Reader Question: BlueToofed Trucks?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jeff asks: You are one of my favorite Tom Woods guests. Thanks for all the hard work you do and the content you produce. I am in the market for a used truck. Any recommendations for used trucks that offer bluetooth stereo systems? Need to be able to listen to Tom Woods show without the performance limitations of CAFE standards.

My reply: I have really good news, Jeff! It isn’t necessary to buy the truck – new or used – to get the Bluetooth streaming capability. You can easily – and far more inexpensively – add a system with this capability to any vehicle, truck or car. Check with any store that sells electronics – computers, smart TVs and such. Crutchfield is another source, if you’d like to window shop online. See here.

Every new vehicle now offers and most come standard with Bluetooth.

Most vehicles – cars and trucks – built within the past five years will also usually have it. If you go back beyond five years, the field begins to winnow – but, again, very easy to add this feature to any vehicle – even one made decades ago.

I’d be happy to get specific with truck recommends, but I need a bit more information- such as whether you are looking for a compact, mid-sized or full-sized truck. Will you be using this to pull a trailer? How heavy? Do you need 4WD? Etc.

If you post a follow-up to this, I will reply to it as soon as I see it!

Thanks again for the kind words!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. I’ll second Eric’s comments. I have a ’00 Civic that I added Bluetooth too within the last year. Amazon is littered with such devices and is where I got mine. All you have to do as far as wiring is a power source (usually a 12v socket) to power it and an auxiliary port for the audio. The auxiliary port might be the biggest hurdle but anything post 2005 or so will have one. If not, just about any aftermarket stereo will have one. And if you’re going with an older truck (which I’d also recommend) you’d probably want an aftermarket stereo anyway.

    Just make sure you’re buying a Bluetooth receiver and not a transmitter (or one that has both capabilities). Even if you get one like mine where the power cord is a usb-type cord, all you have to do is buy a 12v plug/adaptor with usb plug(s). There’s a plethora of those devices available as well. Just make sure the usb voltage of the Bluetooth receiver matches that of the plug.

    This part certainly isn’t required as the stock 12v socket will work but if you won’t a cleaner look (and not have exposed wires running everywhere) I have an additional 12v socket/cigarette lighter wired up behind my dash/center console to power my XM radio and Bluetooth. The 12v socket is wired in via a “switched” circuit vs a “constant on” circuit. So when I start the vechicle the XM and Bluetooth fire up and will power down when the car is off.

    It’s easy peasy. I went the extra mile when I wired mine up and the thing looks almost factory. The Bluetooth receiver is about the size of a half dollar and is attached to the dock for my XM radio.

    • Addendum: An auxiliary port isn’t absolutely necessary for the audio portion of the equation as you can go the FM transmitter route as well. But the audio will be louder and clearer through an aux port.

  2. I’m not affiliated in any way, but have installed 3 of GTA car kits Bluetooth modules in a Mazda 3, Mazda 5 and Toyota Sienna. They have all worked very well so far (oldies it about 18-24 months in use now). If you find one that interfaces to the factory head unit, then the steering wheel controls and stuff still work.


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