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Old 10-29-2012, 04:42 PM
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2003 Mazda 3 Factory radio -- aux input?

I've been thinking about this for years, but have only gotten around to it now:

I have a 2003 Mazda 3 with the factory radio installed. I'm not really that interested in buying a new car stereo, as it seems to me that factory stereos are less inviting to thieves.

My stereo is CD AM FM and has no aux jacks on the front or anything like that. It does have a tape/MD button which doesn't do anything, as it's not connected to a tape or minidisk (I assume?) player. Here is a picture of it online that I found.

Now, what would I have to do in order to get my iPhone hooked up to that, so I could at least listen to my playlist over the car speakers, and just use it as a simple aux input? Or do I need to buy a different car stereo? And if I wanted to do hands-free phone calls over the car's speakers?

ETA: Actually, it's a 2004 Mazda 3, whoops, but same stereo as in the picture I linked to. ETA2: OK, not exactly the same. Mine is not a 6-CD changer, but otherwise, the button layouts are the same.

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-29-2012 at 04:44 PM.
Old 10-29-2012, 05:02 PM
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The aux jack is in the back.

Here's one option.
Old 10-29-2012, 05:27 PM
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Sweet. That looks exactly like what I'm looking for. (Although I have an iPhone 5 now, so I should look around a little more, or see if the Apple adaptor will work fine with it.)

I wonder if my car stereo is actually supposed to be a 6-CD changer. It has all the buttons the 6-CD one has, but I haven't figured out a way to load more than one CD into it. Maybe it's jammed, or maybe they just use the same panel for their stereos. I bought it used in 2005.

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-29-2012 at 05:31 PM.
Old 10-29-2012, 06:46 PM
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I have a 2004 Mazda3 with the 6 disc changer. If you press the CD function button a second time, it displays 'EX' and takes audio from the rear.
Old 10-29-2012, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
I have a 2004 Mazda3 with the 6 disc changer. If you press the CD function button a second time, it displays 'EX' and takes audio from the rear.
Yeah, mine doesn't seem to do that. I just checked, and pressing CD twice doesn't do anything. (Maybe it doesn't do anything if you don't have anything connected to the external input?) I also looked in the glove compartment to see if there's an aux input there that I haven't seen, but I didn't see anything. I tried ejecting the CD and pressing it a couple times, inserting the CD and doing the same. No dice. I think mine just might be a single disc changer, even though it has the CD up-down button and the Load button. I tried holding down Load for a few seconds and holding down eject, but nothing happens.

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-29-2012 at 07:00 PM.
Old 10-29-2012, 07:51 PM
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Ya, the manual seems to indicate that the panel is the same for either CD player. Mysteriously, it doesn't mention the external audio input. I'm not sure what it looks like on the back since it was installed by the previous owner.

This guys says some very early ones didn't have the firmware to do it:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...1144452AACAJcV
His first link shows that you need some kind of interface cable as it isn't a regular RCA or 1/8". WAG: You may be right, perhaps the radio detects this interface cable and enables the EX function? FWIW, it doesn't care if there's anything plugged into the headphone plug sticking out of the glovebox.
Old 10-29-2012, 09:50 PM
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I had a 2007 one. There was an aux jack in the center console. To hook up my iPod, I bought a kit from the dealership and had to take out the dash and radio in order to hook it up and run it to the glovebox. Kind of a pain, especially since the controls aren't that good.
Old 10-29-2012, 11:14 PM
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If for some reason that doesn't work, I have a '01 Protege and the AuxMod works wonderfully. Page says it's also compatible with the Mazda3. It's a third-party device that pretends to be a MD/Tape deck but actually offers an aux-in. On my car I just took out the tape/MD slot cover and ran the cable through there, through a soft pouch which also acts as an iPod holder.

ETA: But at $60 it might be easier (and sometimes cheaper) to just buy another stereo altogether, unless you care about the double-DIN OEM look.

Last edited by Reply; 10-29-2012 at 11:17 PM.
Old 10-29-2012, 11:25 PM
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Out of curiosity, if I do get a third-party stereo, will I be able to control it from the steering wheel like I can my factory stereo? Forgive the stupid question, but the cars I've owned previously never had input from the steering wheel. I'd rather keep the factory stereo, but at $99 + an iPhone 5 adaptor, it might just be better to get an aftermarket stereo.
Old 10-29-2012, 11:31 PM
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I just installed a Grom Audio aux/bluetooth module in my 2007 Miata a couple of weeks ago, and their page implies that the unit works for your Mazda too. You didn't mention bluetooth but if you have any interest in adding that as well (both for calling and A2DP) I would recommend this one.

I've never used one myself, but I've heard a lot of good things about this interface for retaining steering wheel controls with aftermarket head units.
Old 10-29-2012, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sco3tt View Post
I just installed a Grom Audio aux/bluetooth module in my 2007 Miata a couple of weeks ago, and their page implies that the unit works for your Mazda too. You didn't mention bluetooth but if you have any interest in adding that as well (both for calling and A2DP) I would recommend this one.
I do have interest in Bluetooth. I had it in my original OP and then edited it and forgot about it. Thanks! I'll look into that, too. This is all great.
Old 10-29-2012, 11:42 PM
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For comparison, the XCarLink is another option similar to the Grom Audio module. I swapped out an older pre-bluetooth version of that one (which I bought a few years ago when it was just called AudioLink) for the Grom module. Based on what I've read online both brands have their fans. There are several Mazda forums online (forum.miata.net, forum.mazda6club.com, etc.) where you'll find plenty of discussion about your options.
Old 11-07-2012, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It's Not Rocket Surgery! View Post
The aux jack is in the back.

Here's one option.
In case anyone cares, I went with this option, and it works like a charm. Easy to install, great sound, does everything I want (I don't need Bluetooth). Thanks!
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