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How to Measure Car Radio?

Measuring the dimensions of your car stereo is an important step if you’re planning to upgrade or replace it.

You’ll need to know the size of the unit to find a new one that fits properly in your dashboard or console, but how to do it, and what dimensions to look at? Let’s find out.

To measure the dimensions of a car stereo, you need a tape measure or ruler and follow the steps:

#1. Locate the width by measuring the distance between the left and right edges of the stereo.

#2. Locate the height by measuring the distance between the top and bottom edges of the radio. 

#3. Locate the depth by measuring the distance between the front and back of the stereo. 

#4. Measure the radio screen by measuring diagonal distance between opposite screen corners. 

As an Amazon Associate, ImproveCarAudio will receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made through the links in this article.

Tip: There are cars in which you cannot fit a radio with standard depth, and to make it work, you have to use a shallow-mount stereo. 

If you are searching for such a head unit, I recommend Alpine iLX-W650 for double DIN or a single DIN Pioneer MVH-S522BS (links to Amazon).

In the article below, I detail how to measure car stereos and which dimensions are the important ones.

Measuring the Width of a Car Stereo

To measure the width of your car stereo, locate the left and right edges of the unit. This is the distance from one side of the stereo to the other.

Once you’ve found the edges, use your tape measure or ruler to measure the distance between them.

Keep the tape measure or ruler straight and keep it as level as possible when doing the measurement.

In the vast majority of aftermarket radios, the result will be close to 7″, which is a standard width according to the DIN norm.

There are however some exceptions, for example, some vintage radios or car-specific OEM models.

Measuring the Height of a Car Stereo

The height of the car radio is the distance from the top of the stereo to the bottom.

Once you’ve found the edges, use your tape measure or ruler to measure the distance between them.

Again, hold the tape measure or ruler straight and keep it as level as possible. Record the measurement in inches or centimeters.

Measuring the Depth of Car Stereo

To measure the depth of your car stereo, you need to locate the front and back of the unit.

To measure it, use your tape measure or ruler and measure the distance between the back of the screen and the back of the radio.

Alpine iLX-W650 7" Mech-Less Receiver Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

There are three standard car stereos’ depth sizes:

  • Short depth 3″ – 3.5″
  • Shallow depth 4″ – 4.5″
  • Regular depth 6″ – 8″

How to Measure Car Radio Screen?

Start by measuring the screen’s width from one side to the other. Then, measure the screen’s height from top to bottom.

If you are trying to determine if a screen protector or other accessory will fit your car radio, you will need to make sure that the accessory’s dimensions match the screen’s dimensions.

To measure the diagonal length of a car stereo screen, start by placing the end of the tape measure or ruler at one corner of the screen.

Then, stretch the tape measure or ruler diagonally across the screen until you reach the opposite corner.

The measurement you get will be the diagonal length of the screen, and this is the dimension that is shown on the radio’s description, for example, 6.5″; or 7.1″.

What Are the Standard Car Radio Sizes?

Car radios are standard size according to the “DIN,” which stands for “Deutsche Industrie Norm.”

The standard DIN size for car radios is 7 inches wide by 2 inches tall, or 180mm x 50mm.

This size is used for the mounting dimensions of the unit, which refers to the space required in the dashboard or console to install the radio.

DIN standard, however, does not include radio depth, which is the distance between the front and back of the unit.

#1. Single DIN

This size is 7 inches wide by 2 inches tall, or 180mm x 50mm, which is the same as the standard DIN size.

Single DIN radios are the smallest and more compact than other sizes and are often not equipped with touch screens, except for the radios with floating displays.

#2. Double DIN

This size is 7 inches wide by 4 inches tall, or 180mm x 100mm.

Double DIN units are the largest and often have fully responsive touch screens instead of buttons.

#3. 1.5 DIN

This size is slightly larger than a single DIN, measuring about 7 inches wide by 3 inches tall, or 180mm x 80mm.

1.5 DIN units are not standard and are used in vintage GM, Ford, or Chrysler models.

Conclusion

As you can see, measuring the stereo is simple, but it’s important to take precise measurements to ensure that the unit you purchase is compatible with your vehicle.

Measure your car stereo’s width, height, and depth before purchasing a new radio. Knowing the exact size will help you find the suitable unit for your car quickly and easily.

FAQ

How Do I Know if a Car Radio Will Fit In My Vehicle?

To determine if a car radio will fit in your vehicle, you can measure the dimensions of the radio and compare them to the space available in your dashboard.

For example, if the depth of the radio is 7 inches and the space in your dashboard is 6 inches, the radio will not fit.

What Are the Standard Sizes for Car Radios?

There are standard DIN sizes for car radios regarding height and width, but there is no standard for the radio’s depth.

There are three standard DIN car radio sizes:

  • Single DIN: 7 inches wide by 2 inches tall (180mm x 50mm)
  • Double DIN: 7 inches wide by 4 inches tall (180mm x 100mm)
  • 1.5 DIN: 7 inches wide by 3 inches tall (180mm x 75mm).

Can I Install a Larger Radio in My Car, or Is There a Maximum Size Limit?

In many cases, you can install a larger radio in your car if it fits in the space available and will not obstruct any buttons, knobs, or other controls in the dashboard.

For example, car stereo dashboard adaptors allow the fitting of double DIN radios into dashboards with original single DIN mounting locations.

What Tools Do I Need to Measure the Size of a Car Radio Accurately?

To accurately measure the size of a car radio, you will need a tape measure or ruler.

How to Measure Depth in the Dashboard for the Radio?

Here’s an example of how you can measure the depth of the dashboard for a radio:

#1. Gather a tape measure or ruler, pen, and paper to record your measurements.

#2. Locate the front of the dashboard where the radio will be installed.

#3. Place the end of the tape measure or ruler at the front of the dashboard and extend it straight back to the rear.

#4. Measure and record the depth of the dashboard.

#5. Repeat this process for the depth of the radio.

#6. Compare the depth of the dashboard and the radio to ensure that the radio fits properly.