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Motorola Droid Car Mount

Update December, 2010: I now have the Droid X, and am using the Droid X Car Mount. It’s a huge improvement over the Droid Car Mount, because the Droid X Car Mount acts like a true docking station, where you plug your car charger in the Car Mount, and not the phone itself. That way, all you have to do to charge your phone is place it in the Car Mount, and you don’t need to hook up any additional wires – very cool! Otherwise, the functionality is basically the same between the Droid, Droid 2, and Droid X as described below. The Pandora app has been updated a few times in the past few months and seems to work better and with fewer bugs, although is more-or-less the same as when I originally wrote this.

Update Sept, 2010: I replaced the Motorola Car Mount with an aftermarket Panavise one that is much nicer and doesn’t require a suction cup…the suction cup solution didn’t work well for me. Also, the Froyo update really screwed up the Pandora integration, which I’ll comment on more below. Scroll down for more information!

Original Post: I recently picked up the new Motorola Droid for Verizon (review here – I love it), and wanted to integrate it into my car to take full advantage of its built-in Navigation, Music Player, and other commuter-friendly apps (including one to tell you where known speed traps and photo radar is located).

My 2006 A4 has the Bose Symphony II stereo, but no Navigation and no OEM iPod connector either. I don’t really own CDs anymore, so the only music I could really play was standard FM radio. With a nearly 45 minute commute each way, daily, that got tired pretty quickly. I also have a horrible sense of direction, so I was pretty excited about the Navigation too.

The Droid phone has a built-in music player and 16GB of storage for mp3s, but I’m a big fan of Pandora Radio, which is a streaming internet radio that learns what you like and don’t like and customizes radio stations to your liking. It’s really neat. Slacker is another great and very similar product.

Here’s what I bought to fully integrate my Droid:

  • Motorola Car Mount (Amazon, see link below)
  • Rapid Car Charger (Amazon, see link below)
  • Blitzsafe AUDI/AUX DMX V.1B RCA Audio Output – $69 (Enfig)
  • Enfig RCA to 3.5mm headphone jack – $3 (Enfig)

Here are links to buy everything you’ll need from Amazon (typically the cheapest and the easiest to order from):








The “Car Mode” in the Motorola Droid Car Mount is pretty slick, which displays a special home screen menu related to navigation and maps, pictured below:

A car charger is a must because the Navigation and the Pandora radio will drain the battery otherwise. I need to find a more clean way to wire it, but having the cable being a curly one instead of a straight wire makes it difficult to hide or tuck in between cracks.

Installation for the Blitzsafe module that adds an extra Audio cable was pretty straightforward – pull out the radio, ground the Blitzsafe module to the back of the radio, plug in the harness, and put everything back together. Enfig has a great DIY Guide to assist with further detail, if you have any trouble. You will need radio removal keys, which run an extra $12 (I’ve heard of people using nail files, but I had a hard enough time with the actual keys so I’m guessing this isn’t fun/easy to do).

Here’s how everything works:

  • The phone plays Pandora Radio over the car’s stereo system
  • If a call comes in, the music is paused and the ringer comes over the speakers
  • Likewise, the music is muted for the turn-by-turn directions with Google Navigation
  • Talking on the speakerphone will play the caller’s voice over the radio. They may hear a slight echo since they’ll hear their own voice through the car’s speakers.
  • Google Navigation works great – and voice search is awesome. You can tell voice search “Navigate to Home Depot” and it will find the nearest Home Depot and give you turn-by-turn directions there. Once you arrive, it will show you a Street View picture of your destination, so you know exactly what it looks like.
  • Like normal GPS, Google Navigation will re-route if you miss a turn, give you voice directions like “turn left in 200 yards” and follows your car on the map with an arrow showing which direction you are going. Unlike some cell phones, this uses actual GPS satellites, it doesn’t triangulate with cell phone towers, so its much more accurate (like a Tom Tom, Garmin, or factory equipped Navigation System). It does load the maps from your phone’s data connection, so that could potentially be a problem if you go out of service range on a long road trip. This hasn’t happened yet, but I’m curious to see what happens when I do. It should still show the arrow from GPS and remember the directions, but it might not load the map showing the streets and everything…

With Pandora playing:

Motorola Droid on Car Mount

In Navigation mode:

Overall, I’m very happy with it. I wish the wiring were a little more stealth for the charger, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

