Can I buy a spare removable faceplate for my stereo?
April 29, 2005 1:26 PM   Subscribe

I have a car stereo with a removable faceplate. After a couple of years of lugging the plate with me every time I left the car, I finally did what I knew was coming all along and lost the darn thing. Given that the entire reason for having the plates removable is to deter theft, should I accept it as a given that there is no place to buy a replacement unit, and go buy a whole new stereo?
posted by blindcarboncopy to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total)
For some reason, people sell a lot of faceplates on eBay.
posted by zsazsa at 1:33 PM on April 29, 2005

I've had to replace a faceplate before (it was stolen even though the HU was not); check with your local car audio (not BB/CC) store.
posted by kuperman at 1:34 PM on April 29, 2005

Check ebay.

And just leave this one in your glovebox. Thieves will smash out your windows if you leave it on (this has happened to me), but won't bother if they can't see the faceplate.
posted by andrewzipp at 1:36 PM on April 29, 2005

Response by poster: Last time I left a faceplate in the glovebox, I came back to find both it and the stereo missing. It was that incident that made me carry the plate elsewhere.

Thanks for the ebay suggestion everyone - I should have thought of this!
posted by blindcarboncopy at 1:40 PM on April 29, 2005

I did the exact same thing. I contacted the stereo manufacturer directly and bought a replacement. It set me back about $40 (but this was in '96, so I won't vouch for the pricing).
posted by Gucky at 1:41 PM on April 29, 2005

After my experience with stereo theft, I recommend not even locking your doors. Let them take the damn stereo if they want it, the damage to my door and window cost me $700 to fix. (Stereo was only $125)
posted by knave at 2:04 PM on April 29, 2005

Remember that buying one on ebay is possibly encouraging theft. As someone who had my faceplate stolen (twice) I make a habit to never buy 'replacement' faceplates unless they are specifically manufactured as such.
posted by Four Flavors at 2:39 PM on April 29, 2005

Hang on, hang on...I was under the impression that now days most face-plates are security encoded...that is, a specific individual face place will only work with a specific individual stereo. If you buy a face-plate from Ebay, shouldn't your stereo not work with it?
posted by Jimbob at 4:53 PM on April 29, 2005

i lost my stereoface and the manufacturer sold it online. i don't think the security lies in having unique faces as this would be a manufacturing and administrative nightmare. and also it would put people like youself SOL.
Anyway, check the manufacturer's website. unless its an old model you can probably buy it real cheap.
the security is really just to discourage thieves cause they'd have to figure out where to order, deal with it, and give and address and cc. not a very sustainable process for a thief.
posted by alkupe at 5:18 PM on April 29, 2005

Jimbob, you would think so, but "most" is probably a stretch. I doubt your average $100 car stereo has such frills. I bought a JVC head unit, new, from a vendor on eBay, and one of the buttons on the face plate was broken. The guy just sent me a new face plate and told me to throw out the old one! I was expecting to have to get a whole new deck.

I would guess that security encoding is not going to change the fact that most thieves are too lazy to steal radios that don't have face plates, so that they can spend $40 on a replacement. The point is that there are plenty of people (like me) who might forget once, and on any given night one could walk through a neighborhood and find a few of these folks.
posted by autojack at 5:20 PM on April 29, 2005

New faceplates are on the order of $100; I paid $27.50 (including shipping) for one on ebay.
posted by Doohickie at 6:33 PM on April 29, 2005

Some thieves are not deterred by the lack of a faceplate. I took mine in religiously every night and some loser still smashed my window and ripped out the guts of the stereo. This was just months after the first break-in which made me get the removable faceplate in the first place. There should be a special place in hell for those people.

I now have an Eclipse car stereo where you pick a CD and set it up to activate the stereo, so if the stereo is ever removed from the car, the thief has to know what your special CD was (any one is fine) to get it to work again. So if they don't know that about that stereo, they might still steal it, but apparently they won't get it to work. Or so the store people say.
posted by GaelFC at 10:23 PM on April 29, 2005

This hasn't been mentioned in this thread (that I'm aware of anyway) but in addition to everything else being said, I would invest in window tinting. It isn't very expensive (couple hundred bucks) and has some great benefits, including acting as a theft deterrent and protecting your upholstery.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:17 PM on April 30, 2005

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