PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Connects your car's steering wheel audio controls to select aftermarket car stereos

Item #: 541SWICP5

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25 Reviews

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You want to install an aftermarket stereo in your vehicle, but you hate to give up the convenience of your factory steering wheel radio controls? No problem. PAC's SWI-CP5 adapter allows you to use the steering wheel audio controls in a wide variety of vehicles to command select radios from Alpine, Clarion, Dual, Jensen, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer, and Sony.

More features, easy programming

The SWI-CP5 adapter allows retention of steering wheel audio controls, rear seat audio controls, and retained accessory power (RAP) in a wide selection of vehicles. You can also assign two radio functions to each SWC button by using short press/long press functionality. The SWI-CP5 works in vehicles with either data or analog steering wheel control signals.

Installation is straightforward — connect a few wires, then program the adapter for your particular car and your stereo, and you'll retain the convenience of your steering wheel controls. You can program this adapter with your smartphone, with your tablet or PC, from a USB flash drive, or manually. The direct connection to the stereo eliminates the need for an infrared emitter, allowing the adapter to function even in bright sunlight. Step-by-step LED confirmation makes programming easy. Once connected, the SWI-CP5's failsafe memory will learn up to 12 stereo functions, retaining them even if battery power is interrupted. Warranty: 1 year.

Important Note: On some vehicles, you may need a voltmeter to locate the correct wires to connect to the SWI-CP5. If you have no car audio installation experience, you should consider professional installation. The SWI-CP5 works with most Alpine, Clarion, Dual, Jensen, JVC, Kenwood, Pioneer, and Sony car stereos that have a wired remote control input or a dedicated steering wheel input.

Wiring Advisory: You'll usually have to tap into one to three wires in your vehicle at the radio location to connect this interface. If you're using a PAC wiring interface to connect your new car stereo to your vehicle, then it most likely will have a prewired connector for this PAC adapter so no wiring is required. PAC does provide custom wiring instructions for all confirmed compatible vehicles on their web site.

What does a steering wheel audio control adapter do?

Many people aren't thrilled with the sound of their car's factory radio, but don't want to replace it because they'll lose those convenient audio controls on the steering wheel. For most vehicles, you can purchase an adapter that allows you to use those controls to run a new car stereo, so now you can have great sound and convenience too. Even cooler, if your new stereo has iPod controls, you can use your steering wheel controls to run your iPod.

See All Car Stereos that work with this item

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter Reviews

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PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Anonymous, Florida on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Works Pretty well... the next button on my car needs to be hit more than once at times to advance to the next track etc (bmw) but it does work.

Pros: volume control works fine

Cons: need to hit button more than once at times

Smart adapter

Written By JohnC, Virginia on Monday, November 23, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This intelligent adapter is easy to program and reasonably easy to wire. Hook it up to your computer and the PAC app will quickly program it for your make/model/year car. It's best to wire it along with your new radio since some connections are common to both and it will save time.

Pros: Easy to program Wiring reasonable

Cons: Lots of wire on the PAC plug - intimidating - but I only needed to use a few per instructions

Very good device, takes a bit of work

Written By LiamD, Ohio on Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This was a great choice a feel for my installation, it took a bit of work to get working but it was worth it to keep my wheel controls. The documentation for installation is not very good and was a bit confusing.

Pros: -Works flawlessly

Cons: -Documentation sucks

It works, but you will pay for it with your sanity

Written By Mitgrad, Texas on Saturday, November 14, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I can't believe that Crutchfield actually sells and promotes this device. It's not that this device doesn't ultimately work...because it does. It's the Abysmal install documentation, and the super-buggy configuration app that will push you to the edge of your sanity.

To begin with, the installation documentation on this company's website is nearly absent. Nearly every reference to the installation/wiring diagrams tells you to run their app. BUT...the app will only work (and by that, I mean it won't just immediately crash on you) unless the device is attached. I found this true on both iOS and Windows platforms. And, even with the device attached, I found their app to be highly reliable.

Once I finally managed to find the right delicate combination of things to make the app work long enough to spit out the wiring diagrams, I was able to get a REALLY *&!$@ing confusing set of wiring instructions. Even with two (fairly worthless) calls to Crutchfield's tech support, it still took a couple hours to figure out how I was really supposed to connect it to my car.

Shame on you, Crutchfield, for selling such a horrible product, and for putting it your bundle of recommended installation parts!

Pros: After wading through Horrible documentation, and dealing with a super-buggy configuration app, the thing actually works. That's the only reason that I'm giving this product any stars at all.

