You should bench-test your VW radio before it is installed, especially if it is a used unit. This will save you from trying to troubleshoot it after it is installed in the cramped quarter of the vehicle’s dash. Bench-testing the VW radio is a straightforward process as speaker wiring is paired into colors that are standard across the industry. You can quickly bench-test the VW head unit with a few test leads, a spare speaker and a power source.
Things You’ll Need
- Roll of 12-gauge electrical wire
- Eight alligator clips
- Electrical pliers
- Audio test speaker
- Antenna with connector
- 12-volt car battery
1．Cut four, 2-foot jumper wires from the roll of electrical wire. Strip a half-inch of insulation from the ends of each wire with the electrical pliers.
2．Set the Android car stereo down, with the display facing you. Locate the four pairs of speaker wires: two white, left-front; two grey, right-front; two green, left-rear; two violet, right-rear. The solid-colored wires are positive; striped are negative.
3．Attach the end of one jumper wire to the positive wire of the test speaker with an alligator clip. Connect the other end of the jumper to the positive wire of the grey pair. Repeat with second jumper wire for the negative speaker wire.
4．Insert the antenna lead into the antenna socket on the stereo.
5．Attach one end of a third wire to the positive terminal of the battery with an alligator clip. Clip the other end of the wire to the red, yellow and orange wires coming from the stereo. Attach the fourth jumper wire to the stereo’s back grounding wire, and the other end to the battery’s negative terminal.
6．Turn on the stereo. Check the display for power. Adjust the volume control and left-right and front-rear fade controls while listening for the volume to fade in and out accordingly.
7．Turn the stereo off and move the jumper wires to the next pair or wires. Repeat for each pair of colored wires.
by Jessika Toothman
Bluetooth car stereos are commonly integrated with Bluetooth-enabled cell phones, and when the two devices are within range of each other, they can communicate in a number of interesting ways. Depending on the particular models in use, it may be possible to make and receive calls without even pulling out your phone or pushing a single button. You can even hear the calls through the vehicle’s speakers. Other models may require a few button-pushes, but usually with more ease than plodding through cell phone menus. You may also be able to view other information such as the phonebook, incoming calls and call status on the stereo panel. When the phone rings, the speakers will automatically turn down the volume on any music or movies that are playing while you chat on the phone and resume when the call is over.
Some Bluetooth car stereos can store your phone’s entire address book and other contact information; others have built-in phones which copy all the information off your phone’s SIM card and take over the functions for calling. Your cell phone is disconnected from the piconet, not only saving its battery power but also providing a stronger connection.
These innovations come almost as much out of necessity as convenience — at least for people who can’t stand being in the car without making a quick phone call. Many places now enforce laws limiting the use of cell phones while driving, and Bluetooth car stereos are one way to bridge the middle ground.
Besides augmenting your ability to connect with the outside world through phone calls, Bluetooth car stereos can also enhance the environment inside a vehicle. Transmitters can be used to stream music from iPods, MP3 players and satellite radio straight into the stereo without creating a mess of tangled cords. Some car stereos can display video on full-color LCD displays, although this usually isn’t an option when the car is moving. If you have some passengers in the back who could use a movie to settle down, lots of Bluetooth-enabled Android car stereos also come with the hookups needed to turn your vehicle into a mobile entertainment center. Connections for other devices like GPS navigators and USB flash drives are among other common fixtures.
And with each passing year, the technology grows and evolves. Comparing Bluetooth-enabled car stereos to cassette-enabled car stereos already seems like a throwback to the Middle Ages, so who knows what the future has in store.