Car Navigation Head Unit for Old Car

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Friends,
Requesting help in finding a head unit for my old car(Toyota Camry 2003).

Car is running fine with 150K miles and plan to keep it for another 3-5 years. OEM head unit(Double DIN) plays CD/Cassette,FM/AM Radio  flawlessly. Missing Bluetooth and navigation.
Want to upgrade the head unit -don't want to spend too much on the head unit  for fear that car might give some major problem and then have to buy a new car in which case this investment is down the drain.
Bit wary of the navigation head units as most reviews complain about issues with the head units and some wish that they never went for the upgrade. I am not Handy myself and need to take it to a shop to get this done.
I am comfortable spending  $300-400, or some more if it is really worth it. Is it worth spending this money or should I continue with my garmin/ blue tooth speaker? 

Can anyone please recommend a good head unit - Kenwood seems to be over $900 and Pioneer seems to be $400-700. Anyone has experience with this? I live in SF bay area. Any shops/mechanic that you can recommend?

thanks for any input.



 

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Personally the way I went is a 7" screen Garmin with Lifetime map updates. Depending on model new $175-$350. I also have the bean bag stand & optional live traffic cable $40.

If you are going to go to a 'shop' expect to pay lots of money
Go to Crutchfield.com and look at radios there to fit your car (They have a size checker) and if you buy from them with the proper adapter kit, you get full instructions on how to do it yourself.

A $20-50 clearance cell phone with GPS and a windshield mount.

Burn your music to CD (@ $.10 per disc) and move on.

There, I saved you $330. Now go buy some tires or shocks for that old beater

Logan71 said:   A $20-50 clearance cell phone with GPS and a windshield mount.

Burn your music to CD (@ $.10 per disc) and move on.

There, I saved you $330. Now go buy some tires or shocks for that old beater

  Agreed, this is the best option.

Get a cheap phone (android or windows), windshield or other mount of your choice, install google maps.  Configure the phone to download the maps you'll need/use to the device (just google it).

Viola, best GPS period, turn by turn spoken directions, etc.  Periodically connect to wifi for updates, etc. Load it up with music, etc.

You can go to BestBuy and have in-dash Navigation installed by GeekSqaud for $99+tax. At least in my area they would install any unit, regardless of where you've bought it. Going to a specialty shop can be much more.

Just bought the Garmin 60LMT with the Garmin back up camera from Best Buy for a mid size SUV. Had them install it. Out the door after some price matching was around $400. Back up camera is wireless, works great and now we have back up camera, killer Garmin with lifetime map and traffic updates, blue tooth, etc. Well worth the investment. Take it with you to the next car.

Logan71 said:   A $20-50 clearance cell phone with GPS and a windshield mount.

Burn your music to CD (@ $.10 per disc) and move on.

There, I saved you $330. Now go buy some tires or shocks for that old beater

  This. Plus a cheap CD player head unit with an aux cable.

This is really a trivial job. It should not take more than an hour even if you aren't mechanically inclined.
You will need a double DIN unit and a wiring harness adapter. There are many how-to videos on youtube for your model.

Or get a tablet, bigger screen and a decent size speaker. Some bluetooth speaker could improve it too. Just give them power and they are happy.

living in SF,  keep your car as basic as possible,  all these upgrade will lead to window replacement or report of stolen vehicle.

​Ditto.  Save your $1000 for the downstroke on your next car  Investing anything you don't have to into a $150K-mile car is money better spent on a boat which is a complete waste.

here is one to consider  - 10% off with coupon code "Joying"

I keep considering buying one for my newer model Camry, which is why i know about it. I think the one for my model looks more stock though. The one i'm considering is also on Amazon with reviews and Q&A. If interested, maybe search for that one on Amazon too.

exmiuwu said:   living in SF,  keep your car as basic as possible,  all these upgrade will lead to window replacement or report of stolen vehicle.
  
No longer just SF, if you watch the news you will know crime is increasing everywhere.

why not just use your phone? Google map can go offline now.

WorkerAnt said:   
exmiuwu said:   living in SF,  keep your car as basic as possible,  all these upgrade will lead to window replacement or report of stolen vehicle.
  
No longer just SF, if you watch the news you will know crime is increasing everywhere.

 FBI releases 2015 statistics https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/latest-crime-statistics-release...

  • In 2015, there were an estimated 7,993,631 property crime offenses in the nation. The 2-year trend showed that property crime offenses declined 2.6 percent in 2015 when compared with the 2014 estimate. The 10-year trend showed that property crime offenses decreased 20.2 percent in 2015 when compared with the 2006 estimate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)

 

TheDealMaker said:   why not just use your phone? Google map can go offline now.
Maybe they don't have a smart phone?

P.S.  Using your everyday phone is fine occasionally, but IMO it is not a long term solution.  One needs either a standalone unit or a spare phone.  I used my phone while traveling overseas, but I had to pull it from the dash bracket and unplug the power cord every time I wanted to take a picture.  

Thanks a lot for all the advice. I already have a smartphone with Garmin's viago app installed. It works just fine in an emergency. Call me lazy or whatever- my phone is sponsored by office - this security software installed forces me to enter a 8 digit password every time I have to unlock the phone when attempting to make a phone call -while driving it is such a pain. Same goes for doing anything with the stupid phone. So I don't do anything while driving- it is receive/call only mode.
So was thinking an updated head unit would make life better.

BTW the shock seems to be just fine - it is running with factory shocks -after a recent throttle body cleaning it is running like new and ride comfort is as good as new rental I have been in.

beejers -Joying looks good - I'll check it out.

Thanks

buy a cheap android phone and use here now, google maps in offline mode or others if you want cheap gps. bestbuy has 5.5" ZTE Zmax2 for $50.

I went with Magellan 7 inch gps, lifetime maps, Bluetooth, and Magellan wireless backup camera
About $240 to purchase
I looked on craigslist to find a guy to come over to the house and install the camera into the reverse lights, a nice install for $40 cash, he worked at a big box install place and was moonlighting
When the vehicle shifts into reverse, the screen shows backup camera

beejers said:   here is one to consider  - 10% off with coupon code "Joying"

I keep considering buying one for my newer model Camry, which is why i know about it. I think the one for my model looks more stock though. The one i'm considering is also on Amazon with reviews and Q&A. If interested, maybe search for that one on Amazon too.

  I bought one from that company last year and it has worked well. It has BT, navigation, and Wi-fi built in. I don't use Internet stuff through it, but since it is an Android it can use the included navigation software or any other that will run on the system. I did side load some apps such as a GPS speedometer and they all worked OK. I dual-loaded iGo onto an SD card and can switch between them if needed. I play my songs from the same SD card. I added a rear view camera and the picture during the day is beautiful- much better than the one in my late model GM truck. The only glitch so far has been the steering wheel controls are intermittent- but I think I did something when I had the lower instrument cover off to adjust an alarm shock sensor. Oh, and it does not play CDs or DVDs, which was not a problem for me. They make models that do so if needed. The company has a forum, but it's based in China so it takes a day or 2 to get a reply. I think I paid about $270 for it with free US shipping.



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