With car regulation mandating back-up cameras since 2018 and Bluetooth as a standard feature in most audio technology, there is a large market for products that can be installed in older vehicles.

To maintain the aesthetic of your hot rod, an in-dash touchscreen isn’t necessary to upgrade your ride to have all the modern features. Voice activation for hands-free music and phone calls will make for a smoother cruise. 

The easiest way to install Bluetooth in your car is as stand-alone device. One option is to install a rearview mirror with built-in Bluetooth. Rear-view mirror devices display the caller ID in the bottom corner of the rearview mirror. This allows the driver to keep his eyes on the road when answering the phone. 

To install it, clamp the rearview mirror Bluetooth device onto your existing rearview mirror. Or, swap it out for the factory mirror. Rear-view mirror Bluetooth devices are typically powered by the cigarette lighter or battery operated.

For a more seamless Bluetooth system, install an integration kit, which is designed for each specific Bluetooth-ready stereo.  With this, your BT-ready car stereo will provide you with full controls from your cell phone. The kit should include a hideaway box and adapter, if not you’ll need to purchase it separately. 

First use adhesive to mount the microphone anywhere on the dash or console area. It’s also possible to clip it to the sunvisor. 

After this step, you’ll need to remove the stereo from the das. Remove all screws and nuts holding the head unit in the dash, and slide of the head unit. You may need to use a flat head to carefully pry it out. Now you will plug in the Bluetooth integrated harness to connect the vehicle harness to the other wiring harnesses. Put the head unit back into the dash opening and secure.

The best option when upgrading a car stereo is to choose a product with built-in hands-free capability. While you will need to open the dash to wire the new stereo into the car, you won’t need to install a hideaway adapter box. 

It’s worth the time and money to invest in Bluetooth equipment to create a smoother user experience when interacting with your car’s receiver.