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USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford

Connects your iPod to select 2005-up Ford factory stereos without the satellite tuner installed

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  • USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford

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Our take on the USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford

by Zak Billmeier
USA Spec

You can take it with you. Just because you've got a factory radio in your Ford, doesn't mean you have to leave your iPod (and the hours and hours of music it contains) at home. Just install USA Spec's iPod interface — it not only allows you to listen to all your favorite tunes through your car's speakers, it even lets you control song and playlist selections right from your radio. And with your iPhone® connected, you can even stream music from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livio Radio, iHeartRadio, and more.

Just mount the compact interface box in a hidden location in your vehicle, and connect the adapter cable to your compatible Ford factory radio. Plug your iPod into the interface — you can control volume, source, song selection, and up to five different play lists right from the radio. USA Spec's Direct Mode lets your passenger control the tunes using the iPod itself. And the interface charges most iPods while connected.

You'll get a handy auxiliary input for connecting other sources, such as a satellite radio or another type of MP3 player.

Please enter your vehicle information or call an Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to find out if this adapter is compatible with your vehicle.

Compatibility Note: Be sure to check "Details" for specific iPod model compatibility with this iPod adapter.

Highlights:

  • iPod connection adapter for select 2005-up Ford factory stereos without the satellite tuner connected
  • adjust volume, track up/down, fast forward/rewind
  • use up to five playlists (select five favorites, or Auto Playlist will let you choose from the first five on your iPod)
  • when iPhone is connected, you can stream tunes from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livo Radio, and iHeartRadio
  • Hybrid Mode allows you to control everything via the iPod itself, giving you access to all playlists
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • PA15-Ford1 iPod-to-Ford interface module
  • CB-PA105 6' iPod interface cable (with an Apple iPod connector on one end and a proprietary 10-pin connector on other end)
  • 5' Vehicle harness (CAS-F24CN)
  • Preliminary Owner's Manual

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features

Overview: The USA Spec PA15-FORD1 iPod-to-Ford car stereo interface allows a compatible iPod with a dock connector to be connected to and controlled by the Sirius Satellite-ready factory radio in select Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. The adapter uses the factory radio's Sirius Satellite Radio port, so you will not be able to connect an external factory Satellite Radio tuner. If your vehicle has an existing Sirius Satellite Radio tuner, the USA Spec PA15-FORD2 (581P15FRD2, sold separately) must be used.

Vehicle Compatibility: This interface enables a compatible iPod to exist with a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury factory navigation system, CD-changer, Sirius Satellite Radio ready receiver (you will lose your Satellite Radio tuner) and DVD system, and control your iPod via both the vehicle's factory radio and steering wheel controls.  Non-navigation radios must have both Aux and Text buttons for the PA15-FORD1 interface to function properly. Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

iPod Compatibility: The PA15-FORD1 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features when connected to a compatible Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury factory radio (as of 10/2/2013):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Head Unit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
video 5th 1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y Y Y Y
7th* 1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4th 6.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5th* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5C* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5S* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPad 1 5.0.1 N N N N N N N
2 7.0 N N N N N N N
3 7.0 N N N N N N N
4 7.0 N N N N N N N
mini 7.0 N N N N N N N

Notes:

  • *Requires Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter cable (472LTN230P, sold separately).
  • Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

iPod Control: The USA Spec PA15-FORD1's on-board software translates commands from your factory radio's Sirius control into commands that will control your connected iPod. There are two modes of controlling your iPod:

  • Folder Mode: Access four folders (Playlist, Artist, Album, All Songs) on your iPod from your factory radio's Sirius Satellite Radio presets 1-4.
  • Direct Mode: All the controls on the iPod are unlocked, giving you total control remotely; the radio still has basic controls; track up, track down, fast forward, and fast reverse. Direct Mode is accessed from your factory radio's Sirius Satellite Radio preset 5.

Note: Direct Mode allows you to play music streamed from Pandora.com and Sirius/XM Online from a connected iPhone or iPod touch through your factory radio.

iPod Text: The Artist name, song title album name, and playlist text can be displayed on the radio when using the Folder control mode.

