Category Archives: Stuff I Refer

These are services I do not offer, but click anyway because I do my best to lead you in the right direction – while staying true to “less is more” in tech.

Car Radio Installation

I do not do car radio installation. I offer better for a comparable price. Take the Time v3 Zero to Hero in Audio Tech class and understand how straightforward a car radio is and how similar a car radio is to most other consumer audio tech.

Bluetooth to phone is one tech feature worth having in your vehicle. If you have basic tools like screwdrivers and if you can strip and connect two wires together, I recommend installing your own Bluetooth radio. The radio itself is not so expensive. Allowing a shop to install is often more costly than the radio itself, but you can do it yourself in just a few hours.

How Difficult Will This Be?

By far the most difficult part of installing a radio in your car is removing the old radio and the dash around it. Everybody hates removing radios and dashboards. Some vehicles are very easy, others are difficult. Fortunately you can know how difficult yours is without touching your car. Just search on YouTube “[ vehicle make / model ] + remove radio ]” and decide if you want to tackle the project.

Watching somebody remove the dash on video helps you greatly by showing which panels must be removed, which are held on by screws, where the screws are, and which panels are snap-fitted.

Disconnect the vehicle battery first, it prevents making a mistake and blowing a fuse or worse, causing an electrical problem.

Which Radio?

Go to Crutchfield.com, enter your vehicle’s make and model, and Crutchfield automatically shows you radios that fit your vehicle. There are two main standard sizes, single DIN and double DIN.

If your car fits a double DIN radio, I recommend a Kenwood DPX504BT. (or a Kenwood DPX304MBT, same as the first but without a CD player). If your car fits only single DIN, I recommend a Kenwood KDC-BT278U.

  • These radios are not touch screen, so you use buttons while driving, which is more responsive, more convenient, and safer while driving.
  • These radios have an external microphone, which is a million times better call quality for the user’s voice, as in very very good versus often unacceptable for a microphone built-in to the radio.
  • These radios offer a quality Bluetooth connection, including dual phone connection, meaning a passenger can “DJ” while the calls go to the driver’s phone, for example. Once set up, they connect automatically when the radio comes on.
How to Physically Mount the New Radio?

Order the radio on Crutchfield along with the installation kit for your vehicle, which is usually included when you put the radio in your shopping cart online. The installation kit fits your car’s dashboard to the standard aftermarket radio size.

How to Connect the Wires?

The Crutchfield installation kit includes a wire harness made to adapt your vehicle’s harness to the standard wire coloring scheme of aftermarket radios. You can use their harness and just connect the matching color wires or you can look on the provided harness which colors go to what and connect the new standard radio wire harness directly to the vehicle’s existing wires for a better connection with no extra work. You will have to connect one set of radio wires no matter what.

I recommend soldering with a butane-powered soldering iron. Gas powered is much hotter than electric and more heat means easier and faster when soldering.