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Aftermarket Radio Upgrade Opinions please

7655 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  raine
Greetings all and thanks. Reading these threads has been a big help.

Install is done and one goal is not met. I am happy with what I have so far.

2010 Nissan Frontier LE long bed Crew cab.
Pioneer AVH4200NEX installed. Sounds Great. Integrates with my android just fine.
Using OEM antenna for XM, all good.
Installed and programmed Metra Axxess ASWC-1, latest firmware and confirmed with tech support wiring and programming good. Talked to support twice. They were responsive and seemed very confident. I am 66 years old and have been in tech my whole career. So have some level of understanding.
Did Bluetooth bypass.
Volume up does seek back and volume down does volume up. I tried reversing wires before I called in. That just reversed the wrong results to different controls. Support said all I could do at this point was clean the controls on the steering column. I told them that they worked fine on the OEM setup. They said the OEM setup had much greater tolerance for resistance anomalies from dirty controls. I guess that is possible.

My hope is some of you with experience can give me some feedback.

1. What is your opinion?
2. How do I get to the controls to clean them safely?

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I have to fundamentally agree with raine.

Here is a resistance chart for the audio steering wheel switches:
Pin 16
Seek_down - 165 ohms
Volume_down - 652 ohms
Mode / End - 0 ohms
Pin 20
Seek_up - 165 ohms
Volume_up - 652 ohms
Phone / Send - 0 ohms
All measurements are with respect to pin 17.

Volume_up and Volume_down signals are output to the receiver on separate wires; therefore a resistance error would not result in confusing those 2 functions, as the friendly Axxess "expert" claimed to you.

That said, I have helped other CF members who experienced erratic switch operation because the switch contacts required cleaning. Though not a trivial project, it can be done. Age alone should not be a barrier; I am a decade older than you and I did it :).

Refer to this set of images: steering switch images.jpg?dl=1

Step 1
Release the air bag assembly. There is an access hole in the bottom of the steering wheel trim surround. The release bail is less than 3/4" from the surface, so don't use a long screwdriver to push it. The eraser end of a pencil works just fine. The center section of the steering wheel, which houses the driver air bag, will eject toward you when released (that's what the springs are for). Use one hand to limit it's travel when released.

Step 2
Don't disconnect or remove the air bag assembly. Just hold it with one hand a few inches back, or hang it with tape while removing the switch retaining screws (one each for audio and cruise control switch assemblies) and connectors. Pull the switch assemblies straight back to release the retaining pawls without breaking them. Take a photo before removing the switches so you will not forget how the switch and horn (green) wire harnesses were routed.
Now tape the air bag center section temporarily in place while you work on the switches.

Remove the back cover from the audio switch (black plastic box in the photo). It is held in place with 4 plastic tabs.
When you operate a switch, a metal plunger moves and bridges two gold plated tracks on a printed circuit board, which act as the switch contacts (refer to images).

Step 4
Clean the tip of the plungers and printer circuit conductors within the "circles" with ordinary rubbing alcohol and an eraser (a white ink eraser works best).

Step 5
Reverse all previous steps. don't forget to reconnect the horn wire. Just push the air bag assembly all the way in and it will latch.
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After everything was put back together . . . . Pioneer receiver with backup camera & Bluetooth phone interface, installed in a 2011 with Pathfinder backlit steering wheel switches.


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