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2014 C300 Sport W204 | 2007 SLK280 R171
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of adding CarPlay to all my cars and I'm wondering what you all have done to add it to the C300. I keep seeing places that offer the service to do so in the UK, but I'm hoping there is just a module that fits between the existing head unit and the screen to add this capability. Short of that I have to think about one of those Chinese head units that run Android and I rarely hear anything good about those.

Thanks!
 

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2014 C300 Sport W204 | 2007 SLK280 R171
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I just wanted to shamelessly bump this since it's gotten no traction in over two weeks.
 

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2014 C300 Sport W204 | 2007 SLK280 R171
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I went with the Road Trip from Amazon, once I have it up and running I'll post the experience.
 

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2014 C300 Sport W204 | 2007 SLK280 R171
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Discussion Starter #7
UPDATE

Ok, after a little back and forth on this project it is finally complete! All in all this was a good purchase and works quite nice. As posted above, there are three different vendors for this, I went with the Road Trip for a few reasons.

The Unique Auto Developments is WAY too expensive for what you get, about $700 US. That leave Joyauto and the Road Trip as good DIY's. Of the two, I went with Road Trip because the Road Trip will utilize the built-in microphone in the C300, while the Joyauto will utilize it for everything BUT Siri, to use voice commands (Siri or Google) you have to run a second microphone. The devices are, otherwise, pretty similar the the pricing is only $30 different. Plus the Road Trip can be purchased on Amazon, the others cannot.

I didn't take pictures because this ended up being a long job with my trial and error, sorry about that. Road Trip does have a video, but my notes have a few points the video doesn't cover.

Here is the basic access and device plug-in steps:
  1. Save your trim, get a nice trim removal kit so you don't mar up your interior. The added benefit of this is that a good kit also has a variety of tools to really let you get behind the trim and put the pressure on the connection, rather than the plastic around it and that keeps you from breaking or cracking your plastic parts. The one I went with was this 41 piece kit for just $25 US (Amazon.com: 41Pcs Trim Removal Tool,Car Panel Door Audio Removal Tool Kit, Auto Clip Pliers Fastener Remover Pry Tool Set with Storage Bag: Automotive) and it was really worth every penny, I NEEDED some of those tools to finish the job, otherwise I would have been prying with screwdrivers or just plain broken stuff off trying to remove it
  2. Pop off the front trim. It's the part above the radio with the two vents and the "swish" that goes to the door. Just get a pry tool behind the part closest to the door and they all pop off super easy unit you get to the vents. You have to put some pressure here, those are on very well but will pop off with a bit of back pressure.
  3. Disconnect the vent wire and set the vent assembly aside.
  4. The only place I could find to really put the Road Trip was in between the glove box and the radio, there is a perfect spot right there for it and it sits quite snug without any need to strap it to the car. Start this but getting into the passenger compartment and remove the three screws that hold the back trim piece to the underneath of your dash. Once loose, pull down a bit and reach in, there is a large "L" shaped hook that you may need to move left to release the trim, then just wiggle it out. Once out, disconnect the passenger light wire.
  5. Now use your kit to pry off the trim piece on the far right of the dash, passenger side, that is between the glovebox and door. It's just 4 pop-out clips and the trim piece will wiggle right out.
  6. With the passenger trim removed, you can now unscrew the first glovebox screw at the bottom of where this trim came from. There's a matching screw on the oppose side of the glove box, unscrew that as well.
  7. There are four screws inside the glovebox at the top, remove these.
  8. Your glove box should now pull down and away (with a bit of a wiggle) and come off. Disconnect all the wire harnesses attached to it and move it out of the way.
  9. Back to the radio - you can access the two locking screws that hold the radio in, they are at the top where the vent is. There are only two silver screws at the top, and these screw into a mechanism that, literally, locks the radio in place on rails. Unscrew those and then stick your screwdriver back into the holes and give it a little firm bump with your palm, this knocks the security rails down and the radio will just slide out.
  10. Slide the radio out and find the main wiring block, a big square plastic block closet to the drivers side on the bottom. There is a lever at the edge of that block, pull back on it and it will release the harness.
  11. On the harness you removed, see if you have two fiber optic wires going into the upper right of your connector. Mine were orange. If you do then use the pin tool from your kit to just depress the lock on that and you can pull both of these fiber optic cables out. This is important, you need to move this to the same place on the new pigtail harness that comes with the Road Kit.
  12. The instructions are not clear on this, but on my W204 my LDVS cable on the back of the radio was GRAY, not BLUE. If you have a dark blue connector then that is probably the one to use, but I had to do some trial and error to determine that I need to disconnect GRAY. Once disconnected, plug the gray plug into the blue splitter provided, then one goes back to the radio (the blue plug to the gray input you disconnected) and the other to the Road Trip.
  13. Connect the wiring block pigtail into the radio, push the lever down to pull it into the radio and lock it into place.
  14. That is it for the radio.
  15. On the Road Trip, set your jumpers so that only 3, 5 and 8 are ON, the rest OFF. This was for my 2014 C300 W204, the manual will tell you how to set it for yours.
  16. Route the wires through the hole between the radio compartment and the glove box. It's easy to pinpoint because the vent wire runs through it. There are two holes here, I found that the one closest to the engine was the best to use because the one closest to you as you face it got in the way when trying to tuck everything back in. You will be fitting your Road Trip in that little space on the other side of the hole, it's a perfect fit if you have all the Road Trip connectors to the top and the wireless antenna wire at the bottom.
If you have the accessory cable in your glove box, you can use that to connect the 3.5mm audio jack. Mine was in my center console storage, so what follows is how I tapped into that with the adapter supplied for this purpose in the Road Trip package.

