Kenwood Car Radio Instructions

by Lori Spencer
Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

The Kenwood name is highly respected among car audio enthusiasts, known for delivering high quality sound and sturdy reliability for a reasonable price. This tutorial will get you started with the basic operations which will be essentially the same for every Kenwood car radio model. In this lesson, we used the Kenwood KDC-MP242 AM/FM radio/CD player as an example.

Step 1

Press the "Reset" button first if you're using the Kenwood unit for the first time, or after changing the car's battery. This restores the car radio's original factory settings.

Step 2

Set the clock by pressing and holding the "Display" (DISP) button for one second. The clock set display will blink. Press the FM (+) and AM (-) buttons to choose the hour and minute. Press "Display" again when you've set the correct time.

Step 3

Press "SRC" repeatedly until "Tuner" appears to hear the radio. Select the desired band using the "AM" and "FM" buttons. Scan the dial manually using the left and right arrow keys to search for stations. When you find a station to program, press and hold one of the numbers (1-6) below the display for two seconds to assign it a slot in your presets. Depending on your Kenwood model, you may be able to store 12-18 presets on different bands (AM, FM1, FM2, FM3, etc.).

Step 4

Press "SRC" to select the CD player. Insert a CD and the player will start playing the disc automatically. Use the arrow keys to rewind or fast-forward; press the skip buttons to move between tracks. The number keys below the display control other functions like Repeat Play, Scan Play, and Random Play, although these commands vary by model. Consult your product manual.

Step 5

Press the "SRC" button, then move the "AUD" knob to adjust audio settings such as bass, treble, EQ, and speaker settings. Press any key to exit when you're done.

Step 6

Press "DSPL" to change the on-screen information display. Depending on your specific Kenwood car radio model, this may include track number and length, artist/album name, song title, radio station name, and elapsed playing time or time remaining.

Press "SRC" and select "AUX" to listen to a connected USB device such as your wireless phone or iPod. When a phone call comes in, the system will automatically pause, then resume playback when you hang up the phone.


  • Be careful with homemade CDs, especially those with sticky labels. If the label comes loose your disc could get stuck in the player. Adhesive residue can permanently damage your system.


  • Not all types of CDs will play in car audio systems. To be certain, check your user manual to learn which discs are compatible with your particular Kenwood model.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Lori Spencer has written professionally since 1986. She is the author of three nonfiction books, is writing her fourth and provides content for eHow and LIVESTRONG.COM. She also produces and hosts a weekly radio show. Her subjects of expertise include history, media, music, film and the performing arts.

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