The Volkswagen Radio upgrade matrix

Looking to upgrade your radio? here is a handy matrix that shows you what you will need. Here is how to use it: locate your current radio on the left column and the one you would like to upgrade to. match the appropriate column to the row corresponding to your radio and there is your answer.

here is an example: to Upgrade from the P7 radio to the RNS510 Nav I would need  a shark fin antenna, sdars cable (long), GPS cable and antenna adapter (AM/FM)

Premium 7 in 2008 and 2009 will not require Sharkfin Antenna and require a short cable extension and an adapter cable for the SDARS module (male to male)
Certain vehicles may require 90 Degree Adapter Cable depending on space
3C0035684 X – RNS510 (PQ35 / PQ46)
7L6035684  X – RNS510 (Touareg)
000098713 –  Antenna adapter, FM/AM
000098710 (x2)  – 90 degree adapter Sat/GPS
000098654 – Satellite antenna cable extension
1K5035507G – Shark fin antenna Note:  Necessary for 2006 Jetta / Passat (RB – only??)
3C0035507T – Shark fin antenna Note:  Necessary for 2006 GTI (RB – only?


Posted on March 17, 2010, in aftermarket, bluetooth, CC, Diesel, EOs, Golf, GTI, How to, Jetta, Navigation, Passat, Radio, safety, TDI, Tech, Tiguan, Touareg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Jay,
    See the matrix. I have a 08 Passat 4motion sport wagon w/factory nav (not RNS-510).

    So if I’m reading this correct to upgrade to RNS-510 it should a direct fit replacement with no additional equipment needed?

    Also, I currently have the factory Ipod dock in the glove box and would think that this would just plug right in and work with the RNS-510.

  2. Jay
    Question: I have installed a RCD-510 in my MKVI 2.5. I don’t have the shark fin antenna so I am installing the sirius antenna in the dash that I got from My question is with the diversity antenna. I hope you can clear something up for me. The RCD has two Fakra connectors…one for the AM/FM and one for the just FM (FM2 as I understand it). What part number do I need for the dual connector on the back of the RCD? And, when I connect the single antenna wire (AM and FM) currently in my car to one of the aerial connectors……how/what/where do I connect the FM2? As I have read the newer headunits (don’t know the name of mine-single disc) have the diversity unit inside the RCD headunit. Can I just buy an FM antenna from somewhere and connect it to the other Fakra? Any help is most appreciated!Thanks… Mark

    • yeah thats above me, you need to talk to someone in parts, sorry

    • Yeah, this is a great question. I installed the RNS-510 into my ’08 Passat to replace the most basic Premium 7 RCD. The car appears to have both antennae, but as the original radio did not have two Fakra connectors there was only one antennae that I could find in the dash. The radio reception on the new RNS510 is okay, but could easily be better and I wonder if attaching another antennae would improve my experience.

      • I am having the same problem, i added VW part#7L6 051 551 but still am getting back reception – perhaps I didn’t connect it good enough? The FM stations are VERY fuzzy…please help! 🙂

  3. I have a 2010 Golf 2.5L (Sportline in Canada) with a 6.5″ touchscreen system (without nav). What do I need to upgrade to the Navi unit?

    • Easy answer is if you have the touchscreen with Satellite radio then you just need to find someone selling a RNS-510 (like on and find a GPS antenna with a Fakra connector (they are all over the place). If you don’t have Satellite then you can do the same by going to getting a Sirius antenna with a Fakra (got mine from Pull the old radio out, connect the GPS antenna (blue) and Sirius (green) to the new unit and slide the unit back in. Enter the security code (which you get from the seller….you need this code no matter what), and go forth and enjoy your unit. There are many people (me including) that have a diy of replacing the head unit. Takes 20 min really. NOW…if you have a sharkfin antenna you may already have the gps and satellite. You’ll have to check your Canadian spec sheet to see what’s in the Sharkfin. By the way, you can sell your current unit for about 400-600 to help offset the price of the Navi. Lastly…go to for any questions you have.

