Upgrading Audi A4 (B8) to Android Auto

Upgrading Audi A4 (B8) to Android Auto

Random   /   Jan 26th, 2021   /   0 COMMENTS   /  A+ | a-
We have had our Audi A4 (B8) for a long time now and it has served us well. It is not as nice as the one I wrote off in 2016 but this car is still going strong despite being an 8-year-old car and having driven over 170,000 kms.

But every now and again we talk about getting a new car, and for me, one of the main reasons I would like a new car is because the old entertainment system in our Audi seems very dated. While I get great Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls that is the only connection I have from my phone to my car. There is no DAB and with Switzerland looking to turn off FM soon that will cause problems and in general, I keep all my music on my phone (not through a streaming service, actually 160 GB of music stored locally on my phone). I used to use an Ipod Classic attached through the AMI (Audi Music Interface) in the glovebox of the car, which worked great, but my Ipod is now unreliable, especially when it is cold outside and often needs to be reset or is not recognised.

So, having too much time on my hands last year I looked into how I can put Android Auto into my car and ordered all the parts. I only now, 5 months after ordering the components got around to installing it all.

The system is really good and works better than I thought it would. It allows me to have all the OEM controls and systems of the car and then the added function of Android Auto. It is all plug and play, but you do have to pull your whole dashboard apart to instal it.

Contents of box

After researching a bit, I went online, and I found the system I wanted to instal on AliExpress. The seller was helpful when I had installation queries and the package was sent quickly (even if it did take me a long time to get around to installing it).

There were a number of videos online and I realised after trying to instal mine in the same way, that they were not quite right for my system and car. But in the end I got there.

I did however find one very good tip while looking online and trying to get my system installed. I had pulled the glovebox completely out of my car, taken off the air vents and the AC control panel and then I could not for the life of me get the audio module out of the car. I almost broke the front panel off a couple of times trying to force it as I did not have the special keys to remove the module. And then I found a useful tip from someone suggesting that instead of the normal keys you can use the nail file on your nail clippers. So I went inside and got two sets of nail clippers and gave it a go. It works like a charm.

With that now finally out of the car I tried following my videos online and for anyone who might find this blog after trying to do the same, the video asked me to remove the plug below which is hidden behind the glovebox, this was incorrect and instead this cable went into the back of the AC panel below the audio module.

But of course I only found out how to instal this properly after having pulled all the cabling out and getting in contact with the seller. My car looked like this for a while.

I eventually got it all hooked up with the wiring below and then it was time to put it all back together and make it look like it did before the instal. Thankfully everything fits in behind the original panels so you wont be making any visible changes to the car.

And then it was time to get it all connected up to the phone and running. It was pretty simple to set up and this system would also work with Apple Car Play (if I owned any other apple products other than my Ipod Classic). It is an after market addition so there are a few quirks with it, like the fact that the audi main system is still trying to run behind the scenes sometimes when you are clicking buttons and that the odd control does not work as it would normally be intended to work. But there are things I can live with, it is cheaper than a new car for this added functionality. The system takes over the AMI line for audio so you have to have something connected through the AMI, either the AUX cable that automatically thinks something is connected, or like me, until you get your AUX cable you can leave your ipod plugged into the cable and while the car audio system thinks it is playing the Ipod and will even tell me what song it thinks it is playing, it is the whole time playing the audio from my phone through Android Auto.

I now have access to all the music stored on my phone, all streaming service such as spotify and yt music and TuneIn radio to get the DAB channels I was missing out on. I also get google maps (although I was happy with the Audi mapping, much better than the Landrover navigation) and have the options to use google assistant and voice commands in the car.

All these things are nice to have and I would recommend the upgrade for people who like their car but want to have it a bit more up to date. The installation is really not that hard once you are happy to be pulling your car apart.
Tags:  Audi · A4 · B8 · Android Auto · CarPlay · retorfit · DIY
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