How to Wire an iPod Connection into Your Car

How to Wire an iPod Connection into Your Car

BONUS TIP: No Aux, No Cry
If you don’t have a stereo with RCA inputs, check eBay or the junkyard for a used one, or check out these options.

 

FM TRANSMITTERS Devices like the Belkin TuneBase ($79.99, www.belkin.com) or Monster iCarPlay Wireless 200 ($99.95, www.monstercable.com) broadcast music from an iPod over an FM radio signal. These devices don’t need to be wired to a car stereo, but local radio stations often cause interference, creating static and other issues.

 

TAPE ADAPTERS If your current stereo has a cassette deck, these offer better sound than FM transmitters. Just stick the tape into the stereo, and connect the cable to an iPod. The tape deck’s playheads are tricked into thinking the adapter is a regular old audiotape. Consider the Belkin Cassette Adapter for iPod ($19.99, www.belkin.com) or Griffin’s SmartDeck ($29.99, www.griffintechnology.com).

 

REAR INPUT ADAPTERS Most car stereos offer upgrades for CD changers and other add-ons, and a third-party adapter can exploit this proprietary jack to create an iPod or RCA input. For options, browse products and distributors at Precision Interface Electronics (www.pie.net) - street prices range from $40 to $150 depending on features. You’ll still have to reach the stereo to make the connection, but the result gives great sound.

 

USED STEREOS Replace the built-in stereo with a used, aftermarket option that includes an RCA input. Search craigslist.org, eBay, or local junkyards for options.

 

NEW STEREOS Find a model with an RCA input - these can be found for less than $100 - or buy one that can be upgraded for an iPod. Nearly every stereo company offers an upgrade path for roughly $30 to $50, even on entry-level models (about $100). Or splurge on a high-end option with a built-in iPod interface, such as Alpine’s iDA-X001 stereo, which includes a 320-by-240-pixel color screen that displays album artwork ($450, www.alpine.com). Be aware of extra costs if you’re adding a new or used stereo, such as a wiring harness to connect the new stereo to a car’s built-in speakers ($10 to $20), an antenna adapter ($10), and installation housing if the new stereo is smaller than the original ($10 to $20).

 

BONUS TIP: Crimp My Ride

Crimp connectors are insulated tubes that hold wires on at least one end. Crimp connectors come in several shapes, so locate the correct connector depending on the leads wired to the 12-volt housing. We used disconnectors to match our 12-volt leads and butt connectors, which are tubes open on both ends for bare wires. Strip about 1/2 inch of insulation off a wire, twist its end, and insert it into one side of the tube. Use a crimping tool - often part of a large wire cutter - to crush the connector around that end of the wire. You should leave no metal exposed, and a gentle tug will verify that the juncture is tight.

 

BONUS TIP: Gauging the Connection
Wires come in many gauges, with smaller numbers signifying a thicker cable. A thin wire handles fewer amps before heating up and posing a hazard, while thicker gauges stay cool during use. You can calculate the exact gauge needed for your car by referencing its electrical system’s fuse. The fuse’s amp rating should always be lower than a wire’s safe level so that the fuse is the failure point. Check out en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge to translate a wire’s gauge into its amp cutoff. Or just use a thick gauge - 10 should be sufficient.

 

Tags:
79

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

michalraise

I have done something similar to two of my cars for my ipod. I bought my car stereo at crutch field with an auxiliary input in the back. When you buy it through them they send you everything you need to install the stereo itself. I went to radio shack to get the av jacks to headphone jacks wire. -----------------------Toyota Tacoma Headlights | Vehicle Tracking

avatar

samtha

I agree with you. Thanks for providing such useful information. I really appreciate your professional approach.
SEO Services India | Web Development India | Magento Development India | Offshore Software Development India | Recruitment Process Outsourcing

avatar

thisidea

car cd changers

avatar

TanyaL

You really don't want to have to deal with damage to your car caused by a raccoon. Raccoons are not covered in the owner's manual. If one of the little buggers gets into the wires, there will be damage, and that isn't a cheap auto repair. Installment loans also will be needed if one of the creatures manages to bite you or your loved ones. The doctor's bill won't be pleasant, and rabies is a painful treatment, consisting of some decidedly unpleasant shots over the course of a month or two. Short term loans to help keep the wayward raccoon population out of your yard are worth it.

avatar

Macsamillion

After several power supply / FM transmitters I was ready to give up. Every one had an obnoxious hum. Turns out it was a 'ground loop.' The solution was to get an isolation transformer. The best in the business is the JK Pureformer, a true stereo isolation transformer. Using RCA cords you place the Pureformer inbetween your iPod and the input on your stereo / head unit / amp. It will render really black blacks and clear highs. You won't regret it.

http://www.jkaudio.com/pureformer.htm

And, no I don't own any stock in JK... just obsessive about quality.

avatar

lantzn

I have owned 3 different fm transmitters for my car with a basic no frill stereo. The Belkin little one with a battery, the monster cable one and recently the Roadtrip. The Roadtrip is by far the clearest of them all and has many stations to pick from.
What I don't like is when you are traveling, a la to Vegas, I lost my connection for almost 8 hours in the desert, a lot of good that did me.
The cassette or direct connection is the only trouble free way to go.