Battery Charge: The PA15-FORD1 charges iPod battery when connected. Charging stops automatically half-an-hour after your iPod is paused.

Auxiliary Input: In addition to the iPod input on the PA15-FORD1, there is an auxiliary input (RCA) for use with another source, such as a DVD system, satellite radio, etc. This aux input can be used with or without the iPod connected. The aux input is enabled by setting the DIP switch #1 on the side of the interface adapter to the "On" position. The auxiliary source is accessed on the factory using Satellite Radio preset 6.

 
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USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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1 out of 5

Caution - The devil's in the detail

Written By Bill, NC on Wednesday, April 02, 2014
 
Product was not compatible with my 2007 F250. Probably no fault of the manufacturer; however, some car manufacturer's use excess inventory in their vehicles when it comes to electronics - e.g. The 07 F250 came with a in dash 6 disk changer; however, earlier models of this deck were not MP3 compatible. The 07 is supposed to be MP3 compatible; therefore the maker of this product says it will work. In reality, it didn't because my deck isn't a 2007 deck. After tearing the truck apart, installing the device, and double/triple checking myself I called tech support. They asked me if the deck has MP3 printed on the face. It did not. They said it won't work. It was that easy, so I can't help but wonder why the manufacturer or Crutchfield wouldn't put a note on the product description if this is a common occurrence. To make matters worse, Crutchfield charges $10 for a return shipping label. Even though the end result involved me making an additional purchase of $400 to replace my deck. I feel cheated. It's only 10 bucks, but the principle says so much more.
Pros:
Easy install.
Cons:
Didn't work because my deck apparently is not the correct model. Deck MUST say MP3 on it!
Crutchfield response on Tuesday, April 15, 2014
After looking into it, we have added a note to our database to alert future customers to this situation.
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5 out of 5

Works Great and Simple to Install

Written By Jason K, Chicago, IL on Saturday, December 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
It took me all of 15 minutes to install and it worked perfect the first time! I have it installed in a 2006 Ford Freestyle. It workes with my 4th and 5th generation Apple products and charges them!
Pros:
It was easy to install, and works with 4th and 5th gen apple products.
Cons:
I had to purchase the 5th gen connector adapter myself.
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5 out of 5

Just What I Needed

Written By CFAchick, Suffolk, VA on Wednesday, October 02, 2013
 
I love the ipod adapter. Since I loved the sound output of the shaker 500 & all I wanted was to listen to my music, it was a great investment!!! Easy install.
Pros:
Easy control function
Cons:
None
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5 out of 5

USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford

Written By Bob G, Floyds Knobs, Indiana on Sunday, September 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
They helped me on what I needed, and the install was easy and performed as advertised. What more can you ask for?
Pros:
Easy Install
Cons:
Can't think of one.
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5 out of 5

USA spec iPod interfaces

Written By Jim, Orangevale,ca. on Saturday, July 27, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works as promised with my 05 f-150
Pros:
Very easy install. 15 minutes.
Cons:
No suggested places too put module. I foamed it and strapped it next to the uncovered shifter.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

USA Spec IPod Interface

Written By Tom D, Greenwood IN on Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy install. Took 20 minutes from start to finish. Only needed a Phillips screwdriver and nut driver. Placed the unit under console near cup holders since the console was apart. Ran the final connection cord through the access panel for the emergency brake inside the console. Plenty of car to reach anywhere in car and stores nicely in console, out of sight, when not in use. Functionality is as advertised. Great alternative to buying a new radio while remaining with the OEM look!
Pros:
Quick easy install.
Cons:
None
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Not Great in the Long Run

