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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my 2016 CX-3 for a little over a year now and am pretty happy with it, minus how fast the touchscreen is showing its age. I saw a separate post about the shattered looking cracks appearing under/inside of the screen and also suffer from the same issue in one corner. Between those two issues, I am increasingly wanting to upgrade to a better quality screen but have come up with nothing but dead ends short of replacing the screen with another used, dated OEM screen. Looked like it had been a while since anyone posted about this - but wanted to put it out there if anyone knew of a Mazda compatible display that wouldn't turn into a nightmare in terms of programming and functionality with the internal Mazda computer. I just can't wrap my head around that no one has made (even Mazda) an updated/better spec'd screen for these cars in the almost 5 years now that they've been out. Any help is MUCH appreciated!
 

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This is where things get overly technical and is a constant point of frustration for me. Technically other screens do exist. Search on aliexpress for mazda cx-3 android radios however its just a replacement for the oem radio on some international versions whch dont originally come with the touchscreen and internal programming for the lights/hud/service reminder etc.

Little background story on why US was given the touchscreen only model. NHTSA requires all auto manufacturers to have a backup camera on all models by 2018 so mazda releasing this as a 2016 knowing it was gonna presumably last longer than 2 years model life went with the touchscreen with backup camera feature. The basic radio one is only for markets with very limited regulations on car manufacturers and is much smaller with the volume knob on the 'screen' itself. Mazda also threw in other things to give the touchscreen more 'value' but essentially limits it to any changes and even goes out of their way to ban us from using mazda aio tweaks to install custom software in it.

Some extra points:
-Those full android headunit radios are meant to replace the radio version only and do not accomodate any of the car functions the touchscreen units provide.
-Mazda uses different screens for all models so its difficult for a company to engineer a better screen since there is no incentive to prioritize one model over another especially consider since the cx-3 isnt as popular and long running as the mazda3 for example or cx-5.
-Very small percentage of a very smaller user base to begin with would even want to change it
-No wiring harness to my knowledge exist to get the android units working with the touchscreen plugs and would require manually splitting and soldering connections.
-The programming is all closed source so while reverse engineering is not impossible it is incredibly time consuming and not worth the cost/benefit/potential profits when weighting all 3 together since cost and time will surpass everything else.
-If an android radio was swapped in, i dont know how the car would handle it. Are the car settings stored on the headunit cache or in other computer modules?Is the headunit a controller or a storage device for settings? Does it retain vehicle settings or would it throw codes of errors? Due to the cost and amount of work needed to install one of these in the first place, its doubtful we will be getting answers to any of these in the future.

-I bought a screen protector for the screen and it hasent given me any issues. I also use a windshield sun shield folding panel thing because its parked in the sun all day and that probably helps the molten hot temps from hitting directly on the screen/rear panel which is probably what leads to most peoples screen issues.

Hope this gives you a little more info on this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I actually scoured the forums and followed your story which was what led me to feeling a bit defeated on the subject. When I bought mine, I had the older firmware that allowed for the aio tweaks, used them and didn't feel like the bugginess was worth it. Ended up swapping back and ultimately updating firmware so I could at least buy and install the CarPlay/AA usb module. Using CarPlay, I now have very little issue with the software side of things but pretty strictly the hardware. I keep making the joke that it feels like I'm driving around with a second gen iPad on my dash... Thanks to all of your posts I read all about the android head units and all things considered, I don't believe that I trust that either. I just would think between the iA's and cx-3 models using this head unit, SOMEthing would have been made at this point. I tried to see if there were ways to split off for an external additional screen that could utilize the radio functionality only but haven't had much luck with that either. I feel like there has to be some work around/externally attached screen that can be wired in for nav/audio/backup cam controls - I don't mind leaving the OEM screen to handle everything else. I did see one post with a suction cup style tablet holder mounted on the screen holding a device in front of it as a humorous suggested solution - looking more and more like the only option here, humorous or not
 

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So theres a possibility to install something like that. I fully plan on pursuing this route if my screen ever dies because Im not spending thousands on a new one lol.


