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How to Connect Your iPhone or iPod to your Factory Car Stereo

Updated on April 6, 2011

If you would like to use your existing car stereo to play music from your iPhone or iPod it is actually easier than you might think.

There are 2 ways you could make this connection.  The easiest way will be if your car stereo has what is called and Auxiliary jack on the front.  It looks just like the headphone jack on your Apple iPod or iPhone and is normally labeled AUX.  If your car is fortunate enough to have one of these inputs you will only need one inexpensive cable to connect it.  The cable you need is a 1/8" to 1/8" Stereo TRS cable.  Connect one end to the Apple product's headphone jack and the other end to your AUX jack.  After this you will need to change the source on your stereo to AUX.  Now you are ready to go!

The 2nd way is a little bit more difficult to install but still should only take about an hour.  The product you will need is called iSimple.  It connects to the antenna part of your stereo and has the advantage of also charging your iPod.

First you will need to remove your existing factory radio.  Every stereo is different but most aren't very difficult to remove, just be careful not to scratch anything if you are worried about such things.  You will now need to locate a diagram of the plug that is plugged into your stereo in the back.  It may be on the stereo or maybe in your car manual.  From here you will need to follow iSimple's instructions on which wires to connect.  I would recommend using wire nuts to make the connections.  The 2 connections that you will be making are + Power and also Neutral Ground.  Once these are connected you will need to unplug the antenna and plug the antenna into iSimple, then plug the iSimple into the antenna.  Everything is now connected, you can mount the on/off switch where ever you like but I keep the switch and plug in the glove box.  While turned on iSimple will overpower any radio station, but turn it to an empty station to get a nice clear signal.  I set a preset on my radio to turn to when I want to listen to my iPhone.  Turn it off want you want to listen to a regular radio station.

These two options let you use your existing radio without having to buy a new one.  In addition you will be much less likely to have your car broken into because thieves don't attempt to steal factory stereos very often as opposed to aftermarket stereos.


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    • profile image

      Bob60 6 years ago

      I have an IPhone (Generation 3) that I use TuneIn radio app with and plug directly into the stereo in my Chevy. It works fine, but the battery overheats. This happens whether I have it connected with the DC power plug or not. Any ideas? Thanx in advance.

    • Jordan Riley profile image

      Jordan Riley 6 years ago

      Valuable hub that you have presented. Thanks for this.

    • profile image

      Scott 7 years ago

      I love the Gateway that iSimple makes. I just installed one over the weekend that I got from Best Buy and it sounds great. I wish I knew about this when I first got my iPhone.