Written By Jared, Raleigh, NC on Sunday, June 02, 2013
 
Installation went very quickly, and for the first six months, I really enjoyed the product. It was after some time passed that the Direct Connect pin-adapter failed. USA Spec customer service was less than helpful, and insisted that I uninstall the entire unit and return it to the factory, and maybe then they would qualify it for a warranty repair. USA Spec claimed the pin adapter had corroded and was not covered by the one-year product warranty, and were going to charge me for a replacement cable. I ended up just using the 3.5mm headphone jack/RCA cable connection. I can't go to another manufacturer for the pin-adapter cable because the jack on the interface is manufacturer specific. Bottom line, I would not purchase this product again. Wears out easy and manufacturer customer service is poor considering the price.
Pros:
Worked good for a little while
Cons:
Bad manufacturer customer service, cables wear out easily, not worth the time and financial investment.
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3 out of 5

interface 4Ford

Written By Frank, BKLYN NY on Thursday, May 16, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works good
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2 out of 5

USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford

Written By Anonymous, Howell, MI on Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Installation was a breeze and functions worked as described. Sound quality however was less than desirable. When using the iPod through Folder mode utilizing the controls through the factory receiver, the sound quality was top notch. But accessing the Artists/Albums/Songs this way was not user friendly and very tedious to say the least. When using the iPod via Direct method, the sound quality was flat, tinny, and not enjoyable at all. Accessing songs this way was a snap, but the sound quality was horrendous. This left me with the tradeoff of good sound quality vs ease of use. After speaking with the technician, I decided to return this and just replace the factory head unit for the same price as this interface. FYI: This was installed in an '08 Expedition 6CD with factory subwoofer. I had an interface from the same company in my '00 F-350 and absolutely loved it. The design changes to the stereo from Ford did not allow me to use this older model interface.
Pros:
Ease of installation Excellent sound quality when using Folder mode via stereo Ease of use via Direct mode
Cons:
Horrible sound quality via Direct mode Difficult and very tedious to use when using iPod via Folder mode, having to go through each artist/album/song individually in alphabetical order. No way to combine ease of use and good sound quality. It was either/or
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5 out of 5

Perfect! 06 Ford Fusion SEL 6 CD MP3

Written By Patrick H, TInley Park, IL on Saturday, January 26, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Exactly what I was looking for in my 2006 Ford Fusion SEL 6 CD MP3 Changer without SAT tuner installed. I had tried different interfaces, but this one worked great!
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5 out of 5

USA Spec iPod Interface Ford F250

Written By Don T, Tampa on Wednesday, December 12, 2012
 
Really nice piece of kit; however, it would not work with my vehicle. Crutchfield and USA Spec tech support was fantastic during the trouble shooting phase but unfortunately for me the build date for the factory head unit made it incompatible with the interface.
Pros:
Well built and great tech support
Cons:
Wouldn't work
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5 out of 5

Great product

Written By Indy, Bangor, WI on Monday, August 20, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great product easy install and does what it says can do iPhone and pandora plus android! Have to control android through phone but not a big deal. Everything works like it sould. Love it. Ran right to center console. Can even tell I changed anything for the factory look. Nice and clean!
Pros:
Works great!
Cons:
None so far
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5 out of 5

Great Product

Written By Tyler, Springfield, MO on Friday, February 24, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This product is awesome. Installed it on my wife's 06 mustang and it has worked great. The sound is phenomenal as well as it is nice to have it charge your iphone and ipod while its playing. The install was really simple, just make sure to mount it under the consle by the ebrake lever. Theres more room and its carpeted to reduce rattle. Overall i would definitely by another product from this company.
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5 out of 5

excellent product

Written By RobJ, Western CT on Sunday, February 12, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This integrates nicely with the radio controls, and it gives you more than one way to listen to iPod content. The controls are easy to learn, and the sound is fine. Has both iPod connector and input for analog radio, like satellite.
Pros:
Integration with factory radio, good sound; easy to install.
Cons:
None so far.
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5 out of 5

Very nice

Written By Doug, Columbia, Sc on Thursday, September 22, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I got this for my son's 06 Mustang. It is his first car, and I didn't want him messing with his iphone while driving.

I was a bit concerned about doing it ourself because I remeber 30 years ago when I did stuff like this, and things not fitting back so good. Plastic clips that don't hold anymore, ...

