2002 Honda Civic iPod/iPhone Install

Last weekend, while I was putting an iPod interface into my Scion I did the same thing for my 2002 Honda Civic. Using Ben Johnson’s story as a guide, I bought a PIE HON98-AUX interface and dove in.

Aside from tools (screwdrivers and 8 and 10mm sockets), you’ll need:

I also recommend a sufficient quantity of good beer or other beverage. I used raspberry wheat for this project.

As I noted in my previous post, most people recommend unhooking the battery to guard against short circuits while doing this sort of thing. For my part, I usually skip that and let a fuse automatically disconnect things when it blows. Either way, though, you’d do well to find your factory radio’s 5 digit security code, as if the power gets disconnected, it won’t work again without it.

Underneath the dashboard is a panel with the car’s only power socket. The panel can be removed with some careful-but-stern pulling around the edges. Five friction clips (two on each side, one on the top center) hold it in place, but by working a flathead screwdriver around the sides I was able to pull it off.


Behind the panel are the screws that hold the dashboard console assembly in place.


With those two screws removed, I was able to push the assembly from behind and ease it out of the dashboard cavity.


Again, however, I had to fight these friction clips that held the top and sides of the assembly in place.


Once the assembly was out, I could plug in the interface adapter into the CD changer port.


I routed the interface adapter’s cable bundle behind the stereo and down to the accessory power panel. There’s enough space behind there for the adapter to sit, but first I wanted to test it.


Unlike the Toyota adapter, the Honda adapter has a separate ground wire. Fortunately, there’s another ground wire screwed in down there behind the 12v jack too.

To power my iPhone, I cut the plug end off the 12v extension cord and tapped it in to the wires leading to the existing 12v socket.


The inline taps are hugely useful.


I fished the cable for both the extension socket and the audio along the center console, hidden behind the plastic on the passenger side. The socket end of the extension emerges from the console at a convenient spot along with the audio cable. My old Belkin car charger plugs in there, the audio cable plugs into the base of it, and the dock-connector cable plugs in to my iPhone. The only thing I have to futz with is the dock connector cable, everything else is out of sight.

People have asked me why I chose to use the low-tech PIE adapter, instead of a smarter one that would allow me to control the iPod from the factory stereo. Up to the time I got my iPhone, I was sure that that was what I wanted, but the message I get every time I plug an old accessory into the dock connector is enough to make me cautious about building infrastructure around the interface. I don’t know what music device I’ll use next, but I would rather not have to take apart my car again to plug it in.

In my next post on this topic, I’ll explain how I replaced the rear speakers in this car.