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Bose Nav Radio Upgrade & Bluetooth Fix
I haven't seen anyone do this upgrade yet so I thought I'd share my experience. I own both a 2010 Mazda 6 GT and a 2013 Mazda 6 GT. There are certain features they took away in the later years but others they added I wish my '10 had.
One such feature is the Existing Bose Nav radio. They added real-time traffic updates and RDS to the AM/FM radio streaming. I like that I can see whats playing on the radio as I drive. Frankly, even in 2010 RDS was an old technology that's been around forever. It was in decks I installed in the 90's. (get with the new age Mazda). But ANYWAY.........
I purchased a scratched up Bose Nav unit from ebay. Saw it'd been sitting there for sale for like half a year and way overpriced. The seller dropped it to a hundred bucks or so finally and I bought it.
Now a new one for model years 2011-2013 is like 4 grand F.Y.I..........so a hundred bucks to get the extra feature was a deal. So what am I gonna DO about the scratched up LCD screen you ask? Well..swap it out! I thought to myself, that can't be THAT hard?
Since nobody here had done it....I took a chance at being the guinea pig and potentially screwing my '10 Nav radio up! But I wanted a unique project so I figured "meh".
So the face plate easily swaps out with the radio chassis. What you will find is that the BACK of the radio of a 2011-2013 Bose Nav, does NOT have a plug in the side of it for the factory antenna amp to derive power from.(blue wire) The OEM antenna plug uses a square (photo's below) and the 2011-2013 Nav radio just has a straight Motorola jack. So I assume they changed where the antenna amp derives its 12v power from and instead of from the radio, its powered from elsewhere in the car. To get around this, I simply bought a metra harness adapter and hardwired the blue power wire into the ACC wire in the back of the main radio harness. That way the antenna amp in the headliner gets juice only when the car is on and my battery doesn't run down.
With that fixed, its all plug and play after that. I happen to have a new map DVD. Make SURE you eject it out of the old radio and insert it into the new one. Otherwise the program will not load and you will get a screen error. Radio will not function without this DVD in at all times.
One consideration to take into account here; is that by the time you have done this, you will no longer find that your Bluetooth will function with the new radio. I assume this is because the new firmware in the newer Bose Nav units does not match the profiles built into the old Bluetooth module. I found that while Bluetooth function of the phone was still there; I could not get my phone-book to download anymore!
So..........you have to swap out the module with a newer one. It's really the only way to solve a multitude of issues. Example.............
From the first day I ever bought my car new........I never had the Bluetooth phone ever display title and song info from my friends iPhone 4. (at the time. My friend has an iPhone 6 now) Regardless, never worked. Nor did I get consistent caller ID display across the nav screen! Only and always a phone number. Once I upgraded to a new module (built in December 2015), all the sudden, my phone-book downloaded, the calls that came through displayed the persons names, and the metadata of the music on my phone displayed like normal. Also; for those of you who have had a buzzing noise when selecting SAT, or Bluetooth, I found the newer Bose Nav had remedied this too! I guess it was an internal design flaw of the '09-'10 radio. I suppose the circuitry inside the '11-'13 radio has been improved. I know that my 2013 never had that problem, but my 2010 always did.
There is no way to update the module with firmware, as it is only a hardware device. Sadly, getting the most up to date one you can is the only real way to fix these Bluetooth issues. Its not something that's gonna be under a warranty; it's just technology catching up. And the hardware had been upgraded as long as they still make new modules. So I guess I killed two birds with one stone on this project. All be it a costly one. Keep in mid the Bluetooth module is located behind the glove box on the passenger right fender dash support structure. Its only being held on by two nuts that screw onto the threaded studs that are welded onto the structure. So I just got my right angled socket wrench and took them off. You kind of have to do a whole 90 degree L shapped turn song and dance to get the module and it's attached L bracket to come out of the passenger compartment, but it can be done.
Now you MAY luck out if you can find one off a 2013, but in MY 2013, the phone number grabs the first entry in my phone-book and displays it across the screen. If JOHN calls me, it says Ann. If Bob calls me, it says Ann. That's it. Even in 2013, apple and the module (made in 2012) never played nice. And I believe the metadata in that car was blank too.
So if anyone wants to retain the factory upgrades from 2011-2013 in their 2009-2010; this is the way to do it.
My goals are to get the new features they put in the 2013 and have them in 2010. As I get to keep the fun features they built into the 2010 like auto passenger window roll down, key fob windows roll down and sunroof open, etc. I hate they deleted that off the 2011-2013's. BUT.........they added folding mirrors with blinker turn signals, auto lock when vehicle approaches 15mph, and auto unlock on engine stop, and the newer Bose Nav radio described here, with real time traffic and RDS. So at some point......I will have the best of both worlds. If Mazda had caught up with the times in 2010 like the rest of the world, guys who like to tinker like me would have nothing fun to do I guess?
Hope this helps someone!
2010 Mazda 6s GT Kona Blue Mica
2013 Mazda 6s GT Fireglow Red
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