Do you remove your radio front - Welliesorter
Who here normally removes the front of their car radio? As I see it the options are:
  1. Leave front on radio
    • For: you don't have to carry the front of the radio around.
    • Against: the radio is worth nicking.
  2. Remove front and hide it in the car
    • For: radio not obviously worth nicking.
    • Against: if someone breaks into the car they will probably find the front so it's worth their while nicking the radio.
  3. Remove front and take it with you
    • For: radio not worth nicking.
    • Against: someone might break in on the off chance that you've left the front in the car.
    • Against: you have to carry the front of the radio around with you.
Have I missed anything?

For what it's worth my radio front is in the house now but my car is parked overnight in the street. I know there are some fancy radios that hide their own front (so you're effectively stuck with a halfway position between options 1 and 2) and that you can also buy covers that make it look as if you've removed the front.
Do you remove your radio front - Arfur
You missed the 4th option - Stick with the factory radio and you don't have to do a thing.
Not always practical though. The factory stereos in my last two cars had to go because they didn't support an autochanger; sentenced me to five years of removing the front panel. On the other hand one of those cars was a laguna which had an enormous flap that closed down over that part of the dashboard. In that car the panel just got left in place unless the area was very dodgy.
Do you remove your radio front - Welliesorter
Yes, I'd have preferred to leave the original in place but it was one of those cassette player thingies which I'd previously thought died out in the eighties. The official replacement (similar looking but autochanger compatible), complete with official autochanger, would have been about £560 without fitting. This is on a Skoda!

Looks as if this topic doesn't stir up the same strength of feeling as rubber v carpet mats...
Do you remove your radio front - L'escargot
In nearly forty years of car ownership I've never had anything stolen from my car, and I've never had a car vandalised. By and large I put this down to not leaving anything on show in the car and by being careful where I park. I avoid parking on the road at all costs and when I'm at home, my car is invariably garaged ~ certainly overnight.
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Do you remove your radio front - Burnout2
Always take it with me. Likewise, I always stuff the CDs in the glovebox so there's absolutely nothing on visible display. Anything that has to be left in the car goes in the boot, the internal release for which can be locked with the key.

I've never suffered any break-ins, and having worked for some time in the recently-displaced car-crime capital of England (Slough), consider myself fortunate.
Do you remove your radio front - Clanger
Paranoia, if not ruling, certainly seems to have a working majority here. My car radio stays tuned to radio 4 and lives concealed behind the flap on the dash. Controls on the steering wheel if I need to do anything rash like mute it. Front stays where it belongs, on the radio. Occasionally, if there are passengers aboard, the flap opens so that it can be tuned. There is a CD changer at the back but it's just ballast as far as I am concerned.

Stranger in a strange land
Do you remove your radio front - joe
I have heard it makes no difference. Thieves assume that the fascia is hidden in the car and will break in anyway. If you have tqken the facia with you, you might not lose the radio, but you will still get your windows/locks broken.
Do you remove your radio front - Wales Forester
I used to remove the small security piece on my Ford radio/cd, it's basically buttons 2 to 5 that come off and can be clipped into a pocket like a pen.

I found out that they're not coded and are interchangeable between any Ford radio of the same design which seems a bit pointless, so now I don't bother.

Do you remove your radio front - Phoenicks
Some car thieves take the back of the unit because they can sell it for parts.
Do you remove your radio front - Welliesorter
Some car thieves take the back of the unit because they
can sell it for parts.

Yes, this and the likelihood that they'll break in regardless makes me think I may as well leave the front hidden in the car.

On the other hand, why make life easy for them?
Do you remove your radio front - Phoenicks
totally agree. do what you can.

Do you remove your radio front - Obsolete
When I lived in Basingstoke for a year I didn't bother to remove the CD player fascia. When I moved to Slough it was stolen in the first week or two. I then removed the fascia every day until a year later I arrived home late one evening, very tired, and forgot to remove it. The next morning I found a smashed window and no CD player. Basically round here thieves will break in if they see a CD/radio player, or anything else of value, but they won't break in on the off chance you might have hidden the fascia in the car. Also thieves are very lazy. Some areas here are very bad wheras just a mile down the road you have little problem with thieves. I think most steal from neighbours, and can't be bothered to walk more than a street or two away.
Do you remove your radio front - Vin {P}
Prevent theft by filling your car with concrete every night through the sunroof, then chip it out in the morning. Hey presto, no more pesky car break-ins.

