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Ok I have a 2011 Chevy Malibu LS....i bought it with the factory radio being locked. Talked to a Chevy dealer and he told me that it'd be $175 to unlock it, and not guaranteed to work if the radio was switched out. So I bought a 7" double din aftermarket stereo for $50. I got everything but someone told me I need a wiring harness to hook up from my car to the stereo harness that came with the new stereo. Then they told me I couldn't get an aftermarket harness for like $20. That I'd have to pay almost $300 for a factory one. For the fact that the stereo is hooked up to onstar and that I have controls on my steering wheel. They said if I don't and something goes wrong that my car won't start and I'd be locked out. Someone please help, I've already spent enough on the car after buying.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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To the best of my knowledge, nothing you do to or with your radio will prevent you from driving the car. Sure, you won't hear the warning chimes and turn signal clicker, but in the Gen7 (model years 2008-2012 in N. America), the radio is not part of what keeps the car running.

Anyone who tells you that you can't start it or will be locked out seems to be carrying information over from previous model years and/or is ill-informed and is just blowing hot air to hear themselves speak. We've all done it, so forgive them, inform them, and then breathe a deep sigh of relief.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
To the best of my knowledge, nothing you do to or with your radio will prevent you from driving the car. Sure, you won't hear the warning chimes and turn signal clicker, but in the Gen7 (model years 2008-2012 in N. America), the radio is not part of what keeps the car running.

Anyone who tells you that you can't start it or will be locked out seems to be carrying information over from previous model years and/or is ill-informed and is just blowing hot air to hear themselves speak. We've all done it, so forgive them, inform them, and then breathe a deep sigh of relief.
Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. The turning signals and warning sounds never worked anyways. So I'm good with that.
 

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here are the different options...you don't have to keep the steering wheel controls or the onstar connection if you don't want to
 

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FYI, it is possible for the radio to prevent operation of other systems. The factory radio is attached to the data system. If your aftermarket radio is attached to the vehicles data system, it has the potential to keep the car from running. That does not mean it will, but if something broke, it's possible. What
I have seen fairly often is when an aftermarket radio is installed, and connected to the data system, when a technician tries to program any other module, the module is often destroyed, because of feedback from the aftermarket radio. The answer is to disconnect any aftermarket devices before programming.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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I'll side with your cautious statements that 'it's possible', 'has the potential', and 'does not mean that it will, but ... it's possible.'

The HU in Gen7 is used by Bluetooth and OnStar (if equipped) through use of the mic and speakers plus the dot-matrix screen (for directions), as well as the BCM to produce the turn signal click sound and the alert chimes. It is not tied in with the HVAC or any other system that I'm aware of.

That said, so long as the aftermarket HU is designed to replace the Gen7 version that came out, and so far as any external modules are compatible, then it would come down to the installation being poorly installed or just completely botched, which is possible.

Not using a factory harness will not be an issue so long as you don't tap into any computer data lines on the GM LAN. If you don't have a wiring diagram then you run the risk of damaging components wired to the LAN.

But if all you do is put it in the dash and hook it up to the speakers and power, you run a very low risk of damage to anything in the car and therefore won't damage anything to do with driving the car.

As some may suggest, "it's possible" and "has the potential" to damage things, but the person doing the wiring will have to ignore using common sense in order to cause any damage.
 
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