand-new $198.00 battery I had just bought on New Years night was 'junk' as he put it and wouldn't hold a charge so I'm thinking that the wires are probably still there. Not that I have any plans to hook up subs in the near future anyways. I guess my best bet would be to just leave the unit in that's there now and try to figure out how to get radio reception because that one has me puzzled. You'd think he would have re-done it before giving it to his mother but no such luck. Do you know why the cd music comes through the speakers but no radio stations? That actually sounds like an easier fix than fiddling with the other unit but I've never encountered this before. Thanks!
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 AT 2:53 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Volkswagen uses an oddball antenna connector that is different than any other manufacturer uses, so you would need an adapter cable to plug in the antenna. Those adapters typical cost around ten bucks. Places like Best Buy will have them. A home radio will still work, but poorly without an antenna. Car radios are designed differently because they're moving around, and they absolutely must have an antenna connected. Without one, you won't get any AM reception, and the only FM you might get is from real strong, nearby stations.

I really hate those loud stereos, and I won't repair those amps. They are rude, and I can't imagine anyone needing that much attention. I'm glad you won't be damaging your ears. The problem though is most of the newer radios have two output systems. One will run the speakers, which is what you need, and the other requires a separate amplifier. That's the one that was probably hooked up before. If you can hear the CD player and the volume is normal, all you need is that antenna adapter cable. If the CD player appears to be working but the sound is not loud enough or you can't hear anything at all, you'll need to look into connecting the radio to the car's original speaker wires.
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 AT 4:19 AM
Tiny
BECKIE0915
  • MEMBER
I see. The car has an antenna which is up on the back end of the roof ( a little short black antenna) and I'm going to assume that I need to check out whether the current radio is connected to that, am I close? I'm really sorry to keep on replying and do appreciate your taking time out to educate me on this. I want to make sure I understand it all correctly. The radio stations are the only part of it that isn't working as it should. The cd player is fine, the buttons do what they're meant to, meaning volume control and everything so it must be the antenna isn't wired in. Thanks again!
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 AT 9:17 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You can keep the conversation going as long as you want to.

That sounds like it could be the antenna, although I always thought those little ones above the rear window were for telephones. Regardless, you need to look behind the radio to see if the antenna plug is laying back there.
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Friday, February 6th, 2015 AT 1:16 PM
Tiny
BECKIE0915
  • MEMBER
I finally found out exactly what the problem is. My son said it needs an adapter. Okay, so I guess my next question to you would be regarding the difficulty of replacing/installing one of those. I have always enjoyed taking on projects myself and this is just one more that needs to be done. Is this something that requires electrical knowledge do you know? How would I know the particular one I will need or are they universal? Where does is go exactly? Okay, I'll leave you with those for now! Thanks again!
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Friday, February 6th, 2015 AT 7:03 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That's the antenna adapter I mentioned previously. Best Buy will have the right one for your car. It's a simple plug-in item between the radio and the original antenna cable.
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Friday, February 6th, 2015 AT 7:59 PM
Tiny
BECKIE0915
  • MEMBER
Okay great! Thanks so much for your time and help. Very grateful.
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Friday, February 6th, 2015 AT 8:29 PM

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