Introduction: MP3 Player "input" for Car Stereo.

Picture of MP3 Player "input" for Car Stereo.

This instructable was inspired by so thank you "aka_bigred" who was the original author. This mod will allow you to add an MP3 player input jack to your car stereo.

This is made for a Stereo with a CD player WITHOUT an AUX option.

Caution. I take no responsibility if this messes up your Cd player, your MP3 player or worse. This mod is not perfect but it works for my purposes. To you nay sayers keep it to yourself.

This mod requires you to take apart and reassemble your cars cd player if you don't feel comfortable doing it then don't

The items I used in the mod are:
Pioneer DEH-3400 (Make Year 2002)
30 Gig IPOD video
Old pair of headphones

Step 1: Stereo Removal

Remove the car stereo. I did not take pictures because everyone has a different stereo.

Step 2: Disassemble

Picture of Disassemble

Now that you have your stereo apart it might look something like this. On the left side is the main unit. The right side is the cd player itself and this is what we will focus on from now on.

Step 3: Find the "input"

Picture of Find the "input"

Depending on the model of Stereo that you have you should have a "ribbon wire" that connects cd player to the main unit. Where the Ribbon connected to the cd player is where you want to look. The image attached is up close.

If you look closely you can see to the right of where the ribbon is attached it says on the board "ROUT" , "LOUT" and "AGND" These are the three connections that we need to make.

I can't say if it is like this for every cd player but it works for mine. This idea here is we are tricking the CD player into thinking that is it playing a CD.

Step 4: Solder Time

Picture of Solder Time

Now it is time to take that old pair of headphones and cut the speakers off. The headphones that I had was as described.

Left - Green wire and bare copper wire. Green is Pos.
Right- Red wire and bare copper wire. Red is Pos.

Solder both copper wires to AGND
Solder the Red to the ROUT and the Green to the LOUT

Step 5: TEST!

Picture of TEST!

Before you go any further make sure it works!

Step 6: Seal It!

Picture of Seal It!

We don't need to start any fires or short out something so get some liquid electrical tape and put it on the soldered points.

Step 7: Reassemble

Reassemble the stereo. You might want to tie the wire into a know somewhere on the unit. That way when someone decides to pull on your nice new "Aux" cable it doesn't get ripped out!

Step 8: Silent CD

Now this is definitely NOT my idea or my file. Like I said before this was "inspired by" with out this idea it wouldn't work so thank you.

Burn a CD with the silent track and just fill the cd with the track. This way the Cd player "plays" a silent cd and we HEAR the mp3 player bi-passing the CD unit.


teejer (author)2010-02-16

Tried this a couple weeks ago on my '02 Focus and its standard issue p/n 1S4F-18C838-BA   AM-FM-CD (sgl disc) ........and IT WORKED GREAT.  Thanks for a complete, very well written guide.  Added a couple pix to show location of R and L Out and Grd terminals on this board. 

mikeklepacz (author)teejer2010-10-27

Awesome, I am glad that it worked out for you. I am thinking of doing in it a Honda CRV next.

visihallaci (author)mikeklepacz2017-04-20

hi can you help me please I have an kenwood with minidisc I dont now what to do

radioaux (author)teejer2016-10-12

Hi can you plz help me to find LOut and ROut plz ?. I'm posting some pics thanks.

jdogtotherescue (author)2010-10-10

so i took my stereo out yesterday and did this but instead of connecting the cable to the cd player and using a silent cd i just hooked it to my radio tuner. it was just on the bottom of the main board. there were right and left outs and two grounds. it works really well. when an ipod or my laptop is plugged in it just takes over the radio. then if you want to listen to the radio unplug the ipod or laptop or whatever you have. i had a problem with a high pitched electric whine but only sometimes so i fixed this by messing with the audio settings bringing the high down to 0.

DaniloB1 made it! (author)2018-01-01

thanks you... i made this project in my old radio kenwood kdc-119...just find on cd player the >rch, lch and agnd.... :D ....

radioaux (author)2016-10-12

Hi can someone help me to find LOut and ROut plz ?. I'm posting some pics thanks.

LemondT (author)radioaux2017-02-04

Any solution found?

NathanD34 (author)2016-11-20

Pioneer EEQ MOSFET 50wx4 deh-1850.

I'm lost. Does anyone know where the R/L outs are? They aren't labeled on the board. Thank you

LemondT (author)NathanD342017-02-04

Same problem here....Did you found any solution?

Jose AntonioM29 (author)2017-02-03

Hi. Can you help me which are my Lch Rch and ground I have a DEH-2100 pioneer car stereo

Jose AntonioM29 (author)2017-02-03

I have a DEH-2100 pioneer car stereobut dont know how to find Lch Rch and ground for the Aux cable. Please help.

nyashalinkz (author)2017-01-21

thanks a lot man, u a genious

maricolley (author)2016-11-21

I want to attempt this sooo bad! Im gonna wait until i have cash to replace my cd player...well done!

NilsonC made it! (author)2016-07-30

Thank you so much for this inst.

