PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

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

Item #: 541SWIRC

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305 Reviews

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Installation Note: Some newer vehicles require a special interface for this installation. Click here to see if you need an interface to install the SWI-RC adapter in your vehicle. If you see one, add it to your cart along with this adapter.

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-RC 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.

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. The direct connection to the stereo eliminates the need for an infrared emitter, allowing the interface to function even in bright sunlight. Step-by-step LED confirmation makes programming easy. Once connected, the SWI-RC's failsafe memory will learn up to 12 stereo functions, retaining them even if battery power is interrupted. Dimensions: 2"W x 7/8"H x 2-7/8"D. Warranty: 1 year.

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

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 OEM integration adapter to connect your new car stereo to your vehicle, then it most likely will have a prewired connector for this PAC steering wheel audio control adapter. In these cases, no additional wiring in required. PAC does provide custom wiring instructions for all confirmed compatible vehicles on their website.

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-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter Reviews

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PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By barry, California on Friday, October 09, 2015

the product does come with all the resistors neded to make it work on a motorcycle

Pros: cheap

Cons: dosent work

Tricky installation but works great

Written By RickH, West Virginia on Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installing this thing reminded me of that classic scene from MASH where they have to defuse the bomb using Army instructions ("Cut the wires... but first, remove the fuse..."). You definitely need to look at the paper instructions, go to their web site and download your vehicle-specific instructions, and read them both completely and make sure you understand what you're supposed to be doing. In my case it actually said in one step that I would only need the black, white, and red wires, then in the next step said if I also had a black/white striped wire I would need that too (I did). When you order your stereo from Crutchfield they automatically offer the vehicle adapters for the stereo, but not for this unit. I didn't want to cut the wiring inside my car, so I ended up rigging up an adapter myself. Once actually installed, programming the unit worked great (the paper instructions were correct, the downloaded ones were obviously not) and everything worked perfectly the first time.

Pros: Works great Easy to program

Cons: Installation instruction are confusing No vehicle adapter

Steering Wheel control adapter is great!

Written By CiscoGory, Wisconsin on Monday, October 05, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The unit was easy to install and configure, and worked perfect the first time I completed the configuration. It is great to be able to retain the use of the Steering wheel controls with the aftermarket deck!

Pros: Fairly easy install and configuration. It worked perfect the first time through!

Cons: Instructions could be a little better on identifying the factory wiring harness to connect to and some of the wiring reference specific to the device.

PAC SWI-RC steering wheel control

Written By Karl, Washington on Sunday, October 04, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I replaced the OEM radio in a 1995 Taurus with an aftermarket one that had a CD player and Bluetooth technology. I was a little hesitant at first because the old radio still was in good working order and had external controls not on the steering wheel but located near the steering wheel on the dash that I still wanted to work. After speaking to technical support at Crutchfield they provided me with this simple add on. I am now happy with this purchase and my Grandson is elated! I suppose the next purchase will be a backup camera or blind spot monitoring!

Pros: Easy install only took a few minutes after the radio is removed.

Cons: A little difficult to program. I wanted to use the dash mounted button MEMORY to be used as a MUTE button since no control was listed. I had an extra unused wire labeled as MUTE that may have been used. The VOL+ and VOL- and SOURCE controls work fine however.


Written By ChadEver, Michigan on Friday, October 02, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It worked for 3 days. I'm not sure what happened, but everything stopped working. I am assuming that the programming glitched, but I was not expecting to have to take my stereo back out to re-program it. The batter was never disconnected, so it isn't related to power. I will just have to investigate.

Pros: Online install instructions were good | Compact | Does what it's supposed to do

Cons: Paper instructions are overwhelming. It stopped working in less than one week.

Crutchfield response on Monday, October 05, 2015 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

Pain in the...

Written By RubeCube5785, Wisconsin on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This thing was a pain to put in. I wish I had paid the extra money for the Metra adapter. I put a Metra steering wheel adapter in a friend's car and it was way easier. Didn't need to program anything push a couple buttons and it learned everything one it's own. Not this thing tho.

Pros: None

Cons: Confusing to put in and get it programmed.


Written By Bbass, Ohio on Monday, September 28, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very complicated install but when you do it works flawlessly

Pros: Does what it's supposed to

Cons: Complicated install

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By alexw, Illinois on Thursday, September 24, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

with the headache of install and soldering that had to be done you'd think it'd work correctly. We followed install steps to a T and had less than half the function promised. It would turn up my radio after the relearn process but would not turn it down, turn it off, change sources, or anything aside from turn the stereo up. When we tried to redo the learn process it would always take the first step but then for step two it wasn't even acting as if I was pressing the down volume button it would just flash and skip that step.

Pros: easy to read instructions.

Cons: hard to get to work correctly even after following every step in the book and provided website.

A Little Bit of a Hassle, But Worth It

Written By Paul, Florida on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Once the device was configure, it worked well and was nice to have.

Pros: You get to use the factory steering wheels controls.