Cons: Some of the worst user/installation documentation that I've ever encountered. As of this writing, their configuration app crashes/hangs on both iOS and Windows platforms unless you have the device connected. Even when the device is connected, the app is completely unreliable.

Doesn't work

Written By Tim, Spokane valley, wa on Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Did not work for my Chrysler town and country... Need to return

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By DaveG, Illinois on Monday, October 05, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works very well and easy to use


Written By ChrisM, Colorado on Friday, October 02, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great easy to install unit that makes your factory controls on the steering wheel work like a charm.

Pros: Easy to use, easy to install

Cons: Not all the instructions were great. I had to call customer service to walk me through some of the wiring. Of course the (should be award winning) customer service was amazing at walking me through a mystery wire.

Does what it says

Written By Ryan, North Carolina on Monday, September 28, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This unit does what it says, but it definitely isn't an easy install. It isn't difficult, but the documentation is poor at best and the resources online to get it done are lacking. Luckily, Crutchfield support fills in that gap. One of those stars is because of them.

Pros: It works

Cons: difficult to install. Poor documentation

Can Program Additional Controls

Written By Dane H, Kansas on Friday, September 11, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The PAC SWI-CP5 works great. I love the fact you can keep you factory controls with aftermarket radios. The ability to program additional commands to the existing steering wheel control buttons is a big plus as I can now answer & end phone calls with the buttons that I want. My 2002 Camaro SS did not come with Bluetooth from the factory & this makes using my phone easy. Installation can be confusing as you definitely need to reference their website or use their ControlPro app as you may have MANY unused/unneeded wires as I did. The general wiring instructions that are included in the box is very generic as the needed wire connections depends on not only your vehicle, but also on the brand of head unit you are installing. When you are installing it, make sure you wire the 12V ignition source in a series circuit and NOT a parallel circuit. You should separately connect the solid RED wire from the PAC SWI-CP5 to the solid RED wire on the WIRING HARNESS ADAPTER for your vehicle & THEN connect the RED/WHITE wire from the PAC SWI-CP5 to the solid RED wire on your AFTERMARKET HEAD UNIT. DON'T wire all the wires together as it will create a "power" loop & the head unit will then NOT TURN OFF when you turn your vehicle off. Programming the PAC SWI-CP5 was a breeze with the ControlPro app on my android phone. Once again, being able to program additional controls to the buttons is awesome, especially for a vehicle that did not have Bluetooth from the factory.

Pros: Retains ALL factory steering wheel controls PLUS the ability to program additional controls to the existing buttons. Programming was simple with the ControlPro app.

Cons: May have numerous unused/unneeded wires to tuck away in the dash & wiring instructions were not 100% clear.


Written By KevinK, Montana on Sunday, August 16, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The wiring instructions were poor and even incorrect but the Crutchfield tech support was awesome. Programming the unit was super easy with the phone app and it works great. Seems a little pricey for what it does though.

Pros: Does what is supposed to do

Cons: Poor wiring diagram and instructions and pricey

Had to Return it

Written By Whitetiger, WY on Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had to return this item because I could not get it to work on the 2004 Buick Regal. I emailed the company 6 times and talked to Crutchfield 3 times before it was decided that I needed a different interface. I think it would have worked IF the wiring instructions from PAC was correct for this car. Crutchfield even had the wrong wiring diagram and manufacturers connection for this car. I was not impressed with PAC Customer service . They were very vague on helping me. They would not give me answers to my questions or offer more help. Crutchfield was wonderful in trying to help me the best they could having incorrect information too.

Pros: It had features that I wanted to adapt to my bluetooth phone.

Cons: Need a proper the wiring diagram for a 2004 Buick Regal.

Kind of Works

Written By Garey, Texas on Monday, August 10, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I found this hard to program. I had to reset it and reprogram it several times. Not all functions on my steering column work with this unit but the important ones do. So, I do not think it is great but it is not bad either.

Pros: Somewhat easy to install.

Cons: Lots of wires. Does not functionally work with all steering column buttons. Had to use a cable tie to hold plug in to stay in. Reprogrammed it several times by both iPhone and Computer.

It does what it's supposed to

Written By GBTheater, Washington on Thursday, August 06, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well, it does do what it is supposed to in my 2011 Chevy Traverse. All of my steering wheel controls work as they are designed to with the stereo.

Pros: Easy to program with an iPhone. Works as designed. All of my steering wheel controls work.

