Imagine you’re sitting in your car, ready to hit the road and start your next adventure. Of course, you want to listen to your favorite tunes and make hands-free calls, but your factory OEM radio just doesn’t cut it.
You’ve heard about Apple CarPlay and how it can transform your driving experience, but you’re not sure how to get started. Well, adding Apple CarPlay to your stock radio is easier than you might think.
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to add CarPlay to your factory radio is by using a CarPlay adapter. Connect the adapter to your factory radio, either through the USB or the onboard diagnostic (OBD) port, and you’ll be able to access CarPlay through your existing radio display. This option is perfect for those who don’t want to replace their factory radio and don’t have the technical know-how to install an aftermarket system.
Tip: When choosing a CarPlay adapter, I recommend picking one that is compatible with your OEM radio and has good reviews.
One of the best CarPlay adapters on the market is the Carlin Kit 3.0 (link to Amazon), which allows you to connect your iPhone to your CarPlay system wirelessly, making it a convenient and easy solution.
In this article, I will explore the different options for adding Apple CarPlay to your factory radio, so you can access all your favorite apps, music, and contacts on display, making it a safer and more enjoyable way to drive.
What Is CarPlay?
Think of Apple CarPlay as your very own co-pilot. It’s a feature that allows you to connect your Phone to your car’s infotainment system, giving you access to all your favorite apps, music, and contacts, right there on your car’s display.
Whether you’re looking to make hands-free calls, listen to your favorite tunes, or get directions to your next destination, CarPlay has got you covered.
And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to use. Just connect your Apple to your CarPlay system, and you’re good to go.
You can also use Siri to control your system with your voice or the touch screen on your car’s display. It’s a convenient and seamless solution that makes driving safer and more enjoyable.
Benefits of Using Apple CarPlay
The benefits of adding Apple CarPlay to your car are numerous. Here are just a few of the most significant ones:
#1. Improved driving experience
With CarPlay, you can access your favorite apps, music, and contacts without taking your eyes off the road. As a result, it’s a safer and more enjoyable way to drive.
#2. Increased safety and convenience
CarPlay allows you to make hands-free calls, get directions, and control your music without having to touch your phone.
#3. Access to favorite apps and music
With CarPlay, you can access all your favorite apps on your car’s display, including Apple Music, Spotify, and more. No more fumbling with your phone while driving.
#4. Seamless integration with your iPhone
CarPlay is designed to work seamlessly with your Phone, making it a convenient and easy solution for accessing all your favorite apps, music, and contacts while driving.
#5. Voice control with Siri
With Siri, you can control your CarPlay system with just your voice. For example, you can ask Siri to play your favorite music, make a call, or get directions without taking your hands off the wheel.
Should I use Apple CarPlay?
So, should you use CarPlay in your car? Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:
Make sure your car is compatible with Apple CarPlay before making a purchase. You can check with your car’s manufacturer or a professional installer to see if CarPlay is available for your vehicle.
Adding CarPlay to your car can be expensive, especially if you’re installing a new head unit. Define your budget before making your decision.
#3. Level of functionality
CarPlay offers a wide range of features and functionality, but it may not be as comprehensive as other in-car entertainment systems. Consider what you’re looking for in a system before making a purchase.
Which Is the Cheapest and Fastest Option to Connect CarPlay?
The cheapest and fastest option for adding Apple CarPlay to your factory radio will depend on a few factors, including the make and model of your vehicle and the type of factory radio you have.
Here’s a short general overview:
#1. A CarPlay adapter is typically the most affordable option, as the adapters are generally less expensive than aftermarket systems. Most adapters cost around $100-$200.
The installation process is also relatively simple and can be done quickly, usually in a matter of hours.
#2. Installing an aftermarket CarPlay system is typically the most expensive option, as it involves purchasing a new head unit and installing it in your vehicle.
The exact cost of the CarPlay radio depends on the specific model and its features and can be between $200 for the basic stereo and $1.300 or more for the top model like JVC KW-Z1000W (link to Amazon).
#3. If your vehicle is eligible for a CarPlay upgrade, having the feature installed by a dealership may also be a relatively affordable option.
