Radio Aux-in Installation

Our 2008 Sprinter came with the factory radio installed, a Sound 5 model, which is a pretty basic radio with an in-dash CD player. We have been debating to get a new radio, but decided to stick with the standard model but retrofit an aux-in headphone cable. It’s really easy to do and takes less than an hour. We ordered this cable on Amazon, and it works great. No need to buy an expensive one from Mercedes or Blaupunkt. Information (as always) came from sprinter-source.com, most notably the following threads:

  • How to pull the dash: link
  • Cabling information: link

So here were the steps: Using a flathead screwdriver, we pried away the face plate around the radio. It comes off fairly easily and is attached with 7 metal clips.

Source: sprinter-source.com user anomaly

The radio is attached using 4 T-25 torx screws, 2 of which are obscured by the little “cubby hole” right underneath the radio. The cubby hole is attached with plastic clips on the sides. To get it out, we simply rattled the plastic piece out by pulling left and right. It came right out after 5 seconds of effort and no parts broke off. You can save yourself a lot of time if you’re not afraid to damage this part. Otherwise you can also follow instructions in the forum threads mentioned above. Once the face plate is off and the cubby hole out, simply remove the 4 screws holding the radio (2 at the top, 2 at the bottom), make sure you don’t drop them behind the dash (which is what happened to us on one, ugh), and pull the radio out. On the back you will see an empty slot that allows you to plug in the aux cable. There’s really no way to get it wrong, just make sure to plug it in the position furthest to the side of the radio.

source: sprinter-source.com user anomaly

In order to activate the aux connection, you will have to change a setting on your radio. After some frustration, we found that there are actually 2 manufacturers of this radio: Blaupunkt and Hyundai. You can see who manufactured yours once you pull the unit out as it will state the manufacturer. If you look at the face of the radio, the Blaupunkt version will have plain radio station preset buttons while the Hyundai version will have text on them for alternative functions. If you have the Blaupunkt version, instructions on how to enable aux-in are in your manual. You do this by 1) turning your radio on; 2) pushing the sound adjustment button (on the very bottom left) repeatedly until the display states “EXT”; 3) turn the volume adjustment button until the radio displays “EXT AUX.” While our manual showed these instructions, they didn’t work because we have Hyundai model. With the Hyundai model, it’s similarly easy but you have to get into ‘Hidden Test Mode’ to enable it. You do this by 1) turning the radio on; 2) pushing the sound adjustment button AND #4 preset button simultaneously; 3) pushing the ‘tune up’ button repeatedly until the display states “EXT”; 4) turning the volume adjustment button until the radio displays “EXT AUX”. Done.

This video shows how to do it:

Lastly, we drilled a hole into the plastic cubby hole for an easy connection of our phones, put the 4 screws back, pushed the cubby back in, and reattached the face plate. It works great. We’re also debating to buy a bluetooth connector for convenience – any recommendations? We’re looking at this one or this one so far.

Update: We ended up buying this bluetooth receiver.

Posted in Van Build, Van Information and tagged .

4 Comments

  1. Hello Nikki, Levi and Leika!
    I met on 23rd Street in San Francisco. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of traveling like you are, in your Sprinter and I’m so glad to meet folks that are actually doing it! I hope you enjoy your time here!

    Happy travels!!

    Sharon

    • Hi Sharon! It was really great to meet you and really nice to chat for a bit. You’re so lucky to live in a such a energetic, beautiful and fun city! We look forward to staying in touch and possibly meeting again! Warmest wishes!

  2. I have the Kinivo one and I LOVE it. Couldn’t be happier. I spent A LOT of time researching and contemplating paying A LOT of money for a bluetooth stereo conversion. If I had only known that this $40 thing does the exact same thing it would have saved me A LOT of time.

    One question for you guys. How did you fly Leika to Germany? I just want to fly mine to CO but I’m too nervous to do that. How’s it work going over seas? Or just flying them in general?

    • Hi Megan!

      Great to hear you like it! We also just installed the Kinivo and really like it so far! It’s simple, clean, and just works really well.

      Flying Leika… It’s something we thought about for a long time, and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision. I think each airline is slightly different when it comes to flying pets, so I’d recommend calling the airline that you’ll be flying to CO with and ask about their policy. Some airlines won’t fly certain breeds, if the outside temperature is above 85 degrees than some airlines will not fly pets, different aircraft have different accommodations for pets, cost, crate requirements, ect.

      For us the big consideration was that it’s a 10+ hour flight. With that said, we didn’t want to leave her with someone that we don’t know for over 2 weeks. We were also flying in an A380, so it was going to be a pretty smooth flight and since she’s pretty used to being in the van that can get pretty bumpy sometimes, we felt it would actually be less stress for her to fly and be with us, than 2 weeks with someone she’s never met. Lastly, we wanted Jakob’s parents to meet her.

      How long will you be in CO? And how long is the flight to CO? Is your pup used to noise and a little ‘turbulence’? Also, what breed is it? (Apparently some dogs that have flat muzzles, ie boxers and bull dogs, have a tougher time with breathing in aircraft. I’m not certain about this but just something I’ve read.) A few things that I think certainly helped with the flight was that got a crate for Leika a week before the trip (we got ours from the vet for free!) that was plenty big for her to move around in (we actually would crawl into it with her sometimes to cuddle). We immediately put her comfy dog bed in it and let her get used to the smell and space before the flight – she actually really loved the crate. Before the flight we took her for a long run/walk so she was tired for the flight and had plenty of time to go to the bathroom. (She didn’t go in her crate on either the way to Germany or back!) We froze a bunch of water and put it into the crate so it would melt over the course of the flight. We decided not to feed her too much before the flight and none during – we felt it was better for her to be a little hungry than have to go to the bathroom in her crate.

      Honestly, I think the whole process was more stressful for us than it was on her. While she was excited to see us, she did not seem bothered by the flight at all. I’m not certain that we’ll do it again, 10+ hours is a very long flight. I think our hairy little friends are much more resilient and tough than we think, but that’s not to say to take flying lightly.

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