No CD player in the 2019 Camry? There is a fix for this


DEAR TALKING ABOUT CAR: I recently bought a 2019 Toyota Camry. I knew it didn’t have a CD player and neither was one optional. The salesperson assured me that I could download all my CDs to a USB stick and listen to them in the car as well.

Well, that was a pipe dream! I haven’t found a way to do this effectively, and Toyota’s Entune system (and its “steering”) is baffling.

My question is, is there a way to fit an aftermarket CD player into this car? If not, is there a similar car equipped with a CD player? Thank you!

– Janet

DEAR JANET: Wow, you really love your CDs! You’re ready to get rid of a brand new Camry just so you can listen to the Doobie Brothers. I admire it. But you don’t have to throw out the Camry, Janet.

First of all, we agree with you about the Toyota “Entune” infotainment system. It’s miserably complicated, and a lot of people have complained about how unintuitive it is. So you are not alone there.

And you’re not the only one who wants a CD player, although you are more and more in the minority these days, because most people store their music on their phones.

The easiest, but not the cheapest way to get a CD player is to go to a reputable car stereo store. Read the reviews and recommendations carefully as this is a company where the quality varies a lot from store to store.

A good car stereo store can either add a permanent CD player and mount it somewhere for you, or replace your Camry’s “main unit” (the stereo controller on your dashboard) with a brand new system with built in. ‘an integrated CD player. If only I could have replaced my brother’s “main unit”.

If you are a DIY enthusiast and prefer to do it yourself, just go online and search for “USB CD Drive for Camry 2019”. You will find a number of options for CD players that plug into your car stereo’s USB port. Then when you select USB as the “source”, your car stereo system will play whatever is in the CD player. The player himself can go in the glove box, under the dashboard, or on the side of the center console, with self-adhesive patches.

But try a good stereo store first. See what it costs to do it professionally and cleanly. After all, it’s a whole new car, Janet. It’s a bit early to tell your passengers to “watch the wires” when they board.

DEAR TALKING ABOUT CAR: I realize that Hondas are considered very well made and reliable cars. However, I always refrained from buying one as they were known to have “interference” motors and a timing belt instead of a timing chain. I didn’t like the idea that if I neglected to change the timing belt in time, the engine would self-destruct.

I saw in one of your recent columns that you advised one of your readers that they did not have to change the timing belt on their Honda Accord since it had a timing chain, not a belt. My question is, where can a consumer find reliable information like this when considering buying a car?

I have found that car salespeople don’t know and will tell you whatever they think you want to hear.

– William

DEAR WILLIAM: It’s good to know. The next time I buy a car, I will tell the seller that I want to hear that there is no payment due for the first 80,000 miles.

You are right that it is not easy for the average consumer to obtain precise mechanical information. Most salespeople are not mechanics; most of them will have no earthly idea whether the car has a timing belt or a timing chain. But the guys in the parts department will.

All you need to do is go to or call the parts office and ask if the year and make of the car you are considering has a timing chain or timing belt. If they don’t know it by heart, they will search their parts database for the belt, and if no belt appears, they will search for a chain. Bingo!

Cars have returned to chains in recent years. Chains were once considered less reliable and more complicated and expensive to replace if they broke. But they figured out how to make them last the life of the car in most cases.

And just because you asked, I searched and Honda Civics have had timing chains since 2005. Four cylinder Accords have been using chains since 2002. The only Accord that still uses a belt is the rare six cylinder version. , which they claim should be changed to 100,000 miles.

We wish you good driving without a timing belt, William.

Ray Magliozzi provides car tips on Car Talk every Saturday. Email him by visiting:

HomeStyle on 06/15/2019


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