My car is a 2009 VW Golf VI and sadly it doesn't have any compatibility to bluetooth, or any mobile phone, or whatsoever. I grew tired of my old radio system, and since I drive a lot, I could really use mobile phone + radio controls that came OEM on my steering wheel. I have also no clue whether the car has a microphone installed that I could use to talk on the phone.

If I wanted to remove the factory radio and buy a new one, preferibly with a bunch of new features (bluetooth, USB, touch screen, possibly Android OS so I can cast my Smartphone GPS on its screen / download a GPS app, 3G/4G connection sharing with my phone), will it be possible for me to use the wheel controls and to call using the car's speakers (+ mic)?

Just in case: how do I check for the compatibility of a new radio with the car system (wheel commands + audio)?

  • This all depends on what type and brand you get. Some are plug and play. Some need an extension cable or something similar. Do some research or maybe ask the supplier about this when buying a new head unit.
    – Granny
    Nov 7, 2017 at 9:02
  • I already went to VW and asked them directly. They just said "no can do", when I know for sure that another radio can be installed. They didn't even bother to propose alternatives. Nov 7, 2017 at 11:52
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    Dealerships have utter scum as employees. My dad knows alot about this stuff so ill ask him tonight. He owns a company that does exactly this 24/7. I don't want to bother him right now because he gets grumpy :). Ill let you know if i know more either tomorrow or later tonight.
    – Granny
    Nov 7, 2017 at 11:59
  • Dealership employees aren't all bad, but they are forced to toe the company line. If there is no VW sanctioned (read: warrantied) way to install a 3rd party radio, they have to tell you it can't be done. If they recommend a radio or an installer, or a workaround, this will come back to the service manager as, "well, VW told me that this would work!", and then they have to deal with that mess.
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 7, 2017 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


You'll need two things - firstly a headunit that supports steering wheel controls you're looking for one that has an "SWI-JACK" or "SWI-JS" input - which one varies between the stereo manufacturers and then the appropriate connector/adapter for your vehicle. Something like this for the Mk VI Golf should do the job.

As to whether it will work with the phone for calling - I'm not sure whether the car will have a built in mic if phone prep wasn't part of the original spec of the car but typically most bluetooth-enabled headunits will have their own mic so I don't see that being a problem.

  • Is there any way I can read the cable input information in the car/car manual? About the microphone, I thought that a car that comes straight out of the factory may have some features disabled or pieces that do not support those, but I'm guessing the mic has been built in. This is a wild guess though, and I'd really love to find more info about this. Nov 7, 2017 at 11:54
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    If there is a pre-existing mic then presumably this could be connected to the line in on the new stereo (assuming it has one) but even if it doesn't any head unit that has BT phone capability will have it's own solution available, either an external mic you connect and fit or one built into the unit itself. Nov 7, 2017 at 11:59

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