uConnect Bluetooth Hands Free Kit Review - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Electronics / NAV Discussion This section contains discussion about the electronics system and NAV system in the Jeep Commander.

 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lusby, MD
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uConnect Bluetooth Hands Free Kit Review

Just finished up installing the uConnect Bluetooth Hands Free Kit in my 2010 Jeep Commander w/ the RES Satellite Radio (that has the Hands Free Buttons on the Faceplate). Part # 82211877 and also the iPod Integration Harness, Part # 82212000. There are different kits w/ different part numbers according to what radio you have, and for the RES radio, according to what buttons are on the face plate. One kit includes a little button module for compatible Radios that do NOT have the hands free buttons on the face plate. As well, there are different iPod Cables, make sure to read the descriptions carefully so you do NOT get the wrong kit or iPod Cable, and it works with your iPod.

I purchased the kit through an Chrysler Dealer that sells online at discount prices. I got the iPod cable off ebay, they also sell the kits on ebay at good prices as well.

Bottom Line Up Front:

Good:
  • Seamless Integration, especially with RES radio w/ hands free buttons on the faceplate, there is only a small black microphone glued to the driver's side A-pillar.
  • Feature Rich, there are all sorts of options and features. E.G. I can have it read my Text Messages from my phone to me, using Voice Commands only.
  • Excellent Voice Recognition (VR), if you take the time to setup everything, you can do just about everything with voice commands, and it recognizes the voice well, and has voice training to make it even more accurate with your voice.
  • Quick and Easy to Install, although instructions NOT great and you will have to take it too the dealer to enable it with their proprietary tools.
  • iPod Integration (must purchase the seperate cable), reads iPod contents and plays and controls from the radio head (NOT like the other iPod cables that just broadcasts the iPod output over an FM station), BE AWARE, NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ALL IPODS, INCLUDING SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR IPODS RIGHT NOW.
BAD:
  • Price, double the price of many 3rd Party solutions, keep in mind, those cheaper solutions will NOT integrate as seamlessly NOR have all the features or great VR.
  • Setup, done through VR, is a bit lengthy and complicated, a byproduct of all the fetures. It does walk you through it and you can do just the min to get the min features.
  • Installation Instructions are NOT perfect, for the Commander at least, you'll have to deviate from the instructions, the box does NOT fit where it says to install it. Its still pretty straight forward and common sense, it was NOT a problem to deviate and work it out.
  • iPOD Integration, it does NOT support iPod Touch and several generations of the iPhone, maybe more. Read the description carefully, it gives a long list of the iPods it does support, but does NOT list the ones that it does NOT support, it easy to miss that it won't support your iPod.
  • Dealer Activation, best I can tell, there is NO way around this, after installing it, you will have to visit the dealer and have them use their proprietary tools to activate the module and enable it to work. Expect the Dealer to charge for this.
NOTES:
Installation: If you've popped out interior trim panels before and pulled a factory radio, you can do this install youself, its easy. Yes, the instructions will tell you to route the microphone wire through the front of the headliner and it will just keep popping out and NOT stay, I ran it down into and across the dash, make sure to secure it out of the way of the steering wheel gear so it doesn't get caught. The module itself will NOT fit in the location the instructions say to place it, there is plenty of room to mount it to left of the glove box, use the supplied tie-ties to secure it to a metal rail in that area.

iPod: Yep, I bought the cable and installed it and spent hours trying to get it to work with any one of three of my kids iPod Touch's. Only to do a little research to find out it doesn't support iPod Touch. My fault for NOT reading the description more closely, I still blame Chrysler a tiny bit for NOT making it more clear which iPod's it does NOT support, Chrysler is NOT the only one to gladly sell people a product for iPod's for them only to find out it won't work with their iPod.

Dealer Activation: Like I didn't have enought to rant about already. More of this unecessary proprietary crap that is just there to gaurantee business for the dealerships. Found post on other forums from folks that have found these modules in junkyards and they drop in plug and play (because they were already activated). The instructions will say the module has to be programmed with the VIN and sales code to "configure" it. The folks that use junkyard modules proved that wrong. I was hoping to be able to use my AutoEninuity (AE) tool to enable it, no joy, even though I could tell with my AE tool the module was in the bus, and can communicate, I even ran and it passed the self test. They designed it, so it won't work until a "flashing" is done to enable it, putting it out of reach of all but the most expensive tools. On top of that, the instructions say to use the DealerConnect servers to get the configuration files, so even if you purchased the $8k Chrysler Proprietary (no the Dealers don't have to pay nearly that much to buy the tool) you still wouldn't be given the access to be able to perform this yourself.

Yes, I'll be writing Chrysler Customer Service another letter asking them to explain why they do this, when it appears to be purely an unethical business practice to force customer to pay additional money for unecessary service. I'm sure I will NOT receive any explaination, just another "form" apology.

I though it was worth it to spend extra for the kit, NOT happy about having to take it to the Dealer to enable it. Throw in the mandatory visit to the Dealer, I'd sum up I think the kit as being "barely" worth it. Yes, its a great kit, and it does give you a lot more than a lot of cheaper 3rd Party Hands Free Kits, but you'll have to pay for it and put up with the extra cost and aggreivation of going to the Dealer to enable it.


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Last edited by Mongo; 06-08-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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