Do you remove your radio front - glowplug
Where I live I never drive on to the estate with the radio playing louder than a whisper, always install/remove the faceplate discretely, all my install is stealthy. Alway fit my disklok. Never leave anything on show (bags, shirts, etc.) and always remove the front and close the flap. If you don't do this and the stereo goes missing you're gonna regret it.

My point of view is that if motorists hadn't been so lazy as to leave the front panel in their cars, scum wouldn't break into them on the off chance.

Do you remove your radio front - DieselBoy
Slightly off topic, but a relative of mine had the radio stolen out of his Focus in Manchester a year or so ago.

When he reported it to the police, they advised that the criminals had quite a thriving business going selling stolen radios to Focus owners who had already had their radio stolen.

And so it goes on and on and on and on and on!
Do you remove your radio front - terryb
Isn't it sad that we've reached the stage where motorists feel they're being "punished" for not taking precautions. So it's your own fault if your car gets done over.

Shouldn't we concentrate on taking the scumbags out of circulation so law-abiding citizens can live without the fear that they've forgotten to take their radio front off/put bars at their house windows/ etc etc.

Do you remove your radio front - trancer
I go for the fourth option. Remove radio face, hide it in the car (not somewhere obvious like glove-box or under seat) and fit the face of an old two-knob radio cassette over the receiver thats left in the dash. Anyone looking in would not see a faceless stereo and think there is a face hidden in the car and I am hoping they would not think that a £20 (and thats a generous estimate of its value!) radio would be worth the effort required to smash the glass.
Do you remove your radio front - Welliesorter
fit the face of an old two-knob radio cassette
over the receiver thats left in the dash.

Good idea. Where can I get one?

The next best thing might be one of these:

but I don't know how convincing it would look in place. It's from a site that seems to specialise in Blaupunkt kit so I don't know whether it would fit over other models.
Do you remove your radio front - Pugugly {P}
Ford CD players are being targetted as we speak. They are easilly de-coded (I won't say how though !) and fit any late Ford with the Double DIN sized hole. As stated above its next to pointless taking the pop out panel as they are interchangable. Currently a nightmare in Merseyside and Essex for some reason. Merseyside Police are targetting owners via PNC to Datatag their units for £3.99. Imagine losing six of you favourite CDs as well only for them to be thrown away because they don't like them !
Do you remove your radio front - patpending
A friend of mine had one of those fully removable radios (Blaupunkt I think). Well he forgot to remove it one day and came back to the car to find the thief had removed it for him.

So he took to driving round with this radio-shaped gap showing.

Till someone broke in and took that too. [read on]

The police said the special bracket to hold these radios was worth more than the radios cos it was harder to get out....

In Paris in the 80s they used to take these radios out and put them under the front seat. Well soon enough the thieves started breaking in and looking there first.

SO then people started putting mirros in the front footwell to show there was nothing under the seat...

Do you remove your radio front - trancer
fit the face of an old two-knob radio cassette
over the receiver thats left in the dash.

"Good idea. Where can I get one?"

Mine came with a used car I bought as a replacement for the factory radio. I am guessing the previous owner wanted as much as they could get out of the car before selling it. This thing was so cheap that I can't recall ever seeing a radio with such low spec available for sale anywhere. I would try a scrapyard, if you tell them you are after a DIN-sized, non-working radio and don't care what car it came from, I can't see them wanting to charge you too much.

It takes a bit of fiddling to prepare as you have to remove the knobs (slide on/off) and glue them to the facia. The fun starts when removing the trim surrounding the cassette aperture and the plastic station indicator.