  4. Robert Beyer

    Jay… first..Good job on the videos! I have had my new 2010 CC Sport 2.0T for a few weeks now.
    question: are you seeing any of these with reallllllly lousy AM radio reception? I fear from the answers I am getting from VW customer advocate so far is they all stink. That is unacceptable.. I am only 15miles from the Colo Springs transmitters and the signal is very weak , with all sorts of static and noise. When I operate the windshield washer, its motor makes loud static over the am.
    As you know the antenna is in the rear window glass.
    Still waiting for vw to sort this out and probably brush me off. I requested a detailed esplanation of what VW tech is doing to test it and more technical answers. I am an electronic tech and so far they don’t impress me at all.
    All it would need is a real antenna probably.
    Sure like the car otherwise except for the poor visability to the rear. Another grip is the inability to even order a rear view cam with the Premium VIII radio on the Sport. I told VW USA its a safety issue and should be on all of them. even if it were a simpler camera mounted in the license plate light opening.

    • I have never tested AM reception. I quite frankly don’t listen to AM/FM radio for the camera in the sport it comes down to cost.

      • whether or not I listen to the am / fm radio much is not the point. I paid good money for a brand new car and the radio I totally unacceptable and its the principal of it all. VW of USA is admitting there has been problems with metallic tint which my car appears to have – but was not ordered by me. and is not on the window sticker. The CC sport also cannot be ordered with the emblem rear view camera, nor the navi head unit.. only the luxury model.

  5. Bill Hammond

    Hey Jay,

    Love your stuff. I have a 2009 Passat that has the 510 radio but no bluetooth (i guess bluetooth was an option on the 2009??? Why me!). Is it easy to just add the 9W3 to it if there was no bluetooth before? Is it all pre-wired? Not wanting the nav just the bluetooth.

    Thanks, Bill

    • For 2009 dealers will only install the VolkL in a 2009

    • The 9W3 is relatively easy to install yourself. VW won’t necessarily do it for you, but you can make it a pretty simple process. There are three main parts: the wiring harness, the bluetooth hardware, and the microphone. Oddly, none of these go in the same place. The bluetooth hardware wants to be installed in an add-on metal cradle under the driver’s seat. i installed my with velcro to the carpet and made a small box to set over it and protect it. The wiring harness then is run up through the center console and this can be done very easily without taking off the center console. Just fish the wire downward on the driver’s side from the void inside the dash where the stereo lives. In the Passat, there is a smart location for a microphone next to the map light above the rear view mirror. This is a great place for the microphone as it catches voice but not wind noise. Because the wire for this runs behind the glove box or steering wheel and up the A pillar next to the airbag, I didn’t want to mess with this, so I took the microphone to a local aftermarket shop that properly installed the microphone for a fee. VW is making great stuff, but they have so many options that are not available on certain trims, such as getting any added features on a car with a manual transmission. You’ve got to install the options yourself. Have fun!

  6. back on May 3rd I wrote that I was very unsatisfied with my new 2010 VW CC Sport premium radio performance.

    As a technican I felt there was something wrong with it. I was also misinformed regarding being able to add the back up camera and dyna-audio. turns out the Sport trim doesn’t have the right harnesses, amongst other things to easily upgrade, and doing so voids the warranty.

    I got no answers from the dealership so I called VW customer advocate several times, and finally we are getting somewhere (I hope).. I left the car down at the Dealers again last week, and they pulled codes off the radio that were not correct., they ordered a new radio and are also pulling off the aftermarket metallic tint from the rear window (where the am-fm antenna is) Somehow this car got an aftermarket tint treatment somewhere between arriving at the Houston hub and my dealer.. they never told me how that happened as its not factory and my dealer didn’t put it on . Nothing on the sticker mentions after market tint. VW sent me a check to pay for the new tint as its not a vw product.. (long story)…
    I will hopefully report soon on the results.

  7. Here’s the report on my above CC radio problem.. WOW ! what a difference ! now the AM works just fine and the stereo sound on all inputs is deeper and fuller… that Premium head unit was really hosed !.. they finally ran VAS diagnostics and it printed a book of errors.. I was right …something was definately wrong. At first glance it seemed ok to a quick check, so that’s why it made it thru new prep check. They also took out that carbon / metallic window tint from the rear window – replacing it with non metallic and that increased radio reception. Now to deal with getting a rear view camera in that thing. May have to settle for aftermarket for now.

    • David Schniederman

      Trying to find out if I can easily connect a backup cam to the 2011 CC sport? I saw an aftermarket from that goes by the license plate light. Does the CC have the wiring for the cam all the way to the back? Hate to spend $799 for the camera in the VW emblem. Also, will the camera connect easily to the Premium VIII standard stereo?


