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Hooking Up Satellite Radio

A reader asks: I'm trying to get satellite radio put in my new vehicle -- it wasn't offered as a factory option. I've seen units that use FM modulation to transmit the signal to the car radio. I could also have it hardwired to my existing stereo, with the satellite adapter placed on my dash. Which one's better?

I am of two minds on this. I have had a 10-disk CD player in our family van for over five years that uses the FM modulation system, and have been 100% satisfied with the sound and performance (maybe I'm not that picky). On the other hand, as a mechanic who does a lot of personal customization and household electrical repairs, I believe nothing is as good as old-fashioned hardwiring.

So let price be your deciding factor. If it costs an additional $100 or less to hardwire, do so. Compared to the cost of a new car and a good stereo system, it's not much money. Of course, be sure you have the satellite system you want before you take the plunge.

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