I pondered Prada or Targus, but in the end, I went with this beauty. All the better for the stickers on the back too. 100% guaranteed not to get stolen.
I blogged about this before ages ago but had some recent questions on it so I thought I’d do a quick update. If, like me, you drive an old car, your car stereo probably doesn’t have an audio jack and almost definitely doesn’t have bluetooth.
If you have a Ford from 1999 onwards then you have the added problem of a double height stereo whose CD player is probably knackered at this stage.
It turns out to be quite easy to replace any of the above with a dirt cheap stereo from Lidl or Aldi which gives you A2DP high-quality bluetooth audio through your car speakers when you pair your smartphone to it. As an added bonus you get an acceptable hands-free system built in too.
The steps are as follows:
- Buy one of the bluetooth units from Aldi or Lidl. I see Lidl has one of them for sale this Monday.
- Find your car stereo extraction keys or, if you can’t, find 4 thin screwdrivers (jewellers ones work on many cars)
- You’ll need two or three adapters
- The ISO audio/power one. e.g. This one works for Opel Astra
- The antenna one. e.g. This one works for lots of cars
- Potentially a fascia blank-plate if you have a double-height Ford stereo. e.g. this one for Ford Focus on eBay (many sellers)
- Pop the stereo out of the dashboard using the keys or screwdrivers
- Disconnect the cables at the back making sure none of them fall down into the bowels of the car
- Potentially remove the flimsy metal cage that held the stereo in if it was a third party brand e.g. the old Blaupunkt in my wife’s Zafira
- Insert the fascia blank-plate if you have a Ford
- Connect power/audio to the new stereo etc using the ISO adapter
- Connect the antenna to the new stereo using its adapter
- Wiggle it all in. This can take a while. Mondeo as a doddle, Zafira was a horror
Now you can pair your phone with the stereo and play all your music/podcasts.
Only word of warning is that the radio reception on our two Lidl/Aldi ones is rubbish in West Cork compared to the factory-fitted models.