Question about the factory installed cassette stereo.

reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29
edited March 2014 in Ford
About a year ago I bought a 2001 Ford Focus sedan. With it came a factory installed cassette stereo. On the stereo is a "CD" button, when pressed the message "NO CD" is shown on the screen.

What is the purpose of the "CD" button? There is little information in the manual. I'm thinking of upgrading to a CD player.

Thanks for any help.


  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    I'm pretty sure that would be the button to press to control the (obviously not installed) factory CD changer.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I looked into the same matter concerning my stereo in my 2000 Mercury Villager. Yes, the button is there to control a factory CD changer, and they can be purchased and installed by any Ford Corporation dealer, or by certain independent outfits. Discovering who they are requires a bit of local or regional research by you. I decided that aftermarket CD changers were a poor risk to combine with the factory head unit (in dash stereo). They require special translators that may not be really good, and they are overpriced. I found the factory changer to be available for $400+ up to $600+ including installation, depending on the source. I put the project on the back burner, and have not pursued it. The costs are higher than my current desire! (:oÞ
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    If you want to go aftermarket (lots cheaper and more selection) then you will need an adapter that connects the changer to the factory stereo. From there you can use pretty much any CD changer you want.

    Have a look at these links for adapters and complete systems. This is very common; no need to spend mega $$$ for the factory changer.

    These two companies sell adapters too but stinkin' WebX won't let me post the links:

    Nothing more than a 30 second Google search. Something *anyone* could have done....

  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Here is another place to check out for factory stereos and changers. I have bought from them before and they know what they are talking about, ship fast, and if you install it yourself and get stuck they will help walk you through it.

  • reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29
    I've found Focus CD players on Ebay, the price being very reasonable, around $100.00. I wonder if the Ford dealership will install one of these? I'd rather stick to a Ford product, it would look better than the JVC logo glaring at me as I'm cruisin' the interstate, and one installed in the dash would be more convenient, it seems.

    Thanks again for the help!
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    your ford dealer will be real glad to install an accessory CD changer in your car with a packaged ford kit. expect to pay an arm and a leg, plus three sacks of gold coins and one prime breeding unicorn. they will almost certainly NOT pull the ford unit and install a brand-X that doesn't match the wiring connectors.

    you don't want to splice, cut, mangle, and tape a new unit in. if you can't scare up a mod kit to wire another brand unit up, get one at crutchfield.

    in fact, I think it is an excellent idea to start a modification project by going to and see what is a direct physical fit into your dash... they will also be glad to sell you the proper wiring adaptor for anything that will fit.

    they can even scare up a compatible CD changer for your car at a better price.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    First you were interested in a CD changer, now an in-dash unit?

    If you do go in-dash, the CD player is a direct plug-in. Literally remove and unplug the cassette unit and plug in the CD unit. Should take you about 20 minutes. Any car stereo installer on the planet can do this in a matter of seconds, it's that easy.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    ...But it takes me HOURS! I have struggled through many stereo installations over a lot of years. I never seem to learn the lesson of taking it to someone else. I like my own work results better, it seems. (:o]
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    or you like the pain of the little cuts from all the sharp edges back there. I would also add that gloves are for wimps, but it hurts too much to type all those letters.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Right on! I recall an old statement to the effect that a job looks easy when you watch an expert do it. I know that rapid and clean stereo in-dash installations are that way. Some of the young and limber people who swap 'em out all day long in the car bays of automotive sound shops really get good at it.
  • reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29
    Hey Bretfraz...

    I found a Ford Focus CD player/radio at Ebay. In fact, it's soon to be in the mail on it's way to my car. ($77.00 for the sale and it's shipping.)

    You say it's easy to remove the factory installed cassette player and replace it with a new one. I can see that the wiring would be easy to deal with, plug and play, eh, but how do you physically remove one of these radios from the dash? Are there some hidden screws under the dash? Some more in the four small holes in the front of the radio? How do you attach a new one?

    I can imagine the radio would slip in like the CD burner did into my computer, that it would "clip" in some sort of rail. Am I right?

    Thanks for the help!

    So I'm ignorant, ;)
  • fdthirdfdthird Member Posts: 352
    For a long time, Ford has used clips to hold their radios in the dash. I have changed out radios in a Taurus and a Mustang and as they say, its all about the correct tools. Read an article in Mustang Mag a number of years ago about just being able to stick 4 nails in those holes to release the clips and then you can pull it right out. Tried that and it didn't;t work too well. Used a couple of cheap removal tools from Crutchfield and once I finally got them seated right, the radio slid right out.