-2 of these mounts on the center trim panel as a 'base mounting point'




Option 1:

Option 2:


-cable extender


This unit brand is one of those rare ones that can get super creative. The screen isnt connected to the body but rather clips on mounts you can move to something else, such as the mazda mounts above. The base single/double din box can be hidden in the glove compartment or something and the ribbon cable can be put behind the center trim piece on the cx-3 dash, so technically you can have a mounted headunit spliced into the oem system as a standalone full android device that turns on and off with the car. The only wiring here needed is to splice the speaker wires, power, acc, and ground. However this the speaker wiring might have interference between 2 units in the same connection so thats something that needs to be addressed and also if your car has the bose amp, that might require special wiring or converters(?) to make it work. Its not impossible but definitly something Ive looked into enough to consider doing, I just dont have the motivation to remove the oem unit to access wiring. Theres also a more less cleaner route for speaker wiring as the joying unit has an audio out port, I believe is 2 rca red/white plugs and buy a rca to aux cable and plug it into the oem aux port and run the oem unit in aux mode to get sound from the joying unit. However this will still be the lower quality mazda audio and not equalizer/amped aftermarket audio sound.

So the 2 wiring routes here:
1) Easy but 'dirty' route
-Wire in power/acc/ground cables
-RCA out to aux audio out
-Mount and done
-Less permanent route but you have to snake an aux cable to the front plug infront of the shifter.

2) Cleaner but WAY MORE PROBLEMATIC route
-Wire in power/acc/ground cables
-Wire in speaker LF+-, LR+-, RF+-, RR+- cables to oem wiring.
-Deal with interference? Maybe have to completely cut off oem wiring to headunit and solder directly to joying cables
-Deal with audio conversion? Some need DAC some dont??
-More permanent route and potentially lose all audio to oem unit.
 

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Only thing with the above route is itl block the center vent. This vent should probably remain closed because if youre blowing hot/cold air onto it, it will probably damage the unit over time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for reply, again. Those mounts, according to one of the reviews where it was purchased to hold the Joying head unit wouldn't work as the reviewer said it required two and there's an angle to these mounts not allowing it to mount flush with the dash. After taking the OEM (along with way more of the car apart than I felt necessary) out to install the CarPlay upgrade, I don't know how much I myself want to go through that again. There are more tight spaces and unfinished metal edges under that dash than any car I've ever done an install on. I think I still have scars on my arms from that. I need someone to make a bluetooth/wireless screen option that just connects and takes over the duties and mounts easily (maybe with one of those Kuda mounts). If I find anything, I'll definitely post here as time passes - hoping someone will eventually address this as I assume the demand will increase as the OEM screens age. Hopefully.

Only thing with the above route is itl block the center vent. This vent should probably remain closed because if youre blowing hot/cold air onto it, it will probably damage the unit over time.
 

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That was actually me who reviewed that haha, I was a little salty about the fact it wasent flat and the fact that they posted a picture of a 7" screen being mounted but on the extreme right edge of it which is ridiculously unreasonable and just advertising bait. Later on I did some testing months after and a couple washers on one side and a metal plate screwed on brings it to a flat surface. But yea I feel your pain, taking the dash apart on the cx-3 is such a chore if not risking scratching already sensitive surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ha, man, you get around - and yeah, that photo, like a lot of the aftermarket stuff I've found online, seems pretty misleading. I looked at those Kuda mounts since finding a place for my phone (and after trying multiple solutions I wasn't happy with) always seemed more of a chore than it needed to be - I finally installed the OEM armrest and have been happy with the slot in it despite all of the posts of people wanting to remove the OEM armrest (I bought the sport model and have been slowly trying to work my way up to something close to touring status) - I actually like it. I'm pretty determined to find a solution to this screen issue- if the web-like cracks on the corner spread before something else if available, I feel like I will have to buy an OEM replacement off eBay for a couple hundred bucks - and hate that I had to spend the money on THAT. All I'm asking for is higher res/better longevity - literally the first car I've owned in 24 years of driving that was made this way...


That was actually me who reviewed that haha, I was a little salty about the fact it wasent flat and the fact that they posted a picture of a 7" screen being mounted but on the extreme right edge of it which is ridiculously unreasonable and just advertising bait. Later on I did some testing months after and a couple washers on one side and a metal plate screwed on brings it to a flat surface. But yea I feel your pain, taking the dash apart on the cx-3 is such a chore if not risking scratching already sensitive surfaces.
 
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