How to Add Bluetooth to an Old Car

How to Add Bluetooth to an Old Car

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If you’ve ever wondered how to add Bluetooth to an old car, you’re not alone.

For years, my family and I have struggled through cable clutter, poor sound quality, and connection challenges.  All in effort to play music, audiobooks, podcasts, and even phone calls over the stereo of our Bluetooth-less 2011 Honda Pilot.

And then I discovered an affordable little gadget that totally changed our car audio game.  By some mysterious radio wave transmission, this small and simple device basically allows you to add Bluetooth to an old car.

I was so excited about this amazing little gadget that I raved about it in my Instagram stories.  It turns out there are MANY other Bluetooth-less drivers eager for a better way to listen to their phones in the car.

After receiving so many comments and requests for a link to my little gadget, I realized more people need to know about this option.

How to Add Bluetooth to an Old Car | Yankee Homestead
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Audiobooks on the Go

Whenever my family is in the car together, there’s a good chance we are listening to an audiobook.  We always have a family book going, as well as one that the boys and I listen to when Greg isn’t with us.

Hoopla is the best!  We’ve listened to so many free audiobooks via the Hoopla app.

The trouble was, our 2011 Honda Pilot doesn’t have Bluetooth.  So we had two choices:

  1. Crank up the volume on my iPhone
  2. Connect my phone to the stereo via an audio cable.

Neither option worked very well.  Even with my phone volume maxed out, it wasn’t loud enough to reach the kid in the rear seat.

And audio cables were a nightmare.  In order to charge my phone and connect it with an audio cable, we had to use a little adapter that never functioned properly.

Sometimes the front passenger had to hold the cable just right in order for it to operate.  Furthermore, all the cords and cables drove me absolutely bonkers!

There had to be a better way.  And there is!  I was thrilled to find out it’s possible to add Bluetooth to an old car.

How to Add Bluetooth to an Old Car | Yankee Homestead
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How to Add Bluetooth to an Old Car

I recently discovered this FM transmitter, and everything changed.

This one little gadget fits right into our car’s cigarette lighter.  No cables, no cords, no jiggling an adapter into just the right position, and no annoying feedback over the speakers.

You simply tune your car radio to an empty FM station, tune the transmitter to the same station, pair the transmitter with your phone, and you’re good to go.

The transmitter even has two USB charging ports so you can keep your phone charging while you listen.  You can even make or receive hands-free calls via the transmitter.

It’s like Bluetooth for the Bluetooth-less, and it’s totally revolutionized our family car time.

At the time of this writing, this FM transmitter has over 6,000 reviews on Amazon, with a score of 4.5 stars and an affordable cost around $18.

This little transmitter would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone in your family who drives a car without built-in Bluetooth: teenagers, husbands with old pick up trucks, older family cars, and more.

By the way, you can find a few of our favorite titles here: Favorite Books for Homestead Kids.

Two Tips

  1. Find empty FM stations in your area.  Keep in mind that on a long trip, you may need to change the frequency once in a while.
  2. Remove the transmitter from its port when you leave the car.  Some reviewers mentioned that the transmitter continues to drain the car battery even when the car is turned off.  It may depend on the type of car, but better to be safe than sorry!

What does your family listen to in the car?  Does your car have Bluetooth?  If not, have you found a good solution for listening from a smartphone?


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Kathleen | Roots & Boots

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>


  1. Kathy Kennedy on 12/12/2019 at 6:58 pm

    Yay! The perfect gift for Bob!

    • Kathleen on 12/12/2019 at 10:15 pm

      It will change his life!

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