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I wanted to document the outcome of my infotainment system replacement. Its a long post but I wanted to share my success and hopefully give others confidence to fix any problems they may have...

I have a 2014 Mazda 3. About 4 or 5 months ago the infotainment system started acting weird, switching screens, calling people, jumping around, etc... this is a well documented issue, sometimes called 'ghost user'.

After a lot of research and testing with and without USBs and Nav SD, I concluded the screen (touchscreen) was to blame. Some people believe the layer that activated the touch sensitivity was deterorating... seemed plausible.

Madza shop replacement was going to be expensive ~$1000, with no guarantees that was my problem. A second hand, self install replacement was going to be risky... would the newer unit work, would it fix the problem. I searched and found a few vendors (wreckers) on eBay who would warrant their items to be functional for 90 days. I found a 2017 system (slightly different part number but same car and looks identical). The 2017 screen was the newer, lower profile, all black version (LOVE it). The seller was LKQ Online... good service and equipment.

The item was the complete system, screen and backend system box... for the same price some were selling just the screen ($280). I took a chance and went ahead. The unit arrived in 3 or 4 days (first risk overcome). It came in a big (too big) box but was well bubble wrapped. It had a few chards of broken glass in cracks and the wrapping... confirming it was taken from a wreck. The screen and system unit were in perfect condition (beware some units on ebay had terrible scratches on the screen).

I made the decision to replace the whole system, not just the screen... good decision, see later.

The following weekend I had a go at the installation. THANK YOU to all who post these How To instructions here and on youtube... brilliant.
The videos and details on dismantling the facia and removing the existing system was vital to me taking this on. THANK YOU.

With a little patience and persistence and wiggling, the facia was off cleanly in 5 minutes. The old unit was out in 10 minutes and replaced in 15 minutes... brilliant. I did a quick test before replacing the facia. Unit was working, screen was working so I closed up the facia.

The 'newer' unit worked flawlessly, no phantom ghost changing channel, phoning random people, jumping around... very happy and pleased.

The cherry on top is the fact that the new unit was at firmware 59.00.414 (NAN).... hmm my old unit had been upgraded to 59.00.502 when I bought it secondhand.. so no AIO customizations. I researched the fix to allow updates and customizations after 502 and it installed and tested fine. I installed some customizations.... touch screen while moving (passenger access), speedo, and some other tweaks... all worked great. I then upgraded to version 70... when without a hitch and reinstalled the AIO tweaks... all installed perfectly.

I'm very please I took the risk of the second hand replacement, installation was a breeze (after research), newer unit looks cooler (all black and lower profile) and my unit was upgradeable (obviously I got lucky... other units firmware could easily be after the 502 lockout version).

Very happy Mazda drive... and a big THANK YOU to all those experts to post the How To's to help us mortals.
 
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