Car Stereo Questions

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Ron Ronnerson
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Car Stereo Questions

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:36 pm

I have a base 2015 Toyota Corolla (no longer under warranty) and am having problems with the car stereo. When the car turns on, the stereo works for about 30 seconds. After that, nothing on the touch screen works. Sometimes, I’m also unable to lower the volume or turn the stereo off while the car is running. The car starts and runs fine so the problem is just with the stereo.

I called a Toyota dealership and they quoted $185 to diagnose the problem. If I end up doing the repair with them, the $185 gets applied toward the cost of the repair. Based on what I’ve found online, if the stereo needs to be replaced, it could be around $1k.

I have the basic stereo with radio/bluetooth/CD player, and not the version with the apps and GPS. I typically connect my iPhone by Bluetooth and often listen to music/podcasts on the stereo. I don’t really like the original manufacturer stereo as it’s basic and clunky. I’d be okay with replacing it with an aftermarket unit but am concerned about losing features that I currently use.

I'm pretty clueless when it comes to this topic so appreciate any guidance.


Questions:
-Should I even bother having the dealer take a look to determine the problem or just go purchase an aftermarket stereo?

-If I do have the dealer look at it and it’s a simple fix, that would be great. However, if it’s expensive, is it better to have Toyota fix/replace it, or replace with an aftermarket stereo?

-If the recommendation is to go the aftermarket route, what should I replace it with so that I don’t lose features that I currently use? I like being able to make calls by speaker phone (I have an iPhone 6s in case that matters) and control volume/channels by buttons on the steering wheel. I also rely on the backup camera and would not want to lose that feature.

-Is it worth it to spend a little extra for the built-in navigation and Apple CarPlay? I plan to keep the car for a long time (kept my previous one for 15 years and this car is only a little over 3 years old).

DIFAR31
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by DIFAR31 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:43 pm

If you were considering going aftermarket anyway ("I don’t really like the original manufacturer stereo as it’s basic and clunky"), you should consider doing it now, instead of helping the dealer make his next boat payment. Crutchfield is an excellent source for all things aftermarket car audio and video.

https://www.crutchfield.com/

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prudent
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by prudent » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:48 pm

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

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bottlecap
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by bottlecap » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:49 pm

I’d look into an after market stereo. Cheaper and likely better.

Get whatever features you want in it. I think it’s easier to have nav on my phone.

JT

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:08 pm

DIFAR31 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:43 pm
If you were considering going aftermarket anyway ("I don’t really like the original manufacturer stereo as it’s basic and clunky"), you should consider doing it now, instead of helping the dealer make his next boat payment. Crutchfield is an excellent source for all things aftermarket car audio and video.

https://www.crutchfield.com/
+1 to this entire post

123
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by 123 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:22 pm

We had an aftermarket car stereo stolen from a Toyota. We figured (belatedly) that aftermarket stereo was just too attractive to thieves so we went back to OEM. We no longer had the OEM system due to the upgrade. Cost of replacement OEM unit from dealer was $500 plus. We went to Ebay and got OEM stereo for $75, it seemed to come from a salvage vehicle that was being parted out. We've had it in for 2 years now without any problems.

Getting a replacement from a salvage vehicle might be the best way to go.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:02 pm

DIFAR31 wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:43 pm
If you were considering going aftermarket anyway ("I don’t really like the original manufacturer stereo as it’s basic and clunky"), you should consider doing it now, instead of helping the dealer make his next boat payment. Crutchfield is an excellent source for all things aftermarket car audio and video.

https://www.crutchfield.com/
Thanks very much for the pointer on crutchfield! I will definitely look into it.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:06 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:49 pm
I’d look into an after market stereo. Cheaper and likely better.

Get whatever features you want in it. I think it’s easier to have nav on my phone.

JT
Thanks, this is helpful input. The built in navigation seems to be a somewhat expensive feature so maybe I'll skip it.

shorty313
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by shorty313 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:16 pm

We like to replace the standard radio and speakers in our cars. Always crutchfield, they are super knowledgeable and can steer you in the right direction. You can buy an install card from them that hooks you up with a local installer. Just replaced two stereos in December this way.