This turned out to be very easy. The cheat sheet from Crutchfield is the key here. It tells you exactly what and where to do. The product came with wiring harness with plenty of room. The one negative, the unit doesn't provide a good way to screw it down some where. We were going to put it behind the radio, but I was afraid it would rattle. However, the hardness was so long that we snaked it under the middle console (you already have console top removed) and sat it under where the drink holders would end up. The carpet runs up under there and it lays on that so we shouldn't hear any rattle.

As for the product, I was impressed. My wife;s and my cars have had the aux input type of connections for years. But, this type of ipod/iphone control is really neat. You have charging, itunes control, vol. control., playlist, artist, and song folders, and a direct mode which controls go back to iphone when you need it.

Ease of install -- much easier than expected Product features - met/exceeded expectations
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

1 Happy Camper

Written By Twitchl, Woodland,CA on Monday, April 18, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This wiring kit was super easy to install... Just plug and play... If you can put
up Christmas lights you can be Ipod ready in One Hour with this kit and the fine
instruction manual that Crutchfields sends with the unit.
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4 out of 5

Works with first generation iPad!!!

Written By Gabe, Mesa,Az on Sunday, March 27, 2011
 
I bought this not knowing whether it would work with my iPad but lucked out!!!
Every function mentioned including direct mode works with the iPad and charges
it as TOO! I ordered this along with a padholr to mount my IPad in front of my
stereo on my 2007 Ford Fusion SE. Also works with my iPhone 4 and iPod nano.
Only problem I have is when I use the track up/down buttons on the steering
wheel it changes the stereo function instead of the tracks, I've tried to use my
other idevices and got the same results. Still trying to figure it out. Would
have rated 5 stars if steering wheel track up/down buttons worked properly but
not too much of a pain, overall a satisfied customer.
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Read the product info. carefully...

Written By Chritaka, Texas on Thursday, February 10, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Check the Hands-On Research tab or go to USASpec's site to review the product info. I
would read the manual, which is available for download on their site. Be sure to
note: "Non-Navigation radios must have BOTH AUX and TEXT buttons". The
requirements are very specific on the years, models, radio type (CDP vs CD6), etc and
these are clearly outlined so read carefully. Don't rate a product 1 star due to user error.

I easily installed it a couple weekends ago in my 2006 Mustang GT w/Shaker 500. It
charges my iPhone4, while performing all other iPod functionality. The
harness was perfect, just unplug the factory harness from the radio, plug it into the new
harness and plug the new harness into the back of the radio. It took maybe 1.5 hrs to
install, only because I'm very meticulous and cleaned everything during reassembly,
made sure it was easily accessible for updates, and I had to pull the contol panel off
2x during reinstall since the AC connecter didn't reseat fully. The Crutchfield master
sheet supplied really helped also.

The product works flawlessly and the SQ is excellent. The USA Spec products have a
very good reputation if you research online and had the best features to price out of 3
other manufacturers I was looking at. The controls take some getting used to, but I
prefer the setup now over my wife's factory setup in her 2011 Nissan, which doesn't
have scrolling text, direct mode, or an additional aux. input...
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

excellent product

Written By cu4hwgs, Peoria, IL on Monday, January 31, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Purchased this for my son's 2006 Ford Fusion SEL. Make SURE when you order for this
car that you check carefully to determine your OEM radio is one of the two types listed.
Installation instructions were decent, had no real problems getting the dash cover
popped off and access to the radio. The install from there is pretty easy, just unplug and
replug with the included wiring harness. Placement of the unit is a little tricky. I do not
recommend putting it in your glove box. Too much movement of the wires if you access
the glove box regularly. I had ample room behind and above my OEM radio, so i used
some velcro cable management ties and put in behind and above. Ran the sync cable
under the center console and drilled a small access hole in the bottom of the storeage
bin. Ipod is therefore out of sight. Works perfectly with the OEM radio and steering
wheel controls. Very happy to know that my son will not have to take his hands off the
steering wheel to operate the unit.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford

Written By RS, Florida on Friday, January 28, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Father-son project, installed in my 17 year old son's 2006 Fusion. Worked perfectly and
was an easy installation. All his music is on his IPOD and he says it's great!
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1 out of 5

NOT FOR SINGLE DISC??

