DIY install of the MFD2, RCD300, or premium 7 radio for a RNS 510, RNS 315, RCD 510 radio or GPS in your VW

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difficulty: 1/5


This article shows how to install and retrofit the RNS510, RNS315 GPS or RCD510 touchscreen radio from a MFD2, RCD310, RCD300, RCD500, or premium 7 radio in your mk5 Jetta, Golf, Passat, or Tiguan.

The MFD2, RCD300, RCD 310, RNS510, premium7 (RCD500), and premium 8 (RCD510) radios/navigation unit can all be swapped in mk5-mk6 Jetta, Tiguan, Golf, Sportwagen, or Passat.  The Touareg RNS510 uses a difference faceplate.  The electronics are all fully compatible and the new head unit will fit but you need an antenna adapter if you currently have the MFD2/premium 7 (RCD500)/base radio (RCD300) and a satellite radio antenna extension.

If you have a mk6 car it's plug-play as long as you disable the compass module if installing the navigation system.

CAUTION: the RNS315 head unit will work fine in any mk5 or mk6 car.  However, because the RNS315 only came in cars with the white instrument cluster, the steering wheel buttons and MFD menu options will not work if you have a red instrument cluster.  The head unit will otherwise work fine by itself.  If you have a white instrument cluster everything should work.  This is because the RNS315 only came in cars that used BAP communications which was in white instrument cluster cars.  The other radios were also available in cars that used DDP communications which affects the steering wheel and MFD display.

If you're adding a GPS head unit your car does not have a GPS antenna.  Just stick an aftermarket one under the dashboard behind the radio, under the air vent.  As long as it faces up it will work fine.  You also have to unplug or deactivate the current compass module if your car is equipped with one.  If you have a mk6, it's plug play except for the GPS antenna (if adding a GPS) and the compass module.

The only possible problem is that 2005.5-2007 may have problems with the battery draining if you swap a 2010+ radio in.  This is caused by the module not going to sleep correctly.  The solution is to swap in a newer CAN BUS gateway.  It does not affect all early cars so if your battery drains after you swap the radio you know why.  I left my 2006 alone for four days and it was fine with an early F version gateway.  Others with 2006 have also been fine so test your car before blindly replacing the gateway but budget to replace it. It's unknown why not all cars are affected.  When you get in/out of the car you can hear the RCD510 changing CDs by itself - my best guess is that it's something the CD changer does when coming out of or going into sleep mode.

The main advantage of the newer radios is that they come with an SD card and are touchscreen.  VW's MDI interface won't work with the older radios so if you want to add the ipod interface, see 1000q: ipod adapter compatibility and retrofit for more details on the MDI.  Basically, the MDI lets you view song/artist/etc. info on the instrument cluster, radio, and be controlled by the radio.  Personally, I just use the SD card or onboard hard drive to play mp3 music.


1 ross tech VCDS cable and software (new name for vag com, vagcom)
1 adapter:
    -if you have straight antenna plugs VW# 4e0 035 608 k (4e0035608k) you can use a simple replacement plug.
    -if you have right angle antenna plugs VW# 7L6 051 551(7L6051551) you have to use a wire harness adapter.
If you want sat radio you need a satellite antenna adapter.

If you determine that you do need a new CAN BUS gateway, the latest part numbers are:
    -Jetta/Golf: VW# 1k0 907 530 ad (1k0907530ad)  (There's a newer one 1k0907951 which should also work)
    -Passat: VW# 3c0 907 530 [q or n] (3c0907530q or 3c0907530n)

The older part numbers from 2008 cars may work (no guarantees).  Their part numbers are:
   -Jetta/Golf: VW# 1k0 907 530 s (1k0907530s)
    -Passat: VW# 3c0 907 530 m (3c0907530m)

Procedure to install the RCD 510 premium 8 radio or RNS 510 GPS system

Remove the old radio.  See 1000q: mk5 radio removal for more details.

If you have a mk6, you just pop the radio surround trim off with a soft trim removal tool to avoid scratching the plastic. See the demo video below.

Plug in the radio antenna adapter.  Refer to the pictures below for the back of the head units - as you can see, they are not compatible.

If you have straight antenna plugs, pull the pink plug lock up or push it up from inside to release the lock.  (shown below) This will let you pull the antenna out of the plastic plug.  Plug them into your new adapter VW# 4e0 035 608 k (4e0035 608k) (looks blue and pink).  The adapter only costs a few dollars from the dealer.

The plug holes are too long for the right angle plugs so if you have those, use the more expensive wire harness adapter VW# 7L6 051 551 (7L6051551) shown below.  The existing plugs plug into one end and the other end plugs into the new radio.  The blue plug below was for a GPS antenna.  If you want to cheap out you could just detach the existing plastic plugs as shown above and stick the metal plug end on the new radio without any adapter.  Just tape them in place so they don't touch each other and won't fall out.

