Tips & Tricks to Adding Apple CarPlay to Old Cars

Best Car Brand For Those Addicted to Their Smartphones
Best Car Brand For Those Addicted to Their Smartphones

Do you have an iPhone and would like to use it in your old and used car that you’ve been driving around forever? Sure, you could stick to using your vehicle’s Bluetooth system, but that’s only good for making calls or hearing the navigation voice through your speakers. However, if you want real iPhone integration, your best bet is to get Apple CarPlay. 

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But how can you install the Apple CarPlay in your old vehicle? This article shares exactly how to go about doing that. 

What is Apple Carplay, and How Does it Work?

Apple CarPlay is the brand’s in-car infotainment system that has been on the market since 2014. Apple says CarPlay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while driving. Instead of having to look at their phone (which you should never do while driving), drivers will have everything displayed on a vehicle’s infotainment touchscreen.

According to Which Car, Apple CarPlay mirrors some of the applications used on iPhones and allows drivers to control apps via the touchscreen. Users can use Siri and Apple Maps, play music, make phone calls, and the application will even read text messages.

How Do You Add Apple CarPlay to a Car?

The easiest way to add Apple CarPlay to any car would be through an aftermarket radio. Some vehicles are easy to work on if you’re the do-it-yourself type. That way, you can probably figure out how to uninstall the factory radio and install an aftermarket head unit with no issues. However, hiring a professional is best if you’re not that experienced. Luckily, some vehicle stereo installers can handle a custom installation into any car.

Apple CarPlay Can be Added with a Retrofit

While most cars will require all of the stereo hardware to be changed, some vehicles might only need a software update. For example, for a 2014 Mazda and newer models equipped with the MZD Connect system, the automaker offered an upgrade kit to install Apple CarPlay on its vehicle’s stock audio systems back in 2018, according to Which Car. Some Hyundai models have been eligible for retrofits as well. Before spending any of your money, we suggest checking if a retrofit is covered for your car.

Single or Double DIN System?

If you decide that you want Apple CarPlay and need to go the aftermarket route, you must determine what aftermarket system would work best for you. Much older cars (10 years or older) will likely have what’s called a “single DIN” opening for radio, while newer ones will have a double DIN.

According to Gear Brain, the word DIN stands for “Deutsches Institut für Normung,” a German term referring to the standard stereo size the country’s automaker installed in cars in the 1980s.

What are the Best Double DIN Systems?

If your car uses a double DIN space, it’s best you use a unit like the Pioneer AVH-W440NEX. There are many other systems like it, but the important part is that it comes with everything you need to fully integrate your car’s audio system to use Apple CarPlay. This system and many others can also be wired for a backup camera, which is very convenient.

What are the Best Single DIN Systems?

What if your car has a single DIN opening and can’t accommodate a large touchscreen? Don’t worry, as there are plenty of systems with “flip out” screens, such as this Pioneer model featured on Crutchfield. The screens were up like the double DIN variety, but they’re much more compact and will fit just about any car with a smaller radio enclosure.

Now that you know what it takes to get the ultimate iPhone integration in your car, it’s best also to contact a professional to inquire if they can fix it in your car. If not, then it probably won’t work in your old model car. 

Written by Amaefule Precious

A content writer with experience across various niches, and one of them includes interest in writing about cars.

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