Aftermarket steering wheel modifications for audio control?

I’ve done a little bit of research about this, but I’m having trouble locating what I need. I have a 2001 model car (a Mazda Protege, to be exact) that I’d like to retrofit with steering wheel controls for the radio (next/prev, volume up/down).

The products I’ve seen seem to only work with factory steering wheels controls, adapting them to different radios. What I want is something that will work with an existing steering wheel, without those controls… or perhaps can I swap out the entire steering wheel with one with integrated controls?

I’m good with electronics, but not cars, and I’m not sure how difficult mechanically or otherwise such a desire is. Any advice?


And one last complication… would the airbag rewiring be difficult?

Many aftermarket stereos come with remotes and mounts so you can clip them to the steering wheel. Not the prettiest solution, but probably the most practical one.

Changing the wheel itself is a difficult job because of the airbag and getting a radio/wheel combination that will talk to each other will likely require some fairly detailed brand-specific knowledge. You could check at one of the Mazda enthusiast forums-- it could turn out that steering wheel controls were an option for your car, or it’s possible to do a wheel and head unit swap from a newer car or something. But even if it were possible, it would be likely end up being a pretty big project.