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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Getting ready to pull the plug on this and wanted to know if anyone has any experience.


LUOWAN 10.25" Android 10 Touch Screen for Mercedes Benz GLA 250

My main reason for getting it would be the wireless CarPlay and the touchscreen.

Any help is appreciated!
 

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Getting ready to pull the plug on this and wanted to know if anyone has any experience.


LUOWAN 10.25" Android 10 Touch Screen for Mercedes Benz GLA 250

My main reason for getting it would be the wireless CarPlay and the touchscreen.

Any help is appreciated!
Interesting, I got a GLA 250 from 2018 , will be looking forward to see if you get it and if it works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I took a gamble and bought this screen a couple of weeks ago at a discounted price. The price made me weary but with 30 days return guarantee from Amazon, I figured it was worth the gamble. However, after waiting for 2 weeks to get it installed by a professional, and him cancelling a couple of appointments with me, I decided to take this on myself, or risk the return period running out on Oct. 27th. The installation itself was not very complicated. The removal of the trim pieces, particularly the a/c vents was the lengthiest part.

The air vents are best removed by inserting a thin pick at the bottom center, where there is a tiny hole (barely visible), firmly pushing down so that the pick pushes a metal lock, and then pulling out with force. It took me quite a few tries to get the vents on the left and right (not the center one) out, and I did not damage anything, so don't be shy when pulling it out. It takes A LOT of force!

Once you get everything removed - the air vents, the radio, the OEM screen, then the rest is pretty easy. You basically take the harness off the radio, and plug in the one the new screen brings, and plug the OEM harness to the new one.

Where I got confused, and maybe someone here can help me, is when I realized there are A LOT of wires that come on the new harness that don't seem to go attached to anything: 1) red wire labeled ACC-OUT, 2) green wire labeled DVR-PWR, 3) black wire labeled GND, 4) pink wire labeled 360-DET, 5) brown wire labeled CAM-PWR, 2 yellow female AUX cables labeled CAMERA and DVR-CVBS-IN, 7) a green male AUX cable labeled COAXIAL-OUT, and 8) 2 USB-2 female ports. I know some of these are for after market parts, but it would be nice if the instructions would say that.

The following are some of the issues I am experiencing:

1) I cant find a way to access the NTG screen in order to be able to change the radio station. A station plays when I push radio, but I cannot change it nor do I know what station it is on because I don't have a way of seeing that.

2) Radio volume and CarPay volume are drastically different! CarPlay volume is much lower and if I switch over to radio, it will BLAST loudly.

3) Sometimes I get a screen that says "Benz Check Signal" when I go to the car icon (where I would have expected to find the NTG menu).

4) CarPlay takes a super long time to load. I wonder if I install an activated sim card, if that would change the load speed. The lag time is very bothersome and was really unexpected.

5) I only have 3 icons showing on my screen per page. I believe I am supposed to have 5. Can't find a way to change that.

Any help anyone can offer with the above issues would be much appreciated! I think it is worthwhile to mention that in order for me to make sure I did not miss anything, I took everything apart TWICE and reinstalled it per the instructions each time, and each time I get the same results/problems described above.
 

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I installed a different system, so I am not speaking with any authority about what you installed. However, my experience and research at the time might help with some of your questions.

Firstly, I'm impressed that you got those air vents out without the vent pulling tool! Brave, I wouldn't have tried without the tool.

I'll take a guess on your wiring questions. Please, experts out there, join in to correct me if I'm wrong!
1) red wire labeled ACC-OUT,
Usually red is power and ACC is accessory, so if you had some other device needing 12v of power (like, a dashcam or a radar detector or something?) this cable is probably just a power pass-through
2) green wire labeled DVR-PWR,
I think this is something I wanted on my unit, where you can use a DVR to record input from a front camera. My front camera is on all the time (just not displaying), so why not use it like a dashcam? I had hoped I could find some sort of DVR pass-thru to record the signal as it was coming in from the camera and going to the head unit
3) black wire labeled GND,
Ground if you need it. I needed it. The sound was all crackly and once I connected the ground to a good spot on the chassis the sound improved greatly.
4) pink wire labeled 360-DET,
I am assuming your unit can handle the input for the 360-degree camera system. Do you have that system in your car? You'd have cameras on your two rear view wing mirrors and elsewhere and the signals are processed using way-cool algorithms to simulate a "birds eye view" above your car. You'd probably know if you have it and if you do it looks like you'd have to hook that up for the signal to go to your new screen.
5) brown wire labeled CAM-PWR, 2 yellow female AUX cables labeled CAMERA and DVR-CVBS-IN,
This looks like your camera power (my system talks to the Mercedes and knows when I put it in reverse so it knows to display the camera input to the screen). The rear camera is then powered by the head unit and only turned on when Mercedes R tells it to turn on. The DVR-CVBS IN is most likely how you can use a dash cam as the front camera. In my system, the front camera displays to my screen for 5 seconds after a take it out of reverse. This is awesome for parallel parking. The manufacture of my unit told me that I can use a dash cam as the front camera input. But, alas, I already had installed a dedicated camera into the front grill.
7) a green male AUX cable labeled COAXIAL-OUT, and
Does your unit play videos (like for the kiddos?) if so, Coax is a likely cable input to go to those screens (like the kind people put in the back of the headrests)
8) 2 USB-2 female ports.
?? USB ports are usually always powered, but maybe this is also for software updates? They may have many uses (kinda puts the "universal" in "Universal Serial Bus")

