The car radio faceplate is the external framing that gives your car radio that “finished” look. Each vehicle make/model will need a unique car radio faceplate in order to fit in the compartment meant to hold it. However, aftermarket companies make different styles of car radio faceplates to accommodate a wide range of tastes. Therefore, if your car radio faceplate has broken, or you just want to spruce up your interior, replacements are available.
Most car radio faceplates are made of plastic. As such, they age and will sometimes crack or split. If the damage to the faceplate is minor, it can be repaired. However, if your car radio faceplate has significant damage, such as multiple sections of the frame broken off, you will have no other alternative but to replace it. If your car radio faceplate is made of metal (chrome), then it cannot be fixed. There are some great metal epoxies out there, but because of the type of repair required, it will not work for very long.
The faceplate is the covering to the car stereo housing that contains the radio. If your faceplate has been damaged, then it will be prone to additional damage if it is not removed carefully. With your hands on either side of the faceplate, firmly grip it and pull it toward you. There will be a distinctive “click” as the fasteners release. If the fasteners are stubborn, you can gently pry the retaining clips with a very small screwdriver. At this point, if all has gone well, you should be holding the car radio faceplate in your hands. If during the removal process you caused additional damage to the faceplate, then you may want to consider replacing instead of repairing.
Find a clean, flat area to work on. Match the broken pieces to the faceplate and lay it down flat for examination. Ensure you have the broken piece in the correct orientation, and that the faceplate looks as it should. Use a small expendable piece of cardboard as a palette to mix some epoxy. Mix the epoxy in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a toothpick, gather a tiny amount of epoxy and apply it to both sides of the broken piece of faceplate. Carefully push the broken piece into position, and maintain pressure until epoxy squirts from the interfaces. Slowly place the car radio faceplate on the flat surface and, using a second toothpick, carefully remove the excess epoxy from around the interface cracks. Once cured, the faceplate can be remounted to the car stereo housing.
With a bit of patience and time, an effective and long lasting repair can be made to your broken car radio faceplate. Just remember to take your time and be patient, because rushing the job could mean the end of your favorite faceplate.