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Notes on retrofitting parking sensors/Audi Parking System in Audi A4/A5/A6 etc. (by LoCal)

16.10.2008 (updated 22.12.2009) - A fellow Audi enthusiast LoCal sent in this contribution.
This article covers some notes on retrofitting Audi Parking System or equivalent parking sensors in a variety of Audi cars, such as current Audi A4 B8, A5 and A6. If you are interested in retrofitting Audi rear-view camera in an A4 B8/A5/A6/A8/Q7 with colour MMI, (also) see this article by mk:

Notes on retrofitting Audi Parking System Advanced rear-view camera Audi A6 (4F/C6)
http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6rearcamera.html

The article below is a general overview with links pointing to details for those who actually want to do this. Make sure you research the issue completely before going forward, this article is not a detailed/complete list of instructions!

This article is most relevant for Audi cars with full MMI, that is A4 B8/A5 with DVD navigation and A6/A8/Q7 with colour MMI screen. (Future third generation MMI is not covered here.) Some things, like the audible parking sensor notes, are relevant for other Audi models as well.

There are two ways to approach retrofitting parking sensors, if none are in the car: a full factory-kit retrofit or some third-party after market solution. Also for those with some factory parking system already in the car (such as rear sensors only or rear/front sensors but without MMI graphical display), there are also some retrofit solutions possible that are discussed in this article (for rear-view camera see the links above and in the end of this article, it is not discussed here).

There are several third-party after market solutions for parking sensors that are compatible with all/most car brands and they are usually the cheapest and easiest choice, but also do not provide the seamlessness that a factory kit does. Usually after market kits aim for rear-end use where the parking sensors are connected to and activated by the reverse light. After market kits usually lack the configuration options that Audi factory sensors have, like adjusting volume and beep style from car menus.

One option is the Cobra ParkMaster, which Audi too in Europe uses as their after-market kit of choice (if you want your dealer to retrofit a kit, it is likely this is the one they will retrofit):

http://www.cobravehiclesecurity.co.uk/default.asp?docId=12368&rnd=15911659373937864
http://www.cobravehiclesecurity.co.uk/content/Files/PDFs/PARKMASTER.pdf?from=17342661402737215

This is not a factory kit! It looks, sounds and works a little different, although quite seamlessly.

It can installed to front as well, if need be, but for the front you need an activation button because there is equivalent for a reverse light in the front. Holes will be drilled to the existing bumper and the sensors will be on top of the bumpers, but when painted to body color look pretty much OK, although they are not flush with the bumper like factory sensors in current Audi models are. The upside is, this is an easy retrofit that your regular Audi dealer or pretty much any car maintenance shop will be able to perform at a reasonable cost.

For the full factory parking system retrofit, contact the good people at Kufatec.de for a retrofit kit. They sell all levels of retrofit kits, factory rear-sensors only, front and rear with graphical MMI display, rear-view camera etc. Here is one example for Audi A5, see Kufatec.de for retrfit kits for most other recent Audi models:

Retrofit Kit Audi Parking System APS back Audi A5 8T
http://www.kufatec.de/shop/product_info.php/info/p1059_Retrofit-Kit-Audi-Parking-System-APS-back-Audi-A5-8T.html

It will require a new bumper or very careful drilling and attachment, but end-result will be equivalent to the system that ships from the Audi factories. Kufatec kits usually come with documentation, although it can be quite brief. Kufacted does use used parts for most control modules to keep the price reasonable, cabling and other parts are usually new. You could of course buy whatever parts you need new from your official Audi spareparts desk too and just the retrofit cabling from Kufatec.

If your car already has rear parking sensors from factory, you are likely able to add the front sensors just by changing the parking sensor control module (a smallish black plastic box usually located in the trunk under the right-side trunk side-trim or near the spare tire under the trunk floor) and adding the front sensors, cabling and an Audi OEM button to activate the front sensors in the dash. Contact Kufatec.de for kits on this as well.

