VAIS Satellite Radio Install Tips And Tricks

There are two ways to install a VAIS satellite radio kit on your vehicle:

  1. Have a dealer install the kit on your vehicle
  2. Install the kit yourself

If you have the right tools and some electrical experience, you can handle the installation process yourself. Most of our kits are pretty much plug and play installations. You can see graphical example with this set of DIY instructions. Lower on this page, you’ll find a set of tips and tricks that will make the installation process go smoother.

Are you more of a visual learner? One of our customers, Paul Henderson, put together an instruction video for 2019 Chevy Silverados. If you have another make and model, you may still learn a thing or two from the video above. We find it quite helpful and informative!

An Overview Of The Installation Process

The VAIS satellite radio kit installation process varies between vehicles. That’s why we can’t provide a universal set of instructions. Yet, we can provide an overview of the process. You can find the overview in the set of DIY instructions we linked above. Also, each kit comes with a complete instruction manual. Here’s a summed up version, though:

If You’re Using A GSR-TY51, GSR-TY52, SL3sat-T, Or SL3sat-L Unit

  1. Remove the radio from the dash
  2. Connect the plug and play harnesses on the back of the radio
  3. Install the antenna on the highest point of your vehicle with a clear view of the sky

If You’re Using Another GSR Unit

  1. Connect to 12V constant power and ground sources in the vehicle
  2. Connect the GSR adapter to the factory USB data port that feeds data into the factory radio
  3. Install the antenna on the highest point of your vehicle with a clear view of the sky

Important Tips And Tricks That Will Make Installation Much Easier

Install tips

The VAIS satellite radio installation process may be pretty easy. Yet, we have some tips that will make the process even easier:

1. You Can Hide The Satellite Radio Antenna With A Load Bar

A load bar can hide the satellite radio antenna from view. You can either:

  • Use a load bar that’s already on your vehicle
  • Install a load bar on your vehicle

You have to be sure that the antenna has a clear view of the sky. It’s OK to install the antenna behind a load bar. You just need to make sure that the load bar doesn’t hover directly over the antenna. That will interfere with the antenna’s ability to receive a signal from the satellites.

It’s also worth mentioning that you should never install the antenna at the front of your vehicle, near the windshield. It has be farther back. You’ll get a piece of paper with your kit that explains this in more detail.

2. The Installation Process Will Go Much Easier With This List Of Tools

Be sure to have the following tools on hand during the installation process:

  • Crimping tool
  • Spade connector for the ground
  • Plastic pry tools to remove some of the trim (for the antenna cord)
  • Socket or wrench set if you need to remove anything
  • Wire stripper if you need to strip any wires

With all these tools readily available when you need them, you don’t have to pause the project while you look for the tool(s) you need.

3. If You’re Running The Antenna Wire Underneath The Vehicle, Use A Wire Loom

A wire loom is a protective tube that covers wiring. A high quality one can withstand:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Dirt
  • Moisture
  • Road grime
  • Other elements

So if you’re running the 23’-long antenna wire outside (especially underneath the vehicle), use a wire loom. It will provide the protection the wire needs. A ¼” wire loom is big enough to cover a VAIS antenna wire.

4. Use A Fuse Tap

A fuse tap is a device that adds a new circuit to your fuse box. You can use it to add the wires you need to the vehicle without disrupting the vehicle’s existing setup.

If using a fuse tap, be sure to connect it to a fuse that provides a constant 12 volt power supply. This ensures that the adapter works at all times. Also, it’s a good idea to strip and crimp the wires first before installing the fuse tap.

5. Keep The Interface Module Hidden Near The USB Port

The interface is pretty small. It’s approximately the size of a deck of cards. You can see the adapter in the video above. The USB cord is 30 inches, and the power cord is 62 inches. There are many different places you can hide the interface module, but make sure that it’s near the USB port. The USB cord needs to reach the port without any issues. In the video above, Paul Henderson hid his interface module underneath the glove compartment.

6. Use Double Stick Tape To Attach The XM Antenna To Your Vehicle’s Roof

Each VAIS satellite radio kit comes with a magnetic mount XM antenna. Even if your car roof is steel, it’s always a good idea to also use double stick tape. This ensures that the antenna stays on at all times. You may want to check the antenna every now and then to see if it’s still firmly secured to the roof of your vehicle.

Do you have any questions about the installation process? We’ll be happy to answer them! Just call us, email us, or fill out this contact form.

Categories: Satellite Radio