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I hate you Pontiac [Use MP3 player in car with no aux]

LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
I just got a new hand-me-down car from my wife's parents this week. We were using a cassette adapter to listen to our iPods, of course the 2002 Pontiac Grand-Am has no aux input, and has a CD player.

Is the only option to get an FM transmitter? Have people had good experiences with them? I had an iTrip when they first came out, and they were pretty miserable. Living in the Bay Area means the frequencies are pretty full, and the normal hack of using Japanese frequencies to go lower than 88 won't work, because GM "helpfully" doesn't let the radio go down that far anyway.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Lewisham on

Posts

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    A new headunit with an Aux input can be had and installed for probably less than $80. I'm in a similar situation living in a bigbig city and my FM transmitter struggles on a completely empty channel.

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  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hmm, I wouldn't know where to find a new head unit anyway, and frustratingly, eHow says "The 2001 and later model Pontiac Grand Am radios include computer controls that operate electronic controls and warning chimes. Seek the advice of a professional before replacing these stereos." Which seems about right, as the chimes do come out the speakers.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    If you have a Brandsmart out there, I really like them for cheap electronics (usually a free install too). They have very aggressive sales tactics though, so you need to be prepared for that.
    You can also go with Best Buy (usually a free install) or any car audio shop (Google, whoo!). You can order new stuff from Crutchfield.com which is a great company for car entertainment stuff, and while stereos are supposedly stupid easy to replace, I'm not sure if I'd risk the "special computer system" without further research.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Lewisham wrote: »
    Hmm, I wouldn't know where to find a new head unit anyway, and frustratingly, eHow says "The 2001 and later model Pontiac Grand Am radios include computer controls that operate electronic controls and warning chimes. Seek the advice of a professional before replacing these stereos." Which seems about right, as the chimes do come out the speakers.

    Indeed, you'll probably need something like this if you replace the head unit.

    Honestly, I just wear earbuds while driving -- the open kind, so you can still hear things around you, and I cram my phone in my pocket so I'm not tempted to play with it. Aftermarket head units are all absurdly gaudy and put out way too much light, especially the double-DIN kind my truck takes.

  • BolthornBolthorn Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Be very careful messing around with electronics when it comes to your Pontiac. You may do something and "hey, now my headlights come on when I turn the volume up on my stereo". That may be an exaggeration but when I got my cruise control fixed, now my cigarette lighter doesn't work. The cruise control has since stopped working again as well. I've had the alarm system replaced 3 times because it would go into lockout mode and refuse to come out of it. This is all on a 2002 Grand Am just to make you feel better. My friend has similar problems.

    However, mine came with a CD player/tape deck combo. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with though.

    My wife has one of those FM transmitters for her car and it seems to do reasonably well. We have to play with it if we go on a long road trip, but it works fine around town.

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