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I Upgraded my Car Radio to Bluetooth Hands-free Calling with MP3 for under $20!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


At least twenty states have laws on the books that you can not have your cell phone in your hand while you drive. As of this week, Indiana will bump that number up to 21 (will your state make it 22?).

With COVID19 keeping me grounded for now and off the seas for the foreseeable future I am steadily working on knocking out as many “to do list” projects as I can. I have already upgraded my computer (yes, it is saaweet), set up the perfect “command center” (as my wife calls it) for hosting ZOOM meetings, and taken care of countless smaller projects around the house. But the approaching July 1st date pushed me to move one of my local travel projects to the forefront and I wish I had done it sooner.

I am very frugal by nature. While I have shown you here on the blog how you can buy a new car with money orders and travel cards, my personal SUV is an older Suzuki Grand Vitara that we also purchased brand new. It still runs great and has a hitch for our cargo trailer so I keep it up to date. The stock radio had to go and I was simply shocked how cheap I could get a nice upgrade.

Walmart, of all places, has the above Bluetooth hands-free MP3 radio for under $20.00. Now I did start at GoCashBack to buy the unit from Walmart because they pay me 2% cashback (referral code: MGQYVF for $5.00 first buy). Then I paid with my favorite travel card to get even more back.

The unit, while amazingly small, was so simple to install in my SUV in about one hour. Three screws and the trim around the radio came off in my hand. Four more screws and the unit holding the radio popped out. The wiring harness was coded and all but one of the wires matched up to the new radio (since there was only one wire left I guessed it was right – and it was). The only small issue I had was I had to run a new good quality ground wire from the radio to the frame of the car.

I then went to Amazon and spent nearly as much as the radio itself for a 64 GB micro USB stick to plug into my new car radio to hold all my thousands of MP3 songs.

It even had an APP included that lets you control the car stereo and yes I get the irony here of an app for your phone when you are getting it to go “hands free”.

My guess is, once I am going to get back in the air, I may find myself driving a bit to HUB airports to start my travels (maybe you will as well?). This upgrade, while long overdue, will make that trip better and safer now!

Are you “enjoying” knocking out projects while you have extra time at home like me? – René

 

 

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

4 Comments

  1. >> Are you “enjoying” knocking out projects while you have extra time at home like me?

    For anyone who is a fan of David Lynch, this reminds me of the videos he his putting out lately:

    https://youtu.be/mCHet0Sddk0

    I would watch a short video on your YouTube channel detailing one of your projects.

    The radio looks very nice. How does it sound? Is there any noticeable distortion at high volume levels? I would be a bit worried spending under $20, but there is not much to lose if it was easy to swap out.

    • @Dave – Really really impressed for under $20.00. Sound is great and plenty loud for me.

  2. Unfortunately work load during covid had only increased for me, not much time for fun stuff like new radios

  3. Barry Graham Reply

    I considered doing what you did with your radio but in the end I decided to get a Victsing car bluetooth transmitter. I agree your solution is more elegant.

    For your PC that you upgraded, I really need a new PC but I just remember how time consuming it was to get Outlook (with Gmail and imap) Outlook working (with a macro) and not sure the migration would be smooth. I guess I could do an image backup and reinstall on the new disk but that would be a shame since it would migrate all the issues too!

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