Corolla 2007 Ipod Radio Aux Input Hack




Introduction: Corolla 2007 Ipod Radio Aux Input Hack

I have spent countless hours trying to find a cheap way to get my ipod connected to my radio with a very good quality link. FM modulators suck, you know all about it. I have heard a lot from others online too. This is my cheap fix that might work with yours too, and im pretty sure that all the interfaces are the same for the internal 1-CD player. Cd changers are even easier and I think I saw a demo for that before too.

TOOLS NEEDED: soldering iron, wire strippers(your teeth...jk), screwdriver
ITEMS NEEDED: long extension cable for headphones, you will be cutting one end off.
if you can find in your garage or somewhere a headphone (male) coupling with an open end, then you are lucky and you don't have to buy one. I just got mine from radioshack its quality and the wires are big and easy to solder.
Sometimes headphone wires will be small and enamel-coated (instead of insulated rubber) and they can be tricky so don't use them unless you are zuper awezome.
SKILLS REQ'D : soldering, understanding your own car's components, understanding basic radio components and being comfortable altering them.

I have pictures from my radio, and you can see how it was done from the pictures I took after I finished and was putting it back together.
It depends on which radio you have, I have the A51813 well thats what it says on the outside
Model No. 816120-02430
Ref No. CQ-JS7460X
Serial No. MX658147

Step 1: Take the Radio Out

I have seen other places showing how to take the radio out but all you have to do is take the shifter cover out, you can pry it from the back a little and the front a little and it will come out.
Taking off the heater and shelf middle console only has one screw which is in the center knob(the fan speed).
Taking out the vent part is easy if you shove your fingers on the sides and push while you pry a little.
Main point - Get the radio out
Once the radio's surroundings are removed, it is easy to unscrew the 4 bolts underneath with a long tool that fits and when taking it out or putting it in, you must go straight and slow and pay attention to where it is going, maybe use a flashlight if you can't see inside. Mine had 6 holes because two of the screw sites had additional holes where a plastic spike went. Keep track of the screws because the next step has many more.

Step 2: The Radio Dissasembly

There are 3 different type of screws. The first are the huge ones for the side harness, take those out first and put the harnesses aside.
The next are the little metal to metal screws, those are the majority.
There is also one more metal to metal screw, but it is for the cd drive, and there are two screws that look different from all the rest. They are different sizes, and need to be put in the right hole.
There are a couple screws on the sides of the radio, on the top of the radio, and on the back there are about 6 that are connected to the metal outer shell. take all of them out and the top part that says open should be opened first, then the sides, which slide straight up.
The cd part is loose and should slide straight up out.
-Be careful with the cable, and unplug it. The images are of it after I soldered the wires, but you can stil see how it fits together.
I used a long headphone jack I got from radioshack and cut it to my desired length and stripped the wires. I played around to get the right ones, and the solder points are circled in the pic.

Step 3: Put It Back In

Put everything back the same way it went in.
The cd screws are the lighter looking ones.
If you want to play a cd, make sure the ipod is unplugged.
If you want to listen to ipod, just put a cd in there upside down, it will read error, but the ipod can still play.

If you have any questions just ask



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    107 Discussions

    Have a very fine soldering iron, a big magnifier and a lot of patience. Those points on the PCB are tiny.

    Amazingly clear instructable! I'm just about to do this on an identical A51813. My 2006 Corolla has a 'security' light on the dash to the lower left of the steering column. Did your Corolla have security? And if yes did need (or not) a security code to make the radio work after reinstalling it?

    1 more answer

    Answering my own question: No, there is no security code needed for this particular OEM AM/FM/CD unit. I successfully completed the AUX today and it works great. However... the soldering on to those three teeny, tiny points requires lots of patience and a really good magnifier. Be prepared!

    Broke one of the dials on the air control unit trying to extract the radio. Your Part 1 probably needs more explanation, and perhaps pictures, than "get it out." This will probably cost me more to fix once everything is said and done.

    7 replies

    Ok, I have to use a silent cd to get my ipod sound to come through my factory stereo using the cd changer cable. But it is really low, I can hardly hear it. Any ideas on what I did wrong?

    I was also in this situation. The problem is that the CD player is putting a load on the line, and your AUX cable is leeching from that same source. My theory is that the extra voltage from the CD player (which I measured out to be around ~2.0 mV) renders some distortion or noise to the signal of your MP3 player. The solution is to remove the ribbon connector for the CD so you disconnect the CD capability completely. Please note that this is a compromise you're making...You're replacing the CD player for an AUX input basically. That might affect your resale value unless you're inclined to go through this again before you sell your car. Also note that unlike the original post, you won't get an "Error 1", which is an error that shows when the CD is unreadable (because in that situation, the CD is upside down). Instead, you will get an "Error 3", which I'm guessing is the error code for a malfunctioning CD player (because we removed the connection). I really hope this helps. Let me know.

