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UPDATED General Stereo FAQ - READ THIS!

This is a discussion on UPDATED General Stereo FAQ - READ THIS! within the Electronics, Audio, and Video forums, part of the Specific Technical Discussion category; Id like to thank stealththx for making the Original FAQ Sticky but with the new 07+ vehicles it became more ...

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Old 02-12-2008, 04:34 AM   #1
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UPDATED General Stereo FAQ - READ THIS!

Id like to thank stealththx for making the Original FAQ Sticky but with the new 07+ vehicles it became more confusing then it was worth. I retained some info but also added on but i still need to fill in part numbers and such so its still a work in progress.


1.) If I install an aftermarket head unit will I lose my Driver Information Center (DIC) or throw a check engine light (CEL)?

No, removing the factory radio does not affect anything related to the DIC since it is located in the dash not in the radio like the new G6 and Malibu and a properly installed aftermarket HU will not effect the computer.

2.) Now do I have to relocate the factory radio in order to maintain any factory functions. (Do I have to run a harness from the front of the car to the trunk and hide my factory radio?)

No. Even thou the Cobalt uses the new GM-LAN system in the vehicle unlike the previous generation of GM vehicles which used the Class 2 Databus which some of you might be familar with the harnesses now available will still work with the GM-LAN system.

3.) Also, will I lose the factory door chime with the installation of an aftermarket head unit on an 05-06?

No, the factory door chime is still retained since it is not connected to the radio in any way.

4.) What about an 07+?

The 07+ cobalts have the door chimes play thru the speakers stock... So when you remove the stock HU you loose them unless you get a expensive module to replicate the chimes called the GMOS-LAN harness.

5.) What Harness do i need for my 05-06?

Metra = 70-2103
Warning the Scosche, AI and Bluewave harnesses are for Saturn's... the plug will physiclly work but you will need to repin the speaker wires along with cut or remove the 2 red "jumpers". I dont recommend them but i have the part numbers listed.
Scosche = GM04B
American International = GM-4003
Bluewave = BW-H-GM20

6.) I have an 07+ and need a harness, which one do i get?

Listed below are the expensive "module" harnesses for the second option look at question 7

Metra= non pioneer = GMOS-LAN-03
pioneer = GMOS-LAN-04 *retains onstar*

Pac= C2R-GM11 *without onstar*

7.) Is there another solution other then the pricy gm lan harnesses for 07+ vehicles?

Yes you can buy the regular harness that will plug in but you will loose your door chimes.
Metra = 70-2104 (70-2202 should work as well but the 2104 is the best option)
Scoshe =
American International =
Bluewave =

8.) What antenna adapter do i need for my cobalt?

05-06 cobalts need the GM antenna adapter
Metra = 40-GM10
Scoshe = MDA1B


07+ Cobalt's need the Chrysler antenna adapter
Metra = 40-CR10
Scoshe = CRAB


9.) What about the Scoshe dash kit that has the screen on the bottom and claims to retain the factory DIC functions?

Its not necessary for the cobalt but it will work so if you really want it go for it. Part number is GM1593B
Click the image to open in full size.

10.) So I'm not sure what exactly a DIN is or what size head units I can fit in the Cobalt

In a nutshell the DIN size refers to how big the opening is to fit a new head unit. The Cobalt has a big enough opening for a double din and currently the kits made for it are Single DIN, Double DIN, and dual Single DINs.

Single DIN kit number
Metra = 99-3302

Double DIN Kit Number
Metra = 95-3302

Dual Single DIN kit number
Metra = 95-3302 (ISO mount only)

11.) I really want a new head unit but I still want to use my steering wheel controls!

No problem. Check out these bad boys PAC Audio Steering Wheel Interfaces.

12.) Now I have the XM option in my Cobalt and I want to get a new head unit but use that XM antenna up on my roof. How do I do this and do you recommend this?

Personally, I [stealththx] don't recommend this because it will be more of a hassle with various adapters and whatnot and you will not have a full function XM system. If you install a Pioneer DVD/Navigation system in your car it is able to receive XM NavTraffic information and with the factory antenna this is not possible. With XM NavTraffic service you can receive live traffic information, stock quotes, and more on your AVIC series head unit.

13.) I really want a DVD player and Navigation system so what do you recommend for me?

The Top three companies when it comes to high end head units or DVD units are Pioneer, Alpine and Eclipse


14.) Ok, I am installing a new head unit in my car and I can't find a switched acc wire for my remote turn on lead what do I do now?

The accessory for the radio is actually run by the GM-LAN system. You must find a switched accessory wire somewhere else like tapping into one in the fuse box. The best fuses to tap are the Sunroof fuse or Windshield wiper fuse.

15.) I have an 05-06 cobalt and i want the aux in like the newer 07+ radios. Can I just swap one of those head units in my car?

