Installing a Steering Wheel Audio Control Adapter | Crutchfield Video

Installing a Steering Wheel Audio Control Adapter | Crutchfield Video

When you install a new stereo in your car,
you lose the benefit of these — the handy controls built into the steering wheel. That’s
because those are wired for the factory stereo and you can’t just plug it into the back of
the new stereo. But what you can do is install a special adapter
like this one, and that’s what we’re doing today. This adapter lets these controls interface
with the new stereo so that you can use them just like you did before. I did my homework for this installation and
downloaded instructions directly from the Axxess website. On their site, you tell them
what kind of vehicle you have and they’ll tell you right up front whether their adapter
works with your car. And from there it’s step by step, wire by wire, what you need to do
for the installation. I added the color coding just to help myself out a little bit. I’ve disconnected the battery and I’m getting
ready to pry open the dash panel so I can get the stereo out. That’s what this puppy’s
for. Disconnecting the battery is important, and I want to note, for two reasons. One,
I don’t want to risk shorting something out so that my dash lights or stereo or A/C doesn’t
work. And two, there’s an airbag sensor in this console and I don’t want to mess with
that, so I’m doing the job right. I popped off the top panel, then removed a
couple of screws and pulled off the main dash panel exposing the radio. Then four more screws
out from the side of the radio and it’s free. Now I can get to all the wiring. Next I’ll
take a look at the adapter. Opening the package I found the instruction manuals, a couple
of wiring harnesses, and of course the adapter itself. At first glance, this harness looks a little
intimidating, but don’t be afraid of it. You’re not going to use all these wires. First, you’ll
have your power and ground, naturally, and then depending on your vehicle, you’ll use
one or two of these wires to connect. For example, my car will be using these two. The
rest aren’t used and I can just tape them up or cut them off, whatever I want to do. That leaves this big black cable. This is
the control cable that’ll plug right into most stereos. Now mine is one of the brands
that doesn’t work that easily, so instead they include this adapter. I plug that in
here and then connect one of these two brown wires to a wire that’s already on the back
of my stereo. Not that bad. I used Posi-Tap connectors to make all the
wiring connections between the adapter harness and my stereo. And now I’m going to re-install
the stereo. So I plug this back in. And here’s our new adapter and it’s harness. Plug this
guy in, there we go, and get that down there where I can reach it in a few minutes. Okay now I’m going to re-install the stereo.
Alright we’ve finished installing the stereo and the adapter, the dash is back together,
and I’ve pushed the adapter out through the bottom of the dash so I can see it, because
the next step is programming the adapter. It needs to know what kind of car it’s in
and what kind of stereo it’s connected to. So to do that, I turn on the ignition and
watch for the Axxess adapter to start flashing. Once it does, following the instructions,
I hold down the volume button on the steering wheel and just wait as it runs through its
paces figuring out everything it needs to know. And once the adapter’s LED is on steady
— no longer flashing — then it’s done. After that it’s a matter of testing the buttons
to make sure they work. And they do. And that’s how you install a steering wheel
control adapter. It took a little planning up front and being prepared, but it really
wasn’t that hard. I chose the Axxess adapter because it was able to program itself on its
own, meaning it could figure out by itself which buttons on the steering wheel controlled
which functions of the stereo, and that made the process a little easier. Sometimes it’s not able to figure that out,
and you have to do it manually, so you have to go in and say “This button controls tracks.
This button controls volume up, etc.” Instructions for doing that are included, and it’s not
that hard. It’s just another series of steps. So here’s the adapter at work changing volume
on the disc. I can change tracks. It’ll also let me go through sources. I’m really excited
to have these buttons working again, and if you’re going to do this in your car I strongly
recommend you install the steering wheel adapter at the same time you change the stereo. It’ll
just save you a lot of work. When you’re ready to do it, give us a call. Our advisors will
make sure that you get the adapter that works with both your car and your brand of stereo.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. On what side did you connect the steering wheel adaptor, the vehicle wiring harness or the integration wire harness?

  2. I own a BMW 325ci 2005 and Also own the Swi-rc adapter. When I looked on their website, I saw no picture of the connector, what should I do?!

  3. On the steering wheel control adapter I have to wire it to another 12v wire that turns on and off with the ignition key. I am going to wire it to the receiver but my receiver has two 12v wires, one is a constant 12v and the other is switched. Which do I use?

