The easiest way to determine if a vehicle has Bluetooth technology is by attempting to pair a Bluetooth enabled cell phone with the radio. If the phone finds the radio, a button with a headset or phone on the car stereo illuminates. Pressing the button pairs the phone and stereo. Most vehicles with a date of manufacture after 2004 have this capability, according to Autos.com.
Pairing the phone with the car stereo offers several advantages. The user is able to make and receive calls without accessing the phone or pushing a button. The system directs calls through the vehicle's speakers. The stereo panel displays information concerning incoming calls and call status on the stereo panel. A ringing phone automatically turns down the music volume and resumes it when the call ends. Some of these devices store the full address book from the SIM card. The system helps to save battery life and improve the connection.
While some units do not have built-in Bluetooth functionality, they are Bluetooth ready. The addition of a separate peripheral device adds the functionality to the system. While installation is simple, it involves removal of the stereo head unit to access its adapter port. Each adapter is stereo specific, requiring purchase of the device that fits the existing stereo.