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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just purchased a 2003 New Beetle GL. I love the car, but the audio system (original) has only a cassette player. I live on Kaua'i, HI, and there is no VW dealer here. When I went to the only auto audio place on the island I was told that installing an aftermarket audio in NB's could totally mess up the car's computer and electrical systems. If this is true, it's not worth the risk. I'd pay to have a dealer replace the current audio with newer VW audio but, again, there's no VW dealer on this island so that's not an option.

Any thoughts on how to safely get a CD player/mp3 usage in my 2003 NB? Please be gentle; I'm a Techno Know-Nothing.

Aloha!
 

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Full Metal
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dunno if there is a huge difference between the 03 and the 99's but if it is pretty much the same it will not mess with the cars computer by a long shot, the only thing that is hard to get is the install kits, they had to order mine at the local audio shop but it was here in a few days along with the antenna adapter (very pricey BTW), but they did have the wiring harness in stock. i had no prob hooking it all up although if you need new speakers be ready to have to drill out the rivets on the old ones, they use rivets instead of screws to hold them in, :rolleyes: but all in all i say it was a pretty straightforward install.
 

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Semi-Lurk Mode: GOOOOO
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it will not mess with the cars computer by a long shot
Not true. The "K-line" in the back of the radio, if hooked up to +12V, can do weird things to the ECU. Unfortunately, a lot of wiring harness makers make the harness in this damaging way.

To the OP: Try searching for K-line here on the org (or aftermarket stereo... the search engine may not like the phrase "k-line"). There is a way to hook up a new stereo that won't harm the ECU. I *think* all you do is leave the K-line disconnected, but I could be wrong.
 

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Full Metal
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Not true. The "K-line" in the back of the radio, if hooked up to +12V, can do weird things to the ECU. Unfortunately, a lot of wiring harness makers make the harness in this damaging way.

To the OP: Try searching for K-line here on the org (or aftermarket stereo... the search engine may not like the phrase "k-line"). There is a way to hook up a new stereo that won't harm the ECU. I *think* all you do is leave the K-line disconnected, but I could be wrong.
okay but still as long as he gets the correct harness it will not mess up the computer, right? if people just start cutting wires and do a hack job yes something bad can happen, my harness wasn't a K-line whatever and my car hasn't blown up lol. its on its second stereo. the first one i sold to trade up so i can use my 12 disc. and i do have more than just a better headunit, i actually wired a whole system from tweets to speakers to amps and subs, so i'm not just a stereo swapper. get a harness from a reputable place and hook it up.
 

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Semi-Lurk Mode: GOOOOO
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okay but still as long as he gets the correct harness it will not mess up the computer, right? if people just start cutting wires and do a hack job yes something bad can happen, my harness wasn't a K-line whatever and my car hasn't blown up lol. its on its second stereo. the first one i sold to trade up so i can use my 12 disc. and i do have more than just a better headunit, i actually wired a whole system from tweets to speakers to amps and subs, so i'm not just a stereo swapper. get a harness from a reputable place and hook it up.
Sounds like you know what you're doing. The OP doesn't. I'm just providing information that is important.

OP: Try crutchfield.com. They should be able to help you out.
 

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Don't Drink the Kool Aid
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Does anyone know if the newer model radios have aux jacks? ( like what you would plug an Ipod into)

I love the smooth look of the factory radio in my 03, I dont like the look of the aftermarket installations as well. My thought was to search salvage yards for a newer model radio to swap out.

Has anyone done that?
 

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Lynne - You should be able to swap an '05 radio with the '04. Watch the classifieds here and one will come up. Just be sure and get the radio code.
 

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Does anyone know if the newer model radios have aux jacks? ( like what you would plug an Ipod into)

I love the smooth look of the factory radio in my 03, I dont like the look of the aftermarket installations as well. My thought was to search salvage yards for a newer model radio to swap out.

Has anyone done that?
You can also have them add an iPod accessory to a factory stereo that plugs into the bottom of the iPod.

To the OP, I have a Sony in my car that was clearly an aftermarket install (it was installed by the previous owner... I have no idea who did the install, only to say it was there when I purchased the car) that has the iPod accessory attachment and everything seems to be functioning on McGreavey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for your suggestions. Unfortunately, before I could deal with the audio situation (you know, the one I was afraid was going to cause problems with the electrical system) I got off-track with the "car won't start" problems. Aargh!
 
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