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How To install Apple CarPlay in old cars?

Jun. 21, 2022

What is Apple Carplay?

Apple Carplay is the brand's in-car infotainment system that has been available since 2014. According to Apple, Carplay is a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone while driving. Instead of looking at your phone (which you should never do while driving), you can display everything on the touchscreen where the radio is.


How do I add Apple Carplay to my car?

If you have an iPhone and your car supports CarPlay, Apple CarPlay is fairly simple to set up. You just start your car, make sure Siri is turned on, connect your iPhone to the vehicle, and let Siri do the rest.

Some cars have a voice command button on the steering wheel. Others will ask you to touch and hold an on-screen app button. The built-in controls are instinctive. No distractions while driving.


Newer models support wireless CarPlay. but for older car models, a USB cable may be required.


Plugging your iPhone into the system is as easy as charging your phone. But some people may argue that the cord gets in their way while driving. Fortunately, the aftermarket has developed a wireless CarPlay solution if your car is old - or if you're buying a used car to save some money.


Three ways to add Apple CarPlay to an older car.


1. Replace the car's main unit

The most effective way to make an older car CarPlay-compatible is to replace the audio main unit. You've probably already gone through the transition from a cassette player to a CD player. Well, now it's time for a new kind of mainframe for advanced applications.


The new console doesn't just make your car CarPlay-compatible. It also lets you get the most out of other modern features such as reverse cameras and integrated multimedia systems.

However, not all hosts are compatible with any car. So while you take the time to repair your vehicle, or if you're familiar with CD players and touchscreen units, it's best to let a professional installer recommend the right audio host and get the job done for you.


2. Explore OEM retrofit kits

Apple CarPlay was introduced in 2014. Major automakers have acknowledged how it has changed the driving experience. For this reason, more and more manufacturers are developing OEM modifications to maximize the power of CarPlay, no matter what model you use.


Keep in mind that while modifications are becoming more common, not all manufacturers offer OEM retrofit kits. That said, it doesn't hurt to ask your local automotive expert if it might work for your vehicle.

One more thing to consider about OEM retrofits: you may not even have to replace your entire stereo hardware to accommodate CarPlay. a simple software upgrade may be all you need to activate the app - and it may cost much less than you think.


3. Maximize Bluetooth connectivity

While it's easy for professional installers to offer options that let you use Apple CarPlay in your old car, some models are too old for host replacement and OEM retrofits. But if your car supports Bluetooth connectivity, you won't miss much.


Of course, CarPlay lets you take calls and send and receive messages while you drive. It lets you integrate a variety of apps, such as Apple CarKey and HomeKit, but if you're only after basic functionality, such as connecting maps and music apps to your speakers, Bluetooth can do the job for you.


If your phone has a headphone jack, you can try connecting it to the speaker's host. However, for a smarter car experience, it may be time for new wheels.


You don't have to buy a newer, more premium car to enjoy the benefits of Apple CarPlay. With a few modifications, older models can also benefit from the wireless future of smart car apps. Let us help you determine the best CarPlay solution for your car.


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