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A Quick Guide to Getting Satellite Radio in Your Car

Updated on March 16, 2010

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A Quick Guide to Getting Satellite Radio in Your Car

Satellite is a great way to pass the time on a 12 hour car ride across a few states, or just a drive across town - Wherever you’re going, you’ll enjoy listening to SIRIUS Satellite Radio! I always had FM radio on in my car, and I loved it. Well, for my birthday this year, my family got me a subscription to SIRIUS Satellite Radio and I’m totally addicted to it! I listen to in the mornings, on my way to lunch, and on my way home. With over 130 channels, the will always be something you’re interested in on your radio.

Today, if you buy a new car, chances are you’ll receive a free satellite radio subscription. These subscriptions can come from either SIRIUS or XM, but soon these companies will be the same thing. If your car did not come with a free subscription, your car’s OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) stereo still may be “Satellite Radio Ready”. If your car is Satellite Radio Ready, your OEM stereo will probably have an “SAT Ready” logo on the face somewhere. If your OEM stereo isn’t SAT Ready, this doesn’t mean you can’t have satellite radio – you have 2 options.

Option 1 for cars that are not SAT Ready is to buy an external SIRIUS Radio receiver at Best Buy or a similar store. This, along with the appropriate hardware will allow you to listen to satellite radio in your car! Option 2 for those without an OEM stereo that can play satellite radio is to buy a new stereo head unit to replace your OEM head unit. Brands like Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, JVC, and Sony make great aftermarket head units for your car that will allow you to listen to satellite radio without a separate satellite radio receiver. Another good thing about an aftermarket head unit is most new head units today have the ability to play your iPod or MP3 player!


If your car is SAT Ready, you still may need an antenna to be able to pick up satellite signals. Your antenna may be placed on your dashboard, or run outside and mounted on your roof.

When your free subscription of satellite radio runs out after buying your new car and you want to renew your subscription, just give SIRIUS or XM a call and they will reactivate your radio to pick up satellite radio.

If you decide to purchase an aftermarket head unit, do your homework and find out which one suits your needs the best.

When it comes time to install satellite radio in your car, shop around at different installation center and see who will give you the cheapest price at the highest quality of installation possible – with an investment this large, you want it to be top notch. Trust me.

Talk to a local car stereo expert on what you will need to get satellite radio in your car.


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    • parkerk393 profile image

      parkerk393 8 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      artruch73 - Thanks for the comment. SIRIUS is awesome I agree. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

      Matthew - I'll write another hub on prices - Stay tuned. Satellite radio is the best. Isn't there an AUX input in the truck?

    • profile image

      Matthew 8 years ago

      Good Hub! But what are the actual costs of SIRIUS like? Like, the monthly or yearly subscription. I want satellite radio in the truck, and an iPod hookup.

    • artrush73 profile image

      artrush73 8 years ago

      SIRIUS is cool, thanks for instructions :)