How to add an AUX input to a car stereo

Written by jule pamplin
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There are many advantages to adding an auxiliary input to a car stereo. For connecting to a factory stereo, satellite radio receivers require an auxiliary input for connection. You also may find the need to connect and iPod or Mp3 player via an AUX input. There are some factory installed stereo units that will have an auxiliary jack on the face of the stereo. For those units, connection is easy. For all other units, you must establish a new connection in the rear of the stereo.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Trim panel removal tool
  • FM transmitter
  • Drill
  • Rubber grommet

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable, also called the grounding cable, from the negative battery lead post. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver or adjustable wrench to loosen the clamp on the negative lead post.

  2. 2

    Remove the stereo from the dashboard of vehicle. Specific stereo removal procedures vary among vehicles, so it is best to consult your vehicle owner's manual for exact instructions. You will likely be required to remove the trim panels around the stereo mounting bracket. Once you have removed the necessary trim panels, remove the screws that secure the stereo into the mounting bracket. Pull the stereo from the dashboard far enough to access the wire connections at the rear of the unit.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the wiring to the back of the stereo. Connect the wiring from the vehicle to a wiring harness adaptor. Connect the lead from wiring harness adaptor to the stereo.

  4. 4

    Open the glove box. Place the FM transmitter inside the glove box. Route the input lead from the FM transmitter into this stereo mounting bracket. Connect the FM transmitter and put lead to the wiring harness adaptor.

  5. 5

    Replace the vehicle's stereo into the dashboard. Consult your vehicle owner's manual for specific instructions on stereo installation.

  6. 6

    Place the negative battery cable clamp around the negative battery lead post. Tighten the negative battery cable's clamp around the lead post with a Phillips-head screwdriver or adjustable wrench.

Tips and warnings

  • Any external device (satellite radio receiver, iPod or Mp3 player, etc.) can be connected to the stereo through the newly established AUX input lead in the glovebox. Some stereos will have the ability to control the device through the stereo itself. For all others, you will need too change the mode on the stereo to "AUX" and control the device through its (the device's) interface.

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