Getting to the center console is a chore! I don't want any wires showing so I needed to run the audio cable under the center console and to the storage box. Here is what I did:

  1. Use a pry tool to pry up the shifter boot, it just snaps in with four snaps so it comes out easily.
  2. Pull the boot inside out over the knob to expose the retainer nut. Twist this nut counter clockwise and pull it down the shaft, then you can just pull the knob and boot right off the shaft. You may have to put your car in neutral to do this, just put it back in park after the knob is off
  3. Now use a pry tool to remove the aluminum trim that the boot snapped into. This is on pretty snug, don't be afraid to give it a good tug with your hand as you pry with the other, it will pop right off.
  4. You can disconnect the wires, but I saw no need for this, I was able to do this job by just keeping everything connected and out of the way as I worked on this from the passenger seat.
  5. Pull out the rubber liner in the small storage compartment, this will expose a Torx screw. Remove this screw.
  6. Once the screw is removed, you can pry up the trim that the screw held in, there are four clips that will pop it right off if you pry up gently at a corner.
  7. Once the trim is off, there are three more Torx. One is holding the COMAND assembly in place, the others hold the rest of the console trim in place.
  8. With the trim removed you should be able to see under the center console and might even see the painted metal of the car. You can use the tools in your trim kit to just push the wire up to where the carpet seam is, right by the shift knob. That seam is a perfect spot to feed the 3.5mm connector up underneath the trim and grab it. If you feed enough of the wire in you will see it start to gather near the shifter, then you can grab that wire and pull it through. Now the wire is hidden all the way to there.
  9. Open your center console storage. If you have the USB and accessory plug there will be a black hard plastic liner clipped to the compartment. Get one of your pry tools and pop the liner off from the side of the storage compartment. Now you should be able to move the insert around a bit. Don't try to remove it, there's a screw holding it in from the bottom and unless you want to totally remove your console to get at it, just having it loose is good enough for what I did. These clips are in pretty strong, the front popped off without too much pressure, but I had to really pry hard on the rear to get that one to pop off.
  10. I grabbed a coat hanger and looped the end I want to use to fish my cable with so I didn't snag or carpet or poke into anything. I also gave the end about a 45 degree bend. With this I went in behind the now loose insert in the storage compartment and wiggled around until the end of the hanger showed up at the first opening in the center console, just under where the cup holders go. I pulled the hanger up so I could attach my wire to it.
  11. Attache the 3.5mm connector to the hanger and wiggle your way back with it so it comes out behind the insert you removed. Now your 3.5mm plug should be all the way in the console box. Connect that to the provided adapter and plug it in. What I then did was take the provided adapter and tucked it behind the plastic insert, into the cavity behind it, so that the only thing you now see in the compartment is the plug with a wire going underneath the connector - very clean! I'll see if I can take a picture of how I did this to give you a better idea.
  12. Now, with some pressure because the wire is pushing up on that insert, pop the insert back into the sides of the compartment. Gather up any slack and tuck it all under the center console and reassemble it.
So at this point everything should be connected. The audio wire MUST be connected, otherwise no sound. The reason why is because this unit uses your AUX input on the radio, and this is the AUX port. If your AUX port is in the glovebox then you could run it there much easier and cleaner, but mine was not.

