I have an old work car ('04 Intrepid) and I'd like to connect my MP3 device to the car stereo so I can listen to Podcasts. However, since it is an old work car I don't necessarily want to spend a ton of money. I am not against MacGuyver-ey solutions, either (within reason).

I've tried an FM transmitter and it didn't work very well. There are no auxiliary inputs, and no tape deck.

I'd like to try to keep it at about the $50 price range (if possible). I am not a mechanic, but I do have PC repair experience so it's not beyond the realm of possibility for me to do some work myself.


  • I know my 03 monte carlo had aux wires in the back of the head unit that I was able to splice into and add a jack. Perhaps research would show a similar option?
    – Rig
    Oct 21 '11 at 1:10

I am not sure why you say the FM transmitter didn't work well. I tried this transmitter and there were no troubles at all.

FM Transmitter

  • I recently picked up a cheap transmitter on sale at Canadian Tire - it was under $10. So far, it's worked well in all 3 vehicles I've tried it in.
    – chris
    Oct 20 '11 at 0:19
  • The effectiveness of FM transmitters depends on many factors - transmitter brand, car antenna effectiveness, local FM station density, etc. I have seen ones that barely worked and ones that could broadcast to cars a block away.
    – Steven
    Nov 5 '11 at 5:28

You don't mention if the car has a CD or tape head unit - I've had reasonable success with tape adapters in our older cars that still have tape drives.

  • There is a CD player. The original post mentions no tape deck.
    – Mike Cole
    Oct 21 '11 at 16:04

If you're not terribly concerned about audio quality, get a cheap head unit off eBay or amazon that has an auxiliary input.. There are several options under $25 on amazon.

You'll likely need a wiring harness, as well, but it looks like that runs only about $2.85 on amazon for your vehicle.

  • Cheap unit or a used one + wiring harness. This is the cheapest route if a FM transmitter did not work for you. Oct 19 '11 at 15:23

Does your headunit have some sort of RCA input? If so you could get an RCA to 3.5MM jack to plug into your MP3 headphone jack. If not, you're SOL because that and the options you listed are the only ones. If it doesn't have an RCA out, which I think falls in to your lack of Auxilliary inputs, your only option is to buy a new headunit.

  • No RCA units on the outside.
    – Mike Cole
    Oct 18 '11 at 19:21
  • 1
    So, keeping within the bounds of my original budget, could I get a used headunit somewhere and install it?
    – Mike Cole
    Oct 18 '11 at 19:25
  • 1
    Of course you could, if you found something within your budget.
    – riotburn
    Oct 20 '11 at 10:41

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