How to Install a Car Audio Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written by mark slingo
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How to Install a Car Audio Steering Wheel Control Adapter
Steering wheel controls are an added safety feature. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Many cars and trucks manufactured today come with controls installed on their steering wheels to operate the car stereo. This allows the driver to operate the stereo without taking his hands off the wheel. If you wish to install an aftermarket stereo in your car, then it is necessary to adapt the wiring from the steering wheel to the stereo. This may require removing the lower dash panel underneath the steering wheel.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Steering wheel control adaptor

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  1. 1

    Examine your vehicle manufacturer's instructions for the colour of wire that you will be looking for on the radio wiring harness. Remove any parts of the dashboard that you need to and take out the radio from the dashboard housing.

  2. 2

    Locate the radio harness. Follow manufacturer's instructions to connect the correct wires from the adaptor to the corresponding wire on the radio wiring harness. This will differ model by model.

  3. 3

    Plug the connector from the adaptor wiring into the port on the back of the radio, labelled "Steering wheel control."

  4. 4

    Leave the radio outside the dashboard. Turn on the ignition. An LED on the adaptor should flash rapidly. Press the volume up button on the steering wheel until it stops flashing for two seconds. This will be followed by a series of flashes, culminating in the LED flashing nine times. The LED will then constantly be lit. Test the buttons with the radio.

  5. 5

    Reinsert the radio into the dashboard housing. Reassemble the dashboard. Enjoy the added safety benefits of the steering wheel controls.

Tips and warnings

  • Before starting this project, make sure your radio is compatible with a steering wheel controller.

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