However, the cost may vary depending on the dealership and the extent of the upgrade.
It’s important to note that the cheapest option may not always be the best option, as the cost of the upgrade should be weighed against the quality and reliability of the system.
Before making a decision, consider your budget, your vehicle’s compatibility, and the level of functionality you are looking for in a CarPlay system.
Let’s go through all options in more detail:
Instal an Aftermarket Stereo
This option involves replacing your factory radio with a new compatible head unit.
You’ll need some technical know-how and the right tools, but with a little bit of effort, you can have a brand new CarPlay system in your vehicle.
To get started, you’ll need a few things: a screwdriver, a wiring harness adapter, and a dash kit.
Start by removing your factory radio, connecting the wiring harness adapter to the factory wiring, and installing the dash kit.
Then, connect your new CarPlay head unit, turn on the ignition, and you’re good to go!
Some of the best accessories to have on hand when installing an aftermarket CarPlay system include:
- Wiring harness adapter: This adapter connects your new CarPlay head unit to your vehicle’s factory wiring, making the installation process a breeze.
- Dash kit: A dash kit allows you to mount your new CarPlay head unit in your vehicle’s dashboard, giving it a custom and professional look.
- Reverse camera: A reverse camera is a must-have for anyone installing a new CarPlay head unit. It makes reversing safer and more convenient and integrates seamlessly with your CarPlay system.
The exact installation of an aftermarket CarPlay system may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the specific head unit you have chosen.
If you are unsure about the process, it’s best to consult a professional for assistance.
- You get a brand new head unit with all the latest features and technology.
- A custom installation will give your vehicle a more personalized look.
- You’ll have more control over the features and functions of your CarPlay system.
- It’s a DIY project, so you’ll need technical know-how and the right tools.
- The installation process can be time-consuming and may require some trial and error.
- The cost of the new head unit and installation supplies can add up.
Use a CarPlay Adapter
This option is a more straightforward solution, especially if you decide to use INTELLIDASH PRO Touchscreen (link to Amazon). It is perfect for those who don’t want to get their hands too dirty, but in most cases, its functionality is limited to upgrading wired stereo to more convenient wireless functionality.
Simply connect the CarPlay adapter to your factory radio through the USB or the onboard diagnostic (OBD) port, and you’re ready to go. To learn more, check out my review of Intellidash Pro.
You’ll be able to access CarPlay through your existing radio display, and best of all, you’ll be able to do it all without having to replace your factory radio.
Some of the best CarPlay adapters on the market include:
- CPLAY2air Wireless Adapter: This adapter allows you to connect your phone to your CarPlay system wirelessly, making it a convenient and easy solution.
- CarPlay Dongle: This compact and affordable adapter connects to your car’s USB port, allowing you to access CarPlay through your factory radio display.
- It’s a simple and affordable solution that doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how.
- You won’t have to replace your factory radio, so you can keep your vehicle’s original look.
- The installation process is quick and easy, so you’ll be enjoying the benefits of CarPlay in no time.
- The adapter may provide a different level of functionality than a new head unit.
- The quality of the adapter may be lower, which could affect the performance of your CarPlay system.
- Depending on your adapter, you may need to install additional hardware or cables.
Check With a Dealership
If your vehicle is eligible for a CarPlay upgrade, this might be your easiest and most convenient option.
Simply schedule an appointment with your local dealership, have the upgrade installed by a professional, and enjoy the benefits of CarPlay without having to lift a finger.
It’s a win-win situation, and you’ll be back on the road in no time with a brand-new driving experience.
- If your vehicle is eligible for a CarPlay upgrade, this is the easiest and most convenient option.
- The upgrade will be installed by a professional, so you can be confident that it will be done correctly.
- You won’t have to worry about the hassle of a DIY project or the cost of new equipment.
- Not all vehicles are eligible for a CarPlay upgrade, so this option may not be available to you.
- The cost of the upgrade can be expensive.
- You may have to wait for an appointment, which can take time and inconvenience.
Can I Add Apple CarPlay to Any Car?
Apple CarPlay is not available in every car, and the availability of the feature depends on several factors, including the make and model of your vehicle, the type of factory radio you have, and whether your vehicle is eligible for an upgrade.