  4. Can this be run from the same 12v accessory and same ground as the radio?  My 2011 Crown Victoria LX seems to only have one of each when I looked at the connector and I don't know whether they can be shared between the aftermarket radio and ASWC-1 or if it's more complicated than that

  5. I did check on website. There is no car like Holden Astra. So I am confused will it work with this car ?

  6. Hi, I think you can help me. Which color led should be steady after finishing the programming ? Is it red or green led ? A green led is steading my axxess adapter. And when I press the button of steering wheel control the green LED blinks. But I can't see any change on stereo. My stereo is Sony MEX-N5050BT. Awaiting your reply.  Thanks

  7. i have problem ..dont know which wire connect steering toyota avensis2001 modell.2 wire red and green ..onther iso concact  connect touch 7 dvd pioneer

  8. I have a problem, I don't know how to conect the green-white wire of the aswc to the car stereo connector the instructions said the i'm. Supposed to connect it to a hole but the hole has a wire so I don't know what to do Help! Please. Thank u

  9. So you can't play .AVIS and such for videos through this? Neither if I put on a USB or burnt to a CD? I've been trying to play videos I downloaded and cant.

  10. does this work with vw sharan 2012 and can it help control left and right steering wheel buttons but still letting me be able to see cars range etc theough dash board?

  11. whats the part number for a civic si sedan 2007 I wnt the sterring wheel contros keep functional whit a kenwood stereo? thanks…

  12. Hi, thanks for the informative video, does this work for a Nissan Altima 2008 SL, if so does it program automatically as shown in the video, and would answering calls steering wheel button also work? Thanks once again.

  13. i have a custom instaled honda civic hybrid (2006) instaled on some previous civic. My stereo is an Alpine iDa x-100 i would like to know if a PAC swi-rc would work on this. or if there is a better adapter that assures this will work for sure.

  14. So I've got a question, am I able to install this on a brand new receiver that has never been run before that way I don't have to wire it, run it once, and then rewire it with the adapter and program it?

  15. You skipped the most critical step, which was, where you connected the two wires from the steering controls adapter? You said there were only two wires you needed for your install, but did not show where those two wires went to?

  16. Hello, I have a Camry 2006, at the moment my car has the factory stereo / head unit. I am able to control the Multi Information Display unit on my dashboard from my Steering wheel. I had previously installed another stereo on this car and lost this features. My question is, if I buy this adapter, will I be able to control the "mode" features on my steering wheel, or is it just for the up and down volume and seek/ source features? Thank you Very much.

  17. If there is already a Bluetooth Mic installed for my car, will this adapter allow the functionality to work again? I see you have a bunch of wires you didn't use. Are one of those dedicated to the microphone?

  18. Hello I have a pontiac grandprix 2008 and I want to install the same radio that you have do you have a video explaining how to install it? Thank you 🙂

  19. Bought a stereo with a package from you guys, the package for my Audi has this but there is no instruction on how to install. The axxess website shows that my car is not compatible. Bought this a while back and I can't return along with two noise isolators that my car didn't need :'(

  20. What are the two wires coming from the 3.5mm connector hooked up to, is it a power, grownd, or something else?

  21. don’t worry about the wire connection color and pin details, it’s not like we all came here for that…

  22. Good instructional video. You speak clearly and are easy to understand. So many instructional videos the person talking is mumbling and you can't understand what they are saying.

  23. i have a 06 charger i dont kno what wire goes where cuz it says white and orange and 2nd white but there is neither color on my harness

  24. Does it work with cars which have other steering wheel controls such as voice recognition, front and side camera on/off and answer/reject phone call functions?

  25. hi great video. i have bought a steering wheel adaptor for peugeot 307, connected to the xtron player which compatible but the steering wheel stalk is not working, any idea what i need to do ? theres key 1 key 2 and ground wire which i haven't connected , i just plugged and play

  26. I purchased my whole system from these people an saved time an money. Best equipment for the buck. Knowledgeable people who are definitely interested in helping you to do it right. Thanks Crutchfield.

  27. Which wires of the harness of the vehicle did you connect the green/white stripe wire and the gray/red stripe wire to? I have the same wires but I don't know where to connect them to. Thanks in advance.

