How do I install an auxiliary port in my car?
January 12, 2014 6:39 PM   Subscribe

I drive an '09 Nissan Versa hatchback (base model). I'm sick of burning CD's and listening to the same songs, listening to songs from my phone echoed by the cup holder, and there's far too much feedback with an FM transmitter for my iPod. What I am looking to do is simply buy a stock Nissan Versa stereo with an auxiliary plug-in. Is/are there any additional components I would need aside from the new stock stereo itself? I plan on recruiting a technologically savvy friend who can install it for me. And in case anyone is curious, I'd like to stick with a stock stereo as I'd intend to leave it in even when selling or trading in.
posted by HiphopAnonymous to Technology (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
No, it should be pretty much plug-and-play especially if you're installing an OEM model. There will just be some hookups on the back of the unit to provide power input and speaker output, and you should be able to just plug the new stereo into that. The business with the aux jack all happens inside the stereo unit itself.
posted by Scientist at 7:03 PM on January 12, 2014

The AUX jack is part of the stereo interface, which is referred to as the 'head unit'. You generally also need a wiring harness. I think this is the one for your car: Metra 70-7552 Receiver Wire Harness

But if you're replacing your stock head unit with another stock head unit you probably won't need the wiring harness.

Its pretty easy to replace a head unit in a car.
posted by herox at 7:12 PM on January 12, 2014

In addition to the wiring harness, you might need to purchase a new dash kit, depending on the new head unit's size and the possibility of damage to the original dash piece when you replace the existing head unit. I can't say for sure that you'll need one, since I only have experience installing an after market radio (which necessitated a dash kit). You can find one of these for fairly cheap by searching for dash kit on amazon with your car's make and model. Sosche is a popular brand.
I don't know how much a factory model radio for a versa with an aux input would cost, but if it's already in the $70 - $100 range, I would definitely recommend springing for a nicer, after market head unit. I finally replaced my Honda's factory radio (I had been listening to my music in my car through my iphone's speakers for waaay too long) with a kenwood unit which has bluetooth, aux, and usb port, and it. is. AWESOME. I highly recommend a unit with these extra features, both for flexibility with new technology and safety/ease while driving. :) Good luck!
posted by lettuce dance at 7:32 PM on January 12, 2014

I asked about this, too, but you know what? For Christmas I was given a small speaker that is nearly as loud as the stock speakers in my 2005 Camry, but which I can also take with me! It's an Oontz Angle by Cambridge Soundworks, and it's worth every cent of the, like, thirty or forty bucks it cost. I use the cable, but you can do Bluetooth, too. I love the thing!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:33 PM on January 12, 2014

i have totally been loving my aftermarket stereo with usb capability--it's a lot easier to deal with then the auxiliary jack. you're going to spend the money anyway--get the added features.
posted by lester at 7:46 PM on January 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

I *JUST* installed a new stereo in my own 2009 Nissan Versa Hatchback. It is a very simple process, some cars are super complicated. I bought a non-stock head unit, and it is literally 6 screws other than swapping the bracket. There is no permanent wiring change needed, just clipping in connectors once you've set up the wiring harness. I ordered from Crutchfield and it came with all of the wiring bits.

Feel free to memail me if you have any questions. I got a Sony WX-GT90BT and it is *awesome* so far. It interfaces well via bluetooth and has some good features.
posted by HermitDog at 8:32 PM on January 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and to answer the original question: I can only imagine it'd be simply the 6 screws, 8 on the brackets, then plug in the new stereo. Since it's essentially the same process other than crimping about 12 sets of wires together, a non-stock radio is a viable option. It would take only about 15 minutes to swap back in the original and then you have a double-din radio for other use or re-sale.
posted by HermitDog at 8:40 PM on January 12, 2014

Seconding that Aux inputs are pretty dated by now. USB is the way to go. You can get a stereo for around $100 that will give you full control *from the stereo* of Pandora, and all kinds of stuff like that. And you can use something as simple as a USB stick loaded with mp3s to carry a volume of music you will never get tired of.

(One feature I actually don't have, but wish I did, is bluetooth connectivity to my iPhone. I'd love to have google maps' voice be able to mute the music and speak through my speakers, as opposed to struggling to hear it coming out of the phone speaker.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:05 PM on January 12, 2014

I can't imagine most buyers who hold it against you if you put in a better than stock stereo. When I upgraded more Ford's stereo, my research said that the official ones were locked to only work with the original car, so if Nissan does similar things, it may be cost prohibitive to get an official upgrade. If worst comes to worse, you can upgrade and just offer to swap back to the original when you sell it.

Crutchfield offers mounting kits/tools and pretty good instructions for installing them in specific vehicles with their car stereos either at no additional charge or at a fairly low price (I'm sure others do as well but I don't have experience with them). You'll pay a little more there than a box house but to me it was well worth the money not having to deal with the frustrations of figuring out how to do the installation.

If you want to hear specific music that you control through the in-dash unit, see if there's something affordable with a touchscreen, as trying to select specific tracks with buttons and knobs is a royal pain. Otherwise you should be able to find a lot of options with a 3.5mm aux input and USB input.
posted by Candleman at 12:43 AM on January 13, 2014

I would rather have a better than stock stereo. I put a new one in my car that has USB, SD-Card and Aux. I never use the Aux.
posted by Akke at 12:51 AM on January 13, 2014

Get a flexmart. It plugs into your cigarette lighter and connects to your phone and transmits to your stereo. You can also take calls with it. Almost 5 stars and 3500 reviews.
posted by aeighty at 9:33 AM on January 13, 2014

The flexmart is an FM transmitter and the OP already said they get too much feedback.

I got lots of feedback on the cheaper FM transmitters, but then I got an iTrip and it worked well. It helped that the iTrip lets you use any FM station and the cheaper ones only had four options at the lowest end of the spectrum.
posted by soelo at 12:11 PM on January 13, 2014

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