How to Add Bluetooth to Your Car

I loved the look of the Infiniti G35 coupe when it first came out. I always wanted one. That dream finally came true in 2013 when I purchased a 2003 with low miles. It was the first generation and the one owner hardly drove it at all.

I ran into a problem when I wanted to play music from my phone in the car. There was no aux input! It did have a tape player though. I was stuck using a tape adapter to play my music for at least six months until I decided to do something about it.

I needed to add Bluetooth to my car. This is what I found during my research.

Bluetooth Receiver

This is the quickest way to add Bluetooth if your car has an auxiliary input. My G35 didn’t have an aux input so I couldn’t go this route. It’s also the least expensive and easiest solution to install.

The receiver is a small device that plugs into the aux input and acts as a receiver to your phone. Some have a built in battery and others draw power from your cigarette lighter.

These receivers have decreased in size over time. They are now less conspicuous and take up less space. Price has also decreased because there are more options now.

I recommend this route as long as you have an aux input available.

Replace the Car Stereo

The next option is to replace your factory radio with a new Bluetooth capable head unit. This will require you or a professional to uninstall the old radio and add the new one. It can take an entire weekend if you do it yourself. I’ve done it before and I definitely needed the whole weekend. If you hire a pro you’ll save yourself some pain but it will cost you.

Aside from Bluetooth, the main benefit is adding Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. These two systems are a major upgrade to my daily driving routine. It’s so easy to hold a button and say a command to Siri. I’m able to keep my eyes on the road while changing music and have her look up information for me. I highly recommend a stereo with CarPlay or Android Auto.

Bluetooth Speakerphone

If you want a hands free talking experience an excellent option is a Bluetooth speakerphone. It’s increasingly difficult to pay attention to the road with all the distractions of a phone in the car. This device alleviates the distractions.

It’s a small speaker and microphone embedded in a device. Attach it to your sunscreen visor and it’ll pick up your conversation easily.

The main benefit is the simplicity and low cost. Turn it on, pair with your phone, and place it where you want.

The main detractor is that it’s only for talking. It doesn’t connect to your stereo so you can’t stream music through your car speakers. This could be a negative if that’s one of the features you want. But if you only want to talk on the phone, this is an excellent option.

Aftermarket Bluetooth Factory Interface

This interface connects behind your factory radio. It adds Bluetooth capability and is completely hidden from sight.

The one negative is that it does require installation. I’ve purchased and installed the GROM in my G35 and it worked very well. I had to remove the radio to get to the right wires. Once it was in it worked great. It also has a small microphone you can place anywhere for voice input.

The main benefit is that you can add Bluetooth to your factory radio without having to change it out. Each of them connect differently. Some may replace an input and others can piggyback off other inputs. It depends on the model.

Research Crutchfield Crux, iSimple, or GROM for a few different options.

FM Transmitter

While this is not a Bluetooth solution, it’s a solution to stream music without an aux input. These transmitters have also come a long way and work very well now. Some even have buttons to answer phone calls and change tracks on your phone. Many of them plug in to your cigarette lighter and have an adjustable neck to move where you need it.

This is a great option if you don’t have an aux input. Or if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of getting behind the factory radio.

Portable Bluetooth speaker

This is the last and worst option if you’re concerned about sound quality. Most Bluetooth speakers are mono, not even stereo. But it’s definitely an option if you’ve run out of ideas and need to have music in your car. Perhaps your car stereo is broken and you need music! This could be a temporary fix.


I mentioned it above but I want to repeat it again. If you’re wanting Bluetooth capability, get a new head unit with CarPlay or Android Auto. I don’t use Bluetooth in my car now that I have CarPlay. I connect my phone when I get in and I put it down in the cup holder. Anything I need to do I can do with Siri or through the CarPlay interface. I can focus on driving more and not even bother looking at the phone at all.

So that’s it! I’ve covered all the ways I know to add Bluetooth to a vehicle. You may want it for music or for voice calls. Either way, wireless is a great convenience in our connected world. Not only a convenience but it helps with safety too. Keep those eyes on the road!

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