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Old 20th September 2021, 20:56   #1
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Default DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

Finally after looking at dinu2506's thread of adding CarPlay to his Audi A4 B8, I gave up to the temptation of adding it to my car as well. I have been doing a lot of research regarding since I got the car and I finally decided to go the DIY route and give it a shot myself first and if I fail will try finding a third party installer.

I began with he following tools -

1. A screw driver to remove the 8mm screws and a plass (attached pic)
2. Car play Box (ordered from Road Top) Link

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-1.-tool-1.jpeg
DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-2.-car-play-box.jpeg

As I mentioned I was looking the this upgrade almost since the time I bought my car, and with every new car getting this as standard, this made me miss it more and more. Before this I have attached a magnetic mobile holder to the windscreen and use it for navigation. Even though this works fine, having the maps display on the car screen makes it so much more cleaner. Not having carplay is the single most feature I have missed most on my car since day 1.

I researched this since the days of good old Aliexpress and there were many sellers selling these boxes for all cars from BMW, Audi, Lexus to Toyota and more. Upon researching more came across a brand called Joyeauto which is famous for this. There are many brands /websited internationally which sell this boxes with their own interfaces and boot logo like RSNAV, Carsgadget and even Evoretrofits in India which a fellow BHPian used. If they had there outlet in Delhi I would probably have gone to them as well for the ease of doing things.

Doing all the research I came across a brand called Roadtop which was available on amazon.com, aliexpress and had even their own website. Their box did the same thing and was uch cheaper as well compared to other brands. Saw their reviews on Amazon and finally ordered directly through them. They gave the option of shipping via DHL or India post. The day I placed the order they asked me to share all the car model details and images of the centre MMI screen, along with the dashboard buttons layout and software information. Shared the same and they shipped the box 2 days later. I chose DHL and the box reached India and was delivered to me in 4 days flat from the date of shipping. DHL guys were very proactive and they collected all custom documents even before the box got shipped for quick clearance. They shared the link of amount of custom duty to be paid as well online. The box got delivered the same day to me when I paid the custom duty.

The box was delivered on Thursday and my weekly off was Monday so I waited for the same to start installing it. Meantime I reviewed all the documents that came with it and for some reason they sent the guide of installing it in A3 B9..

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-3.-bookle.jpeg

Upon contacting them over email, and even a WhatsApp number they provide, told me that the installation process is same for A3 & A4. I had seen many videos of installation of this box but could only find one specific to A4 B9. I also learned that each box comes with some toggle switches which needs to be turned on or off according to the specific model and features of the car. As per them I had to use the same configuration as A3 and turn on only first three toggles as seen in pic below.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-4.-toggle-switch.jpeg

I found another installation link from RSNAV website in form of a PDF file which gave very detailed installation instructions as well as specify toggles to be turned on and off for each of the Audi models. Attached screenshot for the same below.
DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-screenshot-20210920-3.54.38-pm.png
(Source: RSNAV.com)

As seen from the above picture for installing in A3, first three toggle switches need to be on, the same which were mentioned in the booklet I received, but for A4, third switch needs to be off and 4th needs to be on. RSNAV has very good reviews and a very active user forum so I followed this pattern of toggle switch in my box as well.

All the views I had seen stated that the glovebox is held by 4 screws and I thought that should be easy to remove and a 10 minute job. But boy I was wrong. A couple of videos I saw of A3, additionally also required removal of side panel near the glovebox with a pry tool and removing an extra screw there, so I was ready to remove that also. I started by removing the two screws outside the glovebox in the footrest area first. They came off easily and were easy to remove with a screw driver.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-sc-1-2.jpeg

Then I removed screw number 3 & 4 inside the dashboard. Saw screw number 5 there and removed it too and the dashboard was still stuck. Removed the side panel and found screw number 6 and thought its done but no. I started seeing around and found 2 more screws (7 & 8) inside the glovebox just in front of the headunit and removed those two as well. Now the left side of the glovebox came out but it was still stuck on right side. To my surprise if found the 9th screw which was the most difficult to remove as there was no space to use the screw driver here. Below is the pic highlighting all of them. Had to manually turn the screw with the little screw holder placed on screw and rotating it with plass. (Thats where the plass was used)

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-sc-3-9.jpeg
DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-6.-side-screw.jpeg

It took me a good 45-60 mins to remove all of them. Finally the glovebox came out and it had 2 cables inside, plugged for light and cooling which I did not remove and left the glovebox in the foot area on top of a box making sure that the cables are not getting strained even a little bit.