      • NO I have been over this with dealer mechanics and VW… the CC Sport DOES NOT have the wiring in it for the bk up camera.. I told VW..the sloping back of that car hinders vision so badly that the camera should be available on ALL models. The Fed Gov’t is actually talking about this problem across the board with all cars and may make it a required item. Unfortunately it will prob not be till 2014
        Those cameras that fit on the lic plate light area would have to be wired to the back up light for the reverse signal and a separate monitor for you to view it. I am hoping that the company that makes the mirrors with the LED screen built in would make one to fit the CC…trouble is the rain sensor presents a prob.

  8. Michael Goldstein

    I think I need the same part ??? 7L6 051 551 … I have a 2009 CC, upgrading from the standard 7 audio to a RCD510 … I cannot fit both individual connectors … If I purchase this part is SAT radio tied into this? I had Sirius before, when connecting the new radio without both antenna connection when going to Sirius I get anntenna not found. ???

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Andrea :
    I am having the same problem, i added VW part#7L6 051 551 but still am getting back reception – perhaps I didn’t connect it good enough? The FM stations are VERY fuzzy…please help!

  9. I have a 2010 VW jetta California edition. I have purchased a sirius reciever and am having trouble installing it in the car. It has the proprietary ipod system in the consol, but there is no location for an auxilary jack, which is what I need. What do you recomend and how do I make it happen?

  10. I have a 2008 Passat Wagon with the Lux package and the stock Dynaudio Premium Sound system. I love the look of the new audio system head end – the one with the lighted presets (I think that’s the Preium 7?). Is there an upgrade path from my sytem to the newest audio system? I don’t really want the Nav system, just the newest radio. Thanks

      • Thanks Jay. I’ve found a few RCD-510’s on eBay but there may be a large hitch. I checked with my dealer today to make sure that they would do the installation. They were OK with that, but the service guy I spoke with said that there would be a problem with the satellite radio. He said the satellite radio receiver for my current radio (Premium 7 – RCD-310) is a separate box located under the seat whereas the satellite receiver in the 510 is built into the radio itself. Thus it would be a major job ($$$) to tear apart the interior to rewire the antenna. Are you familiar with this? As much as I’d love to have the 510 that would be a deal breaker and I’m certainly not going to give up my satellite radio. Thanks.

  11. I have a Jetta Limited Edition. It comes with the trim “S” radio. I was wondering if I could change it to the Premium VIII touchscreen radio?

    Am I going to have problems with the antenna? It has the AM/FM antenna, not the diversity one.

    Thanks any kind of advice will be greatly appreciated!

  12. thanks jay! so i don’t need to buy the sharkfin antenna?

    one more question: What is the cost of the Premium VIII radio?

  13. David Schniederman

    Jay –

    would it be possible to put an aftermarket backup cam easily into the 2011 cc sport? Is the wiring harness already set up to the back? Will it work with the P8 radio?

    I found a backup cam on for the cc at $30, much cheaper than the VW emblem cam for $799

  14. Hi, I have a 2010 Golf 2.5 with the outdated Premium 7 radio and would like to change i out with the 2011 2.5 Golf’s new RCD-310 Unit. Would this be possible without difficulty? Or is the RCD-310 not compatible with my car?

  15. Ok, this is a little of upgrade matrix and Bluetooth all together….
    I just put a deposit on a 2009 Jetta TDI Sedan. It has what I guess is the RCD-310 radio and Sat (though the Sat is not being used). I would like to end up with Bluetooth with A2DP (streaming audio), and keep the car ‘VW’.

    First – please confirm that with the RCD-310, if I install the VolkL, the best I will do is mono A2DP.

    If that is true, does any one know if I switch to the RCD-510, and install the VolkL, cannot I get stereo A2DP (assuming the car is coded correctly?) Also, please confirm that the functionality of the VolkL and the 9W2 are essentially the same.

    I realize the 9W2 / VolkL doesn’t support the MFD, but to be honest, I really don’t care. What I really want is 1) streaming audio in stereo and 2) handsfree phone, with with the steering wheel buttons working.. Help! Suggestions?

  16. I have a 2011 Tiguan S that came with the RCD 310 radio. It does not have the SAT button, so I am guessing I can’t plug a XM receiver and change stations through my existing radio? I didn’t want to have a separate XM on the side of it, any suggestions to make it work? Thanks a lot, guys!

  17. I have 2011 Golf TDI with RCD 510, 8 speaker, touch screen, no navigation. The sound is lacking fullness and bass. Would love to upgrade speakers and possibly sub woofer. Any suggestions, or know solutions ? Thanks.

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