After Market Radio upgrade problem - Jeep Compass Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-23-2018, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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After Market Radio upgrade problem

I bought a 2018 Jeep Compass latitude. Love it except the radio. I have the 5.3 small Uconnect that only has radio and phone controls. I knew I was going to put in a Kenwood Navigation radio when I bought it. Took it to get installed. The tech guy had it all apart and said that the firmware wire inside the compass would not fit to plug into the kenwood. I guess he meant the wiring harness. He said that that wire Is not in production yet. He said they have the wire for the Jeep grand and Cherokee , but have not made the one for the compass yet. His rep told him that it could be tomorrow or it may be 3 months before it may be produced. He said the wire helps control a lot of the features such as steering wheel controls, interior lights and other things. Has anyone else had this problem. I am new to this forum, so this is my first question
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-23-2018, 03:11 PM
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deja vu

but yes - some places wait for OEM or for other places to post how-to instructions
others are skilled enough to reverse engineer the wiring needs

just depends on the shop and the skills of the techs or the search engine skills too lol

I am sure that eventually it can/will be doable - when someone will manufacture and mass produce the solution is debatable - up to you to search or wait
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-23-2018, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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The installer is a kenwood certified. They have been in business for over 30 years and know what they are doing. His kenwood rep said that you must have the 2 firmware wires connectors to connect to the wire coming out of the compass. He said he could try to rig it other ways but I may lose some controls if I do not wait for someone to produce the wires. He said they have produced the wires for the grand and Cherokee models but have not made it yet for the compass. I am not even sure of the wires the guy is talking about. Just wondering if someone on here knew who I could call to see about finding out when it would be produced
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-23-2018, 05:36 PM
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if it is a kenwood OEM adaptor - Kenwood

usually a 3rd party makes them and sells them to installers - that takes time

good installers come in different flavors - sounds like your guy is very good at kenwood but likes using canned solutions - the guy I was talking about is willing to work on it and see what kind of signal and power on/off goes through the wiring to make it work if he can.

harness and wiring adapters always take time and latest model vehicles tend to wait a bit before they come out.

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post #5 of 10 Old 03-24-2018, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Any idea who I could contact to find out when the firmware cord will be produced?
Do I contact kenwood or what for the 3rd party to make it. The guy at the install shop says he has tried to go around in the past and try to rewire things and messed up something because it would not let you have all the controls unless you had this wire. I talked to Jeep and they said they could put me a nav unit in for $2,6000. I can get the kenwood put in, if I had the wire for 1,100. Big difference??????????
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-24-2018, 03:39 PM
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The 2nd gens are known for electrical wonkiness. Going with a certified installer and an engineered and manufactured adapter is a really wise move. You can get somebody to poke around and get the aftermarket head unit working, maybe they can even get it to work with the controls. But if your vehicle develops any electrical issues the dealership and FCA will be quick to blame the installer, and they may be right.
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-27-2018, 02:22 PM
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If you "need" a better radio now, let the dealership install the OEM one, otherwise wait for the commercial third-party solution (and expect a long, long wait). It was an unwise choice to buy it thinking you could have a new radio just swapped in without doing some homework first, new cars are getting the head units more and more tightly integrated with the rest of the vehicle purposefully making it less and less feasible to use an aftermarket radio. This is happening in all brands, not just Jeep.

On my Compass, some of the climate and comfort controls are ONLY accessible via the radio touchscreen, there is no other way to toggle the dual climate control sync or turn the heated seats and wheel on/off. There is no way to know if those items are on or off without looking at the touchscreen. Some of the brightness controls and a bunch of the vehicle behaviors (all doors unlock with drivers door, courtesy light timeout, honk with remote start, etc) are also only controlled via the head unit. Its hard to imagine it even being worth Kenwood's time to try to reverse engineer all of that stuff, some or all of it may get left out.

OEM radio is the only way to go in my eyes, and as a warning to others you'd better get the one you want to start with because they charge mega bucks to upgrade to the nicer bigger Uconnect after the sale.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-27-2018, 05:46 PM
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Thankfully our model compass did not have so much tied to the entertainment center =)

I do agree that the 2018 Cherokee I have certainly has stuff tied to the head unit that our Compass did not (2017 vs 201

although on our compass the remote start feature seems fine, audio controls on the wheel work properly, guess in our model year we were 100% lucky all around =)

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-20-2018, 02:23 AM
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Hi there , i own a 2018 jeep compass as well . I went to my dealer i wanted to upgrade my 5 inch until tot eh 7 inch or 8.4 and they tld me it wasnt possible ... you said they told you it was for 2600.00.??
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-20-2018, 03:13 AM
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hI there i have a 2018 compass and my service dept told me i couldnt upgrade my 5 inch radio to the gps model .... do you know if you can upgrade for sure .??
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