Practical: Retrofit the head-up display easily and cheaply

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Retrofitting a head-up display. Tuning Practical: Retrofitting a head-up display is easy and inexpensive

The Head-Up Display ensures that you are not distracted and that you always have the road in view. And you can even retrofit your vehicle easily and cheaply with it. With us you will find out how this is done. An increasing number of manufacturers are offering head-up displays (HUD). These are systems that display important driving data and navigation instructions on the windshield, bringing them directly into the driver's field of vision. Keep your head up and keep your eyes on the road. The practical cockpit displays are usually expensive if you order them in the surcharge list: BMW charges 3 euros for this in its 980 Series. Audi charges similar sums and Mercedes is in this region too. However, retrofit systems are noticeably cheaper. Is it worth buying one?

Advantage of a head-up display:

Retrofitting a head up display Tuning 3 Practical: Retrofitting a head up display easily and cheaply

The HUD can project the speed and other information into the window, i.e. into the driver's field of vision. Its added value is clearly evident: you can read the speed from the speedometer without taking your eyes off the road. This is fatal in a dangerous situation: even at a speed of 50 km / h within a town, you can cover 14 m in just one second of blind flight. At a speed of 100 km / h it is 28 m. With the head-up display, the view is not averted from the road - a great advantage that means more safety.

How do you retrofit the head-up display?

Retrofitting a head up display Tuning 2 Practical: Retrofitting a head up display easily and cheaply

You have two options for retrofitting a HUD at low cost: with the help of a display kit or with a smartphone app.

  1. Smartphone App:
    - The kit for your smartphone as a head-up display usually includes an anti-slip mat and a small projection screen. You install the app for your HUD on the mobile phone and then activate the app and place the smartphone on the mat that you have attached above the cockpit - done. The connection via the OBD-2 connector is usually unnecessary, because the app receives the speed via GPS. However, this type of head-up display also has disadvantages: Your smartphone battery is quickly empty if not constantly plugged in and many displays are reflective and not bright enough. With strong sunlight you can no longer see anything.
  2. Display kit:
    - The display kit offers you two different options for retrofitting. The solutions with a display that can be opened up are very compact. Alternatively, it only has the projector with the associated film for your front screen, which serves as a projection surface. Tip: Before installing the film, you should carefully clean the pane. Both variants require a connection to an OBD-2 port and power from a 12V socket.

What systems are there?

Retrofitting a head up display Tuning 3 Practical: Retrofitting a head up display easily and cheaply

From a technical point of view, it is mostly LED displays that project their own image onto the film on the windshield. When attaching the film, however, there is often a big puzzle: Where do I stick the film? If attached correctly, the HUDs often astonish you with an enormous amount of information after they have been connected to the on-board diagnostic socket (OBD II): In addition to the speed and the mileage, you also receive switching recommendations to save fuel and you are also requested to take a break on a long drive by the HUD. By Bluetooth some devices are also suitable directly as a diagnostic tool. However, check whether the model you want can communicate properly with the data bus of your vehicle.

Tip: Bright colors and displays that are too full make legibility confusing and unnecessarily difficult. Clear advertisements are important and sometimes cheaper than you think. The devices that only show you the GPS speed display with speed warning are in principle the cheapest. You are supplied with the necessary power via a 12-volt socket and off you go. And, if you have the right app, you can even use the HUD function directly as a navigation system - that's high-tech at a low price.

What do you have to pay attention to with the HUD?

  • Distraction: The projection should not distract the driver. The representation must be easy to read and clear.
  • Information: Less is more, must be the motto. If there is too much information from the HUD, the driver must first look for the right one - which is even more distracting. Therefore, watch out for reduced ads.
  • Colors: Your projector should reproduce dark and high-contrast colors so that you can easily read the speed even in direct sunlight.
  • Positioning: The HUD must be placed directly in the driver's field of vision. It should be easy to see.

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