Cons: Challenging to wire. Certainly not Plug and Play. One more bulky thing to cram behind the stereo, wish it was smaller.

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Chad S, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

It took me a while to get to work when I originally installed it & then I had to get some work done at a local stereo shop & it stopped working all together. The tech contacted PAC & he couldn't get it to work even with their help. I tried to reprogram it again myself, but I could never get the app to work to program it, so i had to do it manually. The green light blinks when I hit the buttons on my steering wheel, however nothing works. The only time the volume works is when I hit the programmed stations button down & hold it. At that point the volume goes up (not exactly how I want it to work). To me this is a piece of garbage & I wouldn't advise buying it. Save your money, because it probably won't work anyway. I'm very disappointed with this purchase!

Pros: It lights up when you hook it up.

Cons: It doesn't work & the app that is supposed to help you program it doesn't work either. This product is garbage & not worth the money!

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Joe, Chicago on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Perfect fit

Pros: Works as intended

Steering wheel adapter

Written By Aaron, South Portland Maine on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

So glad I bought this. I didn't in my last car and missed my steering wheel controls

Pros: Keeps controls on steering wheel working.

Cons: No easy to install.

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Anonymous, Waikoloa, hi on Friday, April 03, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Worked great

Didn't work with my vehicle

Written By LarryB, Amarillo, Texas on Thursday, March 26, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I can't say that it is a bad product... it may work very nicely in other vehicles. Unfortunately it was not compatible with my 2005 Chevy Cobalt. That vintage of Cobalt doesn't put a switched control voltage on the line to tell the CP5 unit to turn on. Therefore, it never recognizes the steering wheel control signals. The folks at Crutchfield were very helpful in advising me on installation and testing and then were most gracious to allow me to return the item for refund when we discovered the problem. The installation instructions that accompany the product were not easy to follow.

Pros: Unknown - since it was not compatible with my vehicle.

Cons: Inadequate installation instructions. I was able to figure out how to install it, but when it didn't work due to incompatibility with my vehicle, the instructions were not adequate to help me determine the problem.

Crutchfield response on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 Thank you for taking the time to submit a review and, more importantly, for your patience in troubleshooting the problem. Oddly, PAC's site says that the CP5 is compatible with your car. We'll investigate further and update our database accordingly.

pac cp5

Written By Kameron, Mo. on Monday, March 23, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

To many different sets of instructions.. paper instructions .. mobil ap car specific head unit specific instructions.. that have a diagram at the top and then say something completely dif at the bottom... wire diagram also didn't match my new jvc unit.. so it didn't work.. $89 down the drain... good luck if you buy it expect to call support.

Pros: looked to be well made very versitile in the videos.

Cons: Poor poor poor instructions...

Crutchfield response on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

It doesn't work

Written By Anonymous, oshkosh wisconsin on Saturday, March 07, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well I have this product and it did not work memory kept on clearing I'm sending it back

Doesn't work

Written By Anonymous, Belen NM on Saturday, February 14, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product does not work even with the team of experts giving advise

Pros: None

Cons: Wouldn't buy ever again can't get it to work

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Anonymous, Ohio on Sunday, February 01, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great Product. Love the App and how easy it was to program. Also Made my Install much easier.

Pros: App Programming, small, easy to install

Cons: Wiring Diagrams could tell you a little more about where you hook up to but I figured it all out

PAC SWI-CP5 Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Anonymous, Wyoming, IL on Saturday, January 17, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A little difficult to setup, but I called tech support a they helped get it working in about 30 minutes!


Written By Guyhonda, Yonkers,ny on Sunday, November 30, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not happy

Pros: Never got it to work. I've hooked up count less radios. cant say theirs a pro

Cons: The instructions in the papers it comes with an the instructions in the app will confuse you. I ended up burning out the unit cause it says hook up yellow blue wire an the paper instructions say only certain models but I entered my radio an car info in the app said used blue yellow ,an the unit started smoking. I threw it out wasted a 100 bucks

Crutchfield response on Wednesday, December 03, 2014 Installing a steering wheel audio control adapter can be tricky, and we always recommend contacting our Tech Support Team before you begin. They can confirm which wires are used and where they should be connected in your car. Crutchfield Tech Support is free with every order.

confusing to install, but worked

Written By Charlie, Garner, nc on Monday, November 17, 2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The instructions from Crutchfield were confusing. Took three calls in to tech support to get the wiring correct. If you get this it works great if you use the app to get the wiring and use it to program.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Steering wheel control interface module
  • 18" SWC harness
  • 6" USB extension cable
  • Instructions
  • Trouble Shooting

Product Research


Steering Wheel Control Interface: The PAC SWI-CP5 interface allows the retention of steering wheel controls (SWC), rear seat controls (RSC), and retained accessory power (RAP) when replacing the factory radio in select vehicles. The SWI-CP5 works in a wide range of vehicles and eliminates the need for in-line resistors and massive rewiring. It can be auto-programmed for your vehicle simply by using PAC's ControlPRO app on your Apple iOS/Android device or through your Windows 7 computer; it can also be programmed manually.

