How to Install Sirius XM Radio in Car

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Satellite radios are becoming a staple in most modern cars due to their nationwide coverage. But maybe your car, still rocking the old-school AM/FM radio that only tunes in to the local channels.

Maybe you’re looking for a change and then came across the SiriusXM tuner for the car.

And you might be interested in getting it, but don’t know how to install SiriusXM in the car, nor do you know whether it will still work with your ride.

You’ve got so many questions and doubts about it.

No worries! Just take a deep breath and keep on reading to get all your answers from here.

Installing SiriusXM Radio In The Car

How to Install Sirius XM Radio in Car

There are a couple of ways to install the SiriusXM radio in the car. One of them is to swap the factory stereo with the SiriusXM-ready stereo. But that isn’t ideal for many reasons.

First of all, they are quite expensive. Not to forget, changing stereo is a task that requires a lot of work and time. You would need professionals to help to do it for sure.

And the worst part of all is that swapping stereo might not let you use factory steering wheel controls anymore with your new stereos. So, the entire thing can be overkill. The best way is to find products that add the service to the car radio.

Either way, I will show 3 solutions to get SiriusXM on the ride.

Stand-Alone Satellite Unit:

The easiest solution for you is to go for a stand-alone satellite unit. You get a little box tuner that you can place on the dashboard. Besides the box, there will be two wires.

One wire needs to go to the electrical system of the car to power up the unit you’ve got there.

The other one is to connect the FM modulator. What it does is that it works as an FM radio station that broadcasts satellite radio. The broadcast of it gets picked up by the main FM radio on the car and plays the satellite channels on the car’s stereo.

No doubt, it is a quick problem fix. But if you think about it, for the long-term, it isn’t the ideal option. There are many reasons for that.

First of all, there will be too much clutter.

The FM modulator might not work properly which might cause sound issues big time.

And changing the satellite stations will cause you a lot of trouble as you can’t use factory stereo controls with this.

So, what to do then?

Aux Adapter Kit With Satellite Radio Receiver:

Compared to the earlier solution, this can be easier to adapt to for users. To make it work, all you need is an auxiliary input on your factory stereo. If you got that, then you can go ahead and get yourself a satellite receiver.

The next thing you do is run an AUX input from your newly bought receiver unit to the stereo. No need for an FM modulator anymore. That means there won’t be sound quality issues.

Though it has its caveats too. For one thing, like the earlier solution, you might not get factory control privileges with the stereo anymore. What’s even worse is the fact that to listen to anything else on the stereo, you will always need to disconnect the satellite radio first.

Not to forget, it also makes a mess of the dashboard as you’re adding another bit of equipment there.

Install A VAIS Satellite Radio Adapter Kit:

One of the most popular options that most people have tried and liked is the A VAIS satellite radio adapter kit. For integrating satellite radio to your already existing factory stereo, this seems to be a great option.

Now, if you’re going with the VAIS kit, you should know, there are two options for you to choose from here.

There is one that you can install behind the dash and use it.

And the other option is using the USB port in your dash to plug in the system to the stereo to use.

Either way, whichever option you pick, there is no clutter on the dash like the other options. Not only that but also the sound quality produced using this system is much more superior than the two. And the best part of them all is that you can use factory stereo controls to control the satellite radio using this. Even with the steering wheel which makes it so versatile.

That’s why many auto dealers offer the VAIS satellite radio adapters on the vehicle pre-installed for the car owners to enjoy the satellite radio.

People Also Ask:

Can Sirius radio be installed in any car?

The answer is no. You can’t add it to any car without knowing for sure. And even if you can, there is too much work required to do it that it isn’t worth it most of the time.

How do I know if my car has satellite radio?

Just look into the faceplate of your radio system to find XM. If you can find the label, then you’ve got satellite radio on your vehicle.

Is SiriusXM radio?

No, it isn’t free. Like Spotify, you pay a small subscription fee per month to enjoy the wide variety of radio stations.

How much is Sirius monthly?

They’ve got a few plans for you to get. But the most basic one is for $5/month for the 12 months. After the first year, it goes up to $15.99/month. The more premium subscriptions will cost more.

Is AUX better than Bluetooth?

Without any doubt, you will get better performance with the AUX connection as there will be no interference of any sort like Bluetooth that might deteriorate the sound quality.

What’s the difference between Sirius and Sirius XM?

With Sirius, you can only get the Sirius packages. SiriusXM on the other hand gets SiriusXM packages for the system to play the radio.


For now, you’ve seen how to install Sirius XM radio in a car. I haven’t talked about the Sirius XM radio stereo installation itself as it would take a professional to do it. Doing that on your own isn’t something plausible unless you’re great with it.

Plus, the option is quite expensive and over the top approach.

That’s why I’ve shown the alternative ways where with a little bit of work you can get the Sirius XM for the car.

Just give them a try if you want satellite radio service on your car.

Also read:

1. Why Is The Height Of A VHF Radio Antenna Important
2. What is ANT Radio Service?
3. Car Radio Installation Cost & Tips

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