How to Wire an XM Radio

by Marissa Robert Google

    XM Radio packages are self-contained, making them simple to install in your car, whether you have a cassette deck or a 3.5 mm input auxiliary jack. Installation does not require you to access the internal wiring in the stereo system to listen to your XM Radio through your car's speakers, although running the wire for the antenna may require you to remove some pieces of your car's trim and put them back afterward.

    Step 1

    Choose a vent near the console on the dashboard in the middle of your vehicle. Slide the vent clips on the vent mount far enough apart to fit comfortably side by side in the vent. Slide each clip onto the same slat in the vent until it snaps on when the slat passes the inside of the clip. Then slide out until you feel the clip stop. Slide the back of the Dock & Play XM Radio receiver onto the hook on the front of the vent mount. You can use an adhesive mount instead if you have a vertical space to mount it in your vehicle where you can comfortably reach it from the driver's seat.

    Step 2

    Plug the 12-volt plug into an outlet or a cigarette lighter in your car. Run the other end to the AC input jack on your Dock & Play XM Radio receiver.

    Step 3

    Mount the magnetic antenna on the rear side of the car roof just above the top of the rear windshield. Mount it at least 3 inches from any other antennae on your car. Run the cord directly from the antenna to the closest point of the rubber molding around the rear windshield and tuck the cord under the rubber all the way around the windshield until you reach the corner of the trunk. This process may vary depending on the type of vehicle you own.

    Step 4

    Pop the trunk and place the antenna cord inside the weatherstripping in the trunk. Run the cable along the inside of the trunk wall to the rear seat. Pop the rear seat forward and run the antenna cable through the gap in the seat next to the wall of the car. Close the trunk and put the seat back in place. Tuck the wire between the seat and the wall and run it to the floor.

    Step 5

    Run the cable along the inside of your car on the floor just inside the door. If your car allows you to pull up the trim next to the door easily, run the wire along the inside of the trim. After the wire is placed in it and running out of it at the front of the car, tamp the trim back down. You may also run it under the carpet, if you can move it easily.

    Step 6

    Run the antenna wire up between the front door and the dashboard and across the dashboard to the Dock & Play XM Radio receiver. Insert the male plug into the antenna jack on the Dock & Play XM Radio receiver.

    Step 7

    Plug one end of the 3.5 mm auxiliary wire into the Dock & Play XM Radio receiver and run the other end to the auxiliary jack for your stereo. In some cars it is in the glove compartment, but it may be in a different place depending on your vehicle's make, model and year. If your car does not have an auxiliary jack, but has a cassette deck, you can use a cassette deck adapter instead.

    Step 8

    Turn on your car radio and set it to the auxiliary port or cassette deck. Place your XM Radio on the Dock & Play XM Radio receiver. Press the power button on your XM Radio and choose a station.


    • All of the jacks on the dock are labeled, but they are also color-coded to match the connectors on each wire.

    Required Items

    • Vent mount for Dock & Play XM Radio receiver
    • 12-volt plug
    • Dock & Play XM Radio receiver
    • XM Radio antenna
    • 3.5 mm auxiliary wire or headphone to cassette adapter
    • XM Radio

    About the Author

    Marissa Robert graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English language and literature. She has extensive experience writing marketing campaigns and business handbooks and manuals, as well as doing freelance writing, proofreading and editing. While living in France she translated manuscripts into English. She has published articles on various websites and also periodically maintains two blogs.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images