How to Connect a Portable CD Player to Your Car?

Do you prefer using a good old-fashioned CD player when listening to your favorite tunes in your car during long drives? While modern vehicles today utilize Bluetooth and USB devices for its media playing feature, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to use your collection of CDs during trips anymore.

You still have the option of installing a portable CD player in your car. You can hire a professional or do it yourself as it is not as complicated as you would expect. Below is be a step by step guide on how to properly install a CD player to your car.

What You Will Need

  • A compatible portable CD player.
  • If there are no compatible models available, you can purchase an adapter kit.
  • Screwdriver (Phillips)
  • Wire stripper
  • Wire cutter
  • Electrical tape

Portable CD Player Car Installation Guide

Step 1

First, you need to check what type of portable CD player is compatible with your car. You can check the details in the manufacturer’s manual. If you can’t find the necessary information in the manual or can’t determine the type of CD player needed, you can alternatively buy an adapter kit from your local car accessory store.

Step 2

Always read through the car’s manual. Each vehicle may have different features that are essential to know to properly accomplish whatever tweaks and customization you are planning in the future. Manuals will also dictate important elements that will help improve efficiency when installing accessories.

Step 3

Prepare and organize all your tools as well as other items that will be required during installation. Some parts will come as part of the set included in the CD player you purchased.

Step 4

Safety first! Before tinkering with your car’s dashboard, you should first disconnect the black cable from the car’s battery. Make sure that the car’s electronic circuitry no longer has any current running through it to avoid accidentally electrocuting yourself.

Step 5

Using your screwdriver, remove the dashboard of your car. If you are having difficulty removing the panel, check back with the manufacturer’s manual as some dashboards utilize different methods during assembly.

Step 6

Check how the wires are connected to the electronic circuit of the car. You will either encounter one of two scenarios:

  • Cables utilize a wiring harness.
  • Wires are connected individually.

Obviously, if the wires are all manually connected individually, you will need to take some time in order to route each properly. If it uses a wire harness, you will be able to join the wires significantly faster and easier.

Step 7

Carefully check each wire and connect them to their corresponding port on the CD player (positive and negative). Check the back of your CD player and locate where you can screw the device onto the proper CD player slot.

Step 8

Now, it is time to connect the wires directly to the replacement CD player. The manual should specify where you need to join the wires (usually red) to the back of the CD player. Once you have connected the cables properly, don’t assemble it all just yet. Plug the connector to the car battery and test the CD player.

Once you have tested the CD player and determined that everything is in order, you can slide it back to the slot on the dashboard and screw the unit in place.

There you have it; you have successfully installed a brand-new CD player in your car. As you can see, it is not as difficult as you expected it to be, right? The only tricky part is with connecting the wires to their designated slots.

Additional Tips

Some shops/retailers can cover the installation of the unit with just a small addition to the total price. Sometimes, this can be a more cost-effective choice if you are not 100% confident of installing the CD player yourself.

A more accessible alternative for those not wanting to go through the trouble of installing a new CD player is to buy a portable boom box and connect it to the car stereo. It might not offer the best sound quality, but it will do if all you need is something to listen to during your drives.

What About Cars with No CD Player Slots?

The CD media industry is in steady decline; this holds even more true for audio CDs. Nowadays, car models that come with CD player by default are getting harder to come by. If you have tons of music CDs at home, the question now is whether you would be able to use it during long drives or will it be relegated to being played strictly at home?

Fortunately, there are still other alternatives that you can apply if you wish to play music from CDs in your car. A portable CD player with a car power adapter is the best option for this. Another device you will need is a USB Bluetooth transmitter that can fit into the headphone output. Connect the portable CD player to your car dashboard’s USB slot using the transmitter.

This method doesn’t usually provide the best sound quality, but it is the only available option for cars who do not have any CD player slot in its dashboard. As you can see, there are always methods that you can use in order to play music CDs from your car.

The instruction above will give a simplified step by step guide on how to traditionally install a CD player in your car. Also included, is an alternative method for those with newer car models that completely forgoes the CD player feature altogether and replaces it with USB slot.

Final Thoughts

As the years go by, expect CD players in cars to be completely phased out. That does not mean you can’t play your favorite CDs when driving. As they say, if there is a will, there is a way. There is always a workaround solution to almost every problem. All it takes is a bit of research and work on your part, and a handy guide like this as well.

Audio Loli