Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

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tonypix
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Joined: 23 Apr 2016, 21:28

Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by tonypix »

Hi Everyone
I wonder if any of you have had this problem? Apologies if it may have been posted before , I tried searching but could not find anything on it?
I have a citroen relay 2016 enterprise, I recently had a Kenwood head unit with apple play installed, everything works fine but the steering controls don't all work?
I cannot get voice control and the buttons on the right hand side of the steering wheel that usually operate phone up and phone down work whilst on phone mode but do not work if I have maps on screen and radio on, the lower button (phone down/end call) cycles through all the different modes i.e. dab radio, stand by, phone etc. while the upper button does nothing and the middle button(usually used for cycling through recent calls) changes radio stations? The chap who installed it says there is nothing he can do as they are all like it, he ordered a patch lead that is (apparently) specifically made for the relay, ducato and boxer installed it, but he's saying that I have to accept it like it is, as no after market stereo will work 100% correctly with any vehicle's original steering controls in particular the voice command button? The stereo that was installed is a Kenwood DMX5020DABS.
I am really confused as I can't understand how a manufacturer of these patch leads could claim that it is compatible with a relay when quite clearly it isn't?
If any of you guys has had experience of this and has a solution or can shed some light as to whether what the guy is telling me is true or not I would be very grateful. The installer seems to be a nice honest chap but I am stuck with a head unit that looks good but one of the most important features i.e. use of phone whilst driving without falling foul of the law is apparently not possible?
I thank you all in advance and apologise if I have inadvertently broken any forum rules.

Thank you
T

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Lear to live with it I'm afraid - the Head Units these days are very tightly integrated into the vehicle's systems. If you go ahead and change it expect to lose functionality and even the ability to configure some of your vehicle options.

Most newer Head units being fitted now by PSA have good telematics units that support Carplay / Android Auto / Mirror Link options, but these are integrated into the vehicle where a lot of the safety features and options (like park assist, road sign recognition, collision alert settings / Dymanic braking / etc., can all be configured.)

So you have to be prepared to accept that as the systems are bespoke and made to be integrated into specific vehicles and their features. No aftermarket car radio system is going to be able to make their systems compatible with all manufacturer's systems. That's why there are far less on sale then there have ever been - as manufacturer's integrate more and more into the infotainment systems.

tonypix
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Re: Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by tonypix »

Hi Marc

Thank you for your reply, I understand what you mean, imo manufacturers and resellers should not be allowed to make and sell patch leads which they claim are 100% compatible with(in my case Citroen relay), whatever vehicle when quite clearly they are not.
Surely they should (at the very least) put a warning on the packet saying that not all functions will be available. In my case the fact that voice control (which through Siri I could make phone calls send texts etc. without taking my hands off the steering or eyes off the road on the original unit) is now not available? that just entirely defeats the object of buying a head unit with apple play which is supposed to make driving and communicating safer?
I don't know if I'm the only one that feels frustrated about this? I would love to hear from anyone with similar experience and if they have managed to solve the issue?
Many Thanks again for your reply.

Regards
T

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by GiveMeABreak »

The only thing you can do is use your voice to 'hail' Siri which will work when connected to a power supply - and forego the voice button. However, having said that, don't forget that if your Relay has a Voice command button on the steering wheel, it may not actually be working. This button is only functional with the integrated systems that support voice control functions (like Connected Nav) that I mentioned before. If your original head unit has no voice interaction then it won't work with an aftermarket unit either I suspect. In some vehicles without voice control the button has no function.

tonypix
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Joined: 23 Apr 2016, 21:28

Re: Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by tonypix »

Hi Marc

The voice control function worked on the original unit.
I have found a workaround i.e. I tap and hold the head unit screen then I am able to call siri, but it's a tad frustrating as I feel I have shelled out to upgrade but with regards to voice command I have downgraded, if you know what I mean?
The unit I bought is(apparently) the latest, the installer said it's been available for only 2 months, if true I shouldn't really be having issues?
I also noticed that in the settings on the head unit there is a sub menu where you can assign steering wheel buttons to functions, I assigned all the appropriate functions to the buttons, they all confirm by highlighting except for the voice control which when pressed highlights for a second then fades out. From that I assume the unit supports voice control but there seems to be some break in communication from the unit to the steering button? Which is why I suspect the patch lead? The installer said something about changes he had to make to the small dip switches on the patch lead to match the brand of head unit, I asked if he could have got them wrong but he insists he hasn't and that there is nothing more he can do?
He has offered to take out the head unit and refund me, but I really would prefer a solution so I can keep the unit as I quite like it.
Anyway if nothing else I hope my post will serve to warn others who may want to upgrade their stereos to maybe think carefully before buying?

Thank you once again for taking the time to answer my post. :0)

Kind Regards
T

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by GiveMeABreak »

After-market units are something we often caution against here due to the level of integration, but where a member does opt to upgrade, many use a compatible PSA unit from another vehicle as it will be generally compatible (depending on model and electronic / mutliplexed architecture used).

The other issue is that the Citroen Relay is essentially a Fiat Ducato (as is the Peugeot Boxer), so depending on the model can have Fiat engines and Audio / Telematics systems fitted which can complicate matters.

Add to this the combinations of Head Units fitted, with some models having tracking modules and separate Bluetooth units can which can all add up to a bit of a minefield - so you can see why there is unlikely to be such a thing as full compatibility.

Best of luck on whatever you decide, but if you don't feel you've got what you've paid for and it was listed as compatible, then you might want to send the lot back including the Head Unit as unfit for the purpose it was sold.

tonypix
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Re: Kenwood Head unit steering controls issue

Post by tonypix »

Hi Marc

Apologies for late reply, have been busy trying to work and sort this hu problem out.
I am giving the bloke a few more days to see if he can come up with a solution if not I will either have to get a refund or just live with it as it is.

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards

T