What to do if your car’s multimedia system is outdated

We will tell you how to technically refresh a car that the manufacturer has forgotten about.I personally remember the thrill and delight with which I first got into a car with a multi-colored touchscreen monitor. It was a top-of-the-range Land Cruiser and it was really good.

Many years have passed since then, but the modern screen on the dashboard continues to keep all the attention of passengers. the only problem is that car manufacturers have differentiated their lineup so much that some even supernew (!) cars are left without a multimedia device.

Let’s add to this the volumes of the secondary housing, where the display is very rare. And let’s move on to the main task – how to equip a car with a high-quality multimedia system, if the automaker “forgot” to release an original modern device?

Check if there is an original radio tape recorder on the market for your car
When deciding to buy a car, novice car enthusiasts are less likely to rely on the technical characteristics of the car. The number of digital gadgets came to the fore in 2021. The paradigm shift is due to:

inexperience of a young buyer;
the opinion that pumping the car is too laborious;
fear of spoiling the original design of the dashboard. Everyone wants a modern, multifunctional “trip computer” with a touch screen. And few people know that it can be easily integrated into almost any car.

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When preparing to purchase a car, check if there is a full-time multimedia on the market directly for this model. Manufacturers often cooperate with suppliers of additional equipment. In Europe, this niche has long been secured by the British brand Gazer – the company supplies car electronics to importers Audi, Bentley, BMV, Cadillac, Chevrolet Chrysler, Citroen, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Skoda, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo.

The company’s arsenal includes over 450 models of standard multimedia devices. You can find an option both for the very popular Toyota Yaris and Ford Fuison, and for the more rare Jeep Wrangler or BYD F3.

The landing of such devices implies integration into the dashboard, in addition to connecting to the vehicle’s CAN bus. The outer frame of the device ideally becomes instead of the original radio tape recorder, has the same shape and latches, color and material fully correspond to the original radio tape recorders from the automaker.

Only Gazer multimedia systems have much more functions.

From the outdated DVD drive to the modern CarPlay.

If not – refer to universal 2DIN models
2 DIN is the universal head unit mounting dimension.

There are many two-din radio tape recorders – and all of them can be integrated into the original design of the dashboard in the same way as standard ones. True, this requires a special transition frame. It is matched to the make and model of the car – they will help you with the selection at a car dealership or in an installation center.

And the Gazer catalog contains universal models of radio tape recorders. Their plus is that in terms of functionality, they are not inferior to the standard devices of the brand:

Easily read FLAC / MKV / APE / AAC / MP4 / MP3 / WMA / AVI formats.
Adjust sound parameters with a 9-band equalizer, with acoustic center calibration and Loud surround sound capabilities.
FM waves are caught much farther than conventional radio tape recorders.
It is possible to connect front and rear cameras, recorders, surround view systems.
Video broadcasting is provided to all installed monitors simultaneously.
This is with regard to the functions of the radio as a stereo system – connecting all the audio and video devices of the car with each other.

Decide on the required configuration
Let’s be honest, if people wanted to use the radio only for playing music, they would still be content with 1 DIN radio. But you would not be inside this article if you belonged to this type of driver.

The top multimedia devices today are Android devices. They are capable of performing all that list of tasks for which you would previously need a smartphone or tablet.

Even budget options are striking in their functionality. And what can we say about the premium segment, which without delays and freezes allows:

use the HandsFree function and connect a smartphone via Bluetooth;
play tracks directly from Apple Music / Deezer / Spotify / YouTube Music;
install messengers, social networks, games and programs from Google Play on the radio;
listen to audio and podcasts online;
watch YouTube videos and google information in browsers;
plan routes in Waze or Google Maps – taking into account all traffic jams and repairs;
control the radio and navigation using voice commands;
download offline maps for travel abroad;
When choosing a head unit, pay attention to the Android version and multitouch support. It is the capacitive sensor, together with the processor and the current version of the OS, that are responsible for the ease of response and speed of the system as a whole.

My choice is 8 cores and Android 9.

“Add to cart” a couple of additional options
Owners of Apple technology will be able to delight the CarPlay protocol. It allows you to display all the functionality of your iPhone on the display of the radio. At the same time, the interface of the multimedia system becomes 100% user-friendly – as if your smartphone was integrated into the dashboard.

StandBy – a mode of operation with zero energy consumption will not be superfluous. The radio tape recorder goes into it automatically – immediately after the ignition is turned off. If the stop is short – up to 1 hour – then on your return, you will not need to fully launch the device. The system will immediately resume the work of all applications: audio playback from the moment of pause, the route of the navigator, and more. Minimum effort = maximum comfort.

Praise yourself for making the right choice.
It is not at all necessary to purchase a new car if after a couple of years you began to miss something in it. Install a gadget from a trusted supplier, and you will fall in love with your car again – and again call it “swallow”