Quick answer is no... yes its been done by one person (SilverSS/SC) "All of the functions work . The only thing that was screwy was the radio controls and thats only because the 2007 steering controls do not have all the functions the 05-06 controls have. 2007's only have volume , seek/scan(up/down on CD tracks) and mute and all those function do work on my 05 steering wheel controls" He also knew someone that worked at gm and had extensive knowledge of the tech 2 software... "Yea , tech2 was a bitch to get to read the radio that shouldnt have been there . From what I can remember ( my friend that worked at the dealer quit so I no longer have tech2 access ) , theres 3 different ways to do a vin relearn on a radio .....only 1 of them worked . The other 2 ways could see the radio , but it couldnt change the 07 vin assigned to the radio to my 05 vin so nothing would happen , the tech 2 would basically stuck on a loading info screen and stay there until u aborted the command ." Heres the thread with more info on it
http://cobaltss.net/forums/showthread.php?t=47419

16.) I have an 07 oem radio with xm and the ipod and mp3 player in it.. is there any way i can buy the upgraded one with the 6 disc mp3 player in it?
Yes As long as its out of an 07+ vehicle all the connections are the same. If by chance you buy it used or from another member you will need to get the vin relearned via a dealership but other then that it would work.

17.) How do i and an amplifier and keep the stock radio?

You can either buy a Line Out Converter (LOC) or if your amp has high level inputs use those. With either of those options you splice the speaker wires (either the ones from the 6X9s or stock sub if you have one.... it doesn't matter its just convenience) and connect them to either the LOC or to your harness for the high level inputs. Some LOCs require a ground as well as the speaker wires. A few companies that make them are Install Edge, Bluewave, Scousche, Perpheral, PAC, Stinger, American International, Ect...

heres a good how too for more info How To: Install System on Stock Headunit!

18.) I want to replace my speakers what sizes are they and how do i do it?

All cobalts have the same speakers. 6.5" in the front door and 6X9 in the rear deck. For the cobalts with the pioneer package the speaker is just held on via 4 screws and can be replaced easily. For the non pioneer people the stock speaker is actually built into the braket that is bolted on the door. To my knowledge you cant order the ones that come in the pioneer package (that would be too easy) so you must fabricate something yourself. A piece of wood is normally what i would use. Cut to the size of the stock speaker/bracket thing with a speaker cutout.

19.) Whats the stock sub size?

The stock sub is a Dual 2 ohm 10"

20.) How do i remove the dash trim to get to the headunit?

Disassemble Dashboard - Radio and related panels

21.) I installed an aftermarket HU with my pioneer package cobalt and now my speakers wont play.... how do i fix this?

You must hook up the "remote" wire for the stock amp to the remote coming off the head unit. To do this you must cut the pink wire coming off the stock harness and connect it to the blue/wire remote wire on your aftermarket HU harness.

22.) What size is the stock battery and where is it located?
The stock battery is a group 34/78 and its located in the spare tire wheel well, in the bottom of the trunk

23.) Do only certain aftermarket head units require the antenna adapter or all of them?

Most aftermarket HUs will require the gm antenna adapter

24.) I have a system and my lights are dimming what do you recommend?

Normally the best thing you can do to prevent the lights from dimming is to swap the stock battery with a better one. I recommend the Carquest NGT Extreme Battery.
Click the image to open in full size.
Its comparable to the optima yellow top with slightly better specs and more importantly a much better price. For you heavy hitters with the bigger systems you may want to bump it up to a Kinetik HC1800 battery. They are one of the best batteries on the market and work damn well but the price tag is going to be around double that of the optima yellow



I know there is a lot more to cover so you guys feel free to input your knowledge here so we can avoid these reposts.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon daddy
My advice: If you are serious about reducing noise in the vehicle, use Second Skin products. If not, don't spend the money and add the weight and turn you music up a little louder.

Last edited by BPacak; 10-19-2012 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:41 AM   #2
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The link it #7 goes to the site but it doesnt show the product

It just says :

Catagory:

ADODB.Field error '800a0bcd'

Either BOF or EOF is True, or the current record has been deleted. Requested operation requires a current record.

/products/productsCatagory.asp, line 253
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Last edited by JRelly; 02-12-2008 at 04:41 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:48 AM   #3
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Nice update. From my knowledge the GMOS-LAN-03 and 04 both retain OnStar.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:55 AM   #4
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ya got the link working still updating hold up fellas... oh and ive herd they both retain onstar as well but metra states the 04 will do so and didnt state it on the 03 so i thought id leave it like that until i hear from someone with a gmaln 03 with results
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon daddy
My advice: If you are serious about reducing noise in the vehicle, use Second Skin products. If not, don't spend the money and add the weight and turn you music up a little louder.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:15 AM   #5
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i have an 07 oem radio with xm and the ipod and mp3 player in it.. is there any way i can buy the upgraded one with the 6 disc mp3 player in it?
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:58 AM   #6
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do only certain aftermarket head units require the antenna adapter or all of them?
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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ok, ive got a question, ive read so much about this and dont know what to believe

