Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new Mazda6. There are several folks, including myself, who have self-installed the Android Auto/Apple Carplay retrofit. I suggest that you read through this thread
, as there are links to the software downloads and manuals for removing and re-installing interior trim pieces. Start around post #51
. Great info here from forum member @ASH8
, with links to the software download/flash instructions at post #117
. Also, there's a link to a YouTube video posted by @jmac705
that reviews trim removal on his 2016 - his video inspired me to take a shot at doing this myself.
Some tips from my experience:
- Assuming your 2018 doesn't have the upgraded USB hub (it has the icon of a smartphone next to the top port), you will need to purchase the hub and cables kit: Mazda NA Part#0000-8F-Z34. I had a hard time getting this kit at first as several dealers wouldn't sell me the kit when they saw the VIN was for a 2017. However, I finally found a dealer who was selling through eBay. The kit cost me around $190 US.
- Be sure to validate the MD5 value for the downloaded software files, and follow the instructions to flash step by step. The software flash took me around 30 minutes total - again follow those instructions to make sure you don't accidentally brick your system
- The interior trim pieces come apart pretty easily - I had purchased a new set of trim removal tools but never used them as I was able to get these all off by hand. It looks like Mazda designed this thing knowing that it might be taken apart: the clips are pretty durable and go back together with a tight fit, but go slow and don't try to force anything
- Removing the old USB hub took a little time, until I figured out that the front wall of the storage bin easily removes after you have the cupholders out. This allowed me to "unfold" that wall to get access to the retaining tabs on the old hub
The hardware install took me about an hour. I'm not a pro by any means, but in my lifetime I have installed maybe a dozen car stereos, an alarm system, and I've replaced a couple of gauge clusters so I feel fairly comfortable working inside the dash and console. Best of luck to you on the install if you decide to do this.