Now the next step was to remove the MIB headunit, which is held by two screws according to the videos I had seen. Even though I could locate and remove these screws in 5 minutes, for some reason the headunit refused to come out.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-8.-headunit-screw.jpg

Theses screws are located pointing upward and were quite easy to remove once located. I tried locating more of them and took some picture to find them a it was not easy to look inside there. The frond end had 2 cross with white ink and what looks like two broken screws.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-10.-dummy-screws.jpeg

Finally the headunit came off and it was held by a couple of clips and it took some effort and force to remove it. I was afraid of applying too much pressure as I did not want to break anything so took it out very slowly. I also kept looking around for more screws as I was afraid I might find more of them in the indian spec car just like the glovebox. Thankfully there were only two of them and the headunit came out.

After this I noticed the wires behind it are too short to move it much further. The videos I had seen had much longer wired and they could easily place the unit in their laps. The 48pin harness is held down by a clip and I had seen the same being removed many times in video and I could take that out. Below is the image I took before removing any cable form the headunit just in case I need to put everything back same as original

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-9.-orginakl-connection.jpeg

The videos mentioned three similar looking cables behind the MIB headunit, one of which is LVDS (mostly grey) and needed to be removed and connected to the car play box. My headunit only had the 48 pin harness, one pink cable and one white cable. There was a vacant yellow slot where no cable was plugged in. Upon seeing this I was little worried that may be the car will not support it as only one pink cable was there and one empty slot. I went ahead with the only cable that was there and assuming it as LVDS.

I was able to easily remove and attach the original 48 pin car harness in the provided cable but was not able to put the new harness connector behind the MIB unit even after multiple tries. As it contains multiple pins, I decided to remove both the LVDS and white cable and took the head unit out. This is how it looks.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1655.jpeg

It was much easier to put the new cable in the headunit now and post that I connected the LVDS cable as well. One end of cable went inside the MIB unit, one end inside the cars original connection and the third end in the car play box. The same connection pattern was followed for the 48 pin harness as well. Below is an image from the user guide I received of how it looks.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-5.-cable-connection.jpeg

After all this I connected the following cables in the car play box -
1. Third end of cable coming from 48 pin harness
2. This end of LVDS cable
3. Wifi cable with an antenna that can be sticked on or left inside the dash. (should be kept away from metal for best signal strength)
4. USB connection cable.

Finally turned on the car to test the system and it worked in one go. The efforts had finally paid off and I couldn't have been happier. For audio to work, I need to select AUX in media. All of the systems have this requirement. For older cars they even ship a cable for AMI to aux for the system to make audio work. The cable came with my box too but is useless for me.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1666.jpeg

After this, I have to long press the media button for 3 seconds to turn the system on and it asked me to choose from CarPlay / andoird auto/ YouTube/ camera and a couple of other things. As soon a I chose CarPlay, the CarPlay screen came up and it automatically asked me to enable CarPlay over WIFI. I enabled the same and removed the cable and the car play was still working. Tried playing music, give a Siri command and both worked like a charm. (Have to keep aux selected as source for this system to work.)

Since the beginning of my hunt for this CarPlay retrofit solution, I did not like the idea of a cable running through the A-pillar to behind the rear view mirror for the mic to work as it was done in dinu2506's car. Even though he suggested its barely noticeable I was not comfortable with this and I found out that the newer car play boxes use the cars original bluetooth mic and don't need any additional mics to be placed. This was a huge relief for me.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1659.jpeg

I noticed the Wifi antenna was not plugged properly but the wireles carplay was still working. (probably because the box was still out in the open). Plugged it back again and placed it behind the AC controls.

Now that everything was working, all connections done now came the last step to place the box behind the MIB unit. it took me half an hour and I tried all possible places I could but it simply refused to go in properly at any open space. A couple of places where it went partially in did not allow the glovebox to be aligned properly. After giving up on this I decided to let the box stay inside the glovebox and route all the cable form a dummy plastic which was easy to remove. The cable look like below in the glovebox. Have removed the visible its below and on left side of the original MMI unit which are visible at the time of taking the below picture.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-7.-main-screws.jpeg

This is the only gripe I have left now with installing the box myself that I could not place it behind the glovebox. I didn't try to apply too much pressure / force as I was afraid of breaking anything inside. Also in the short time I used the CarPlay function the unit got little hot, so did not want to keep it too close to any other part behind the glovebox where it can not pass heat properly. The good part it being inside the glovebox is I can turn the a/c on and it can remain cool while working.