I have an 07 SS Pioneer - If i get a regular harness and not the LAN harness, will all my interior speaers and factory sub still work? Bought a double din tv..
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:26 PM   #8
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From my knowledge, you need a LAN harness to keep the stock pioneer system. Not completely sure though.
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Last edited by TeDy; 02-24-2008 at 10:28 PM. Reason: on second thought...
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorJJ1 View Post
#6....

no you dont need the lan harness but you will loose door chimes and turn signal clicks. I havent got the part numbers up yet thou
you are 100% positive right? ive heard both sides so im not too sure... i have the chance to get the LAN harness on my friends discount, but im not getting it if i dont need too...
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:49 AM   #10
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yes... guy at the shop has an 07 ls, my gf has an 06 ls and i have a 06 ss/sc. So non including any customer cars ive seen or done quite a bit on the cobalts so far
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon daddy
My advice: If you are serious about reducing noise in the vehicle, use Second Skin products. If not, don't spend the money and add the weight and turn you music up a little louder.
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorJJ1 View Post
yes... guy at the shop has an 07 ls, my gf has an 06 ls and i have a 06 ss/sc. So non including any customer cars ive seen or done quite a bit on the cobalts so far
07 ls has no pioneer, and the other 2 are different harnesses. thanks anyways though.
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Old 02-26-2008, 02:02 PM   #12
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yes i know... the Lan harness is really just a module to reproduce the stock chimes.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragon daddy
My advice: If you are serious about reducing noise in the vehicle, use Second Skin products. If not, don't spend the money and add the weight and turn you music up a little louder.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:47 PM   #13
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The only way I would see a LAN harness or any harness being needed in a set up, would be if it turned the amps on. If the stock amps don't need a turn on then you don't need any special harness. Since it's stock, and many people have switched out head units on a pioneer setup, it would seem like the stock amps would turn on themselves... Or already have the wire to turn them on.
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeDy View Post
The only way I would see a LAN harness or any harness being needed in a set up, would be if it turned the amps on. If the stock amps don't need a turn on then you don't need any special harness. Since it's stock, and many people have switched out head units on a pioneer setup, it would seem like the stock amps would turn on themselves... Or already have the wire to turn them on.
there arent just 2 speaker wires there are also a signal wire for each set of speakers too, dont see that working with the regular harness, its all good i just ordered the lan 04, might as well just do it the right way.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:47 PM   #15
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I have 1 question I have the pioneer system with onstar in my 08 and want to replace the pioneer system with my own do i still get the lan-04 harness?
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:29 PM   #16
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Old 03-10-2008, 06:46 PM   #17
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bout time for update, thanks! + rep
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmorris003 View Post
I have 1 question I have the pioneer system with onstar in my 08 and want to replace the pioneer system with my own do i still get the lan-04 harness?
yes to keep onstar you must get the metra gm lan harness... im not sure on what ur replacing but you dont have to swap the stock HU to add amps or anything
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Quote:
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My advice: If you are serious about reducing noise in the vehicle, use Second Skin products. If not, don't spend the money and add the weight and turn you music up a little louder.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:29 AM   #19
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im replacing everything hu, amps speakers subs
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:05 AM   #20
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:17 AM   #21
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ok what your going to want to do is install the metra lan harness but your going to have to do an amp bypass for the stock amp. look on the zinner sticky for the cobalt amp pinouts and cut the harness coming out of it (i also recommend unpulgging the other unused 2 and or pulling the actual amp out) attach some "speed cable" (9 wire) to the harness you cut and run it to your 4 chan amp and hook up to your speaker output (unless you want to run new speaker wires for all the speakers) you can also use the blue wire in the speed cable as the remote for your amps but you would ahve to extend it up front to the back of the hu instead of the stock amp location. ghen install everythign else like normal. Hit me up if you run into issues or have questions

It should be a fun install for you not that bad thou
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Quote:
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My advice: If you are serious about reducing noise in the vehicle, use Second Skin products. If not, don't spend the money and add the weight and turn you music up a little louder.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:35 AM   #22
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Thanks, I have a buddy helping me that has done some cars on my other site Ontario Cobalt Club so he knows what he is doing with our cars.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:05 PM   #23
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I have to ask, where are the specs for the stock Pioneer system? I want to see if the sub is 2 ohms or 4 ohms. Sorry for such a noobish question...
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:54 AM   #24
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the stock sub is a dual 2 ohm sub
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmperorJJ1 View Post
the stock sub is a dual 2 ohm sub
Thanks. This was bugging the hell out of me. So, does this mean I can replace it with a 4 ohm sub or a 2 ohm sub if I want to keep using the amplifier that comes with the Pioneer package?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:11 PM
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factory radio swap, installation, problems, stereo, upgrade

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