How to retrofit an OEM backup camera to the mk6 VW Sportwagen 

back to 1000q: mk6 VW Jetta and Golf FAQ and "how to"
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This article shows how to retrofit the oem backup camera to the VW Jetta Sportwagen (Golf wagon in Canada).  This is an edited archive of Code3VW's writeup in this forum post.  For any questions or comments related to this article, please post in this thread.  This is not the camera that moves the guidelines with the steering wheel, this is the camera that has fixed guidelines.

Code3VW's disclaimer in addition to the disclaimer: The following guide, technique, images, screenshots, dialogue, instructions, requests, and information in this thread are not guaranteed, warrantied, or ensured to work on all vehicles, your vehicle, or any vehicle.  Users proceed at their own risk.  The original poster is not responsible for any errors, accidents, negligent or reckless behavior, or any other behavior conducted by the user regarding any information in this thread.

From what I know, I have the first Jetta Sportwagen in North America to be fitted with an OEM backup camera. I tried to take pictures during the install, but had to stop as time was becoming of the essence. I will try and walk people through the install to the best of my ability, with pictures supplementing only some of the way.

The backup camera will only work with the RNS 510 GPS system.  It will not work with the North American spec RCD 510 touchscreen radio.  The radio must have the port to plug in the backup camera (circled in green). If your radio has this, the camera may work. If it doesn't, the camera will not work.


1 backup camera.  For the Jetta Sportwagen, Golf Sportwagen, Golf Wagon, Jetta Variant, and/or the Golf Variant, the part number for the rear handle with the camera is 5n0 827 566 j (5n0827566j).

1 video cable. The part number for the video cable is 5m1 970 161 ac.  This is for the Golf/GTI but it is long enough to work for the Sportwagen as well.  As you can see, one end has the black connector for the back of the radio, the other end has the blue connector to attach to the camera at the handle. You don't need the red power wire for our install, so just separate it from the black harness.

1 power harness. There is no part number for this as far as I know. Maloosheck made me a harness that consisted of the three wires needed to power the camera. The red wire is power, and needs to be inserted into the fuse panel in spot #16, which is the spot that it is located in in Europe. The yellow wire connects to the CECM in connector C, pin 28. This is the right side reverse bulb wire, which needs to be run in the harness as well, otherwise the camera will receive the signal, and your reverse light will not. His harness includes the necessary connectors to make them both receive the signal. Lastly, brown is ground.  Please contact maloosheck for this harness. As I mentioned earlier, they are OEM quality. This man knows what he is doing! 

Tools needed:
Pin removal tool
T20, T25 screwdriver
13mm socket
flathead screwdriver or trim removal tools
5amp small fuse for the fuse box
VCDS/vagcom or volkswagen scan tool
gloves so you don't muck up your interior with your grubby little fingers, and patience.

Procedure to install the OEM backup camera in your VW Sportwagen TDI

First remove the instrument cluster.  See 1000q: mk6 instrument cluster removal for more details.

Remove the T20 screw (yellow arrow).

Remove the headlight switch. To do this, put the switch to 0 (off position), push the switch in (towards engine), and turn it clockwise. This will release the little hooks inside, to allow you to pull the headlight switch towards the rear of the car, and out. Unplug the harness from the headlight switch and remove it.  Here is a video showing the hooks.

Then remove the T20 screw at the top behind where the headlight switch was just located.

Contort your body underneath the dash to remove the two T20 screws holding in the bottom part of this trim panel.  Here is their location.

Unplug the rheostat (dimmer) and the trim panel is free!

Now remove the kick panel from underneath the dash. This houses the OBD2/diagnostic port, the footwell lights, etc. There are 5 T20s that hold this in place. Once it falls, disconnect the OBD2 port, and the footwell light connector.

Remove the metal bracket pictured here. There are 6 (I believe) 13mm bolts holding this in place. Remove them, and pull the bracket out.

Take notice of the back of the fuse box that we are looking at in the left side of the picture. That black piece in the back needs to be unclipped from the front in a later step.

Take the surrounding trim off of the dash and remove the screws that hold the fuse box in place. Then, push it back into the dash and remove that back panel off of the fuse box as pictured in the previous step.

