USB Installation for My Car Stereo

Updated March 23, 2017

There are a number of ways that you can add a USB port to your car stereo so that you can play MP3 files through it. You can install a new system that contains a USB device or, as another alternative, you can utilise a wireless FM modulator that has a USB port. This type of port plugs directly into the car's cigarette lighter and allows audio to be played through your car radio's speakers.

Change the in-dash stereo system with a substitute that contains a USB port. Remove the car battery and extract the dash trim panel. Disconnect the wire harness and antenna cable.

Install the new stereo with the mounting kit after taking out the older radio from the dash, if needed. Attach the wiring harness of the new stereo to the factory wiring harness of the car by splicing the wiring together.

Insert the antenna cable as well as the new stereo system into the dash opening bracket. Test the new system with a CD disc or with the radio.

Insert a USB drive into the unit's USB port and play a music file. Secure the radio into the dash and put the parts of the dash trim panel together again.

Add a vehicle-specific interface kit to so that you can add a USB port to the existing system. Remove the car battery and dash trim panel.

Remove the unit from the dash and access the back of the radio/CD unit. Make sure that the wiring harness is not disconnected from the unit.

Attach the vehicle-specific data cable of the USB interface unit to the CD changer port, after finding the CD changing port. Attach the end of the device USB cable to the interface.

Connect the other end to the USB flash drive, which contains the music files. Play one of the files and see that it plays through both speakers in your system. Complete installation by ensuring that the USB interface is secure in the dash.

Place the USB cable onto an open space on the dash. Reinsert the radio/CD unit and now, you can reinstall the dash trim panel. Play the MP3 files on your car stereo using a wireless FM modulator that has a USB port. Find the 12V adaptor end of the FM modulator and plug it into the car's cigarette lighter.

Stick the USB drive with music into the modulator's USB port. Tune the radio to one of the FM signal frequencies until you receive no static or distortion.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Panel tool or Clip remover
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire stripper
  • Soldering iron
  • USB drive
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About the Author

Jason Candanedo is currently a student at Empire State College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in social theory, social structure and change. He has been writing since August 2008 on his political blog and since September 2009 as a freelance writer for various websites.