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Damaged Factory Radio. Best Options?

3175 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
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