How to Add Radio Aux Inputs and USB to Your Vehicle

A majority of vehicles built after 2015 have built-in USB and AUX ports to their radios. These features are now stock from most brands and allow drivers to plug-in a host of different electronics. Music can be played directly through the AUX input, while phones and other devices can be charged via the USB port. Although older vehicles don’t have these inputs, it is possible to install them. Here is a short guide explaining how to add AUX and USB inputs to your vehicle’s radio.

1. Review the Owner’s Manual

Every vehicle comes with an owner’s manual that contains information about that particular vehicle. Before installing new inputs to a radio, it is important to understand the inner-workings of this area. Manuals should have a section detailing the installation and use of the vehicle’s radio. This section will diagram the assembly process in detail. This information will help ensure that the radio is not damaged during the process of installing new ports.

2. Disassemble the Radio

Once you’ve found the owner’s manual, carefully disassemble the radio. The goal isn’t to completely remove the radio from its position. Instead, you want to gain access to the wires behind the radio unit. These wires will be used to add the AUX or USB port. Start by unscrewing or popping the locks surrounding the radio. Make sure you keep track of all small pieces for reassembly. Memorize your steps as each part of the process will have to be done backwards.

3. Installing the Interface Kit or Decoder Board

After gaining access to the back of the radio, it is time to install the interface kit or decoder board. Since older vehicles don’t have any stock option for connecting AUX or USB ports, proprietary technology has to be used. Decoder boards and interface kits both allow users to connect different ports to their radio. The GM Delco radio AUX input can also be used to achieve this goal. Some kits simply plug into the back of the radio while others require cutting wires.

4. Finding Space for the New Ports

The next step is finding space for the new AUX or USB ports. The wires can be squeezed underneath the radio, but this is not an aesthetic look. There are also radio faces that can be purchased with holes for these ports. You can also remove any knob or button on the radio and simply feed the port through this new hole.

Older vehicles don’t have to be limited to radio reception and CD players. With the installation of USB or AUX ports, you unlock access to charging capabilities and a new method for playing music.

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About the Author: Clare Louise