Update August 2010

A recent update to Pandora has screwed up car mode. It used to work great as described above, and now it works terrible in Car Mode. I’ve sent feedback through the Android Market, hopefully it gets resolved, and I’d encourage anyone who reads this to also leave feedback through the Market about these issues. Pandora has (historically) updated pretty frequently for Android, usually once a month or so, so hopefully this problem won’t go very long without being addressed.
Bugs I’ve encountered:
– Screen hibernates
– After a call Pandora doesn’t resume playing
– Randomly cut-outs and sound quality has been dramatically worse

Update Sept 2010
I replaced the suction cup portion of the Motorola Car Mount with a Panavise 75102-607 mount. As you’ll see below, it mounts behind the radio with one screw and doesn’t require any suction cup, so its much more secure and also in a better location! I reused the cradle from the Motorola Car Mount and just used 3M double sided mounting tape (outdoor strength) to mount it:
Panavise Mount with Motorola Car Mount Cradle

Panavise Mount with Motorola Car Mount Cradle without Phone

Here is another picture with my Droid phone in the mount:
Panavise Car Mount with Droid in cradle

Panavise Car Mount with Droid in cradle


About the author: Nick Roshon


Nick Roshon is a blogger who is passionate about Audis and European cars in general. He owns a 2006 S4 and before that had a 2006 A4. His driving experience includes numerous track days throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.


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  1. Blitzsafe AUDI/AUX DMX V.1B RCA Audio Output – $69 . I think this maybe what my dad was looking for he told me to do a search on the internet. Is this available any cheaper?

    I think I will have a look on amazon for this cable. My dad should be able to put the system together if I can get hold of the cable.

  2. Perhaps – I ordered mine through Enfig because they have good customer service and could confirm it was the exact part I needed for my car, as well as provide install help if I needed it. If you can find it elsewhere go for it, but just make sure they have a good return policy in case you accidentally get the wrong part.

    But yeah, the install took a half an hour in total, your dad should be able to handle it. If you have any trouble with the install, I’d be glad to help, although the module does come with instructions, too.

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  4. I just found this post while searching for Droid car dock solutions–this is perfect. Thanks for sharing your work. I think I’m going to set up something similar in my car. I don’t know about your car, but on my Ford, I can take out the cigarette lighter unit and get access to the electrical leads on the back. This would allow me to solder the charging cable directly to the lighter. Granted, I would have to disassemble the charging unit and solder the fuse as well, but I thin it would work and allow you to hide the wires and keep it all stealth.

  5. That’s a great idea. I just bought a cheapo car charger off of eBay (i think like $7 shipped) that I’m going to take apart and try to hardwire too. They have car chargers with retractable cords which should be easier to hide, the Verizon one has a coil cord and it’s just really bulky and ugly. I don’t think I can pull out the cigarette charger like that, but I should be able to find a good wire to tap and ground behind the radio, and then just wire it through the glove box like I did the headphone/aux in jack for audio. Glad you found it helpful, Eric!

  6. What a helpful post – thank you so much! Just the info I was looking for. Not a car geek I’m afraid. Wonder if they can do this for me at Best Buy?

  7. Yeah, Best Buy or really any car audio shop can handle this, and it should be no more than 1 hour of labor (many shops will charge a minimum of 1 hour, even if it takes less though). They might have a wiring harness they’ll want to sell as opposed to the one I used, which is probably fine too, but it may be more expensive.

    Some cars will have a headphone jack already, in which case all you’d need is a cable to connect the phone. My coworkers 04 Malibu came with the headphone jack standard…I was kind of peeved Audi didn’t hook it up too, pun intended 🙂

  8. Hey Nick,
    I think the set up is great. I looked on the Blitzsafe website for a similar RCA adapter for my car (98 GS 400) but could not find one. Do you have any suggestions on another company who will provide similar functionality as the Blitzsafe product?

  9. Jesse,
    Not sure. Id check eBay and google it, if not maybe try to find Lexus specific message boards or forums to see what other people have used. Even in a specific model, the radio headunit might be different, so you’ll have to make sure that everything is compatible. use keywords like audio out adapter, headphone out adapter, etc. and hopefully you’ll have some luck!