Finally tested everything once again before putting the glovebox back and it was working perfectly fine. Took 15 mins to put all the screws back, thanks to screw number 9, which took the max time. Attached another picture of it below.

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1672.jpeg

Once again tried all the functions including Maps/ Siri / Phone call / Music and everything is working like a charm. Cant wait to take the car now for a long drive and use the car screen for navigation and music instead of the phone. Costed a fraction of what I would have had to pay to any third party including evoretrofits for installation. But then the ease of getting this done by professionals without having to worry about connections also is a part of that cost. Attaching a couple of pictures of the device in action of the short trip I took to test all the functions.

The box works very seamlessly for example when I switch to reverse, the camera comes up and switches off back to CarPlay as soon as I switch to D. Also the phone connects automatically every time I turn on the car without having to switch to AUX or holding the media button to use CarPlay. It is stored in memory and works automatically after about 5 seconds or so. As it works wirelessly the phone can stay in pocket or inside the handrest with plugged in to USB for charging.
Attached Thumbnails
DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1676.jpeg  

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1679.jpeg  

DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)-img_1681.jpeg  

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Old 20th September 2021, 21:43   #2
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Default Re: 2 years with an Audi A4 - Living my dream

Great to see a DIY install done well. And all wires tucked neatly.
But I'd like to mention that in many MIB2 based Audi systems, carplay and Android auto can also be activated by some programming. So that may also be an option for some owners if installing an additional box is not desirable.
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Old 20th September 2021, 22:07   #3
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Default Re: 2 years with an Audi A4 - Living my dream

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Originally Posted by agambhandari View Post
Great to see a DIY install done well. And all wires tucked neatly.
But I'd like to mention that in many MIB2 based Audi systems, carplay and Android auto can also be activated by some programming. So that may also be an option for some owners if installing an additional box is not desirable.
The software installation / programming first requires having 2 USB ports inside the handrest. The one in mine car has only one “Charge only” port. Going the official route requires adding a wire running from head unit to the glovebox, and replacing the charge only port with two USBs. This meant opening the whole gear-lever and the trim below it. Even after that is done, it requires VCDS tweaks and then adding custom firmware to enable Audi Smartphone Interface.

I did do basic VCDS tweaks on my polo but this was much more complicated and DIY with my skills was next to impossible for me. And then the only links I could find for custom firmwares were not even in English which made things even more difficult to do. I did look that option up because OEM fit is even better but gave up because of the complications in both hardware and software for this. This carplay box route on the other hand was much more easier and simpler.
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Old 20th September 2021, 23:50   #4
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Originally Posted by prateekchanana View Post
The software installation / programming first requires having 2 USB ports inside the handrest. The one in mine car has only one “Charge only” port. Going the official route requires adding a wire running from head unit to the glovebox, and replacing the charge only port with two USBs. This meant opening the whole gear-lever and the trim below it. Even after that is done, it requires VCDS tweaks and then adding custom firmware to enable Audi Smartphone Interface.

I did do basic VCDS tweaks on my polo but this was much more complicated and DIY with my skills was next to impossible for me. And then the only links I could find for custom firmwares were not even in English which made things even more difficult to do. I did look that option up because OEM fit is even better but gave up because of the complications in both hardware and software for this. This carplay box route on the other hand was much more easier and simpler.
Agreed. I wasn't aware that the USB port in your car was charge only. As for the firmware, yes it is difficult to do it by yourself but better to just pay somebody and get it done. Have seen good results this way.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:31   #5
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Default Re: 2 years with an Audi A4 - Living my dream

Thanks heaps for this. The hardware is priced quite reasonable, for the benefits that it offers.

I think the equivalent of an MIB on my 2013 BMW is sitting in the boot as I've seen something similar located behind the tail light assembly. Could be something else.
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Old 21st September 2021, 09:43   #6
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Thanks heaps for this. The hardware is priced quite reasonable, for the benefits that it offers.

I think the equivalent of an MIB on my 2013 BMW is sitting in the boot as I've seen something similar located behind the tail light assembly. Could be something else.
That would be the amplifier for the audio system.
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Old 21st September 2021, 13:54   #7
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Default Re: 2 years with an Audi A4 - Living my dream

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Thanks heaps for this. The hardware is priced quite reasonable, for the benefits that it offers.