If your car already has front and rear parking sensors, and full colour MMI (see end of this article on link to notes on what the full MMI is), but without graphical display (meaning a diagram, not rear-view camera) for parking (Audi calls the front/rear parking system with graphical display the Audi Parking System Plus), depending on your car model you can retrofit this by changing the parking sensor control module to a more recent one and doing some coding at maintenance shop or using VAG COM. List of module versions here with links to navplus.us (a good forum to look into for Audi retrofits) for more:

4F0 910 283 A - 4 sensors, no graphical support
4F0 910 283 B - ?
4F0 910 283 C - 8 sensors, graphical support
4F0 910 283 D - 4 sensors, graphical support
4F0 910 283 E - 8 sensors, graphical support, rear view camera support
4F0 910 283 F - 4 sensors, graphical support, rear view camera support
4F0 910 283 G - 8 sensors, graphical support, rear view camera support
4F0 910 283 H - 8 sensors, graphical support, rear view camera support

Related link (updated 25.3.2009):

parking system to parking system plus
http://audiforum.us/mmi/6694-parking-system-parking-system-plus.html

Older links, site is now audiforum.us:

http://www.navplus.us/forums/showthread.php?t=8968
http://www.navplus.us/forums/showthread.php?t=9037
http://www.navplus.us/forums/showthread.php?t=7265

It is also be possible to enable the graphical display in cars with rear-sensors only with some of these control modules (using VAG COM or equivalent). If it doesn't work for some reason and you want the graphical display with rear-parking sensors too (without the hassle of installing new sensors in the front), another option would be to swap the parking sensor control module to an 8 channel one, do the coding and add resistor cables to the front channels so the car thinks they are there idle. Of course one could also go for the full retrofit with front sensors, e.g. from Kufatec.de for the kit.

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UPDATE 17.10.2008:

Finnish readers can find more information on APS to APS Plus upgrade here:

Kootut ohjeet "APS to APS Plus"
http://www.ultimatevw.com/autot/?cmd=aihe&id=1248

English readers see this thread:

http://www.navplus.us/forums/showthread.php?t=6694

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UPDATE 17.2.2009:

Apparently some/new Audi A4 B8 cars have parking sensor modules starting with part number 8K0 and may require different coding too (coding may be related to other equipment like radio vs. navigation as well, I don't know). See links below for more discussion and details.

German: Freischaltung Audi Parking System hinten --> optisch
http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/freischaltung-audi-parking-system-hinten-optisch-t1913164.html?page=3

Finnish: Uusi A4 B8, sivu 171
http://www.ultimatevw.com/keskustelu/index.php?cmd=aihe&id=10753&sivu=171

PR-7X0 = Einparkhilfe nicht verbaut
PR-7X1 = Einparkhilfe hinten verbaut
PR-7X4 = Einparkhilfe vorn und hinten mit Warnanzeige verbaut
PR-7X7 = Einparkhilfe hinten ggf. mit Rückfahrkamera verbaut
PR-7X8 = Einparkhilfe vorn und hinten mit Warnanzeige und ggf. Rückfahrkamera verbaut

PR-7X1 = 8K0-919-475, 8K0-919-475-B, 8K0-919-475-D
PR-7X4/7X8 = 8K0-919-475-A, 8K0-919-475-C, 8K0-919-475-E

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So, if you want the easiest and cheapest, go for an after market solution. It will not look as good as the factory system (which at best only has very small single rings in the bumper where the sensors are), but you are sure to find a local place for the installation and the price will be palatable. If you want factory equivalent, see Kufatec.de.

In addition to the links above, see noteworthy threads on A5OC.com (my comments are under the alias loc):

Parking Sensors Retro-fit
http://www.a5oc.com/forums/showthread.php/parking-sensors-retro-4449/index.html?t=4449

Parking Sensors
http://www.a5oc.com/forums/showthread.php/parking-sensors-4615/index.html?t=4615

Also, read the following articles to understand some key issues concerning rear-view camera retrofit:

You will need an Audi MMI car with video input head-unit, if your car doesn't have TV, you need to retrofit the head-unit:
http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6tvmodule.html
http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6a4a5hybridtv.html

If your A4 B8/A5 has a colour screen, it does not necessarily mean it has full MMI, see this article for more:
http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a4a5realmmi.html

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UPDATE 19.4.2009: Finnish readers, you can also see this link for more on APS to APS Plus:

Audi A6 (4F/C6) Audi Parking Systemistä APS Plus (by MasadeMasa)
http://a6retrofit.tripod.com/articles/a6apsplus.html

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By LoCal

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