  10. Thanks Nick I was having problems trying to figure out what to google.

  11. Hey man good find here. I used to live in PHX and i get a soft spot now whenever I see or hear that people are from there. anyways if you want to do a more sleek install, re route the wires and holder so that it goes up the a pillar and can mount up high on the windsheild. I dont know how close it will be to your eyes and it may be too close but just grab power from the sunroof module. I was going to mount my droid over the drivers vanity mirror so i could fold it up and there wouldnt be any kind of dock and it was hidden but it was too close to my face and hurt my eyes. too bad that was a great spot. anyways thanks for sharing!

  12. So up by the rear view mirror then? I hadn’t thought about that…I have my radar detector hardwired there (didn’t tap the sunroof, was lazy and just tapped a fuse and run up the a pillar drivers side and under the headliner), but thats a possibility. I think I’m actually going to get a different mount and go with this: http://enfigcarstereo.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/852871.html

    I want to make sure it is within close reach so that I can change songs, type in addresses, etc, so I kind of like the positioning now, but the Motorola suction cups kind of suck – it wobbles, occasionally falls off and is kind of ugly. I’m also going to hardwire a power charger but just need to find them time to tackle that as well! Thanks for the comment and ideas Mitchell!

  13. I’m going to be switching to Verizon and buying a Droid soon, so I was Googling for some things. I think that Pandora/Navigation in the car is one of the top things I’ll be using it for, so it was great to find your post!

    One thing I was worried about was being able to do Pandora + Google Navigation. You mentioned:

    “Likewise, the music is muted for the turn-by-turn directions with Google Navigation”

    Does this mean that:

    1) If you have Google Navigation on the screen, Pandora is always muted, or
    2) If you have Google Navigation on the screen, Pandora plays, except when Google Navigation is talking to you? (if you mute the turn-by-turn, will Pandora always play?)

  14. Very cool, thanks for visiting. Let me clarify:
    – #2 is correct. Pandora is just kind of faded out for a second or two so the Google Navigation lady can tell you to turn left/right etc then the music fades back in. The music still keeps playing so technically you miss a second or two of the song, but no big deal, IMO.

    – another funny quirk, is that if you’re talking to someone while its in turn-by-turn navigation mode, Google will give you audible directions while you’re speaking to the person on the other line (and they can hear it too). This is good because you won’t get lost if you simply take a phone call, but it could be bad if you don’t want the person to know where you are. For instance, if you’re going to meet someone, and they call asking where you are, you can’t lie and say “I’m almost there” because the Google Navigation will probably out where you’re at and the person on the other line can figure it out, haha.

    In both cases, I think the music and phone call/navigation work out well; or at least, I’m not sure how I’d program it differently. Hope this helps!

  15. That’s great! I’m so happy that you can have Pandora running in the background while still navigating. Having the music mute (instead of pausing) and missing a couple of seconds isn’t a big deal at all — if you’re listening to Pandora, you’re listening to a random song anyway, so it’s probably not something you’re going to cry over.

    Playing the audible directions aloud during a call is nice, but it is weird that the other party can hear it. I suppose that’s just a minor quirk, though.

    On a similar note, how easy is it to mute the Google Navigation audible directions? Is it a simple menu option, or is it several clicks away (or even possible?)?

    Thanks again for the blog post and the quick reply — I can’t wait until my stupid AT&T contract ends!

  16. Haha, AT&T drives me nuts, it really makes me angry they have all these Luke Wilson commercials claiming their service is good, when everyone I know who has AT&T complains tirelessly about how bad it is!

    Muting Google Navigation is really easy. With the Droid you can just click the volume button on the side of the phone and if Google Maps/Navigation is active, it will adjust the volume for that app so you can turn volume all the way down (same with Pandora – “Media Volume” is what it will say – versus “Call Volume” or “Ringer Volume”). Or, you can hit Menu within Google Maps Navigation mode and then hit Mute and it will mute Navigation as well.

  17. Hi, Nick! Thank you so much for sharing your work!! I stumbled upon your blog because I am doing some research on the Droid; since I’m planning on getting the Droid X, and on aux, because my car also doesn’t come with OEM aux in.

    I was going to get the Blitzsafe output you got, but I found another unit that won me over because it has AUX/iPod AND USB. (http://www.gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapters/grom-usb2-hon1.html) and this unit supposedly will let me control the iPod from the steering wheel AND charge it. I’m a music lover and the idea of having almost 1TG of music in my car via 3 devices (iPod, DX and USB) is mouth watering.

    Also I’d like to use the Droid X when I stream XM Radio or Pandora and for Navigation purposes, like you do.