Now, my guesses on your other questions. Remember, I have a different unit but I did do a lot of research on all of these units before installing the one I did.
1) I cant find a way to access the NTG screen in order to be able to change the radio station. A station plays when I push radio, but I cannot change it nor do I know what station it is on because I don't have a way of seeing that.
This may be a stupid question, and my apologies if it is....but have you tried holding down the CLR button next to your control dial for the infotainment system for a long time (like 5 or 10 seconds)? On my system, that's how you toggle between the stock infotainment system and the new unit.

2) Radio volume and CarPay volume are drastically different! CarPlay volume is much lower and if I switch over to radio, it will BLAST loudly.
I have the same issue. I cannot remember what I did to make it better, but I still never thought the sound quality was as good through the unit so I usually use the stock radio input (MMI or Bluetooth) for music. I think there was a setting in the unit's settings menu for volume level?

3) Sometimes I get a screen that says "Benz Check Signal" when I go to the car icon (where I would have expected to find the NTG menu).
This sounds like something in the interface between NTG and new unit isn't as expected. In my unit there was something about the fiber optic cables that had to be moved, beyond just plugging in the passthru cable. Like, there's a pass-thru fiber optic cable from the old unit to the new but then there was also a fiber optic cable that actually had to get moved from one box to the other. Did you take pictures when you were doing it? Do you still have it apart so you can see all the cabling?

4) CarPlay takes a super long time to load. I wonder if I install an activated sim card, if that would change the load speed. The lag time is very bothersome and was really unexpected.
I would recommend just getting it its own SIM card. That was the main reason I was thinking of installing something like what you have (it's basically an android phone, not just an interface from your own phone). In retrospect, I wish I had done that. I do find CarPlay WIRED is much faster than when it tries to connect wirelessly, so I am using that. But, it takes long enough to load that if I"m just running down the street I don't even bother to launch it. Again, we have different units but I think using one that is programmed to function like its own phone, with its own operating system (like what you have) would have to work much faster than something just interfacing with an outside phone (like what I have). If you phone plan is one that can carry another line for little cost and share data, it seems like it would be worth the extra incremental cost.

5) I only have 3 icons showing on my screen per page. I believe I am supposed to have 5. Can't find a way to change that.
I cannot take any guess on this one! Again, maybe settings? Maybe it's not set for the size screen you have with it?

Did your unit have any dip switches which needed to be set? If so, have you double-checked that you set those correctly? That could be where the screen size is set (which might determine the number of menu items it displays.

Again, lots of guesses on my part, but maybe something can point you in a direction to get things working better for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you so much for your detailed reply! Since I posted this morning I have resolved some issues...

1) I found a way to access the NTG screen, or at least the radio stations lol. It took me going into factory settings and changing the car setup type. Once I did that, I restarted it, got a black screen or two here and there, and when I changed it back to the car setup it was on before, I was able to see the radio stations.

2) Volume is still an issue but I see that it is not an isolated incident. There is supposed to be a way to change that setting but I have not run across it yet.

3) Haven't gotten this message again, so I may have somehow fixed it by messing around with the factory settings.

4) CarPlay is still taking forever to load so I am going to use my son's sim card on there since he uses his phone only to play games right now lol. Hopefully that helps somewhat. I got this screen for 2 reasons only: 1) to have touchscreen and 2) to have wireless CarPlay, so it would suck if I can't get this part fixed.

5) Still have only 3 icons on each page, and seller verified for me that I am supposed to have 5, so I will eventually figure this one out. If I don't, however, it wont be the end of the world.

EDIT: 6) Now I have a different problem lol. I can't seem to get the radio back in. The harness the screen came with is quite bulky and it creates a bulge in the space in back of the radio, which in turn blocks the radio from going fully in. I am sure with some elbow grease and patience I'll be able to get it in there though.

