How to Keep Your Steering Wheel Control Functionality Using Adapters
Steering wheel control adapters, also known as stalk adapters, allow for easy installation and integration of aftermarket head units in cars that have steering wheel controls or stalk controls.
For example, you have an Audi, BMW, Citroen, etc. and you want to install your new Alpine head unit. You also want to retain the full functionality of your steering wheel controls for your volume, radio presets, etc. Steering wheel control adapters are the perfect solution.
Connection of a steering wheel control adapter with your head unit is via a 3.5mm jack socket, fly lead, mini DIN and mini ISO connection. Your head unit must have these in order to ensure compatibility. These connections are found at the rear of the head unit. Sony’s jack socket is called RMX4S. So, look for this in the features list.
Each brand of head unit has a different connection type and this is dependent on the aftermarket radio being installed and the model number. Kenwood, for example, has two different types of connectors.
Also, please be aware that some radios in certain brands (not all brands) will NOT have the facility to add a steering wheel control adapter. Typically, entry-level (most basic) models in the head unit range would be spared this feature. Please, check models for compatibility.
Ways to establish if your head unit is steering wheel control compatible:
Check with the head units features list on websites /brochures.
Consult with the manufacturer’s website or help lines.
Installation is “Plug & Play” (think Lego blocks snapping together) and requires no cutting or splicing of wires. Therefore, it will NOT invalidate your car’s manufacturer’s warranty.