A new radio can make an old car feel much newer and closer in technology to cars of today. That is why, with the help of my dad and grandpa, I installed a Sony XAV AX5000 into my 2004 BMW 325i. This car has modern styling on the exterior, but it has old and outdated technology from over 15 years ago on the interior. There were so many options to install an aftermarket radio or screen into this car in particular, because there is so much aftermarket support. The radio that comes with the BMW isn't shaped like a normal aftermarket car stereo, so a kit had to be bought along with it, and there are many kits out there for this purpose. The setup I got came with the radio and a kit for install so I didn't have to shop and look for kits that may or may not work for the radio I wanted. The kit also came with wiring harnesses that helped me skip the process of messing with a bunch of random wires that I would not have been comfortable with doing.
|The new radio|
|The old radio setup|
The whole process took about three and a half hours in total, and we ran into no significant issues. We basically had to take apart the entire center console of the car to install the radio and a few new brackets, and wire the parking brake (security feature). We also had to move the climate control down to where the sunglasses holder was. That was really the only downside to installing it. After all was said and done, the radio worked flawlessly. We were able to get the steering wheel controls to talk with the radio so it really feels like a modern car. The radio is also able to run Apple Carplay and Andriod Auto. Since I don't have an Android, I use the Apple Carplay. Carplay really makes listening to music and running navigation so much easier than it was without a screen. I am extremely satisfied with the completed setup, and I don't think I would have rather done it any other way.