Btw, your guesses were spot on, so I REALLY appreciate you taking the time to help me. Oh, no dip switches on my end. Also, no fiber optic cables either. For a while yesterday I went bonkers looking for them, because some of the install videos I saw mentioned them, but they must've plugged them into the harness in this version of the screen. Which leads me to my next question... are all these 10.25" the same and are just rebranded by different companies?
 

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I am so glad to hear that you made progress! I also couldn't get the radio back in. I ended up lowering the glove compartment (not quite removing it, just dropping it to the floor) and found lots of room between the radio and the glove box. So, I just let all the cables spill into that area. It's also a LOT easier to drop the glove box than it is to get that radio back out, so if there are any cables you might need to access again, put them there and you can get to them much more easily.

I just love how these forums make it possible for us all to help each other out! MB would love it if we couldn't do anything without their "special" mechanics and "special" tools and even more "special" prices. Hah!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had already removed the glove box, since it was easier to do that than spend hours trying to fish wires and cables thru. I managed to tuck in the extra super long harness the new screen brought, and get the radio back in, but it was all for naught. I realized this screen is a cheap version, so I am returning it and getting the Road Top Qualcomm Android 11 screen instead. So I should have the front dash taken apart again by this weekend and have the new screen installed. I think I am getting hooked on doing mods to the car lol
 

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Well, at least you can say that you benefitted from the experience and you know you don't need to pay someone else to do it! Spend those DIY savings on a better system.

My interface box is a Road Top unit. I found their instructions were relatively good as was support for the couple of questions I had.

The compulsion to mod can become addictive, but it's definitely a constructive way to express your creativity (good for the brain), right?
 

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Nice work guys! I must say I'm tempted to replace the default screen with a touch 10" with Carplay. But I'm just not sure which one would be the safest and best to buy. Also I'm definitely not handy with car stuff so would pay for the service at a workshop.

Anyway what's your experience with it? Is it really worth it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nice work guys! I must say I'm tempted to replace the default screen with a touch 10" with Carplay. But I'm just not sure which one would be the safest and best to buy. Also I'm definitely not handy with car stuff so would pay for the service at a workshop.

Anyway what's your experience with it? Is it really worth it?
It is definite worth it to me. I have had touchscreen computers for quite a while, and I defaulted to touching the screen every time I needed to change the station, use navi, etc. So in that aspect alone, it was very much worth it.

As far as which is the best one to get I can tell you that cheapest is definitely not good. I purchased one that was on sale on Amazon, and after a coupon, it came out to $460, but that has been a disaster. The software is a nightmare, and it glitches incessantly, it often doesn't connect to CarPlay, etc. So I ordered one from Top Road that is coming in today, and hopefully it will be better. If it has similar problems, then I am ordering one from www.dmpcardesign.com or from carlife mall.

Regarding install, I suggest you at least try to do it yourself. I am a small woman in stature and build, and I was able to do this by myself. All it takes is pulling some plastic parts with care, and running some cables behind the dash once you've pulled those parts out. It is pretty plug and play, and not difficult to do. After having done it, I definitely would never pay a shop what they charge, because it just isn't worth it for the actual work it takes... unless you have an overabundance of money ;) I would normally not bat an eye and pay for the service, but there is a satisfaction I derive in doing things myself, even if I can afford to pay to have them done. I realize that is not how everyone feels, I just don't want you to get the impression it is difficult to do. It is not. If you need help or guidance, just shoot me a pm and I'll be glad to help.
 

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Thanks so much for your feedback! You're absolutely right, I usually like to do things myself with other kind of stuff, I just fear I would do something wrong and damage the car/electronic. But it's worth watching a few DIY videos and assess how it's done. Please let us know how the new one is. I saw so many options coming from China with little to no reviews and unless I'm certain about which one would be a must have, I'm still hesitant.
I definitely don't have an overabundance of money haha and I just recently bought an used Mercedes and was already surprised to see how much they charge for anything.
Just enabling Carplay on my car would cost me about AUD$750 (and that's without even replacing the current screen).

There are actually 3 things I'm considering at the moment for my GLA250:
  • Touchscreen 10" and Carplay (60% chance) I surprisingly don't hate that much the default screen and COMAND system. I think it gets the job done rather quickly with the rotating button. But of course a nice touch and bigger screen with Carplay enabled would bring another level of comfort.
  • AMG black front grille. I really like the look of it! (30%)
  • Michelin PS4S. Just the cream of the crop in term of performance and comfort to replace the run flats Pirellis Scorpions Verde. (100%)
 
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