    The wiring is a no brainer...all the connections are on a plug that should unplug from the cassette radio and just plug right into the CD. Then its just slid the new unit in till it locks and its done.

    Suggest you give Crutchfield and call and ask about buying the tools or check with a local stereo place who can probably pop your old radio out in 2 minutes.

  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    While the Focus radio is a little different than the Taurus or Mustang (not the normal DIN size) I'd guess the removal/install procedure to be pretty much the same.

    You are correct about the "plug & play"; prolly just one Molex connector and an antenna connector is all it will be.

    If you don't feel up to tackling this job then I'd suggest taking it to Best Buy or Circuit City and letting them install it. They likely have the correct tool to remove the current stereo. Watch them do it and you'll see how easy it is. Install shouldn't cost more than $30-40 and should not need an install kit.

    Best of luck.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    I have bought a set at NAPA, have seen them at a PartsPlus affiliated shop near home, and it's the usual story... once you have found and bought a specialty tool, they are all of a sudden jumping off shelves everywhere you look.

    comes in pairs... push 'em in until they click, push them outward a little, the radio slithers right out when you pull.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Another source for the Ford Corporation vehicle radio removal tool is CSK (Checker, Schuck's, and Kragen stores).
  • reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29
    Hey guys,

    Thank you for all the information you've sent these past several days. I've learn a lot!

    Today I went to Best Buy, Circuit City, G I Joes, K Mart and finally Walmart.

    Walmart had the "DIN Radio Removal Tool", 2 sort of "U" shaped dealy-bobs with notches on the ends. Cost $3.97. :)

    There is a warning included in the box they came in: " CAUTION: Some vehicles may have a "Code Protected" radio. If these types of radios are to be re-installed you must have the code or the unit will not operate."

    My fingers are crossed that Ford Focus radios aren't coded. ;)

    Thanks again for all the help!
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    serial number, proof of identity, proof of residency, satisfy Col. Flagg, all that usual stuff....
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    More is accomplished in owner irritation than in radio security against theft!
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    it's just another way to kill a radio and force another unit at evil prices down the throat of the customer. I have never been in favor of more damn passwords needed to replace a module than to enter the vault at Fort Knox.

    if you park in a rough enough neighborhood that you have to frequently replace the radio and/or the dash, there is something to be said for wiring a grenade to the door and the pin to the brake pedal... slow the crack fiend down enough so the cops can catch 'em, don't you know. won't mess up the interior much more than a wild-head who breaks in and doesn't find a good radio, anyway.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Too bad Sparkomatic isn't around any more. Nobody stole those. Actually, I installed one on my old 1986 Olds Custom Cruiser years ago, and found it to be a darn good performer!(:o]
  • reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29
    Within the next several days I should be receiving the CD player via UPS...

    I've got the techique down for removing and installing the radios, I think, but just curious... Is it necessary to undo the car's battery before doing performing these "duties"?

    Duh... this dude ain't no mechanic! LOL!
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    not really, a good idea to pull the main fuse to the radio circuit if you're going to be "sneaking up" on the project ;) there is a secondary power lead to another fuse for a "hold current" backing up the radio memory on some cars, but that doesn't draw substantial power. if you're really afraid, you can pull the fuse for the dash lights as well, as that circuit also puts voltage into the radio lights.
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I'd just pop that battery cable, if I were concerned-- I suspect it would be faster. I don't recall EVER taking any of those steps. I might consider it on my latest ride purchased: a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. The radio unit in this rig is hot all the time! The ignition switch doesn't turn it off.
  • swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    I have diddled radios in my previous ride a number of times ... notice ! this was a ranger '90, YMMV ... and the radio was not crack-whore protected. there are three hot leads to that harness... radio B+... radio display... and radio setting_hold. there were no issues in pulling the radio and replacing it with an sony... or putting the OEM back in at trade time. YMMV, especiaally with imports, due to the horrendous crime rate on the Japanese islands corrupting the way they set up their ROMs ... ;)

  • reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29

  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Me too!
  • reallybobreallybob Member Posts: 29
    Hi guys,

    Thanks again for all the instruction a couple weeks back. You all taught me well.

    I finally got the Ford Focus CD player in the mail today. It had to be cleaned up. Once cleaned, I found the nerve to install it. Slipped them "U" shaped DIN removal tools into the slots, heard them "click" and pulled the old radio, (with cassette deck), right out. There were three cables attached. I unattached them and plugged them into the new stereo. Pushed the "on" button and voila`, it worked!

    The next item to tackle is the console. I found one with an arm rest on Ebay last week. I should get it next week. Wish me luck!

    Thanks again guys!
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