What's the AUX input in my new car stereo for?

I just bought a new car, and there’s what looks to be a jack labeled “AUX” in the front of my stereo. What is that?

From the archives

That ”AUX” input is an auxiliary input jack that accepts MP3, DVD, cassette or CD players when plugged in with an appropriate auxiliary cable, which you can buy at any electronics store for about $5.

The cable will plug into the headphone jack of your portable device and connect to the stereo’s AUX input. After switching the stereo to AUX mode, just like you would from CD to AM/FM, you’re in business.

However, just because the device is plugged in to your stereo doesn’t mean you can control it with the factory stereo’s track and scan buttons. If you want to do that with an MP3 player, a more expensive option is available, usually in the form of aftermarket components. As time goes by, though, more automakers are offering factory-installed options that let you control your MP3 player through the stereo.

Learn more

Answered by Joe Bruzek on April 18, 2007 in How Does That Work? | Permalink

Search Results

Ask.cars.com Search Results for


See if your question has already been asked and answered

Thank You!

Your question has been successfully submitted to Ask.cars.com. It will now be reviewed by our editors and we'll answer it soon if we think it's a useful question. You will be notified via e-mail when the answer is posted. Ask.cars.com tackles your questions about new cars and the car-buying process. Unfortunately we can't answer questions regarding:

  • Used cars.
  • Most aftermarket products.
  • Mechanical issues. You can visit our friends at Car Talk to discuss your mechanical problems.
Thanks for your interest.


Have our experts answer any of your questions about new cars.

Email us at tips@cars.com

Maintenance Advice
Get answers from the
Car Talk Community