OldLearner
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by OldLearner » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:28 pm

I like crutchfield.com, but the comment that you don't know much about car radios concerns me. Installing isn't rocket science, but it isn't a snap either. If you don't plan to install yourself, I'd recommend a local (independent) car stereo shop. Six years ago, I had a mid-level Clarion head unit installed at a local shop for not a lot more than what all the parts cost at Crutchfield. It could be worth the call.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:42 pm

OldLearner wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:28 pm
I like crutchfield.com, but the comment that you don't know much about car radios concerns me. Installing isn't rocket science, but it isn't a snap either. If you don't plan to install yourself, I'd recommend a local (independent) car stereo shop. Six years ago, I had a mid-level Clarion head unit installed at a local shop for not a lot more than what all the parts cost at Crutchfield. It could be worth the call.
I wouldn't do the installation myself. I just meant I wasn't sure if it was better to have the dealer fix the current stereo or to get an aftermarket. I was hoping for some pointers on brands and features and where to purchase if the aftermarket was recommended.

It seems like crutchfield is the way to go and it's nice that they can connect me to a local installer.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:45 pm

OldLearner wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:28 pm
I like crutchfield.com, but the comment that you don't know much about car radios concerns me. Installing isn't rocket science, but it isn't a snap either. If you don't plan to install yourself, I'd recommend a local (independent) car stereo shop. Six years ago, I had a mid-level Clarion head unit installed at a local shop for not a lot more than what all the parts cost at Crutchfield. It could be worth the call.
Yes. Even if OP goes this route, there is a lot to be learned from Crutchfield.

When I had my OEM head unit and speakers replaced a few years ago by a local shop, I had used Crutchfield to decide what I wanted. And my audio shop used Crutchfield for price matching without my even asking.

Small Change
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Small Change » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:11 pm

Crutchfield has been in the game a long time. I bought and installed a car stereo and speakers from Crutchfield—in 1980.

shawndoggy
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by shawndoggy » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:26 am

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:45 pm

Yes. Even if OP goes this route, there is a lot to be learned from Crutchfield.

When I had my OEM head unit and speakers replaced a few years ago by a local shop, I had used Crutchfield to decide what I wanted. And my audio shop used Crutchfield for price matching without my even asking.
crutchfield is basically full-retail pricing, so not price matching crutchfield would be putting your shop into full ripoff territory.

I use crutchfield for info and research and then someplace like sonicelectronix to buy.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:49 pm

shawndoggy wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:26 am
Doom&Gloom wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:45 pm

Yes. Even if OP goes this route, there is a lot to be learned from Crutchfield.

When I had my OEM head unit and speakers replaced a few years ago by a local shop, I had used Crutchfield to decide what I wanted. And my audio shop used Crutchfield for price matching without my even asking.
crutchfield is basically full-retail pricing, so not price matching crutchfield would be putting your shop into full ripoff territory.

I use crutchfield for info and research and then someplace like sonicelectronix to buy.
It was not for the items I had installed. But thanks for the heads-up that comparison shopping for parts is important as prices may vary significantly from seller to seller.

JBTX
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by JBTX » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:58 pm

Years ago we had an old Toyota Avalon and the car stereo died. Dealer wanted to charge fee just to diagnose. Instead We went to Car Toys and had a fairly basic unit installed and kept the existing speakers and it worked fine. Actually sounded a little better. I think it was a couple of hundred $ installed.

Of course you can sink thousands into a car stereo. New speakers, amps, equalizers, etc. I did that in the 90s when I was single. It sounded good, but was not worth the money.

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gasdoc
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by gasdoc » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:13 pm

Not to hijack the thread, but I was wondering if having a non-OEM stereo makes any difference when the car is eventually traded in.

gasdoc

Ostentatious
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Ostentatious » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:46 pm

I would recommend the pioneer AVH line of car head units with feature rich options including navigation, Apple CarPlay or Android, waze etc.... . Newegg discounts these units fairly frequently.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:32 pm

Ostentatious wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:46 pm
I would recommend the pioneer AVH line of car head units with feature rich options including navigation, Apple CarPlay or Android, waze etc.... . Newegg discounts these units fairly frequently.
Thanks for the suggestion. Are there particular reasons you make the recommendation?

boffalora
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by boffalora » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:03 pm

Replying to gasdoc:

I believe an aftermarket car stereo would not detract from the resale value unless the car is a collector favorite in which having the vehicle's every detail historically correct is important.

