How to Keep Your OEM Steering Wheel Controls with a Aftermarket Stereo

It's a lot easier than you would think.

 

When upgrading from a factory head unit to an aftermarket unit you might be worried about losing the function to control your audio from your factory steering wheel control. That does not need to be the case anymore as many aftermarket companies such as Metra offer a quick solution to your audio controlling dilemmas by installing an interface module to reestablishing control of your OEM steering wheel control to control functions such as volume, mode and track.

Metra Axxess ASWC-1

The Wiring Harness

The Axxess ASWC-1, manufactured by Metra Electronics is a universal steering wheel control interface that can be used on most any vehicle with OEM steering wheel controls. The unit works by converting the signals generated by the factory remote location controls into infrared signals. The ASWC-1 can be used with aftermarket head units like Pioneer and was designed to preset the steering wheel controls to the aftermarket radio automatically so no programming is required.

Hooking It Up

The ASWC-1 interface system can be easily installed by connecting 3 wires which include a 12v accessory wire, ground wire, and steering wheel control wire found in the vehicle’s factory harness. The ASWC-1 installation manual provides end users vehicle specific instructions to locate your steering wheel wire. Also included in the manual are detailed instructions on how to wire the interface controller into your new head unit. Keep in mind that the type of head unit you plan to use with your ASWC-1 steering wheel control module and OEM steering wheel will dictate what color wires tie into the head unit harness. Then the next step is to plug in the male 3.5mm jack connector found towards the rear of the head unit and typically labeled as “steering wheel control” interface.

Configuring Your Setup

Once the unit has been installed, turn the ignition on and note that the LED located on the module will begin blinking rapidly which indicates the auto detect mode has begun looking for both the head unit and steering wheel control.  The ASWC-1 can be programmed two different ways. It can auto program itself through auto detect mode or can be manually programmed.  After a few seconds, the LED will stop flashing and automatically emit 7 green flashes which indicates the unit is recognized by the ASWC-1. The LED will then again flash up to 15 times depending on the type of head unit connected with a series of red LED flashes. Once both the head unit and steering wheel controls are successfully detected, the interface will emit a solid red light. The ASWC-1 retains programming even if the vehicle's battery is disconnected.

For vehicles with OE Bluetooth buttons, simply press and hold the Hang up or Pick up button on the steering wheel after the LED on the ASWC-1 goes solid. If the OE Bluetooth buttons are able to be used, the LED will go out after 3 seconds if successfully paired with your Bluetooth. The ASWC-1 also allows you full customization to your steering wheel buttons to change or modify a specific button to activate volume mute or menu browse. 

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