  28. hi there!Can you tell me for one Alpine unit model CDE 100EUB on the back of it wich one are the wires that I have to conect for the steering wheel control?Thank you!

  29. This video is incomplete! Does not explain anything about where to put the steering wheel wires, where the pins are, how to get to it etc

  30. I have a question, regarding this issue, i got a Nissan Sentra Custom 2.0 2011, and I got a Stereo Car S90 but I could not make work either with a Steering Wheel Audio Controllers or iPod Docking, that came with the Car, do you have a product that could help me out?

  31. Hi I have Pioneer appradio 2 (sph da100), my button not working ( vol up down & home), if I've installed this ASWC1 with my strering switch control, its will work to remotely control my HU? Thanks

  32. where did you get the posi taps from? or do I have to use them to connect the wires? Could I strip the wire and connect the wires from the SWC instead of using the posi taps?

  33. Where do I get the connector from with the two brown wires coming from it? What is that wife called? Thanks in advance

  34. I cant get this answer anywhere. What is the power output through the rca plugs as it relates your deck units rms power

  35. Hi, so the 3.5mm plug's Brown cable just goes to the Brown (KEY 1) in my Aftermarket stereo? Not both Brown and Brown/White?.
    I have a Chevrolet HHR and the Aftermarket stereo has 1 Brown (Key-1) and 1 Brown/white (Key-2).
    Thank for helping.

  36. I see you are doing this on a Nissan Qashqai. Do you have any advice on replacing the actual part that controls all these functions on the steering wheel i.e. the clock spring/spiral cable? I have purchased 3 until now ( from Chinese suppliers) all fail after 1-2 months.

  37. great video…. so just to make sure that i heard you correctly… you are saying that I only need to use one of the brown wires frm the 3.5mm female adapter? and if so, which one. the one with the white stripe or the solid?

  38. Did you connect the ground and acc wires of the aswc-1 to the aftermarket or factory harness? Is it ok to connect them to the aftermarket harness/radio or do they need to be connected/grounded through the original factory harness like you did the other required wires?


  39. I really HATE those wiring harnesses by Mitra that don't include all of the pins in the connector. I had to spend weeks looking for the pins so that i can plug 2 wires from steering wheel harness (PAC). A big negative for MItra.

    PAC wanted me to crimp into the car harness, but i would much rather solder everything and being able to bring the harness inside makes everything easier.

  40. I have a Honda odyssey rc jdm (Asian market) 2018 looking at your kenwood dnx994s and adapter however unable to confirm adapter compatability to purchase plz help

  41. I have AVH-X391BHS Pioneer Aftermarket Stereo, and I wanted to know what kind of Steering wheel control adapters can work with the stereo so I can control it from the steering wheel. Also, I currently do not have any factory steering wheel controls. Thanks Guys love the videos

  42. Wait wait, I was told specifically by a professional installer that posi tap wire connections should not be used for steering control connections because the steering controls are so resistant sensitive? Was I misinformed?

  43. I was able to install this to SW control a Parrot Asteroid Smart head unit (purchased from Crutchfield) into two vehicles without any issues. Both an Audi A4 and a Ford Mustang. Every vehicle is going to use 1 or 2 different color wires, in addition to black and red for Ground and power respectively. For those of you looking for which color wire to use, You MUST go to and use their vehicle fit guide to find your vehicle specific instructions. The downloadable PDF file will tell you which color wires to use out of the Axxess. Posi-tap adapters are quicker and will work, however I prefer to properly solder the wires together for longevity.

  44. Well done on this video. I hope you all do not mind and helps. I suggest that you Do not start your repairs unless you buy this Pry tool – pry tool – I had the orange tools. Spend the money, you will be happy you did. If your a DIY'er, you will use this for many many pry applications.

  45. Thanks for the video.
    In my case, I am new to this vehicle world and I know nothing.
    (I know it looks stupid 🤐)
    However, I have a Nissan Xtrail TI 2005 that steering wheel only have cruse control. But I prefer to have a newer steering wheel with volume and track controls as I want to upgrade the stereo at the same time.
    I want to know; is this possible and then what are the options I have & your suggestions?

  46. I have a 2007 Camry i’m Upgrading it to a DVD navigation system with the JPL adapter but the steering wheel control is not working is there anyway to have it work without buying any more adapters

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