    Do you think if I remove the ribbon connector that i will be able to switch to cd mode in order to listen to the aux input ? Because it needs a cd inside the slot to be able to switch to cd mode. Doesn't this signal goes through the ribbon connector also ?

    You don't need to disconnect the ribbon connector. You can add a line adapter that will convert the headphone output to something similar to the CD input. That way you can still use your CD! Instructions are here...

    I also added a power line from the AUX power and GND lines so I could power a cheap SD card reader/amplifier so I don't need to plug in my phone every time. Works great!

    Finally, somebody bothered to mention the dual loads on the line !!! This method of removing/not using the ribbon cable from the CD player should be mentioned by the author as being one of the first steps, to avoid damaging your ipod/CD player.

    For those interested in more, note that the CD player output is a low impedance and is driving the high impedance input of the radio/tuner. Putting another device (such as an ipod ) on the same lines, means that you have now added a low impedance load to the line. So CD player and/or Ipod now encounter a much lower impedance resulting in less voltage transfer and also higher current draw. (basic voltage divider principle).

    Bottom line, leep the ribbon cable from the CD player disconnected before making this mod - when you get ready to sell the car, re-attach the cable, and remove your mod.


    Do you think if I remove the ribbon connector that i will be able to switch to cd mode in order to listen to the aux input ? Because it needs a cd inside the slot to be able to switch to cd mode. Doesn't this signal goes through the ribbon connector also ?

    Thank you so much for this instructable. I was able to do this with out much effort, mental or physical. I left the CD player unplugged from the radio. I get an error message but the aux in works great.


    I did it, but I'm not sure what's going on with my volume adjustment since then. The knob on my stereo no longer works and I can only adjust the volume through my phone. Does anyone know what I might have done wrong? Could the soldering have affected volume functionality?

    Did this for a 2006 Toyota Camry. Worked very well! I had to do some other steps, however the principle remained the same; find R, L, and Ground on the underside of the CD ribbon cable port. I had to use a different Ground soldering point since I wasn't sure of where it was. There one fairly close to the ribbon cable ports. I cant believe I almost paid over $130 for an interface module! I had no interference with the CD player, even thou I didn't have to insert the CD upside down. I will be burning a silent track on a CD and use that just in case, but it is not necessary.

    So far i can hook up my iPhone and take calls over the speakers. In the future I will use a splitter with an Microphone jack in order to hook up an external mic for better communication during calls.

    Worked like a charm. I would've never known about this. Thanks so much!

    I'm hooking up to the kinovo bluetooth aux thing. That way I can have handsfree calling, and listen to my music without hooking up my device

    i pull all the cables out of my radio and put it back to factory , this idea didn't work good for my Toyota radio, the solution was to purchase an auxiliary audio input interface
    this connects to the 12 pin plug on the back of the radio and you can select the aux from the radio by pressing the CD button twice
    this is what i use and it took 15 minutes to install i remove the radio so many times that i am an expert

    1 reply

    I did find similar items on ebay for around US$50. It is possible to use this device to speed up the time it takes to install. The time it saves you may or may not be worth the price. You should figure this out for yourself. but from the link I found:

    Toyota Radio must have external CD Changer capabilities.
    Not compatible with factory external CD changer present. ( trunk )
    Not compatible with both factory external CD changer and satellite present. Takes place of one compatible with factory Toyota navigation radios. Connects to 12-pin mini connector at headunit.

    My instructable shows you the basics to understand how to make your ipod work with ANY type of external or internal components as long as they deal with analog audio. I hope this was useful, keep building.

    I hope this instructable is still active.. I really need help! So i tried doing this with a Corolla 2006 single cd player. I followed the instructions perfectly, or so I thought... My cd player won't even play CD anymore. It'll say Error 3, then spit my cd back out! What can be the reason for this? How can I fix this? Thank you for anyone who can help.

    Just try to do this corolla radio 86120-02450 its kind of working but i hear the music cd and ipod at the same time, it is also not the best audio quality lot of distorsion is there a a way to stop the cd player ? like a pause button ?
    im sure that will help a lot , cd player is working ok
    thank you for the pictures

    1 reply

    I modded the CD player in my 2005 4Runner the same way. Works like a charm!

    Try putting the CD in upside-down. The screen will say "Error" but the ipod will play fine. As far as distortion, try turning the volume on the CD player UP and the iPod's volume at about 60%.