    Can you give us an update on the car-charger situation?
    I have a 2004 Honda Accord and I’m planning on keeping the Grom Unit in the center storage console underneath the radio and the 12v is right underneath.
    This will be my first DIY mod ever (the only mod my car has is 6000K HID’s), and by the vids from Enfig, I think I can handle it. Not sure about hard wiring the car charger, though.

    Once again, thanks for sharing! Your Audi looks AMAZING. Funny enough, I’ve decided that my next car will be an A4 or a TT Quattro.

  18. I just remembered I’m hoping that I can charge the Droid X via USB, still not sure if it’ll work. Anyways, I’m still curious on how you did it.

    Thanks! XD

  19. Thanks for the compliments Kay!

    I ended up giving up on trying to hardwire a car charger. I wired it to a 15 amp fuse and it wasn’t enough power – the phone would charge but with Pandora & Navigation going, it was still using more power than was being restored to it, so it would eventually run out of batteries despite some charge running into it. I didn’t really want to wire it to anything greater than 15 amps as I was worried I could over-juice it and cause damage too – the part of the charger where it plugs into the cigarette lighter has an appartus to prevent over-charging, which I lost when trying to hard-wire. I was also expirimenting with a cheap charger from eBay, which had me a little worried too.

    So for now, I still have the Motorola coil charger (really wish it wasn’t coiled though). I need to come up with a better solution but haven’t gotten around to it yet. That device you linked to looks awesome! I’ll have to see if they make one for Audis. I don’t see why you couldn’t use the USB to charge the phone either, but I guess you’ll have to see. If the USB isn’t 2.0 capable, the USB charge can be pretty slow and weak, so you may have some problems like I ran into where the battery uses more power than the (USB) charger supplies, so net-net you’ll still run out of battery. I guess you can always give it a shot?

    What car do you have now? My last car was a TSX, great car as well 🙂 And I’m SOOOO jealous of the Droid X, I really want that phone!! I have a few more months to wait for an upgrade from Verizon, I may resort to calling and begging them though, lol.

  20. I’m with you, I really wish the Motorola charger wasn’t coiled. Thank you so much on the update. 🙂
    The Grom unit supposedly is 2.0 capable, but I still worry that it might not be enough power for the DroidX. I plan on having it all done in a few weeks, after I get the DroidX delivered. I’ll try it out and let you know what happens. *fingers crossed* A friend of mine has an ’05 A4 and made me look it up and Grom does make an adapter, but it’s only USB/iPod. http://www.gromaudio.com/store/usb_adapters/vw_audi_skoda_usb_ipod_adapter_direct_digital_interface.html

    I just heard that BestBuy is taking DroidX pre-orders. I’ll still try to see how much more expensive it’d be if I get a 1-yr contract because I’ve got a feeling that the Droid 2 might be even better! But I can’t wait any longer, they blocked 3rd party apps on my work BlackBerry and I need my XM radio and Pandora, I’m addicted.
    If begging doesn’t work, you might want to wait for the Droid2; then I’ll be the jealous one! haha 😀

    Right now I have a silver 04 Accord EX; 4 dr-4 cyl. Which pretty much is the TSX’s admiring little brother 😉 lol

  21. Cool – definitely let me know how it goes. I got my original Droid from Best Buy the day it went on sale and it was a pretty smooth process. I have seen a few shots of the Droid 2 and it looks nice but that big screen is too cool to pass up on the X.

  22. Hey Nick any idea on getting this to run with the RNS-E?

  23. Don’t see why not assuming you can find the appropriate adapter from Blitzsafe or another manufacturer! Funny I kind of did this as an alternative to RNS-E but adding it to RNS-E would be even more awesome!

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  25. Do you know if there is an option for a 2005 Cadillac CTS? I am wondering it it will negate the car warranty if I pull out the radio. The CTS has Onstar and Onstar wants to charge .35 a minute. Rediculous! So I thought I would just buy the droidX and use it separate from going through the radio, unless there is some way to put it through the radio without voiding the car warranty.

  26. I’m not too sure on voiding the warranty but I’d be surprised if it did, I’ve never heard about that before. Give your local dealership a call and ask them if it would void any warranty to add an auxiliary input to the radio.

  27. I’ve been looking for the same thing, but in Australia. There are a few options but I ended up liking the Grom products too but thought it was only available in the US for American cars but now they sell it here in OZ too at http://www.cushieaudio.com.au/vehicles/audi/audi-vag.html. Good to know for any other Aussie visitors who’ve been looking for something like this.