Written By Dave, Ann Arbor, Mi on Thursday, October 28, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought this unit because it is supposed to be for 2005-2008 f150 with Factory
Stereo without subwoofer. Installed very quickly but wouldn't control iPod with
the Aux button. Called USA Spec and was told that this unit will ONLY work on a
in dash 6 disc without Sat radio. Funny how usa spec website states 2005-2008
F150 ALL RADIOS.
Waste of time. Crutchfield Crew has been very helpful in getting me a new
solution for my iPod. But USA Spec was a waste of time for me
8 out of 12 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Not for 07 F-350 with factory 6 cd changer

Written By Ed, Abilene, KS on Thursday, October 14, 2010
 
Bought this so we could play either MP3 or IPod players thru factory 6 cd stereo changer. Install took about 45 minutes to no avail. Everything connected properly but radio didn't recognize the interface. Tech support gave me USA Spec after hours contact number. After reading the VIN off the truck and the model # off the radio, they claimed I had a 06 radio in a 07 truck. We bought the truck new off the dealer lot and the radio has never been replaced or serviced. A lot of time and effort wasted.
2 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great Product !

Written By Jared, Houston,TX on Monday, September 13, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is a great addition to my factroy radio. I have an F150 with the factory navigation
radio and just added this iPod interface. It works great with my touchscreen. I'm able to
search by playlist, artist, album, or all songs. And u can select "direct" which allows u to
control everything from the iPod ! I'm very happy with my selection; thank u Kramer in
customer service !!
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3 out of 5

Not for early 05 F150

Written By Mike, Nothern VA on Friday, August 13, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
While I'm sure this unit works great, I learned it does not work with some early model 05 F150's. After Talking to support at USA SPEC, I learned that some 05's will have the '04 radio with a USELESS 16pin connector on the back, and an AUX button that has no function. I confired this via Ford with my VIN. So be sure to check ahead if you have an early 05 model :) As usual, Crutchfields awesome support got me in touch with USASPEC and took back the unit with zero hassles. I'll be back :)
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Super Easy Install - Does everything I wanted

Written By dier, Milwaukee, WI on Thursday, June 17, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Crutchfield tech helped pick this for my 2006 Ford Five Hundred to add iPod capabilities through my factory stereo.

It works by accessing the AUX on the car then you press SHUFFLE on the car stereo and then you control everything through your iPod. There is a way to control through the car stereo control buttons, but it is a bit clunky and hard to understand. I will mess with it more to see if I can makes sense of it.

The installation took all of 15 minutes start to finish and required no electronics knowledge or wire splicing.

The only thing that was a little out of the ordinary was feeding the iPod plug in adaptor to where I wanted it. I chose to drill a 1/2" hole in the armrest storage compartment right were the coin holder for dimes is. I had to mess with the drill a bit to make the hole slightly larger than 1/2" but in the end, it worked perfectly.

Great sounding and easy to install product.

Thanks Crutchfield!
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

What isn't mentioned..........

Written By Arizona, S.E. Arizona on Monday, March 15, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Installed the product this weekend in my F-150. Pretty easy installation, straightforward instructions. iPod sounds great through my factory stereo system, BUT, what isn't mentioned anywhere and I only found out by calling the USA Spec tech line today is that every time you plug in the iPod, or, when it's already plugged in, every time you start your vehicle their unit causes the iPod to default back to playing "all songs" in alphabetical order. I usually listen to a particular playlist with "shuffle" turned on. I thought maybe there was something about the units operation I didn't understand so I called the USA Spec tech help. The Tech I talked to told me he didn't care for it operating this way either, but the company made the decision to have their units "default" this way, sorry, that's just how it is, etc. Every time the iPod is powered up you have to go to the iPods "settings" select your playlist, and turn "shuffle" back on. So, unless I didn't get the correct information today, please be aware of this rather odd behavior before purchasing. This is a lot to spend on something that seems like there are some issues that still need to be worked out.
62 out of 71 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the USA Spec iPod® Interface for Ford, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_581P15FRD1/USA-Spec-iPod-Interface-for-Ford.html ).

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