Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

April 12, 2010

Fun with Car Dealers

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 7:41 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I got a new toy the other day. It’s an 09 Nissan 370Z, in “write me a ticket now” blue.

It’s got all the extras, Sat radio, Nav, Bluetooth, etc. While reading the user’s manual I found out that it has the ability to control my iPod directly from the nav system. Very cool. I listen to a lot of audio books while driving back and forth to work, so this should be very useful.

I find the connector for the iPod controller in the center console buried under a cup holder thingy. I search the entire car for a cable to hook up my iPod, but apparently it doesn’t come with one. (Cheap bastards) Anyway I start calling dealers to figure out how much one is going to cost. I figure given the price of the car they are going to soak me for at least $200.

I call the first dealer, and describe what I’m looking for. He searches through his manual for a moment, then says he has to put me on hold. OK, whatever, I didn’t realize that hooking an iPod up was such a complicated task. I mean, I hook mine to my computer all the time. After 5 minutes or so he finally comes back and says, “We don’t got one”. OK, when can you get one? “Five days”. OK then, how much? “38 bucks”. Hmmm, I can live with that.

Just for fun I called another dealer in the neighborhood to see if they might have one in stock. I get the parts gal this time, and she proceeds to tell me that no such cable exists. She also tells me that she has no idea how to hook up an iPod to the system even though it clearly says in my owners manual that not only is it possible, it charges the iPod, displays the songs, etc. That’s interesting..

I finally decide to call the dealer that I got the car from. I didn’t do that at the beginning because I was working in another part of the bay area, 30 miles away, and thought I’d try there first. At first I get the same response from this parts guy. Nope, there is no cable from Nissan. He even checked the accessory lists and everything. Now I’m beginning to wonder who knows what the heck is going on? However this guy says he is going to talk with Nissan directly. OK, cool.

He gives me a call back 10 minutes later, and tells me it’s easy. Turns out the center console connector is a USB connector, and that my Apple iPod cable that came with the player should plug right in. Jeez, why didn’t you tell me that in the first place?

I can’t believe that the cars are so technically advanced, yet the infrastructure around them seems to still be in the dark ages.



  1. Oh, boy, don’t get me started. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Problem is that the dealership is not training their staff beyond typical maintenance. When it comes to the in’s and out’s of each & every vehicle, you’re lucky to find *anyone* who even has a clue.

    As vehicles get more complex, they’re going to need much more comprehensive manuals – CLEARLY WRITTEN – to cover just the technical basics.

    Although, I do wonder … you couldn’t identify the receptacle as a USB receptacle?

    Comment by Tawandah — April 21, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

  2. Ain’t that the truth…

    Yes, I could easily tell whether or not if was a USB connector (it wasn’t), once I looked at it more closely, but on the phone with the dealer dude, I wasn’t in front of the car.

    Part of the problem was that it is inside the center console, and the console door cover blocked a straight on view.

    Anyhoo, I finally found a dealer that knew what the heck was going on, ordered the cable, and installed it. It works pretty darn well, except for one issue, it doesn’t charge the iPod. It does work for gen 2, 3, iPods, but not for the latest ones. Apple in their stupidity infinite wisdom, decided to change how those pins work at around version 4 or 5, I’m not sure.

    Comment by douglaslperry — April 21, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  3. hey do you remember the part number for the cable I’m having the same problem been all over the place (2 nissan dealers, best buy, radio shack and looked everywhere online.) And does anyone know if this will work with an Iphone 3gs?

    Comment by chandler — May 29, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

  4. Yep, check out my post on this forum. I have pictures of it and the part number.

    Comment by douglaslperry — May 30, 2010 @ 12:49 am

  5. Any tickets yet? This May I saw a blue Opal GT in my daughters Middle School parking lot,this is an upgrade however… Sweet ride!

    Comment by Renee Wood — August 25, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

  6. OK spelling is not my fortay blue Opel GT.

    Comment by Renee Wood — August 25, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

  7. No, no tickets yet *knocks on wood* and yes, it’s quite the upgrade from the old Opel.

    Comment by douglaslperry — August 25, 2010 @ 11:46 pm

  8. The blue Opel GT was back and I took pictures of it.

    Comment by Renee Wood — October 14, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  9. Really? I would love to see them

    Comment by douglaslperry — October 14, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

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