I think the equivalent of an MIB on my 2013 BMW is sitting in the boot as I've seen something similar located behind the tail light assembly. Could be something else.
True at this price it’s totally worth the comfort it offers and makes the car so much up to date. You can check their site / YouTube for your particular car and they will provide you install instructions for BMW as well. They make these boxes for all the major brands. I think all of them are connected to your music system either in the centre console or in the glovebox.
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Old 21st September 2021, 16:45   #8
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Great thread and amazing DIY work. I think having the MMI box in the glovebox has its advantages too since you won't have to disassemble the car if it ever goes bad, you can simply replace the MMI box. Maybe use a double sided tape on the MMI box to hold it in one place, it will make it look even neater. Enjoy!
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Old 23rd September 2021, 19:35   #9
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Great DIY work. I remember back when i was buying 2 years back Android auto/ Carplay was not norm the way it is now. But i also never liked the idea of using mobile stand for looking at maps. That was creepy in a luxury car.

A4 was a strong contender which i had considered that time and only option left to choose was Technology variant over Premium plus coz of this AA/CP feature which was a deal breaker. Premium Plus was more value otherwise. Good to see you adding that feature in your Premium Plus variant
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Old 24th September 2021, 07:15   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

Thanks for sharing, Prateek! Moving your post out to a new thread. A new thread means 100X the views & 100X the visibility in search engines, including Google. Will add to homepage today .

@ BHPians, if you should spot any good post in an existing thread that deserves its own new thread, please report the post and we'll move it out for greater visibility.

Thank you!
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Old 24th September 2021, 11:53   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

It looks amazing !
I have a 2019 Toyota Innova, is it possible to get it done on it ? The link you shared has options for the Germans only.
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Old 24th September 2021, 12:16   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

Quote:
Originally Posted by helterskelter View Post
Great thread and amazing DIY work. I think having the MMI box in the glovebox has its advantages too since you won't have to disassemble the car if it ever goes bad, you can simply replace the MMI box. Maybe use a double sided tape on the MMI box to hold it in one place, it will make it look even neater. Enjoy!
Yes replacing a MMI box with the correct tools is a 30 mins job with this setup. Did consider placing it over the MMI, even the user guide suggested that. But as I mentioned the box was getting warm pretty quick up so I wanted it to stay away from any other metal object.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puneet0051 View Post
Great DIY work. I remember back when i was buying 2 years back Android auto/ Carplay was not norm the way it is now. But i also never liked the idea of using mobile stand for looking at maps. That was creepy in a luxury car.

A4 was a strong contender which i had considered that time and only option left to choose was Technology variant over Premium plus coz of this AA/CP feature which was a deal breaker. Premium Plus was more value otherwise. Good to see you adding that feature in your Premium Plus variant
Yes and the difference in both the variants at that time was close to 4.5 lacs. The only features were Navigation, CarPlay / Android Auto (Wired), Memory sets and a wooden inlays. Never felt worth the premium but not having car play was the feature I missed the most. Having a phone holder does spoil the look but with my heavy reliance on maps, I am just used to keeping them open even on the routes I know very well in back of my mind. Had the smallest magnetic holder I could find and placed it over windshield behind the MMI display till the time I got this upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Thanks for sharing, Prateek! Moving your post out to a new thread. A new thread means 100X the views & 100X the visibility in search engines, including Google. Will add to homepage today .
Thanks GTO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SShandilya View Post
It looks amazing !
I have a 2019 Toyota Innova, is it possible to get it done on it ? The link you shared has options for the Germans only.
Not sure about Toyotas but I have seen LEXUS there. Not sure how similar their setups are. They do provide these for VW as well.
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Old 24th September 2021, 13:46   #13
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Default Re: DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

Great modification done. So glad you could find a way to fix this without paying 4.5L extra for the higher variant. Does this impact the warranty?

Is there a similar upgrade possible for BMW 330i Sport? Great if you can share or DM the name of the vendor for me to check.
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Old 24th September 2021, 21:21   #14
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Default Re: DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

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Originally Posted by sid_deb View Post
Great modification done. So glad you could find a way to fix this without paying 4.5L extra for the higher variant. Does this impact the warranty?

Is there a similar upgrade possible for BMW 330i Sport? Great if you can share or DM the name of the vendor for me to check.
Pretty sure the make it for all the germans. How difficult or easy it is for your car you will have to check. Have sent your details of the vendor I got it from, but there are many more offering the same product under different names.
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Old 7th October 2021, 23:49   #15
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Default Re: DIY: Adding Apple Carplay / Android Auto to my Audi A4 (B9)

Great work

One question I took a test drive of Audi A4 few days back and the interiors look quite similar to your car. IIRC the sales person said it has both Android Auto and Car play. What is the manufacturing year of your car?
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