If you want satellite radio, you have to use an antenna adapter.  The old radio uses an external sirius module which sent the signal from the antenna to the radio.  The new radio uses an internal sirius module which means the antenna signal should go straight to the radio.  

Plug in the siruis antenna adapter in the radio and run the wiring behind the dashboard, underneath the glove box kick panel, and under the passenger side floor trim.  Once you get to the rear of the car, you can tuck it behind the seats and into the trunk under the carpeting.  The old sirius module is on the inner "ceiling" of the trunk.  On some cars it may be under the passenger seat (the bluetooth module may also be located there).  The male plug (labeled sat module end below) plugs into the female sat radio plug and bypasses the sat radio module.

The new radios have SD card input and Aux-in.  If you want to use an aux-in with the new radio it will replace the external CD changer pins L, R, and ground.  A 3.5mm jack or iPod adapter would work but I don't see why anyone would use an iPod adapter through the Aux-in because it can't transmit song information like the SD card input or an MDI cable.  The MDI cable adapter goes between the old wire harness and new radio so it's plug-play.

MFD2 pin out diagram

If you have an external CD changer like the MFD2, you can swap ground pins 2 and 3 on the 12 pin plug.  If you have an aux-in on the old radio you have to swap pin 3 (aux ground) and pin 2.   Also swap pin 5 (aux R) and pin 7.  The old satellite radio pins are useless because the new radio has an internal satellite radio module.

Here is how my 2006 MFD2 system was wired and how premium 7 should be.

1. Sat L.....................purple/green
2. CD
3. Sat Ground...........purple/blue
4. CD
5. Sat radio plus.......empty
6. CD changer
7. Sat R.....................purple/white
8. CD changer L.......gray
9. CD changer
10. CD control.........white/yellow
11. CD data
12. CD clock............yellow

RNS 510 or RCD 510 pin out diagram

Here is the RCD510.

Here is how the RNS 510/ RCD 510 are wired:

1. Aux L
2. Aux Ground
3. CD Ground
4. CD power
5. /
6. CD changer out
7. Aux R
8. CD changer L
9. CD changer R
10. CD control
11. CD data in
12. CD clock

Because the CD changer wires go to the Aux in wires, put old pin 8 in pin 1's slot, pin 9 -> pin 7, and pin 3 -> pin 2 for the Aux.  If you add a MDI retrofit kit it'll go through the aux connection.

Here is the RNS 510, first version, no suffix.

Here is a newer RNS 510 pin diagram, version e.

RNS 315 pin out diagram

rns315 wire diagram

Removing the CAN BUS gateway for your new RCD510 or RNS510 VW radio

If you determine that your battery is draining and you do need a new CAN BUS gateway, it's easy to replace.  I suggest getting a used one or looking on ebay because it's quite expensive from the dealer.

First you have to record the options and bits on your old gateway.  Plug the VCDS into the OBD2 port, start the software, and look for the green LED.  Press Select to get to the control modules.

Click CAN Gateway and then long coding helper.  Take screenshots of EVERY screen to record the options on your old module.  After you install the new module, you have to go through it and click the checkboxes so that the coding is the same.

Remove the 2x T20 torx screws holding the kick panel.  You can pop out the OBD2 port and unclip the light to remove the panel once it's out.

The press down the lock on the red plug and remove it.  There are some sharp unfinished edges in there so be careful.  The air vent duct tube has a screw on one side.  Just pull the other side out for access.

Press the tabs in as shown by the arrows to release it and slide the unit out.  When installing your new can bus gateway, note the tab at the end.

Go through VCDS and make sure the coding matches on the old and new module.

Removing the compass module

If your car currently has a compass screen on the multifunction display you have a compass module. You must disable it or else the car's computer will get confused because there will be too much traffic on the CAN BUS. On the Golf-Sportwagen the compass module is above the rear headliner. See the video below.

If you have a Jetta it should be behind the ceiling of the trunk compartment. Remove the 10mm nut and pinch the plug to unclip. Click the thumbnails to enlarge.

Then use your VCDS cable. Select the CAN Gateway module.

Enter the Coding or Installation List.

Uncheck the box for "Position sensing". This is for the compass module. Check the box for Navigation. Save and close the controller. The buttons on the steering wheel (if equipped) should now work and the nav info should also appear on the multifunction display (if equipped).

If you have more questions about the settings on your 2010, 2011 VW Jetta TDI or Golf, or newer, please post a follow up to in the forums or search the site below: