How to Listen to CDs in a Car Without a CD Player

While the primary purpose of driving your car is to get from Point A to Point B, you might as well enjoy the process, especially if you have a lengthy commute. One way to enhance the experience is with background music of your choice. If your car, however, isn’t equipped with a CD player to pipe your favorite tunes through your speakers, there’s no need to despair or invest in a new stereo system. It is possible to play your CDs even when your car has no CD player using one of the following methods.

Method 1 of 2: Use a cassette tape adapter

Materials Needed

Step 1: Check the batteries in your CD player. Check the batteries in your portable CD player by powering the unit on.

If it does not come on, then replace the batteries as indicated in the instructions for your particular device.

Step 2: Turn the key of your ignition. It is not necessary to start your engine, but you at least need to turn your key over where your stereo comes on.

If your car is not running, however, bear in mind that the stereo and connected devices will gradually drain your battery if you plan on listening to CDs for an extended period of time.

car stereo adapter

Step 3: Insert the adapter. Insert the side of the adapter that resembles a cassette tape into the tape receptacle of your car’s stereo system.

Step 4: Plug in the other end of the adapter. Plug the other end of your adapter into the corresponding outlet of your portable CD player.

Step 5: Turn devices on. Turn both your stereo and portable CD player on, listening to your CDs according to your player’s instructions.

Method 2 of 2: Use a wireless FM modulator

Materials Needed

Step 1: Turn on the engine. Turn your ignition over to provide power to your car’s stereo and other dash systems.

FM modulator

Step 2: Plug in and turn on your modulator. Plug your wireless FM modulator into your car’s cigarette lighter, turning it on.

  • Tip: If the modulator does not power on, you may want to check that the fuse connected with the cigarette lighter in your car is still good.

Step 3: Turn on and press play on your CD player. Turn your portable CD player on, then insert the CD to which you wish to listen, pushing the play button.

Step 4: Dial into the FM radio station. Your wireless modulator will indicate a channel to dial into that will play your music.

Enjoy your CD’s sound through your car’s speakers, but be aware that this method does not provide the best sound quality and often is accompanied by static.

  • Tip: You can also listen to MP3 players using this same method.

Neither of the above methods is a particularly expensive way to listen to some of your most treasured songs. Either of the two methods are far cheaper than buying a new stereo system, although you may eventually want to invest in one if you are seeking truly superior sound quality and convenience. If you notice your battery having some issues and want it replaced or if you need to have a new fuse installed, have one of our certified mobile mechanics come to your home or business.


Next Step

Schedule Check Electrical Equipment

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Check Electrical Equipment. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Check Electrical Equipment reviews

Excellent Rating

(16)

Rating Summary
15
0
0
0
1
15
0
0
0
1

Enrique

21 years of experience
244 reviews
Enrique
21 years of experience
Suzuki Forenza L4-2.0L - Check Electrical Equipment - Orlando, Florida
Enrique is always more than helpful and very friendly! He knows how to get the job done.
Pontiac Torrent - Check Electrical Equipment - Davenport, Florida
Great service again, thanks Ricky.

James

30 years of experience
873 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Dodge Ram 1500 V8-5.7L - Check Engine Light is on - Windermere, Florida
Kind, courteous and extremely knowledgeable. Very fair priced . On time! Thanks James!
Kia Soul - Oil Change - Orlando, Florida
Again, James did a perfect job. I always schedule him because he is so much better, (and cheaper), than my kia dealer. I'm thinking of all those people that are at a Kia dealer right now waiting for hours for the services James did for me in about an hour.

Manuel

32 years of experience
580 reviews
Manuel
32 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz 380SL V8-3.8L - Check Electrical Equipment - Orange, California
Manuel is very professional, knowledgeable and very honest. My 84 380SL Mercedes will not start and he determined that based on his diagnosis that I am going to need to have the fuel distributor repaired/rebuilt or get a refurbished one since the new ones are no longer available for this model. He was able to demonstrate the validity of his diagnosis and made it run for a couple of minutes by spraying starter fluid in the throttle because the latter is not getting fuel from the distributor. He made some valuable suggestions free-of-charge, to improve the performance of the engine. He came ahead of scheduled appointment and worked right away performing various diagnostics on the ignition and fuel system. Highly recommended.

Duane

25 years of experience
510 reviews
Duane
25 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma V6-4.0L - Check Electrical Equipment - San Diego, California
Very efficient, kept in touch with me on his anticipated arrival time and updates while working on my truck. This was my first time using this Your Mechanic service and felt Duane had a great wealth of knowledge and he was trustworthy. Easy process to line up the appointment and go over with Duane what was needed and not needed. Thanks again and highly recommend.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Install a Capacitor
It It can be upsetting to know you just put a bunch of your hard-earned money into a new car stereo (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/4-essential-things-to-know-about-your-car-s-stereo-and-speakers), only to realize it sounds terrible. You changed the head unit, added more speakers (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-replace-your-car-speakers), and better yet,...
How to Choose Speakers for Your Car Stereo
Whether you're replacing a car's speaker that's blown or just want to upgrade the sound system. Be sure to pick the right speakers that work for you.
New Media to Listen to in the Car
Whether you face a long commute every day or are planning a road trip, consider the following recommendations for audio entertainment.

Related questions

Fuses keep blowing
Your problem will probably be found in the dome light. There is probably a loose wire that is grounded out and causing the fuse to blow. You will have to remove the dome light and check the resistance on the...
When turning on navigation system, radio comes on too
This is a problem inside the nav/radio unit. The system will have to be tested and serviced by a dealer certified repair facility. You may have to have it removed and sent out for repair or replacement.
2006 Chevy Aveo CD player has error messages
In most cases, an error message means either the disc is scratched or player has an internal failure. From my past experience with CDs, I recall scratched CDs will read sometimes, but not all the time. I would try a...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com