How To Connect Bluetooth to a Car Stereo

Drunk driving is not the only big killer when it comes to automotive accidents. These days, the prevalence of mobile phones has become a potential source of problem for motorists. The number of people getting injured or killed because of mobile phones is rising. Some people are fond of making calls while on the wheel. Worse, some even text while driving!

One good solution to prevent holding your phone while driving is the use of a handsfree kit. With most phones, you can purchase a wired headset. Bluetooth-enabled phones can use inexpensive Bluetooth headsets. However, if you have the money, your high-end audio system or luxury car would probably have a Bluetooth-enabled sound system, which takes the place of the mic and speakers of your phone.

Also, it’s not just the phone you can connect with your car stereo. You can also interface your Bluetooth-enabled music player, so you can play music without wires.

You can connect your Bluetooth-enabled phone or device to your car stereo in a few easy steps.

  • Turn on your car stereo’s Bluetooth. Bluetooth might be disabled by default to save on power. Refer to your car stereo’s user manual on how to manipulate this. In particular, try to find out how to set your car stereo’s Bluetooth radio to be discoverable. While you’re at it, try looking for a Bluetooth access code. Some devices will require this in order to be paired.
  • Open your mobile phone’s Connectivity menu (it might be named differently, depending on the brand). Select the “discover new devices” option.
  • A list of nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices will appear. Look for the name of your car’s stereo.
  • Key in the pairing key. You can find this in the manual. Or, by default, this is usually 0000 or 1234.
  • Try making a call or playing a song on your phone or music player. If the audio is being routed to your car’s stereo, you know that your Bluetooth connection is working properly.

Note that while high-end cars come with Bluetooth connectivity by default, you can also have Bluetooth installed on almost any car with an addition of a Bluetooth kit. Companies like Motorola sell aftermarket kits that connect to your stereo. These add Bluetooth connectivity to your car’s stereo, and will also control the audio system automatically. For example, when you receive or make a call, the music will be muted automatically to give way to your conversation.

Some devices also act as Bluetooth speakerphones, but don’t directly interface with the car’s audio system. These might be cheaper, but with limited functionality. You might be better off using your phone’s speakerphone function.

Additionally, some jurisdictions believe that it’s not only holding the mobile phone that proves to be dangerous, but also the fact that the driver is distracted by a conversation. Therefore, in some states or countries, even talking on the phone through a headset or via Bluetooth might be illegal. Be sure to check with your authorities before using your phone with Bluetooth.


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