Using an iPhone 3G with a 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE

Here are my notes on using an iPhone 3G with a 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE. This requires the purchase of a special iPod cable (part # 086202L000 according to my dealer’s invoice, for $29.99) that has the iPod dock connector on one end and a combination of the 3.5mm audio connector and USB connector on the other end. From what I can tell, there is no official support for the iPhone, so your mileage may vary greatly on whether this works or not.

Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary on whether this works or not. I have done VERY limited testing for approx 10 minutes in my car. I have not tested it on the original iPhone or the iPhone 3GS, only a 16GB white iPhone 3G. I do not know whether any or all of this applies to the iPod touch or other iPod models. Please do not contact me for support, your best bet is to contact Hyundai. I can only report my experiences.

Tested with an iPhone 3G, Hyundai iPod kit, and a 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE.

Before you start:

  • Pick up an Hyundai iPod adapter from your local Hyundai dealer’s parts store. I bought mine at Autofair in Manchester, NH for $29.99 (part #086202L000).
  • Just to save you trouble: no, you cannot use a 3.5mm male-male audio cable and iPod USB cable to copy the Hyundai iPod cable. The Hyundai cable most likely includes a special chip that lets the steering wheel controls and the stereo control the iPhone/iPod. Without that chip, the iPod USB cable is useless, you will get just audio from the 3.5mm cable, and no controls on the steering wheel or stereo outside of volume.
  • The Hyundai cable is not long at all, maybe a couple of inches. If you have an iPhone mount or another location you wish to put it, you either have to mount it real close to the iPod jack in the car (which is immediately behind the shifter) or see if an extension cable of some kind will work. There is a spot immediately in front of the iPod port where you can lay your iPod or iPhone.

The initial connection:

  • I am doing more testing, but it appears you must have the car turned on when you plug in the iPhone. If you do not have the car on and just run on battery power, the iPhone freaks out (keeps flashing between iPod connected and unconnected mode every second) and cannot connect to the stereo despite the stereo being on. I don’t know why the car has to be on first, but it does, trust me.
  • Make sure you unlock your iPhone first if you have the passcode feature enabled. I have had better and more consistent results this way.
  • When you plug in the iPhone, hit the No button on the Airplane mode option. Hitting Yes will disable the iPhone’s radios.
  • If all goes to plan, you should be able to play music now and control the iPod from the stereo.
  • I have usually found with car iPod interfaces that it is quicker and in most cases, easier to pre-select what you want to play on the iPhone itself then plug it in so that item plays instantly.

What works:

  • Steering wheel controls (volume and track forward/back) work flawlessly in my testing. Track changes are instant.
  • You are able to access Playlists, Artists, Songs, and Albums on the stereo.  Scrolling through the lists are pretty fast, as quick as you can turn the right knob really.
  • Folder and Cat buttons bring you to the main iPod menu on the stereo (listing the items above) or to the previous menu.
  • Press right knob to select something (such as a song, playlist, etc.). Turn knob to navigate down the list. There is no loading delay scrolling through the list, titles are loaded fast, although the more songs you have, the longer it takes to scroll from beginning to end of course. No way to jump sections of the list at a time.
  • Press the Random button to go into shuffle mode on that playlist. Repeat button does what it sounds, repeats the previous song.
  • Good amount of info displayed on stereo. Artist name, Song Name, track # on playlist, playback time. Easy to read when driving, no odd formatting that I have noticed.
  • Info button lets you cycle through artist, track, album, etc.
  • The iPhone 3G DOES charge! No need to worry about bluetooth and music killing the battery.
  • The iPhone’s Sound Check feature works with this interface, keeping all song volumes relatively close to the same. Big feature for those of us who hate changing the volume after every song.
  • NEED TO TEST: I have not answered a call yet via the Hyundai’s bluetooth add-on for the 2009 Elantra and do not know how the iPhone will handle transitioning between playing music, taking a call, and then going back to music.

What doesn’t work:

  • Audiobooks and Podcasts do not show up on the stereo’s main iPod menu, so you will either have to access them by song/artist or make a playlist containing them.
  • The fact it still goes makes the iPhone 3G go into airplane mode is disappointing. The iPhone has been out for over 2 years now, you would think the manufacturers of these connections could design their devices to not trigger this message.
  • I do not see any way to mute a song outside of pressing the power button on the stereo itself or manually turning down the volume. This goes for any stereo source in this car.
  • Like I said above: if you do not have the car on when you plug the phone in, you will most likely have issues.

As I stated above, this has been limited testing. The real test will come in real life conditions, when I am on the road and trying to use this (vs. 9pm at night sitting in my parking lot and pressing every button for about 10 minutes).

If you have more tips on using an iPhone or iPod with the 2009 Hyundai Elantra iPod kit, please feel free to leave a comment.

7 thoughts on “Using an iPhone 3G with a 2009 Hyundai Elantra SE”

  1. Just bought an 09 Elantra SE myself and stumbled on your post while searching for ipod info. I did not buy the factory cable but am considering it – I think the convenience of control through the stereo sounds great. My question is that the owner’s manual mentions only that you can scroll through “Song, album, artist and genre.” It doesn’t say anything about choosing playlists, which, to me, would be a big negative. Your post seems to indicate that you can select playlists. Can you tell me if that is correct? I don’t have the iphone, but assume that the controls would still be similar. Many thanks,
    Jonathan

  2. How about a follow up? I was about to buy the hyundai ipod cable but plugged it into my phone in the parts department and the phone said the device was not supported and implied that the phone would be disabled. I’m using a usb charger in the cigarette lighter and an aux cable for the time being but would love to have control of the iphone from my steering wheel or stereo if it still receives calls or if bluetooth hands-free still works when the iphone is connected with the hyundai cable.

  3. Just hit the no button when it talks about airplane mode and disabling the device. That will allow you to use the iPhone with the stereo and receive bluetooth calls.

  4. I just picked up a 2010 Elantra Touring. I followed the steps and the radio just says loading… After about 3 minutes I gave up.

    I’ll try it again next time I am out. This adapter requires that I take the phone out of my nice otter box case and I primarily want to listen to podcasts.

    I think I’ll grab and Aux cable just for the extra reach!

    If anyone would like a brand new Hyundai Cable please let me know

    wilanz@gmail.com

  5. i hooked up my ipod to the aux outlet in the car, but when i scroll through the songs it doesnt show the title, only random letters and numbers. do you know how to get it so the song titles show up while changing songs?

  6. I have a 2010 Touring with the factory iPod cable and it doesn’t work with my iPhone 3Gs. Everything begins off well (everything works as it should) then for some reason that I can not explain, it begins to beep and displays messages that my divice is not supported. At that time I can play songs through the system however, it stops charging and all radio contols stop working. If I continue to use the cable I have to manually select songs from my phone.

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