DIYs

Wireless Carplay Retrofit for 2011-2016 Porsches with PCM 3.1

In this post I’ll detail exactly how I retrofitted Wireless (and wired) Apply CarPlay to my 2014 Porsche Cayenne. This same product and DIY installation guide will apply to any other Porsches from 2011-2016 that has Porsche’s PCM 3.1 navigation unit including the 911, Panamera, Cayman, Macan, and Boxster.

I love my Cayenne – at nearly 100K miles it’s been a great daily driver for me and my family. I have had no real desire to get a newer model other than that the navigation/radio has become extremely dated over the years.

After seeing tons of posts on Facebook and Rennlist about people modifying their stock headunits to run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, I finally bit the bullet and bought one of the retrofit kits myself.

I’ve seen them listed for as much as $600, but the ISUDAR kit for approximately $300 had great reviews and was cheap enough that if the installation proved too daunting, I could walk away with minimal downside…and you can pick it up on Amazon making it a little less sketchy than some of the online stores I came across in my research but wasn’t sure if they were legit or not.

Installation looks incredibly scary – you basically have to take your head-unit out, split it open, and install a new circuit board…but on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the hardest DIY project I’ve ever done, I’d call this a 3 or 4. It looks way scarier than it is, it’s just time consuming and requires focus & concentration.

Installation Process

This DIY is for the ISUDAR board in particular, although I’d imagine the other options out there are very similar – essentially you add an additional board that piggy-backs or rides on top of the existing board, and this new motherboard is what powers your CarPlay and hijacks control from the normal PCM interface.

The kit comes with a step-by-step guide as well as a link to their official YouTube video, but I thought it’d be helpful the experience of an actual person installing it versus the manufacturer.

The key thing is to take your time – each connection needs to be snug. Otherwise, it’s pretty straightforward as most connections can only go one way. The trickiest part is figuring out how to remove your radio, as Porsches don’t use standard radio keys like a lot of other cars but are instead bolted into the dashboard.

For the entire process, block out 2-3 hours for this, although once you’ve done one the next one should only take about half of that. If I were to do a third kit, I bet I could do it under an hour.

For more information, watch the video and I’ll walk you through the step-by-step!

What It Fits In

It should fit most Porsches from 2011-2016 with the factory navigation, but specifically these cars are confirmed to fit:

  • 2012-2016 Porsche 911 (991.1) models with PCM3.1
  • 2012-2016 Porsche Boxster (981) models with PCM3.1
  • 2012-2016 Porsche Cayman (981) models with PCM3.1
  • 2011-2016 Porsche Cayenne (958.1) models with PCM3.1
  • 2010-2016 Porsche Panamera (970) models with PCM 3.1
  • 2014-2016 Porsche Macan (95B.1) models with PCM 3.1

If your radio looks like mine, then you likely have the PCM 3.1 and this is a direct fit.

90 Day Review

I’ve now had this installed for about three months now, and I’m happy to report it works exactly as described. The only issue of note is that it occasionally can’t find my phone over Bluetooth, usually when I’ve been away for a while (e.g. not connected to the car in over a week) or if my wife and I are both in the car at the same time and it connects to the wrong phone (e.g. hers) first. In those cases you can either plug the car in the optional wired USB, or you can go into the settings and have it reconnect to your phone of choice…not a big deal, but obviously something you don’t want to do while driving.

Otherwise, it’s been an absolute game changer for the car…I love being able to listen to my music and podcasts without effort…before the upgrade, I had to manually select BT Audio each time, but since upgrading my phone automatically is connected via AUX IN and I don’t have to manually change the Source. This alone is worth the $300, yet alone all of the other features of CarPlay.

The other big feature is Google Maps or Waze at your fingertips, versus having to constantly look down at your phone. You can enter the address on your phone and it automatically appears in your dash, making navigation so much easier and better than either using your phone or the PCM.

Everything about the board seemed sturdy, and I have no doubt it will continue to work well but I’ll update this post if/when I run into any more issues.

Where to Buy

You can buy this just about anywhere, but I recommend Amazon where you get free one-day shipping and know that Amazon will back you up if there is an issue with the seller. I’ve seen this kit sold elsewhere under different names for anywhere from $400-600, so this definitely seems to be the cheapest conversion kit I’ve found without sacrificing quality.

Affiliate Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and I do make a commission from any purchases, and your patronage is appreciated if you found this review helpful. Ultimately I have this in my own car as well as installed in one of my best friend’s car, so this is a product I personally use and believe in.

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.

2 Comments

  1. Sweet write up. I personally went with the BimmerDirect.com module. The Amazon seller you linked barely spoke any English at all. Can’t really trust that. It is a good quality of life mod for sure.

  2. Cool – how do you like that module so far? FWIW I’ve installed two of these and haven’t had any problem in 6 months. My suspicion is some websites are reselling the same chip/board under different names and their only real differentiator is marketing/ability to speak English…could be wrong though!

Leave a Reply

Back to top button