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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know a lot of people were disappointed with the early build MY2018 Stelvios not having ACP/AA so I wanted to post my experience with the module I installed. I pulled the trigger on the piggyback module from ENG-Custom (about $390 shipped). It ties into the video feed and power from the Alfa head unit.

I'm not gonna lie, the install was a pain in the ass and I wanted to break something several times. Technically speaking, the install is simple - if everything was easily accessible. But it's not. The trim in the driver's side footwell has to be removed as well as the little cubby box, which isn't difficult with trim removal tools. Then the Alfa head unit has to be unbolted from it's bracket and lowered to where you can get to the wiring. This part was not so simple and my cut up hands will tell you the same. The ENG-Custom module comes with a harness which plugs into the Alfa unit, then the cables you pull from the Alfa unit plug into the ENG harness...classic piggyback. Stuffing everything back into the footwell is no picnic either, but it does fit. Eventually.

The next day I felt like I was beaten with a club for three hours. The positions you'll find yourself in under the dash are awkward and uncomfortable to say the least. But it was all worth it when I plugged my phone in and saw Android Auto pop up.

A little about how it functions alongside the Alfa Connect system:
  • When you plug the phone in Android Auto starts automatically, you don't have to launch anything.
  • If you want to go back to the Alfa system, simply long press the menu button for 3 seconds. You can get back to Android Auto by doing the same thing.
  • When you receive a phone call while in Android Auto it automatically sends mic function to the Alfa system. This is seamless and has worked perfectly. (Bluetooth connected to Alfa/Wired USB to Android Auto)
  • This unit also has mirroring functionality. I tested it with a YouTube video and it works well.
  • So far the only issue I've had is my Google maps is always in night mode. It's supposed to follow what the Alfa system is configured to do. Mine doesn't. But this doesn't really bother me. If it's stuck on one mode I'm glad it's night and not day.
Here are some pics of the interface. The last two will show you what it does when you get a call. The system stays with Android Auto even though mic function is from Alfa. As you can see from the pics, the call info shows up where the music info was. Hangup and it goes back to music...again, seamless.

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@mrpink

Great post, pics and results- thumbs up to the fact that the ENG-Custom module met 99% of your expectations.
As a bumper to bumper shade tree mechanic, I'm impressed that you actually dived head first into the world of Italian wiring!
I'm sure during the install process, as you were performing gymnastics & yoga under and over the dash, you were wondering if this was the right decision ;)
Say - just out of curiosity - did you contact ENG and let them know that Google Maps displays only in night mode or?
This also leads me to ask - does WAZE (if you use it) also only display in night mode or?
Again - a big high-five with gloved hands and great job - looking forward your reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
@mrpink

Great post, pics and results- thumbs up to the fact that the ENG-Custom module met 99% of your expectations.
As a bumper to bumper shade tree mechanic, I'm impressed that you actually dived head first into the world of Italian wiring!
I'm sure during the install process, as you were performing gymnastics & yoga under and over the dash, you were wondering if this was the right decision ;)
Say - just out of curiosity - did you contact ENG and let them know that Google Maps displays only in night mode or?
This also leads me to ask - does WAZE (if you use it) also only display in night mode or?
Again - a big high-five with gloved hands and great job - looking forward your reply!
Yeah, the install was a bear. Hindsight being 20/20 I probably would pay someone to do it. I was sore for a few days afterwards. Waze also only works in night mode. I haven't reached out to ENG because there are a ton of people in forums reporting the same thing, even with OEM systems. I think it's a bug with Android auto. I'm going to try Carplay next time my daughter visits since she has an iPhone.

It doesn't really bother me though, I prefer night mode most of the time anyway. I also use maps in satellite view quite a bit, in which case day/night mode doesn't matter.

Also, I'm no mechanic, but I consider myself capable around cars. I fully restored a 1957 BelAir which I wired from bumper to bumper and I'd much rather do that again compared to working on Alfa wiring 😂
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have you tried enabling developer settings in Android auto and playing with these settings?
Yes, that's the first thing I tried. It doesn't matter what I set it to, it's always night mode.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In case anyone is interested I installed the ODBII for AA plug-in for Torque Pro. I haven't tried all the gauges yet (there are a lot), but so far the ones I've tried work pretty well. Here are a few pics

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Pretty bummed that the only way to get Android auto to display full screen is an aftermarket solution. ☹
 

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In case anyone is interested I installed the ODBII for AA plug-in for Torque Pro. I haven't tried all the gauges yet (there are a lot), but so far the ones I've tried work pretty well. Here are a few pics

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Sorry, may be your post is self-explanatory but can you tell me the exact model of OBDII you bought? It is a Bluetooth version? Is the SW available also on iphone and visible on apple car play?
Thanks for your help
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, may be your post is self-explanatory but can you tell me the exact model of OBDII you bought? It is a Bluetooth version? Is the SW available also on iphone and visible on apple car play?
Thanks for your help
I should have mentioned a bluetooth connector is required. Any decent one will do, I have the ODBII Link LX and haven't had any issues with it.

Unfortunately, I don't have a way to test Carplay and I'm not sure if there is a plug-in for iPhone. But given Android is open source and IOS is not, I highly doubt there is one available for IOS.
 

