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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The built-in radio on my 2013 ED Cabrio began to hang and reboot spontaneously so it was time to look for a replacement. At first I was looking at replacement GPS units with Carplay at around $500-$800, but the salesperson at Crutchfield asked if I cared about GPS and playing DVDs... well no. That opened the door to several under $400 units that were basically radios that do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to Bluetooth and phone. I zeroed in on the Sony XAV-AX500. So at $300 for the open box version plus $25 for the pre-built adapter cable I was all set.
I had intended to show a step by step of the installation, but that was beyond me. I did want to share a few tidbits that might make life easier.
  1. The Crutchfield kit includes a new fascia and brackets, The included screws were too short though. I had to make my own.
  2. Call Crutchfield Tech Support and request more detailed installation instructions. They have info on the smart w/nav specifically.
  3. When the old radio is removed and the new connectors are in place, you'll have 3 old connectors left over. This freaked me out until I figured out that #1 was the un-used GPS antenna, #2 was the old AUX IN, and #3 was the old USB port. So none were used any more.
  4. The Crutchfield instructions say to connect the hand brake wire to a pin on the old connector. The question is why they didn't just make the adapter cable that way originally. This is all about not-playing movies while driving, so perhaps there is a legality involved.
  5. The new radio has a blue & white wire for powering up the car's audio amplifier. This isn't used in the smart. The amp powers up automatically.
  6. Pry out the old USB/AUX plate and un-thread the old wires, you can run the two new USB wires back the same way into the glove box.
  7. Using slightly longer screws, the new unit fits perfectly, I wish I had taken a picture as there are several ways to attach the brackets. But only one configuration lets you put two screws along the top edge of each bracket. That is the correct position.
Once everything was done the new radio looks and works great. One subtlety they don't tell you, there are 2 USB connectors. When you dive into the manual you find that USB1 is for the smartphone or a USB stick with videos. The other is only for MP3 music files. Apple Carplay works fine (wired only) but you will find older reviews from Android users complaining. I don't have Android so can't add anything to that discussion.
So now my smart cabrio does one MORE thing no Tesla can!
pic1.jpg pic2.jpg pic3.jpg pic4.jpg
 

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Thanks to your post and some additional research I purchased the same unit from Crutchfield over the weekend and will do the install this coming weekend. Got the additional instructions recommended in #2.
In #7, what length of 'slightly longer screws' did you use to attach the bracket? Were these the machine or other screws? Any other installation hints you thought of after posting? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I couldn't use the included screws. I used new screws with the same thread pitch. I don't recall the length, but maybe half an inch. They can't be so long they grind into the radio itself, you may have to use a Dremel tool with cut-off wheel or hacksaw to shorten them.
I still love this radio!
 

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The OEM highline radios are not highly regarded, particularly the lack of updates for the GPS maps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For those not familiar with Apple CarPlay, it permits certain apps on your iPhone to be accessed from the touchscreen of the "radio". Waze and Apple maps are amongst the available apps, so you always have access to the latest maps over the air. Both provide turn by turn navigation. Of course, several music apps are available too, like Spotify. So having CarPlay means you never have old maps and the interface updates when your iPhone OS does. (For example, the Chevrolet Bolt comes with Apple CarPlay and does not offer a factory GPS option at all.)
In non-CarPlay mode the Sony unit also has a Bluetooth player and conventional radio features.
I am told Android Auto offers similar functionality for Android users.
 

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I couldn't use the included screws. I used new screws with the same thread pitch. I don't recall the length, but maybe half an inch. They can't be so long they grind into the radio itself, you may have to use a Dremel tool with cut-off wheel or hacksaw to shorten them.
I still love this radio!
Hallcp- Thanks for the quick reply. I'll have the hacksaw ready just incase the the ½" or ⅝" replacements I picked up today are too long. Glad you still love the radio. I'm looking forward to it.
 

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what was wrong with the old radio you talk out, are you not loosing features such as gps maps etc.
Have been having the same problems as hallcp noted. In addition, last summer the CD Player ate a disc and I had to remove the unit to get the disc out. Recently, my iPhone would connect to the unit then disconnect, back and forth. The Nav system has always been substandard. The iPhone linked to the Sony will provide a far better GPS capability and nice mp3 interface.
 

