Smart Car MP3 Cable Relocation

About 2 weeks ago my son bought a really sharp Smart Car and of course then decided it was not good enough as it was and he wanted to remove the MP3 cable for a Radio 10 model for easier access and to make it, what he termed, cool. Much to his dismay there are numerous challenges in moving the MP3 cable from the glove box to the small space between the steering wheel and the radio where he could easily reach it. The only other option for relocating the MP3 cable for easy access is in the upper kick panel in the passenger foot area (not really a good option).

So he enlisted my help because to tell the truth he is indeed a little mechanically challenged and I am an old school, died in the wool, do it yourself kind of guy (before we were finished with this little project I was wishing I was anything but)…

Well needless to say, as with almost any change you make to factory applications in a new car, we ran into a number of issues so I decided I would share this experience so you will not have to go through what we had to go through to get this done.

I am going to share what I think are some important step by step instructions that I feel will be really helpful to anyone wanting to accomplish this particular feat. Please follow each step before moving on to the next one, as it will cause you a lot of grief (as I learned from personal experience) to have to start over from the beginning if you do not proceed as directed.

First of all, the lower button console with the seat heater, door locks, hazard warning flasher, etc. buttons must come off first. This narrow console is easy to remove but needs to be pried up from the bottom as it comes straight back toward you (straight out from the console). Simply slip your fingers in behind the console from the top and pull toward you, then the removed console can hang loose without causing a problem.

Secondly, in the same square center hole where the lower console wires come through the dash panel, there is an Allen screw. This screw holds the   plastic   panel  in place, which surrounds the radio and a/c vents. Carefully remove the screw being aware NOT to drop it, which is extremely easy to do in this very tight space.

Next, slide your fingers under the  plastic   panel  which surrounds the radio and h vents and beginning on top nearest the windshield on either corner, gently lift up and pull it toward the back of the vehicle. This will release the plastic clips. Lift the panel up and out from behind the lower dash panel below the radio.

Looking at the radio, it has four Allen screws, which hold it in place in each of the four corners. Unscrew them until they are loose, as they do not need to be removed from the radio but simply unscrewed. Slide the radio straight back and then to the right where it should sit securely on the lip of the glove box.

At this point you may choose to drill a three quarter inch (18mm) hole in the passenger foot area just to the right of the vertical dashboard mount in the center of the car below the radio/heater area where there is a  plastic  kick  panel . There is a large hole to the right of that panel where you need to put your hand up and into to ensure no wires are in the way.

Behind the radio you can feel a large slot at the bottom of the radio hole. You need to pass your MP3 cable through this slot and mount it in the new three quarter inch hole that you drilled in the kick panel. This will provide for a nice, clean and out of sight installation.

Now simply plug your MP3 interface cable into the MP3 female connector in the kick panel at the back of the radio nearest to the drivers seat, where the main power connector and wires are located. Above this connector is a slim, dual male connector. The MP3 female cable connector plugs into the small connector slot in the slim, dual male connector, which is furthest from the drivers seat. The retaining clip in the MP3 cable connector faces the far side of the slim, dual male connector. Plug this square female connector into the back of the radio. This connection even mutes the music to answer the phone or allow you to make a call when needed.

Now you are ready to test your MP3 player by plugging the player connector cord into the female connector you just installed. Connect your MP3 player making sure it is at a high volume level in order to give a full range of volume control to your Smart radio. Turn on the car key and the radio, selecting auxiliary via the smart remote control button, and you should hear your MP3 music in impressive stereo. Be sure to check the controls for correct operation and functionality.

If everything works correctly and to your satisfaction, turn off the radio and the car key, reinstall the radio, the panel which surrounds the radio/a/c vent and the lower console by reversing the procedure as listed in the steps above.