Vehicle Compatibility: The PAC SWI-CP5 steering wheel control interface is compatible in vehicles equipped with CAN Bus, GMLAN, Class II, LIN Bus, I-Bus, and Analog or Serial Data SWC. Compatible vehicle makes include Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mercury, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Click here for complete list of compatible vehicles.

Note: The PAC SWI-CP5 is equipped with a manual learning function for compatibility with unlisted analog vehicles.

Programming: The PAC SWI-CP5 steering wheel control interface is configurable using either App, Manual, or Flash mode.

  • App Mode: In App Mode, the SWI-CP5 is easily configurable using either a PC, smartphone, or tablet using the SWC module's USB port and PAC's simple downloadable app. Simply download the ControlPRO application (from iTunes, GooglePlay, or Windows) onto your Apple iOS 6.1+ device, Android 3.1+ tablet/smartphone, or Windows 7 computer/laptop. Once the app is installed, plug your Apple, Android, or Windows device into the SWI-CP5's USB port and the ControlPRO app will provide the ability to custom configure the SWI-CP5 interface and your vehicle's original steering wheel controls, to operate the functions of your new aftermarket radio. Click here for tutorial.
  • Manual Mode: In Manual Mode, the SWI-CP5 uses a pre-determined dipswitch configuration to assign the vehicle and SWC button functionality. The dipswitches on the side of the interface must be manually set to the proper configuration by the user. This mode is only compatible in vehicles with both analog SWC and a discrete 12-volt Accessory wire; vehicles with CAN-Bus cannot be manually programmed.
  • Flash Mode: In this mode, the SWI-CP5 can be configured using a USB flash drive and the supplied USB adapter. Simply download your configured vehicle file from the ControlPRO application on your Windows 7 computer or laptop to a USB thumbdrive and plug it into the SWC interface for auto-programming. The dipswitches on the side of the interface must all be set to down which is the default position. When using this method, it is not required to manually program the SWC buttons.
Note: All ControlPRO applications are dynamically updated and include the latest installation documents, control schematics, and product information for your vehicle.

Two-Function Assignment: Use of this interface allows you to program two radio functions to each SWC button by using short press/long press dual command functionality.

Programming Feedback: The SWI-CP5 interface offers audible feedback for programming confirmation and a highly visible tricolor LED  keeps you informed of the SWC module's status.

  • The red LED on the interface will turn on and the +12V accessory output wire will turn on. The green LED will flash each time it sees a steering wheel button pressed.
  • In vehicles equipped with retained accessory power (RAP) the accessory output and the red LED will remain active & keep the radio on for 10 minutes unless the driver side door is opened. In vehicles that do not support RAP the LED and accessory output will shut off when the key is switched or removed from the ignition.

Memory Retention: The PAC SWI-CP5 steering wheel interface retains memory even if power is lost.

Wire Code Chart:

Wire Color Function
Black (-) Chassis Ground
Yellow (+) 12V Constant Input
Red (+) 12V Accessory Input
Red/white (+) 12V Accessory Output
White (-) Analog SWC Input 1
White/black (-) Analog SWC Input 2
White/red (-) Analog SWC Input 3
Light Green (+) 12V Analog SWC Input
Pink (+) Dual Wire CAN Hi input
Pink/black (-) Dual Wire CAN Low input
Dark Green SW CAN Input
Purple Class II Data Input
Yellow/black 12V Serial Data Input
blue HVAC Output
Blue/yellow SWC output for Kenwood and Newer JVC
3.5mm Jack SWC output for Alpine, JVC, Clarion, Pioneer, Sony, Boyo, Dual, Advent, Lightning Audio, or Visteon
Note: We recommend that all wiring connections be soldered to ensure a sturdy and reliable connection.

Product Updates: The SWI-CP5 can be updated with new firmware as it becomes available using the device specific application or a USB flash drive.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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