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Buy and install an MP3 adapter
If you want to play your MP3 (or
iPod) tunes through your car radio,
you have two choices: an FM adapter
or an MP3 adapter that installs permanently
inside your dash. The
in-dash MP3 adapter powers (and
recharges) your MP3 player, provides
better sound quality and eliminates
the constant channel switching
required by the FM adapter.
In-dash adapters are available in
models to fit almost every factory
radio made since 1992.
The installation was a cinch and
took less than an hour. But one warning:
If you already have an external
CD changer, you’ll have to give it up.
That’s because the MP3 adapter
plugs into the CD changer port in the
back of the radio.
MP3 adapters are radio-specific, so
take a mental (or actual) snapshot of
your radio before you go to the adapter
manufacturer’s Web site (one source
is neocaraudio.com). Next, download
radio removal instructions (for a small fee) from
carstereohelp.com. We followed its
instructions and had the radio out in 10
minutes (with no broken parts).
The most time-consuming part of the
job is finding a good route for the MP3
player cable. You can route it through
an opening under the dash and out to
the console or glove box. Or you can
hide the cable by routing it directly to
the console (drill a hole in an inconspicuous
location). We decided not to
install an MP3 mount (they alert
thieves that you have theft-worthy gear
in the car). If you want one, check out
“device holders” at proclipusa.com.