Otherwise, choose a replacement audio unit that is equal to or better than the factory unit it's replacing. If it's an older car whose factory unit is now out of date with regard to features, this will be easy. If it's the premium system for a current vehicle (i.e. Beats Audio for a Fiat or harmon/karden for an Audi) be especially careful.

Count me in among the Crutchfield faithful. I've bought several systems from them since the 1970s. Their value-added services are complete physical and electrical adapters for the unit you've chosen to the car in which it will be installed, and an installation "Master Sheet" detailing the removal of the old unit and replacement with the new one.

eddot98
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by eddot98 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:09 am

In my experience, after market car stereos can be much better than standard OEM units, but getting one that will connect to your steering wheel controls may be an issue. Adding a backup camera capability is another possible problem. Since in all of our 6 or 7 Toyota cars we haven’t had a stereo issue such as your’s, I would suggest the salvage option.

TropikThunder
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by TropikThunder » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:26 am

gasdoc wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:13 pm
Not to hijack the thread, but I was wondering if having a non-OEM stereo makes any difference when the car is eventually traded in.

gasdoc
At least at the level of a trade-in, the only consideration from the dealer will be the "does it work" check-box. So, no ding for not being OEM (unless the install is a complete hatchet job). On the other hand, you'll get no bonus from installing a high-end system in place of a middling factory set up, either.

GuyInFL
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by GuyInFL » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:41 am

Another vote for Apple Carplay. I put in a JVC aftermarket one and later bought a new car with Carplay.
Look at YouTube for demos of models you are interested in.

Small Change
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by Small Change » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:36 am

I have an older Toyota (2005 Camry) with original OEM stereo/CD player.

Do such OEM radios have security features that would mean a) my radio, if stolen, wouldn’t work in someone else’s car and b) an OEM radio salvaged from a wreck wouldn’t work in my car?

dsmclone
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by dsmclone » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 am

It sounds like in this case the aftermarket radio is the best choice but for the people asking "Does it hurt my resale if I ...", there is no right or wrong answer. Back 30 years ago when most cars had the same basic design, it was fine to switch over to an aftermarket radio. Now most new cars have their radios incorporated into the whole system and you have no choice but to keep the factory system. It has been moving this way for a long time, which is why the aftermarket scene is pretty much dying a slow death.

shawndoggy
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Re: Car Stereo Questions

Post by shawndoggy » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:02 pm

boffalora wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:03 pm
Count me in among the Crutchfield faithful. I've bought several systems from them since the 1970s. Their value-added services are complete physical and electrical adapters for the unit you've chosen to the car in which it will be installed, and an installation "Master Sheet" detailing the removal of the old unit and replacement with the new one.
Before the days of the interwebs, I totally would've agreed with you that the tech support and master sheet is totally worth it's weight in gold. These days, though, I find that watching a couple of youtube videos is WAY more helpful than printed instructions, because you can watch someone actually do what you are looking do to.

(I've been unable to leave a stereo bone stock in any car for the last 7 cars)
dsmclone wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 am
It sounds like in this case the aftermarket radio is the best choice but for the people asking "Does it hurt my resale if I ...", there is no right or wrong answer. Back 30 years ago when most cars had the same basic design, it was fine to switch over to an aftermarket radio. Now most new cars have their radios incorporated into the whole system and you have no choice but to keep the factory system. It has been moving this way for a long time, which is why the aftermarket scene is pretty much dying a slow death.
This is sorta true and sorta not. the aftermarket scene isn't really dying, but just shifting gears from replacement headunits to factory integration. I've got aftermarket amps/sub/speakers in my F-150, but I've integrated it all to work with the factory HU rather than an aftermarket one.

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