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Damaged Factory Radio. Best Options?

3177 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  theantnest
Firstly, hi guys - my first post here, although I've been lurking for a bit.

I am actually a sound engineer and technical consultant, with a little bit of weekend warrior car experience, and a LOT of electronics experience. I'm an Australian living in Dubai for the past 7 years.

I have read at least 100 pages here on the Cruze stereo, including the mega Mylink upgrade thread, and am aware that dropping in a new stereo means hacking eeproms, etc.

I just bought a super cheap 2013 Cruze LS for my wife. The engine, drivetrain, suspension, brakes are all good, but cosmetically she is not in the best shape which is why I got it cheap. (I mean the Cruze. My wife is in good cosmetic shape, and is far from cheap) :)

The biggest issue seems to be that the factory radio knobs are broken to the point of almost falling off. They still work but are a real PITA. She seems to have a slightly different setup to the one in all the posts I've read here, see below:

She has the compartment in the centre of the dash as above and the same factory radio.

As I see it, I have two options.

1. Go to the scrap yard and find a replacement control panel, install and be done with it.

2. Put an aftermarket radio in the car.

I would like to give my wife navigation, as Dubai roads and construction are notorious for changing quicker than you change your underwear, and Google Maps does a pretty good job of keeping up with it. Importantly, almost all other Nav systems besides google are pretty much useless in this city without extremely frequent updates for this reason. Most cars with factory Nav are useless for anything more than major road navigation (and even these are constantly changing). Right now she just sticks her Android phone in the compartment above and it works fine, but isn't really an elegant solution IMO.

So. I saw these aftermarkets complete with dash kit, steering wheel control - seemingly all the trimmings:

I also am a drone builder/ enthusiast and have ordered too much stuff from Aliexpress, so I am confident that the store is ok. What I am not sure about is the loss of functionality by removing the factory radio? There are a lot of vehicle options in the radio menu and I'm unsure what happens when you remove it?

The above seller states:

Steering wheel control
Can control Automotive status display(temperature,fan,belts,wipe the blade,door clsoed and etc.

But I'm not really sure exactly what that means?

Has anyone dropped one of these in? What do you guys think? The main reason I am wanting to go Android is because Google Maps, and I use and love Android devices (none of this Apple rubbish).

Thanks for taking the time to read. Looking foward to some good advice.

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I don't know how it is over there, but here in the US I would go with a Garmin dash / windshield gps. Make sure it has lifetime maps, and you can update it. Built in GPS units are hard to update, and if the streets change a lot, you will need updates
This is why Google Maps is great. It's connected to internet and downloads the route every time you ask for it, rather than storing one big map file that needs to be updated.
You're probably going to have to decide if it's worth rolling the dice and taking a chance.
I just spent the afternoon at the junk yards searching for a new control panel - turned up zero.

Wish me luck, I'm going to roll the dice and order one of the aftermarket Android units.

I will report back on my progress.
You really need to ask the seller any question your mind comes up with in regards to the product. They are quite literal when it come time to argue about a defective product.
1. specific vehicle/trim/motor/trans etc
2. parts included
3. color/finish
Yes, good advice. I've actually been to China a few times and am very used to dealing with these types of sellers :)

What I do usually is order a bunch of samples from a few factories before I order any quantity - however this method obviously isn't going to work when buying a single car radio - hence why I got on a forum to ask advice.

My other top bit of advice with Aliexpress is to always pay with Paypal. The couple of rare times I've had a problem (out of literally hundreds of transactions), I've always got my money back.
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I have that same radio in my cruze its a US spec 2012 chevy sonic radio. Let me know if you need the partnumber.
my advinse, and what I did, go to ebay or ali and buy a the facia for your car. Buy a nice sony and wiring kit on cruthfields website
you will retain your steering wheel control and you can even buy the latest apple carplay or android radio. Hope this helps. Spent months dinging online. Regarding the radio from ali you mention. Ill be happy to send you some rusian video where they showcase them... if u have an iphone... dont buy it
Cheers for the info. That sounds promising. I have ordered the Android (comes with the facia) unit from Aliexpress and will report back. I expect delivery to take a bit longer as they are in the middle of Chinese New Year though.
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