Fuse 16 will be for our camera. Remove the locks on the back, and push the red wire from maloosheck's harness into the open end of fuse 16. Add a 5amp fuse to #16 when the install is complete to avoid blowing the fuse and making troubleshooting more difficult when the camera doesn't turn on the first time (ask me how I know!).

Here is more detail on adding fuses (mk5 shown, mk6 should be similar): 1000q: adding a circuit

Remove the CECM (central electric control module) Take note of the locations of the connectors, on my car A = black, B = white, and C = brown/tan/gold.  Once you get C removed from the CECM, you'll need to remove this colored "lock" on the connector by manipulating the little arms at the top and bottom of the picture above. 

Now, you'll need to use Maloosheck's harness with the yellow wires to tap into pin 28. Use the pin removal tool to remove the current female connector, plug in the female connector from maloosheck's harness in its place, and then plug the male connector from maloosheck's harness into the female connector that used to be in 28. Then use heatshrink to isolate the yellow male/VW pin 28 connection.

So now the red and yellow wires on the harness are accounted for. The brown is ground, so find a ground near the fuse box and use that. This harness is good to run to the back of the car now.

Next, you'll need to connect up the video cable from the radio to the camera. Remove the radio, and plug in the black harness into the back of the radio. Then, run the harness up to where the cluster used to sit. From there, you will need to feed the video cable, and maloosheck's power harness up the a pillar, along the headliner, and through the hatch.

To remove the pillars, use a flathead screwdriver, or trim removal tool, to remove the AIRBAG logos from the A, B, and C pillars. Behind the airbag logos are T25 screws. Remove them, and be careful not to drop them into the pillar. If you drop them, pour some liquor out, because those homies are gone.

Unclip the pillars to allow access to the headliner. Then go to the rear of the car, open the hatch, and remove the trim on the ceiling just behind the trunk light. For details on this, you can lookup information on disconnecting the compass module, as it is up there as well. Start at the center, work your fingers up, and pull down. There are 8 metal clips that hold these in, they are very mean and may need some extra force to remove them.

Once down, you will have access to the headliner from the front of the car to the rear. Feed the video cable and the power harness up the a pillar BEHIND the curtain airbag, along the headliner and into the trunk. Failure to avoid the airbag could cause the airbag to not deploy properly.

When you get the two harnesses to the rear, you'll need to unclip the driver's side black rubber channel from the roof of the car, and from the hatch. Now, we need to remove the trim on the hatch itself.

With the hatch open, look at the areas designated for your hands to close the hatch. Inside are two little plastic covers that are oval. Remove these, and beneath are a T20 screw. Remove the screw. Now, put one hand in there, and the other hand use to keep the hatch from smashing into your face by holding the sheet metal of the hatch. Pull down on your hand in the trim, while applying upwards pressure on the hand holding the hatch, there are clips that will separate and allow the trim to be removed from the bottom half of the hatch. For the top half, there are no screws, just unclip and pull.

Now, remove the stock non-camera handle from the hatch. It is held in by two bolts. Once the bolts are removed, remove the harness, and you will need to push the handle into the car from the outside, and separate it from the silver metal trim piece. The trim piece will work with the new handle as well. Install the new handle and don't forget to plug in the harness for the handle itself. Now, feed the harnesses through the rubber channel, run them along the existing harness and either tape or ziptie them to the existing harness to keep them in place. Plug them into the camera.

Now, reassemble the car. Before the camera will work properly, we will need to recode the radio. If you are using a VCDS/vagcom, access controller 37 or 56 navigation and radio, respectively) and change Byte 3, Bit 6, from 0 to 1. This is labeled "backup camera low (without control module" or something of the sort.

If you are using a volkswagen scan tool, you need to change the binary or hex for Byte 3 to hex 40, or binary 01000000. This will enable the same options as it does in vagcom, just without Ross-Tech's pretty VCDS interface.

Next, we need to restart the radio. With the car still on from the vagcom/vcds/scantool work, hold down the < and > buttons on the top of the radio, and the DAY/NIGHT button. Hold all three down until the radio restarts.

Once the radio restarts, put the car in reverse, and take a look at what you see. Hopefully, you too will see the area behind your car!