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DIY Weekend

I did a bit of DIY this weekend. I love my car, but also really wanted bluetooth audio with the stereo. The factory Toyota options are a bit on the pricey side, so I screwed up some courage, picked a cool new stereo off of Crutchfield, read many websites, and watched many sample videos, then installed the new stereo.

Taking apart the dash turned out to be pretty darn easy, and not all that frightening. It’s all snapped together, with two screws holding the base pieces. To be honest, I wouldn’t have accomplished this part with the instructions alone. Watching a couple of video’s on youtube showing how the dash comes apart to access the built in stereo really helped.

My first install was Friday night. Everything went fine, but I didn’t feel comfortable with the wiring required to connect the steering wheel controls, so I bailed on that part. Also, I didn’t have some things ‘quite’ right.

Today I didn’t have those hesitations. I took the dash apart again, and gave the steering wheel connections a go. It took a couple of attempts to get the Axxess device connected correctly, but once done it auto detected with no problems and all is working.

The other problem was how everything fit. Again, some more trial and error. Now that I had taken everything apart once (Friday), I was much more conformable fiddling and getting it right.

The final product looks great and works great! Now when I get in the car, I throw my iPhone 5 into it’s little holder, the stereo auto connects and my music or podcasts play as expected.

You may note in the picture the wire for the wired microphone. I tried a dash mount, but the volume was a bit low, so I just routed the wire up and around the rearview mirror and clipped it to the visor. We’ll see how long that lasts. For now it works just fine.

To my great delight and surprise, everything is reinstalled and works as desired. DIY Success.