A local car dealership wanted to add hands-free calling and audio streaming to a used 2017 Dodge Journey. The purchaser of the vehicle was ready to sign the deal, but had one demand: The vehicle had to have hands-free calling. Tim from the dealership called and spoke with Doug Reichert, our integration specialist, about adding the hands-free calling.
Doug did some research and found that there was no good and easy way to add Bluetooth to the vehicle. Dodge did not make a kit for adding Bluetooth to this vehicle with the 4.3″ RHA radio that the vehicle had. Usually we would replace the radio with an aftermarket radio that has advanced Bluetooth, but in this instance, the radio is so integrated into the vehicle’s climate controls that a radio replacement would be a bad choice.
Since the deal depended on the vehicle having Bluetooth with hands-free calling, Doug and operations manager Mike Macaluso figured something out. Why not add the factory Uconnect components to the 4.3 inch RHA radio like it came from the factory? A great idea, although easier said than done.
Mike and Doug began the research for the individual components that make the Uconnect system work. We started by using wizardry programming with our factory computers. From there, we ordered and installed specialty parts. That enabled the audio streaming. Once Mike and Doug knew the Bluetooth would work, we installed the remaining components, including the steering wheel hands-free switches and Uconnect microphones.
We returned the vehicle to the dealer to deliver to their customer. Since this was a factory Uconnect installation, no instruction or manuals were needed; all the instructions were included in the original Dodge Journey owners manual.
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