3 Ways To Hook Up A SiriusXM Satellite Radio In Your Car

Thinking about trading in your car for a SiriusXM-ready vehicle just so you can enjoy your favorite satellite radio stations on the road? You don’t need to! You can add a SiriusXM radio to your car for a tiny fraction of the price of a new car. There are three different ways to do that.

1. Install A Stand-Alone Satellite Radio

sirius onyx plus satellite radio

There are a few aftermarket stand-alone satellite radios available. SiriusXM, the satellite radio company, makes their own stand-alone kits. Basically, you mount the radio onto the dash or console and then run some wires. Here’s the process in more detail:

1A. Mount The Satellite Radio.

The place you choose must have access to a power source. Some satellite radio kits include a dash mount and a cigarette lighter plugin. The most common place to mount a satellite radio in a car is on a dash mount right next to the factory stereo. The next most common place is in the console.

1B. Run Two Sets Of Wires.

To do this, you should follow the instructions that came with the kit. However, we’ll give you a basic rundown of how a stand-alone satellite radio is normally connected to your factory stereo system:

  • One set of wires goes to your car’s electrical system, typically via the cigarette lighter.
  • The other set of wires goes to your FM modulator, which is either behind your dash or somewhere else in your car.

1C. Program Your Stand-Alone Satellite Radio.

Again, you should follow the instructions that came with the satellite radio kit, but here’s the gist of what you need to do:

  1. Tune your FM stereo to an unused frequency.
  2. Program your satellite radio to broadcast SiriusXM through the FM frequency.

Pros And Cons Of This Setup

Installing a stand-alone satellite radio is a cheap and non-permanent solution, but it comes with a few caveats:

  • A lot of dashboard clutter with wires and a mount
  • Unreliable signal due to the required use of an FM modulator, which can be buggy sometimes
  • Changing satellite radio stations is not user-friendly, especially on the road

2. Connect A Satellite Radio Receiver Unit Via An AUX Input

car auxillary input

Most newer factory stereos have an auxiliary input. You can buy an adapter kit with an AUX wire that will serve as a direct connection between your factory stereo and a satellite receiver unit.

To rig this setup:

2A. Mount A Satellite Receiver Unit On Your Dash.

It needs to be near a power source. The most common location is on the dash near the cigarette lighter.

2B. Run Two Sets Of Wires.

One set connects the satellite receiver to the power source (typically the cigarette lighter). The other set is connected to the satellite receiver and the AUX input on your factory stereo.

2C. Turn On Your Satellite Radio Receiver Unit.

Make sure that the FM transmitter is off.

2D. Program Your Factory Stereo.

Program your car’s factory stereo to play through the auxiliary input source to get SiriusXM to play through the speakers.

Pros And Cons Of This Setup

This method is a good way to avoid the use of an FM modulator, which isn’t always reliable. However, it would also add a bunch of wires to the setup (even more so than installing a stand-alone satellite radio). Also, you would have to disconnect your satellite radio every time you need to use your AUX input for something else.

If you don’t want to use an FM modulator and if you don’t want any clutter on your dash, a VAIS satellite radio adapter kit is the perfect solution for you.

3. Install A VAIS Satellite Radio Adapter Kit

satellite adapter kit

A VAIS satellite radio adapter kit is designed to be plugged into one of your USB ports or installed behind your dash. There’s no dashboard clutter with one of those kits, and you can still use your factory stereo controls to change satellite radio stations.

To set up a VAIS satellite radio adapter kit behind your dash:

3A. Mount The Adapter Behind The Dash.

The kit comes with all the components you need to mount it behind the dash.

3B. Plug The Adapter Into The Factory Stereo.

The instructions that came with the kit walk you through this process.

3C. Your Factory Stereo Is Ready To Play SiriusXM.

The simple process is outlined in the set of instructions that came with the kit. Fortunately, GSR units are a plug and go set up. Just use your factory radio’s presets to dial in and set your stations, and you’re ready to be entertained.

That’s all! It’s an easy and straightforward process. If you don’t want to do this yourself, VAIS has a network of reputable dealers. One of them can install the adapter for you in about an hour.

Pros And Cons Of This Setup

Installing a VAIS satellite radio adapter kit prevents the issues brought on by the two other setups listed above. There’s no dashboard clutter, or the need to disconnect anything. There is no FM modulator producing fuzzy sound.

Since the VAIS satellite radio adapter kit uses a direct connection between the factory stereo and the satellite receiver, there’s no degradation of the sound signal. The signal will be strong as ever, and this results in crisp sound quality. You can use your factory stereo controls or steering wheel controls to change stations. This is much safer and more convenient than fiddling around with a unit mounted on your dashboard.

The Last Step: Activate Your SiriusXM Account

Head over to SiriusXM’s website to purchase a subscription and activate your account.

Last, but not least… enjoy!

Categories: Satellite Radio