Last week i installed a tablet in my very old (1985) Opel Corsa TR, to use the GPS and Internet. But now that that i connected the phablet to the also very old JVC radio, i can play MP3, hands free calls and hear the GPS lady loud and clear!

radioaux (author)NilsonC2016-10-12

Can you plz help me to find the inputs

adam_99 (author)NilsonC2016-09-25


I also have JVC but can't find the L and R.
Do you have any pictures?

adam_99 (author)2016-09-25


I have a JVC but can't find the input lines.
I've the schematics.
Need some help...

Many thanks!

RobinC91 (author)2016-08-16

Hi, I've had this mod for over a year and it works great with my iPod. However, when I connect an android phone, the phone doesn't seem to detect that something is connected. When I switch to radio the phone instantly detects "headphones". Then I switch back over to CD and it works, but the audio is terrible, almost inaudible. I suspect it is because of the silent CD interfering, which is odd since it works fine with apple products. Anyone who has the same problem/fix? Thanks in advance :)

Mark Boulton made it! (author)2016-07-25

Did this on a Pioneer DEH-1300R and it works great, superb sound.

Very good instructable. Picture below


Mark Boulton made it! (author)2016-07-17

Done this on an old Pioneer, had to flip PCB to find the connections but works great.

thanks for a great instructable A+

BudB1 (author)2015-10-23

So I did this (before reading this), but audio wasn't playing until I play a CD, so THANK YOU for leading me to Silent CDs! I can play my aux over top of a CD I have but I didn't want other audio in the background so I burned a Silent CD filled with 5 min tracks. My Pioneer CDA-9851 recognizes the cd and plays the silent tracks but for some reason I cant play aux over top of these silent tracks...

Thoughts anyone?

Agi38 (author)2015-07-03

I did this on pioneer deh-1300 and it's great and sound quality is good.
I just have one problem - when I connect my mp3 to aux port and charge it with car charger I here some static.
I don't know why this happens or what can I do to fix it.

phuss11 (author)2015-06-05

I did this on a pioneer DEH-1300 and it worked perfectly. Thanks for posting.

HunterB3 (author)2015-02-12

Will be doing this to my Buick tonight hopefully!

kgwolf (author)2014-02-05

i installed this in my sister's '04 Pontiac Grand Prix, and it partially works. when I plug the AUX cable into my mp3 player, it recognizes that "headphones" have been plugged in. but, when I plug the other end into the input, the mp3 player believes the headphones have been unplugged. however, if I plug into the mp3 player, start playing a song, then plug into the input, it plays. once the track ends though, the mp3 player acts as though the headphones have been unplugged again, and I have to unplug from the input, start playing a song again, and then plug back in. of course, it then only works for 1 song, and then repeat the process. any thoughts?

@kgwolf the reason why its only playing 1 song for you is becausethe recorded silent mp3 in your cd is good for 4-5mins playing time. The cd player will stop if the track ended in the cd and if it is burnt short or if not recorded repeatedly into entire cd. To overcome this you have to set playing mode of your cd player to "repeat" so it will just continues cd playing and sending signal to the main unit.

zoki7 (author)2014-10-13

mineshwar.samaroo (author)2014-08-22

i have a 2002 chrysler town and country radio model p05091605ac, i can friend where to connect the the aux left ,right and ground.need some assistant

cesarcardinali (author)2014-06-07

Hi ! I tried this way, however, my cd player does not work, I mean, it is not reading CDs. There is a way to input directly even it is not playing a CD ? =(

Dread_Neck (author)2014-05-21

I still use my cd player, could I wire it through the tape player instead?

loakay (author)2014-03-02


loakay (author)2014-03-02

Started trying to do this hack on the stereo in a 2004 Infiniti G35. After removing it from the very frustratingly designed dashboard, I have realized I am completely lost. Could anyone spare some time to let me know where to go from here? I suppose this is a lot to ask for, but a helping hand would be much appreciated. Thx

seba1685 (author)2010-06-09

I've tried this with my 2001 Chevy Cavalier (original 2001 factory radio) and it distorted the sound coming from my ipod. Not like guitar distortion, more like bad audio quality that would be very jumpy in volume (you had to turn the car volume up all the way to be able to hear anything). I don't think it has anything to do with my soldering or the cables i used because i tried this twice with 2 different cables. any suggestions? note: images are of my first attempt. after soldering i covered in liquid electrical tape, then silicone sealant

teejer (author)seba16852010-06-28

You probably already checked this, but, I'd 1. get a ohmmeter & verify that that the Ground wire(s) you soldered to the board goes to the sleeve (ground) portion of the mini-plug. See picture in for details on which parts of the mini plug are L , R and Ground (3, 2, & 1 resp). I think you could swap the L & R wires and be OK, but the Ground's gotta be right. 2. If that doesn't work, then I'd see if there was any other L, R & Grd connections on the board closer to the multi pin connector. Can't really see from your pix if there are traces in the board directly from the multi pin connector to your L, R & Grd solder points, but there should be. 3 Finally get a magnifying glass and check all solder points for solder balls that could short out.. Good luck.

