While most modern cars are SiriusXM compatible, there are still a few cars that require some sort of adapter to access SiriusXM stations. So how do you know which category your car falls into? Read on to find out the answer.
3 Ways to Find Out if Your Car Already Has SiriusXM Radio Built in
There are three places you can look, which will only take a couple of minutes.
- Look for the SiriusXM logo on your stereo. Sometimes the auto manufacturer will add the SiriusXM logo to the stereo to advertise that it is SiriusXM-ready.
- Look for a ‘SAT’ button. On many car stereos with a built-in satellite receiver, you can find an ‘SAT’ button somewhere. The button stands for satellite, and it serves as a ‘portal’ to SiriusXM stations. The ‘SAT’ button is typically found with other buttons like AM/FM and DISC AUX.
- Check your owner’s manual. Since the other two options are much easier, checking your owner’s manual should be the last resort. You’ll likely find the information you need in the section about your car’s audio system.
What if Your Car Doesn’t Have SiriusXM Radio Built in?
If you’ve determined that your factory stereo isn’t SiriusXM-ready, don’t give up. There are a few different ways to add SiriusXM radio to your car:
1. Install a Stand-Alone Satellite Radio
You can buy a SiriusXM stand-alone satellite radio and then stick it to your dash. You’ll need to run two sets of wires to your car’s electrical system and FM modulator. This is a popular setup because it’s cheap and portable, but it comes with a few issues:
- This setup creates a lot of dashboard clutter, especially with wires everywhere.
- Stand-alone satellite radios require the use of an FM modulator, which isn’t always reliable in terms of reception and sound quality.
- It can be pretty difficult to fiddle around with the receiver box whenever you want to change SiriusXM stations.
2. Rig Up a Satellite Radio Receiver With an AUX Adapter Kit
If your car stereo has an auxiliary input, you can consider buying a satellite radio receiver and then running a wire from it to the AUX input. This method provides decent sound quality, but it comes with a few caveats:
- This setup still requires you to mount a type of satellite unit on your dash. This creates even more dashboard clutter because you’ll have to run two more wires.
- When you want to change SiriusXM stations, you have to use the satellite unit, which can be inconvenient while driving.
- You’ll have to disconnect the satellite radio whenever you want to use the AUX input.
This solution makes sense on paper, but in reality installing a stand-alone satellite radio creates less clutter. However, if you’re looking for the perfect solution, look no further than a VAIS satellite radio adapter kit.
3. Install a VAIS Satellite Radio Adapter Kit
A VAIS satellite radio kit is a factory-style adapter that doesn’t need to be mounted anywhere in front of your dash. You can just either mount the adapter behind the dash with Velcro or plug it into one of your USB ports. This setup eliminates any dashboard clutter. It also offers more benefits:
- The ability to control your satellite radio with your built-in stereo/steering wheel controls
- Factory-grade sound quality
- Completely hidden installation
Read more about each option in more detail: How to Add Satellite Radio to Your Car’s Factory Stereo – 3 Options
Categories: Satellite Radio