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The built-in radio on my 2013 ED Cabrio began to hang and reboot spontaneously so it was time to look for a replacement. At first I was looking at replacement GPS units with Carplay at around $500-$800, but the salesperson at Crutchfield asked if I cared about GPS and playing DVDs... well no. That opened the door to several under $400 units that were basically radios that do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in addition to Bluetooth and phone. I zeroed in on the Sony XAV-AX500. So at $300 for the open box version plus $25 for the pre-built adapter cable I was all set.
I had intended to show a step by step of the installation, but that was beyond me. I did want to share a few tidbits that might make life easier.
  1. The Crutchfield kit includes a new fascia and brackets, The included screws were too short though. I had to make my own.
  2. Call Crutchfield Tech Support and request more detailed installation instructions. They have info on the smart w/nav specifically.
  3. When the old radio is removed and the new connectors are in place, you'll have 3 old connectors left over. This freaked me out until I figured out that #1 was the un-used GPS antenna, #2 was the old AUX IN, and #3 was the old USB port. So none were used any more.
  4. The Crutchfield instructions say to connect the hand brake wire to a pin on the old connector. The question is why they didn't just make the adapter cable that way originally. This is all about not-playing movies while driving, so perhaps there is a legality involved.
  5. The new radio has a blue & white wire for powering up the car's audio amplifier. This isn't used in the smart. The amp powers up automatically.
  6. Pry out the old USB/AUX plate and un-thread the old wires, you can run the two new USB wires back the same way into the glove box.
  7. Using slightly longer screws, the new unit fits perfectly, I wish I had taken a picture as there are several ways to attach the brackets. But only one configuration lets you put two screws along the top edge of each bracket. That is the correct position.
Once everything was done the new radio looks and works great. One subtlety they don't tell you, there are 2 USB connectors. When you dive into the manual you find that USB1 is for the smartphone or a USB stick with videos. The other is only for MP3 music files. Apple Carplay works fine (wired only) but you will find older reviews from Android users complaining. I don't have Android so can't add anything to that discussion.
So now my smart cabrio does one MORE thing no Tesla can!
View attachment 62978 View attachment 62979 View attachment 62980 View attachment 62981
Concerning item #4, my Crutchfield instructions don't say anything about connecting the Hand Brake wire. Did you connect the 'spare' blue/white or blue wire that came with the adapter into the Adapter Pin #1 (Hand Brake) slot and the other end to the corresponding wire on the receiver plug or not bother hooking in the parking brake signal? Going to attack the installation tomorrow. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When I called Crutchfield support they supplied me with additional information via email. Part of it is shown below, there was additional info for other variations on the factory sound system, but all show the same connection for the Parking Brake detector.
crutchfield1.jpg crutchfield2.jpg
My memory is already fading, but I think you connect the Sony's handbrake wire to Pin #1 on the adapter cable. I believe like this basically grounds the parking brake detector wire.
 

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Thanks again for your helpful replies. Crutchfield had sent me the same additional information, so I was in fact working with the same info you had. I used the spare blue wire for the parking brake connection. Interesting revelation from my discussions yesterday with Tech Support. The 7-speaker sound system does have a sub amp/subwoofer under the driver seat so I did infact use the blue/white wire as noted in the instructions. Didn't know I had one and am not sure I ever heard the benefits of it. My first clue was from the factory connector being wired for the sub amp and the tech confirming with his separate information. Unit sounded fine when used last night. Now just have to learn all of its new capabilities.
Where did you mount the mic for hand-free operation? Were you able to do a DIY mod to USB/AUX plate in the glove box. Or, at the new USBs just hanging there? I'm trying to come up with a mod for the plate. Oh, ½" #10 screws worked in lieu of the supplied ⅜". While the markings on the units sinde say not to exceed 8mm, I looked inside and didn't see any obstructions for a ½"screw.
Keep enjoying your unit!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wound up clipping the microphone to the left side of the radio surround, turns out there's a big gap there. I see it when I look through the spokes of the steering wheel. As for USB, I poked out the existing USB/Aux fixture in the glove box. I then enlarged the holes of the plastic insert to accommodate the new USB connectors. Works fine, but I had to whack so much on the plastic insert that it looks kinda homemade now. But its in the glovebox, so I guess it doesn't matter.
 
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