Gone are the days where you needed an audio cable to be able to connect your phone to your car’s stereo. With newer cars supporting wireless technology such as Bluetooth, you probably are wondering how to add this same feature to older vehicles. Doing so will give you an inexpensive upgrade to a car that you have already grown accustomed to throughout the years. There are lots of benefits to having Bluetooth as well such as hands free phone communication which helps keep your focus on the road at all times.

What do you need to hook your car stereo up with Bluetooth?

I have messed around with lots of equipment in the past. This led me to find out that you can take shortcuts when adding Bluetooth technology to your car stereo, but have it fail in the long run. I am going to tell you three of things I always suggest to friends and family whenever they want to set up their car stereo with Bluetooth. These are already tried and tested methods so you do not have to worry about the reliability and longevity.

1. Universal Bluetooth Kits

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You should go ahead and check if your car stereo has an available auxiliary port pre-installed. Basically, it is a headphone jack port which you will most likely find installed close to the radio system on the dashboard. If it does, then you can just purchase a universal Bluetooth kit from your local digital goods store to add Bluetooth support to your vehicle’s audio system.

With a universal Bluetooth kit, you will be able to play music from your MP3 player, and even smartphones. To expand on the latter, you will also be able to talk on your phone and take conference calls while maintaining control of the steering wheel. This is a great feature to have if you have to take a call and want everyone in the car to be able to listen in without having to put up with limited sound volume on smart devices.

2. Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone

For vehicles that do not have an auxiliary port pre-installed, you can always get a Bluetooth in-car speakerphone to hook up to the visor or be attached to the car’s dashboard. This saves you a trip to the mechanic and lots of money from getting a specific Bluetooth kit installed into your vehicle. Plus, you will also have the ability to move the receiver and output around if you have a passenger who wants to control the Bluetooth remotely.

A Bluetooth in-car speakerphone lets you operate your device directly. It is powered by a battery, so it is pretty much a standalone device. Most models have a built-in microphone if you want to use one to take calls while some offer the feature to be able to stream songs, podcasts and other audio files directly from your smart phone. I suggest that you go with high end units if you want better sound quality though. If you are persistent, you would not have to spend over $50 for a durable model of Bluetooth in-car speakerphone.

3. Car-specific Bluetooth Kits

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Compared to the first two, this costs lots more but definitely pays off in the long run. With a car-specific Bluetooth kit, you are essentially getting a mechanic to install equipment that was created solely for your vehicle model. This means that you will have to find a retailer for your manufacturer in your area or look for one online if your car’s model is particularly old or already phased out. You also have to consider the fact that you will need to hire a car audio specialist to look over your vehicle and write up exactly what you need for full compatibility.

If you get the right car-specific Bluetooth kit installed, your car stereo’s Bluetooth will improve immensely both in quality and usability. The first two on this list prioritizes compatibility which is why there might be bugs that need to be ironed out in future models while having a kit custom built just for your car means that you will not have to worry about any upgrades later on unless. Keep in mind that if your car-specific Bluetooth kit fails somewhere along the line, you will probably have to shell out at least 70% of what you spent on the installation, so have a big budget ready before, during and after the installation of this type of kit.

How do I use Bluetooth effectively with my newly installed car stereo?

So you just finished adding Bluetooth support for your car stereo. Great job! Now, we take a look at the steps that you need to take in order for you to take full advantage of Bluetooth technology’s capabilities.

1. Know what you are going to use Bluetooth for

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There are lots of things that you can do with Bluetooth as we have already explained above. When it is done pairing with your car stereo, you can do things such as take calls, play music, stream podcasts and other audio-related features. Take note which of these things are going to get the most airtime with your car stereo so you have the right setup every time. If you think you are going to take a lot of calls, then make sure that you place the receiver close to the driver seat so you have an easy access of the button.

2. Study the limitations of your vehicle

Not all cars are built the same which is why I strongly suggest that you know the maximum capability of your vehicle. Know that Bluetooth has a maximum pairing range of around 30 feet and a transfer speed of up to 24 Mbps. With this knowledge in mind, you have to make sure that you have placed or installed your Bluetooth kit strategically in your car. There is no point in attaching a Bluetooth receiver and output on the dashboard if you intended it to be used by someone at the furthest seat in the back, right?

3. Take note of the Bluetooth pin for your car

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Every installation of a Bluetooth kit comes with a pin specifically for the car it is installed on. This keeps the wireless pairing between the kit and the vehicle secure from any outside interference. Make sure that you take note of this pin in case you might have to replace either your kit or your ride. Most folks who buy second hand cars also ask for the Bluetooth pin right after they purchase a car, so it is only courteous to keep that in mind.


I hope that you were able to learn how to add Bluetooth support to your car stereo and use it effectively with this guide. A late suggestion that I want to add is that you look for kits that come packaged with headsets. This makes it easy for you to transition from calls taken in your car when you have to go on foot. Anyway, make sure that you share this with a friend and do not forget to leave a comment especially if you got caught up in a step somewhere. I will be sure to help you out!

About the Author Leroy Simmons

My name is Leroy L.Simmons. I create this blog as the way to find out my excitement and also a way to remember my father. I always love writing, I embarked on this adventure of the blog, to tell you all that I want to share about my hobby, my dream of auto, truck and journey. At MRVEHICLE.NET, I hope to tell you great stories and especially to answer some questions you might ask. And there are also many interesting and up-to-date stories of drivers on their journey everywhere in the world.

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