Final steps:
  1. First make sure everything works. Turn on the car, plug your phone into the USB (for the test, this does both wired and wireless CarPlay/Android Auto). Press and hold the CLEAR button on the center console COMAND system and your CarPlay should pop up. Make sure you can hear everything and that the COMAND dial gets you around. Nothing on the screen? That's the gray cable with the splitter, make sure everything is tight. No sound? That's the 3.5mm cable that runs to your AUX port. No power? That's the big plug, you might not have locked it back in.
  2. Once it's all working, you start to reverse the install process.
  3. Slide the radio back until it's about 2 inches from being seated. Now I had to tuck the large connector block pigtail to a void beneath the radio, it was a perfect fit. Then as you slide the radio back in, pull the slack on the wires going to the Road Trip so you don't hangup on anything.
  4. In the 2 inch gap, stick one of your hook tools from the trim kit and pull up the sliding radio lock lever on each side. While you hold it at the top-most position, get a few threads of the screws in place. I can tell you this is the only way to do this. If you try to wiggle the screws around trying to find the locking bar again you'll never get it, they are fine machine screws. By doing this you have the lever in a locked position where the screw hole is very easy to access. You only want to tighten this enough that the screw won't come out because you need to slide the locking mechanisms back down again.
  5. Once both screws have a few threads into the locking mechanism, push down on them so the enter mechanism drops down again, but the screws are still attached so they won't go all the way down. This is fine because you can still slide the radio in without hitting the lock.
  6. Now slide the radio all the way back in until it snaps into place.
  7. Tighten the two screws at the top, this will draw the locking mechanism back up again and lock the radio into place.
  8. As you look at the now secured radio, the place between those two screws ends up being a perfect place to run the wireless antenna! I just used some electrical tape to secure it to the plastic trim right there and it's held nicely in place.
  9. Plug the vent wire back in and replace the vent and vent trim.
  10. With the glovebox still out, wiggle the Road Trip unit into the space between the glovebox cavity and the radio, it should sit nicely in there. In my install, I put all the connector wires up, the antenna wire down and it's nice and clean. I also ran the USB port so it pokes out from the center console trim for now, I'll put in something nicer later.
  11. While everything is apart, this is a great time to change your cabin air filter, it's exposed right now! Just slide the plastic tabs and it comes right out.
  12. Put back the glovebox, bottom cover and side cover.
This looks like a lot of steps only because I tried to detail some things for you. You can also watch some YouTube videos on removing the glove box and radio, plus Road Trip has a video you can watch too.

I'll try to get pictures of the final product, I'm wiped right now as I'm writing this just as I finished the install while it was fresh in my head. If I didn't have some trial and error (LDVS plug, getting to the center console AUX port, finding a way to get the radio locks to let me get screws back in) this would be a 2 hour job. With all of that, though, it was about 6.

Good luck!
 

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Wow! Impressive write-up, and with pics no less! I hope you enjoy your new toy and thanks for a detailed how-to for all us newbies.
 
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