The good thing about it is the radio cost next to nothing (or nothing) so you are not hesitant to reach for whatever cutting implements you may require and it becomes a sort of model/hobby project trying to assemble and glue everything back into place to make it look as original as possible. I "signed" my work of art by cutting the end off an old cassette and gluing it in the cassette opening 8-). Overkill, maybe, but by that point I was more interested in how detailed I could be, than the minimum required to fool a passing "shopper".

That link you posted has the right idea in mind, but it stills gives the thieves a reason to smash your window and look for the face. I know it has the appearance of a cassette player, but even so it doesn't look so cheap as to encourage the thieves to move along and find a better score.
Do you remove your radio front - Colin M
A friend used to have a thin plastic clip on fascia that looked like an old Motorola AM radio. He popped it over the top of his expensive unit each time he left the car. It looked convincing enough through the window.

Tried to find a link to someone selling these without luck.

Do you remove your radio front - Welliesorter
A friend used to have a thin plastic clip on fascia
that looked like an old Motorola AM radio...

The only drawback I can think of is that something like this wouldn't look very convincing in a modern car.

What you're describing sounds more basic than most standard radios. I suspect a lot of thieves know their cars and radios quite well and would look a bit more closely if they saw something so obviously out of place.

I was surprised by the info above about Ford radios. I naively thought there wouldn't be a demand for something in a non-standard size that looks like a part of the dashboard. It's obvious that there would be a market among Ford owners when you think about it.
Do you remove your radio front - bugged {P}
ex-boyfriend had a mk2 golf and it had a completly removable stereo, the whole unit came out and he never had any trouble,

current boyfriend had his volvo broken into recently and had stereo stolen, he hadnt taken the front pannel off. They took that and bent the passenger door frame in the process.
He now always removes the front pannel, it goes in a hard case supplied with the unit and usually into my bag if we're out!
He doesnt even leave it in the car when hes at work in a car park with cctv.

Better to be safe then sorry
Do you remove your radio front - Blue {P}
I was suprised to see that the CD player in my MK6 Fiesta has no removable panel at all.

It has keycode, which is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard, but that's about it.

Of course the radio is in 3 apparently seperate sections, but I would have thought there was a market for these amongst other Fiesta owners.

Anyway, I'm not complaining, it's one less thing for me to faff on with when leaving the car, and I won't feel like it's my fault if the worst does happen.

Do you remove your radio front - BobbyG
Although it was a few years ago, after having had my radio pinched out of my Escort twice, I bought one of those black blank plates you could get from Halfords to cover your radio. I then stuck a selection of wires onto this and covered my new stereo with it. Walking past and peering into the car, all you could see was a pile of wires hanging out the dash!!

My mates slagged me off - but I had no more stereos pinched!!
Do you remove your radio front - Adam {P}
I used to have the standard Ford radio with the removable buttons but wanted a cd player so invested in a SONY one. After having to spend money on fascia plates to cover the gaping hold in the dashboard, I fitted this new Cd player and for the first 2 weeks took the cover out with me. However I have stopped now for two reasons:

a) Loads of hassle taking it out, messing with the case etc...

b) Realised that there was more chance of the head unit being damaged as I was carrying it around with me rather than getting nicked. However, it should be noted that if I do park somewhere where I don't know or that has a reputation if you know what I mean, I will take the unit out but leave it in the glovebox. You may be thinking "What if they nick the car? THey'll find a nice present" but at least it would deter the opportunist thief looking for a new stereo. That's just my opinion though
Don't listen to it
Do you remove your radio front - Welliesorter
Where do you live Adski? Is it a low crime area generally?

I can't think of anywhere I park (including my own street) which I'd confidently call a low risk area.
Do you remove your radio front - Adam {P}
Believe it or not, the insurance companies call the area Greater Manchester even isn't! So whilst insurance is higher than where we used to live, the area itself is nicer. I leave the front unit in overnight for the following reasons:

a) Street is actually a cul-de-sac and in the 18 months that I've lived there, I've never seen anyone in it who doesn't need to be there (if that makes sense)
b) Car is parked at the very end of a drive which has spotlights covering it and another car blocking it in
c) I'm too lazy

But when I park at uni, I still leave it in although I shouldn't. They're just so big and cumbersome to carry around with you but that's just my opinion.

Value my car