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When I ordered my Stelvio back in 11/2017, AA was not an option. I thought this should be an easy add-on later on (software) so I decided not to wait.
If I knew what it would take to have OEM AA added (replacing head unit, USB in armrest etc.) I would have waited a couple more months. Last week I have finally decided to buy the eng-custom piggyback solution.
The installation is a pain in *** due to lack of space. In my case I had to do it twice because first time I connected the unit the screen would not turn on. Twisting the wiring harness close to eng-custom unit accidentaly the screen popped up so I realized there is an issue with the harness and asked eng-custom for a replacement. They responded promptly offering to send a new cable next working day. In the meantime I have examined the plastic connector with a magnifying glass and realized the metal wire end was misplaced. I have pushed it all the way in with a tweezer and re-connected the whole thing once again.
AA seems to be working as described and responses are swift, overall the unit meets my expectations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I ordered my Stelvio back in 11/2017, AA was not an option. I thought this should be an easy add-on later on (software) so I decided not to wait.
If I knew what it would take to have OEM AA added (replacing head unit, USB in armrest etc.) I would have waited a couple more months. Last week I have finally decided to buy the eng-custom piggyback solution.
The installation is a pain in *** due to lack of space. In my case I had to do it twice because first time I connected the unit the screen would not turn on. Twisting the wiring harness close to eng-custom unit accidentaly the screen popped up so I realized there is an issue with the harness and asked eng-custom for a replacement. They responded promptly offering to send a new cable next working day. In the meantime I have examined the plastic connector with a magnifying glass and realized the metal wire end was misplaced. I have pushed it all the way in with a tweezer and re-connected the whole thing once again.
AA seems to be working as described and responses are swift, overall the unit meets my expectations.
I was in the same situation. I was told by my sales person that it was just a software update to get AA. If I had known that wasn't the case I would have purchased a Stelvio with the required hardware. But I love my Stelvio and the ENG-Custom unit has worked flawlessly.

I feel your pain with the Install...with hindsight being 20/20 I'd probably pay someone to do it rather than do it myself.

I'm curious if your Google maps works in both day and night modes? Mine only works in night mode (or satellite view).
 
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I was in the same situation. I was told by my sales person that it was just a software update to get AA. If I had known that wasn't the case I would have purchased a Stelvio with the required hardware. But I love my Stelvio and the ENG-Custom unit has worked flawlessly.

I feel your pain with the Install...with hindsight being 20/20 I'd probably pay someone to do it rather than do it myself.

I'm curious if your Google maps works in both day and night modes? Mine only works in night mode (or satellite view).
I am using waze, will check tomorrow which daytime modes do work for me.
 

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I was in the same situation. I was told by my sales person that it was just a software update to get AA. If I had known that wasn't the case I would have purchased a Stelvio with the required hardware. But I love my Stelvio and the ENG-Custom unit has worked flawlessly.

I feel your pain with the Install...with hindsight being 20/20 I'd probably pay someone to do it rather than do it myself.

I'm curious if your Google maps works in both day and night modes? Mine only works in night mode (or satellite view).
I checked and mine seems to be working in night mode only.
I wonder what logic is embedded behind the day/night mode determination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I checked and mine seems to be working in night mode only.
I wonder what logic is embedded behind the day/night mode determination.
It's supposed to be based off of the mode that the OEM alfa system is using. I've tried changing modes in the infotainment system and have also tried to force at the phone level... Nothing works, mine only displays night mode. I don't mind it much but it would be nice if it worked properly.

Also, based on research I've done, I don't think it's an ENG-Custom issue, I think it's an Android Auto issue.
 
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It's supposed to be based off of the mode that the OEM alfa system is using. I've tried changing modes in the infotainment system and have also tried to force at the phone level... Nothing works, mine only displays night mode. I don't mind it much but it would be nice if it worked properly.

Also, based on research I've done, I don't think it's an ENG-Custom issue, I think it's an Android Auto issue.
Have you tried this? I have just changed the day/night mode to phone controlled. Will check in my car tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, I tried it. That's actually the exact same forum I went by when I tried it. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. I feel bad for the people who are stuck in day mode, that would really suck. At least mine is stuck in night mode. If I want it brighter on a really bright day I just turn on satellite view...it's kinda like day mode but 3D.
 

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Yes, I tried it. That's actually the exact same forum I went by when I tried it. Unfortunately it didn't work for me. I feel bad for the people who are stuck in day mode, that would really suck. At least mine is stuck in night mode. If I want it brighter on a really bright day I just turn on satellite view...it's kinda like day mode but 3D.
Setting the Night mode to automatic in my Android OS developer options has fixed it for me.
 

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USB for Android Auto connected to one that is near cup holder in front? Is it possible with this module to connect it to the one that is armrest?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
USB for Android Auto connected to one that is near cup holder in front? Is it possible with this module to connect it to the one that is armrest?
I guess it's possible with a long enough cable. You would just need to run the cable from the Android Auto module to the center console. It won't be easy...the one at the front will be much less difficult.
 

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I guess it's possible with a long enough cable. You would just need to run the cable from the Android Auto module to the center console. It won't be easy...the one at the front will be much less difficult.
Thank you ! btw after using it for 4 month, do you have any drawback for this module? except night mode for google maps.
 
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