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Apple CarPlay Upgrade? Is it DIY-able?

787 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tundrav8yamaha
I have a 2013 Highlander Limited w/ Navigation and JBL audio - I am planning to upgrade this system to an apple carplay unit (Sony XAV AX4000) and am going to be using crutchfield for the installation instructions/harness. Is Crutchfield good? Is the '13 Highlander particularly messy in terms of the installation of a new headunit (I have been lurking and received mixed results from here and reddit). Also is upgrading the amp necessary?
Also has anyone attempted to soundproof their cars? I am very OCD about cabin noise/rattles and wonder if soundproofing would help with that?
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I had a good experience using Crutchfield installing a similar Sony stereo into my base model SE, which doesn't have Nav or JBL. The kit includes a Maestro interface kit that enables steering wheel controls and backup camera on the stereo. It went pretty smoothly, though I did call Crutchfield a few times. Their tech support is awesome. There are a lot of wiring adapters that you need to deal with. I'm totally happy with the CarPlay functionality. I got the higher power Sony and it sounds great. Here's an idea of with wiring involved...

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I had a good experience using Crutchfield installing a similar Sony stereo into my base model SE, which doesn't have Nav or JBL. The kit includes a Maestro interface kit that enables steering wheel controls and backup camera on the stereo. It went pretty smoothly, though I did call Crutchfield a few times. Their tech support is awesome. There are a lot of wiring adapters that you need to deal with. I'm totally happy with the CarPlay functionality. I got the higher power Sony and it sounds great. Here's an idea of with wiring involved...

View attachment 417188
How did you end up wiring the microphone - that the biggest point of confusion for me (I just found out it doesnt use OEM mic).
I drilled a hole in the back of the storage compartment below the radio and routed the USB cable and mic through there and mounted the mic in the upper corner.
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I did what @Luc did for his Highlander upgrade. Running the mic to the top center console.
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I had a good experience using Crutchfield installing a similar Sony stereo into my base model SE, which doesn't have Nav or JBL. The kit includes a Maestro interface kit that enables steering wheel controls and backup camera on the stereo. It went pretty smoothly, though I did call Crutchfield a few times. Their tech support is awesome. There are a lot of wiring adapters that you need to deal with. I'm totally happy with the CarPlay functionality. I got the higher power Sony and it sounds great. Here's an idea of with wiring involved...

View attachment 417188
Looking for more information on this.
I have a stereo already that is a 7in display, but I am curious as to where you got the dash kit. It looks so good!
On my system (2013 base stereo, no Nav) there was no dash kit. The new stereo was the same screen size, with trim, as the OEM unit. I used the original dash trim. The radio kit did come with a couple of trim spacers that are on either side of the screen to fill the 1/4” gap. Looks really good.
On my system (2013 base stereo, no Nav) there was no dash kit. The new stereo was the same screen size, with trim, as the OEM unit. I used the original dash trim. The radio kit did come with a couple of trim spacers that are on either side of the screen to fill the 1/4” gap. Looks really good.
Interesting.
I believe that I need a dash kit. Do you know if I NEED to use the mastero to retain steering wheel controls? I do not think that I need to if I get the correct wiring harness.
Note my highlander is the limited without nav.

Thanks in advance.
I believe you do, but I would contact Crutchfield Tech Support. They were super responsive and helpful.

I recall there were two wiring kits; one simple that didn't support steering controls or backup camera, and a more expensive wiring kit with Maestro that did support those controls. Included were the side spacers for the screen.
I went ahead and looked at some of the wiring diagrams for my vehicle and the vent next to the TPMS reset light, is actually empty (the auto climate control system is behind there somewhere) but the vent is empty and therefore could be a good position for the new microphone. Will upload pictures - just bought the headunit !
I believe you do, but I would contact Crutchfield Tech Support. They were super responsive and helpful.

I recall there were two wiring kits; one simple that didn't support steering controls or backup camera, and a more expensive wiring kit with Maestro that did support those controls. Included were the side spacers for the screen.
I did just that per your install love it .
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I ended up completing an installation with the sony Xav AX4000 , the unit went in well and everything worked out - except for the fact I had no backup cam and no power to the radio. Used a multimeter to test my currents (fuses were all fine tho) - and it seems like it is the Maestro according to crutchfield and a local stereo shop. Has anyone had a similar experience with the Maestro shorting out? Crutchfield is thankfully sending a new one - im just scared that that wont fix it and that this issue will persist. Also, the dealership stripped screws when replacing the original headunit under warranty. This has been a messy install - but I would not mind posting my experience for other who might need to troubleshoot. Would that be a good idea?
What happens when you put the factory radio back in? If everything works as before, then you'll know it's Maestro-related.
  • Did you get the correct Toyota harness?
  • Did you attach all the wiring yourself?
  • Did you check to make sure the wiring are all correct?
  • Does the Maestro (RR/RR2) have the latest/proper firmware?
Got the harness from crutchfield, tested a new maestro as recommended by crutchfield - did not work. Taking it to best buy tmrw and letting them figure it out...
Also, I have attempted to reattach the factory radio, I will work through that tmrw during my trip to best buy... its frustrating that this is not working - i thought it would be easy. Because the red wire is accessory and I still have my USB port and 120v connecters - it might be that the sony headunit is bad
If the Sony unit is bad, Best Buy should be able to test it if they have a 12V bench top power supply. All they need to connect from the Sony harness are the red and yellow wires to positive and black wire to negative to see if it powers up.
I think tonight, I am going to take everything out and test it one by one... I have my suspicions about what this issue is from and want to test it out..
I love it I changed the usb port to the console as I hated the other location but it updated this big time I’ve had this since new 2011
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