  28. Thanks for sharing Justin!

  29. Hi Nick… thanks for your post.

    I just bought the Droid 2 with a car mount and have been trying to get the Pandora/Navigation combo to work.

    It’s different than how you describe, the Google Nav will pause the Pandora radio to give me a direction, then Pandora does not restart. I have to manually hit play to get it to continue, which is a hassle.

    It also means I need to keep the Pandora screen up to do that rather then keep the Nav screen up which I’d prefer.

    I’m searching for a solution.

    I know yours is the Droid 1, but was there any setting that made it work how you describe, or was that just the default?


  30. Weird – it was just default… It’s possible one of the updates to either Maps or Pandora caused a change, although I haven’t noticed this on my Droid 1. Do you have Froyo installed yet? I manually installed it a few days ago and the Car Mode is completely different, so that could have something to do with it too – I actually haven’t used Pandora & Maps simultaneously since installing Froyo, so I’ll have to give that a shot and see what happens…

  31. Hi Nick,
    I just got a Droid X, so I’m not certain if this question will apply, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

    The desk mount is fantastic. The car mount seems to be as well, but I thought it was going to be a suction mount and it is not – it is a glue mount. Is yours?

    So of course my question is, how easy will it be to remove without tearing up the dashboard, which is the optimal place in my car for the mount (’03 BMW 330ci)

    If you have an answer, I’d sure appreciate it.



  32. Mine is a suction mount, although there was also an optional circular base you could stick on with adhesive to create a better mounting surface for the suction mount to form suction with, which was perfect for sticking to the aluminum trim since it wasn’t a flat surface and the suction cup wouldn’t have worked there otherwise.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t glue directly on to the dashboard. I’m not super familiar with BMW dash finishes, but I know with Audi that some people have the finish on the dashboard peel after too many years of Armor All and grease – I think at the very least you’d run the risk of discoloring your dashboard. Look into a mount like Panavise, they make ones that just sort of clip on. If that doesn’t work, I’d look into using double sided 3M tape or maybe even velcro…

  33. Hi again Nick –

    Just to clarify, the device gives you the choice of mounting on the windshield with the suction mount, or mounting on the dash where a glue-able service has to be applied first for the suction mount to stick to….but the question I asked is still the same..



  34. Jon – that is correct!

    BTW all, a recent update to Pandora has screwed up car mode. It used to work great, and now it works terrible. I’ve sent feedback through the Android Market, hopefully it gets resolved.

    Bugs I’ve encountered:
    – Screen hibernates
    – After a call Pandora doesn’t resume playing
    – Randomly cuts-out and sound quality has been dramatically worse

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  36. The install looks nice! Thanks for practical explanations of how things work. I am going to do something like this as well, but I had a question: While the phone is in the car dock, can you exit out of the car navigation screen? I know that the mount has a magnet built in it that turns on the “car home” screen, but I have many apps that I would use while on the road that aren’t accessed from the car home screen.


  37. You can definitely exit car mode, there is a button on the main car mode screen that says “Exit” with a big X…you can’t miss it 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post!

  38. Awesome write up! Ordered the parts for my 03 A4. One question though, where did you run the audio cable? through the base of the center console or the glovebox? Keep up the good work!

  39. Thanks! I ran it through the glovebox, there are probably better ways to do it but it was super easy through the glovebox, no need to drill any holes or anything and the glove box still opens/closes pretty easily.

  40. i was wondering in the panavise mounted pics what cradle r you using and how does the panavise mount to it? i have a droid x but im pretty sure a droid x wil sit in the same cradle , but if not i can always find one like the one for ur droid , but was curious if u had any shorts of the back of the cradle n how the panavise attaches to it, love ur car by the way and thanks for having such a great blog

  41. The cradle is the Motorola DroidX cradle itself, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0042L47PW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=niscabl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B0042L47PW, but I removed the suction cup and used 3M double sided mounting tape to tape the back of the Motorola Cradle to the flat surface area of the Panavise mount. So it’s a bit of a hybrid in that regard, but the 3M has held great (for over 6 months) and you can’t tell there is any tape there, so it looks great. I think this is the best solution because the official Motorola DroidX car mount has a build in charger port, so its almost like a docking station – none of the aftermarket cradles had that – and I think its great to not need to plug in a charger cable every time I put my phone in the car mount.

    Let me know if that helped or if you have any other questions!

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