In general, CarPlay is available as an option on many new cars, and some manufacturers offer CarPlay as a retrofit for specific models.
If you have an older car and want to add Apple CarPlay, you can install an aftermarket system.
Will Installing Apple CarPlay Void Your Warranty?
Installing an aftermarket stereo or using a CarPlay adapter may void your vehicle’s warranty, especially if it’s not an approved upgrade.
Before making any changes to your vehicle, I recommend checking with your car’s manufacturer or a professional installer to determine if the upgrade will affect your warranty.
Which Cars Have It as a Serial Feature?
Many car manufacturers offer Apple CarPlay as a standard or optional feature on new vehicles.
Some of the popular car brands that offer CarPlay as a standard or optional feature include:
This is by no means a comprehensive list, as more and more car manufacturers are incorporating CarPlay into their vehicles.
For the exact model, you must check with the car’s manufacturer or a dealership to see if CarPlay is available for the vehicle you want.
Remember that availability may vary depending on the trim level or region.
Troubleshooting Apple CarPlay in a car
From time to time, you may encounter issues with your Apple CarPlay. Here are some common problems and tips for resolving them:
#1. CarPlay is not working
If your CarPlay system is not working, try restarting your Apple phone and car. If that doesn’t work, make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS and that your CarPlay system is up to date.
#2. CarPlay is slow or unresponsive
If your CarPlay system is slow or unresponsive, try restarting your phone.
If that doesn’t work, make sure your Apple is not running any other apps in the background, which could be causing the issue.
#3. CarPlay is not connecting to your iPhone
If your CarPlay system is not connecting, try restarting both your Apple phone and your car.
To make it work, make sure your phone is within range of your CarPlay system and it is set up correctly.
If you cannot resolve your CarPlay issues, seek professional help or contact service.
A professional installer or your local dealership can help you diagnose and resolve any issues you may be experiencing with your CarPlay system.
Apple CarPlay is convenient and easy for accessing all your favorite apps, music, and contacts while driving.
Whether you install an aftermarket CarPlay system, use an adapter, or have an upgrade installed by a dealership, you’ll be on your way to a brand new driving experience in no time.
With improved safety and convenience, increased access to your favorite apps and music, and the ability to control your CarPlay system with just your voice, you can’t go wrong with CarPlay.
What is Apple CarPlay?
Apple CarPlay is a feature that allows you to connect your phone to your car’s infotainment system, giving you access to all your favorite apps, music, and contacts, right there on your car’s display.
It’s like having a co-pilot, helping you stay focused on the road while still enjoying all the features and functionality of your Apple phone.
What do I need to install Apple CarPlay in my car?
The specific tools and supplies you’ll need will depend on the option you choose for adding CarPlay to your car.
If installing an aftermarket CarPlay system, you’ll need a screwdriver, a wiring harness adapter, and a dash kit.
If you’re using a CarPlay adapter, you’ll need the adapter and a way to connect it to your factory radio.
What are the benefits of using Apple CarPlay in my car?
There are numerous benefits to using CarPlay in your car, including improved driving experience, increased safety and convenience, access to your favorite apps and music, and the ability to control your CarPlay system with just your voice.
How to Add Wireless Apple CarPlay to the Factory Stereo?
First, you’ll need to check whether your car stereo is compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay.
If your car stereo supports wired CarPlay, it can likely be upgraded to support wireless. You can usually find this information in your car’s owner’s manual or by doing a quick Google search.
Assuming that your car stereo is compatible with wireless CarPlay, the next step is to find a wireless adapter that will work with your specific make and model of car.
A few different companies make these adapters, so it’s worth doing some research to find the one that will work best for you. I recommend checking out the Carlin Kit 3.0 (link to Amazon).
Once you’ve found the suitable adapter, it’s time to install it in your car. This typically involves plugging the adapter into your car’s USB port and then pairing it with your iPhone.
Once the adapter is paired, you should be able to use a wireless connection just like you would with a wired connection.
Of course, the specifics of the installation process will vary depending on your car and the specific adapter you choose, so it’s important to carefully read the instructions that come with your adapter.