seba1685 (author)teejer2010-07-17

teejer, what can you make of this? as you can see, i tried soldering where it says LCH, RCH and AGND. where else on this board could i try soldering? the other picture shows you the kind of cable i'm using. the exposed copper wire is wound together and attached to GROUND, the wire inside the red cover is going to the RIGHT CHANNEL, the wire inside the white is going to the LEFT CHANNEL. Am i doing that correctly?

kgrasser1 (author)seba16852014-01-24

Hello seba 1685, I have a 2001 cavalier as well and was wondering if you had any luck with your project and could tell me how to do it. Thanks!

teejer (author)seba16852011-02-20

Seba1685, hopefully you got it to work, but if not, it really looks like you have the right solder points on the board and the right wires from the 3.5mm jack. It's probably a stretch, but my board and mikeklepacz's both said R OUT and L OUT instead of R CH and L CH, so maybe there's more solder points on the other side of the of the board (slim, but worth a look). Beyond that, again I'd just make sure you're not shorted out anywhere in the jack / wires or on the board. Good luck. FYI, mine's still sounding great after more than a year.

seba1685 (author)teejer2010-07-17

teejer, what can you make of this? as you can see, i tried soldering where it says LCH, RCH and AGND. where else on this board could i try soldering? the other picture shows you the kind of cable i'm using. the exposed copper wire is wound together and attached to GROUND, the wire inside the red cover is going to the RIGHT CHANNEL, the wire inside the white is going to the LEFT CHANNEL. Am i doing that correctly?

guayomin (author)2013-08-03

I just did it for a Kenwood kdc-307 car stereo that I bought second hand for 25 Euro. It works like a charm, Thanks so much for this instructable that saves huge amounts of money and draws a lot of smiles!! It wasnt very difficult to locate the soldering poitnts, in this case they were indicated as LCH and RCH and the gorund as AGND.

dcovey1 (author)2013-04-07

awesome post. took some free headphones from a flight I took, took apart my pioneer, found the exact markings, and bam. 3 solder points and 30 minutes and I was driving my classic beetle with its top down and listening to Pandora from my iPhone.

clementcharles98 (author)2012-12-26


nboulton (author)2011-11-11

Thanks so much for taking the time to post this hack - very nicely laid out. I have gotten as far as taking apart my pioneer DEH-1550 car stereo and I can see the labels ROUT, LOUT and AGND, but the exact location of their respective connection points is still ambiguous. If you could spare a moment, I would really appreciate some guidance. I have attached a picture to show you what I'm faced with. Do you think my equivalent connection points are "R", "L" and the point between these two (shown just to the right of the ribbon connector in my image). Thanks.

nboulton (author)nboulton2011-11-11

photo uploader didn't seem to work for me in the previous message. Try again....

mikeklepacz (author)nboulton2011-11-11

I would say yes, I would solder it, just a tack though and see if you can get it to work before you solder it completely and seal the connection. Get it soldered then put it together and see if it has a signal.

That is what I did because at the time I was really shooting in the dark.

I am pumped that people are still getting use out of this instructable. My stereo still works. After all of these years the cd player stopped ejecting the cd, so the only thing that works is my MP3 connection.

nboulton (author)mikeklepacz2011-11-26

Sweet deal. Great words of encouragement. I had to work out a way to ground the headphone wires without picking up any signal noise as there was no obvious agnd connection. After trial and error I got there in the end. Road tripping through NZ at the moment and this had made our clapped out banger a much more enjoyable ride. Thanks again for the post.

fifanatic82 (author)nboulton2012-07-02

Hey nboulton, which pin did you end up using as your ground? I've got my Pioneer DEH-1500 open now and it looks like we've got the same pin layout. Any advice?

nboulton (author)fifanatic822012-07-02

Hi there, not 100% sure but it was either GND1 or GND2. In fact I'm pretty sure I used GND2 as it is furthest from any other pins so easier to solder to. Good luck!

fifanatic82 (author)nboulton2012-07-03

Well I started by connecting the ground to the pin between the L and R pins, like you originally thought... and it's working well so far! Great sound quality. In fact, with the DEH-1500 there is no need to burn a silent disc; whenever an auxiliary source is connected, the new signal takes over so the audio from the CD is not heard at all. Pretty nifty! Thanks for the quick response though, if I run into any trouble with the mysterious pin between L and R, I'll try out one of the GNDs.

nboulton (author)fifanatic822012-07-04

You have a far steady hand than I do then!

I think you've probably got a better set up than me - when I plugged the 3.5mm jack into my smart phone to play music, I found that it was causing my phone to shut down. I had to turn off the CD player prior to connecting it to get around this issue. Perhaps by using one of the GNDs I was getting an undesired current through the headphone jack. If you're not having this same issue, then I might consider changing my set up to match yours.

It's a pretty awesome hack isn't it. Full credit to mikeklepacz.

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