Cons: Installation was a bit of a hassle and the instructions were not very intuitive. Also, if you need to re-program it, you need to dis-assemble your work. I think they are on the right track with the device, but installation and configuration needs to less hassle, and I'm guessing as technology changes it will.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Anonymous, Charleston, SC on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have yet to get this product working. The instructions stated to simply connect the data wire to the appropriate pin position on the factory harness, but doing this would prevent my ability to connect my METRA harness from the aftermarket deck to the factory harness in my car. The instructions did not go into enough detail about how to appropriately terminate the data wire to either the METRA adapter nor the factory harness. I will try splicing the factory wire behind the factory harness in order to get this working.

Cons: Instructions are lacking in detail concerning the data wire connection to the factory harness.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control

Written By Hector, Texas on Monday, September 14, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I Include the PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control with the receiver I bought for my '04 Expedition. It was more complicated than I thought, but with a phone call to the technical support from Crutchfield, the programming of the unit was done in 5 mins. Now I can control the volume and input selection of the unit from the steering wheel.

Pros: Great product, easy to install and program after you understand the logic behind.

Cons: You need some electronic experience and knowledge. The functions are limited to the buttons of the OEM.

Works Great

Written By Anonymous, Hawaii on Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The reason i waited so long to change out my unit, was i didn't want to loose my steering wheel controls. This is a good product and well worth the money. Make sure you fully read the instructions and you must know what your doing. As long as you follow the instruction on the website you should be fine.

Pros: works great and can be programmed to operate different functions then the factory functions.

Cons: took a couple of times to get the program pattern down and insulation will differ depending on vehicle

Tried using in a 09 Harley

Written By Mark, Kentucky on Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Everything was good till I started wiring it. Wrong color wires, wrong pin #s the wiring is all wrong. None of my controls work. I've been doing stereo installs for 20 years an this had me upset.

Pros: Size price concept

Cons: Wiring chart. Needs to be updated or at least checked.

Crutchfield response on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

Works great

Written By adam, Arizona on Sunday, September 13, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I like how it makes my steering wheel controls still work on my radio

Perfect product

Written By Matt, Dallas TX on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product works perfect n was easy install

Pros: Fast shipping and easy install

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Larry, Indiana on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Too complicated.

Cons: Too complicated . Should of bought the more expensive one that programes itself. Instructions suck. Ended up trashing it and forgetting steering controls.

Simplifies install

Written By A. K., California on Friday, September 11, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I paired this with a PAC TATO for installing a Pioneer AVIC-7100NEX into my 2007 ES350. Thankfully the TATO is setup to work with the SWI-RC so the wiring is super simple as you will replace the harness from the SWI with the one from the TATO which makes everything plug into the factory harnesses so there was no cutting/slicing required into the factory harness at all. The instructions could use some improvements but otherwise the installation went smoothly as I was able to retain all the factory steering wheel controls including phone operations. Overall I'm really pleased with the operation. I've used Peripheral/PAC products for years and have not had any issues so far.

Pros: Simply installation if paired with another PAC adapter. Was able to retain all steering wheel controls.

Cons: Not the greatest instructions.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By CJ, Florida on Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Was easy to figure out how to wire and make it work but the programming directions are wrong. Most of the functions for the car don't do anything and will have to be frigged to make the few that I can get to work.

Pros: Easy wiring

Cons: Incorrect programming guide

Works good, difficult installation

Written By Difficult wiring, Missouri on Monday, September 07, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This unit works great. However the installation was difficult. The wiring diagram didn't make sense. However, Crutchfield support was fantastic. The support tech new what i needed to do and I was able to complete the installation.

Pros: Works great

Cons: Plan on calling support for installation

PAC SW1-RC in a 1998 Grand Prix

Written By LGM, Amarillo, TX on Friday, September 04, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Had my doubts, but after going through the programming a couple of times changing various options it's doing everything we can ask of it. I even programmed a button to answer the Bluetooth phone calls. We're using it with a Kenwood head unit.

Pros: Almost like it's not there (Which is want you want with a device like this). Allowed me to map factory buttons to different features. Very small, able to hide behind the dash easily.

Cons: Programming take a few tries, make note what you want the buttons to do and be prepared. If you make a mistake, start over. It took me 4-5 tries to get the exact functions I wanted mapped to the exact buttons I wanted. It's not difficult, but does take some effort - maybe 30 minutes. Program, test, reprogram.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Hector C, Georgia on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Installed it on a Toyota Rav4 to maintain usage of the steering wheel controls. No matter how many times I did it, it did not program the correct buttons. The directions are not very clear.

Pros: Works on some of the controls

Cons: not easy to program. Pay real close attention and read the directions several times

2003 mini cooper S with HK system for JCW

Written By Anonymous, Wisconsin on Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Im new to installing a steering wheel control adapter, but i don't think it should be this hard. Although the process is methodically complicated I didn't expect to stump both the experts at Crutchfield and PAC with abnormal feedback from the adapter. With several days of working with multiple tech advisors and a background in building projects with arduino and raspberry pie I did not expect this adapter to fall through the cracks and not be capable of adapting to a 2015 pioneer stereo purchased with the latest PAC adapter.

Pros: It is a thing you can purchase.