Here's a cheap device that will free up your cig lighter for other uses (cell).

http://www.discountcarstereo.com/detail.aspx?ID=896

avatar

Anonymous

because I've had my transmitter for two months now and have not had any issues; sound is fine, noise is nonexistant unless I travel out of the frequency's null range...inexpensive and certainly a lot less work to install. Maybe over time I'll join the ranks of 'transmitter is crap' but right now, everything is easy on the ears, pocketbook and leisure time...

avatar

Hugh Betcha

If you have a radio in your car, just get the 3rd party FM transmitter!!!

Much cheaper and easier

avatar

bumpy.be

Normal
0

false
false
false

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:"";
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:10.0pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-ansi-language:#0400;
mso-fareast-language:#0400;
mso-bidi-language:#0400;}

Hi I have satisfy in your comment it is basic car parts in
cars and it is also cheaper.

avatar

Albert

avatar

Anonymous

I can't believe anyone would go through this process when the 3rd party FM transmitter/dock/recharger can be had for less than $15 and NO installation except for plugging it in. I mean really, must be a slow emag news day...

avatar

Minimal Techno

FM sucks! They have a lot of pitfalls, headed by the quality of sound!
Wires for analog sound - forever!!!

avatar

Carl

The reason people go through this trouble, me included, is that FM transmitters are crap. I paid the $49 for an iTrip and it is awful. Worse than awful. Doesn't even work in areas where there are many stations and the best stereo separation in the FM band is in the middle.

Some us like to listen to our music. With an FM transmitter you cant even turn it up because of the SN ratio. You just amplify the background noise.

Still, you get what you pay for.

avatar

Neil Fiertel

I have owned two fm transmitters to connect the iPod to the built in car stereo. Conclusion...they suck! Solution is cheaper and easy....a Monster Cable cassette to ipod adapter...works a treat, instantly transferrable to another car with a cassette deck..No noise, no hum and no static. The FM system just does not do it. Even in a household environment they are noisy and static prone...A good idea poorly executed. End of story...

avatar

Rick Prather

You are assuming the car has a cassette player/radio. Many newer vehicles (such as my VW and my Audi) don't.

avatar

Rick Prather

One major caution that is missing from this article is to make sure you either don't have a theft protected radio or that you know the code.

Since these have been common for the last 15 years it is very possible that you may have one.

If it is, when you re-connect the radio you will be greeted with something like "Safe" or "Code" on the display and the radio will not play.

If it is an early version the code was "soft-coded" which means someone made it up when the radio was new. If you don't have this code it may not be possible to get it.

Many later radios have a "hard" code that require you to either know it or you will have to go to a dealership, prove ownership and have them look it up for you.

avatar

Yelkerson

avatar

Tony

Personally, I use an iCruze system from Monster Cable. It's a little bit flakey, and it was a %$#@! to install, but the ability to use my car's stereo controls to control the iPod, and the way-cool blue LED display makes it worthwhile.

avatar

fda153

its creating problem for me i understand the whole idea but when i applied it in my car it doesn't work some how it create some problems for my company limo i used this idea in Teaneck limo and taxi service there it work pretty fine but now the same way i am trying to apply in Newark Airport taxi and limo but now i am getting some problems even the way is same and ipod models are same so can anybody tell what can be the reason?

avatar

Tanner Fehr

Actually a tip if you're searching for an aftermarket deck that's iPod ready, if you want to save a bit of money, go for a lower brand then Alpine or Clarion. Like JVC, Panasonic, Pioneer, etc. These are an excellent value. Look for one with a CD changer connector and ask about an available iPod interface unit. Mine (a JVC KD-AR560) required an ipod interface that cost about $60 and it plugs right into the back of the CD player. It's operated as a CD changer would be.

avatar

sagir

Automotive is the main part is our life now .

avatar

sagir

Automotive is the main part is our life now .<a href="http://www.autoweb.co.uk/contract-hire/car-leasing">contract hire cars</a> - Autoweb have one of the most comprehensive car contract hire websites in the UK.

avatar

aaliyah

Used Cars : Autoweb is a used car website where the public can advertise free of charge - no catch.

avatar

cheehard

yes alot of auto parts of iPod are avaviable in markets

avatar

stevedowell

It's an old article but it was amazing when nothing else was available. Now you can have a sort of a headphones jack from your radio that connects to your ipod. Damn easy... But using headphones can cost you a lot! God forbid anything happens, your car insurance will jump twice if they catch you with that thing... Guess how I know :)

avatar

austindorson

You have got some great posts in your blog. I got many tricks that how can i wire an iPod into my  Used Cars  or my New Cars.Your site always offer some really interesting information. Thank you for sharing it with us.  

avatar

pal.tech11

ummm its good thing to dare some for sports gambling and i am trying to develop some skills about it

avatar

bumpy.be

cheehard yeah i need help in this way, i am looking for some auto parts for my company Dumont limo and taxi but yet i didn't get any suitable location for it

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.