Cons: Functionally the adapter did not work. Specifically track up and down. The buttons on the steering wheel could be programed through the controller. the controller responded abnormally to tech support at Crutchfield and PAC who could not diagnose any errors. Several days and many hours later I am wishing I spent double for a better adapter or programmed one myself.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control

Written By sampro, California on Monday, August 31, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Worked as expected.

Pros: * Well integrated.

Cons: * I guess no option to integrate call button on steering wheel but no big deal.

Quality unit but instructions kinda worthless to the layman

Written By Dave, Charlottesville on Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nice unit but the instructions are not concise and i ended up not using

Crutchfield response on Monday, August 31, 2015 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

Nice product

Written By ChrisS, Arizona on Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've always had good luck with PAC products. Once they are programmed, they work flawlessly.

With that said, learning the programming process can be a pain as it MUST be done in EXACTLY the right steps. Additionally, to ensure success, I advise programming with the engine running (to ensure that your battery is fully charged). The PAC module works by reading the voltage signal coming from the buttons. If you program with the engine off and the battery voltage drops (which it will do over time), the PAC module will get incorrect/skewed voltage signals. This will result in it "learning" the wrong commands and it won't work right when you start the engine (battery is full).

Pros: Excellent product that works exactly as it should.

Cons: Can be difficult/tedious to program (but it isn't hard).


Written By HB, North Carolina on Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great instructions, pretty simple to make the connections and program. Ensure you get posi-connectors to simplify connections. Now my steering wheel controls work exactly the way I want!

Pros: Steering wheel controls work perfectly. Easy installation and programming.

Cons: None

Works Well

Written By DaveR, New Mexico on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Although there are myriad directions, and I had to call Crutchfield a few times, this thing works great. What I like best is that you can assign whatever function you want to a particular button. So, I have volume up and down, skip track forward and backward, and answer phone. Very cool. If you have a SONY radio you might have to go to the menu and set the steering wheel control to remote. Crutchfield can walk you through that.

Pros: works well, can assign different functions to buttons

Cons: complicated to set up, not sure if I have to reprogram if the battery ever gets disconnected/dies

Works great

Written By Prius 05 Ren, Pennsylvania on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Was a bit confusing to install but I don't have too much experiences with wiring stuff. With help from Cruthfield and a bit of time I was able to get full use and am very happy with the steering wheel controls.

Pros: Works as intended and even more useful than stock steering wheel controls.

Cons: Difficult install

Still not working....

Written By Jmz, Missouri on Sunday, August 16, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well installation was pretty easy but it is still not working. Need to spend more time on set up and see if I can get it.

Pros: If/When it works will be safer and easier for my daughter.

Cons: Set up is not the easiest.

Crutchfield response on Monday, August 17, 2015 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By Tom, Houston, Tx on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Working good, easy to set up.

Almost controls what you need

Written By Ed H, New York on Monday, August 10, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

OK, you have to strip wires in the middle of the wire (be careful) and do some under the dash soldering. Hooked it up and programmed it (using the Mode function to select the source). It would not operate the source control from the steering wheel. Reprogrammed it to use the the Select function on the menu. No good. Still cannot control the source. There were only two choices for this function in the programming menu. All other functions work. Volume, Track/ Radio Station Up/Down are good.

Pros: Works most of the functions for my Prius.

Cons: Programming this is not fun. Works most of the steering wheel functions on my Prius but not all.

Crutchfield response on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 We forwarded this review to our Technical Support team for follow-up. Lifetime tech support comes with every Crutchfield purchase.

So far a good product

Written By citrus, Maine on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

So far this piece is working well for me. It was easy to program to my steering wheel. The only issue I had was with the wiring, but that was me misreading the instructions. I contacted the support team for this product and quickly realized my mistake. After I corrected the wiring, it took only a couple minutes to program the device properly.

PAC SWI-RC Steering Wheel Control Adapter

Written By WDP, Pennsylvania on Sunday, August 02, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice feature for vehicles with steering wheel radio controls.

Pros: Nice, easy to follow, step by step instructions.

Cons: Not all features on the steering wheel were programmable with this unit. Should include quick connect wire splices.

Works As Advertised & Beyond

Written By Black_Coffee, Maryland on Sunday, August 02, 2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am going to give this a five. I went to the website and printed out the vehicle specific instructions for install. Everything worked as advertised. This basically senses a button push and transforms it into a command for the receiver.

Considerations: I have both steering wheel and rear remote controls. The instructions only allow programming for one option. Rear required different program code from front so both could not be used. Since there is only one radio input, you can't get two and combine. An option to accept two remote inputs would have been nice. You can also change button applications. I had a memorize button on the steering wheel which I hardly ever use, following the program sequence I assigned it to the hands free phone and can now call up the phone from the steering wheel.

Pros: Wire length good and website vehicle specific instruction help with install. Recommend mounting where you can gain access to program button after install without removing trim or behind glove box.

Cons: Only one remote input. Also, no adaptor plug for installation. I had a third plug (OEM on vehicle) that only needed a female connector with pigtails to make the installation the same quality you get from Crutchfield. Had to cut the wire from the back of the plug and splice into unit. No big deal, but would have liked a connector.