Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (2023)

Should you try adding a factory NAV system to your IS 250/350? Is it worth the effort? Read on and find out which direction to take.

VonAlan Tast- December 4, 2014

This article applies to the Lexus IS 250/IS 350 (2005-2014).

When it was first introduced, the navigation system (NAV) was a novelty; today it is almost a necessity. Upgrading from a vehicle without a navigation system to the Lexus OEM navigation system is challenging. Depending on how old the Lexus IS in question is, upgrading to an aftermarket unit might be a better option. Still, it's the only way to achieve the factory look. Read on to learn more about installing an OEM or aftermarket navigation system.


Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (1)

Materials needed

  • 10mm jack (keep a selection of sizes handy)
  • Dashboard trim removal tools
  • Factory manual and schematics (highly recommended)
  • Precision (e.g. jeweler's) screwdriver

Step 1 - Deciding to OEM or Aftermarket

Do you want an OEM system because it was a factory option, improves resale value, or just "looks" right? Those are the reasons usually given for an upgrade to factory Lexus navigation. A warning: the functionality of an OEM system also means living with the built-in safety interlocks. You have to stop to enter directions, and playing a movie while driving isn't an option.

Additional features like rear view cameras or iPhone integration are just a few reasons why people choose aftermarket head units. If you can live with having an aftermarket in-dash display and a set of controls that don't quite match those from the factory, or if you want up-to-date engineering components, going to the OEM shouldn't matter to you exchange.

  • Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (2)
  • Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (3)

Step 2 - Know the differences in the systems

The 2005-2013 NAV system is a collection of parts hidden from view, stretching from the dash to the console to the trunk, connected by bundles of wires and connectors that can be a headache for even an electrical engineer with a PhD. You must get ALL parts from the same year of car and preferably with the same audio system. Mark Levinson (ML) version cars have differences in wiring/connectors as well as speakers, amplifiers etc. It is not a plug and play system. Get familiar with where everything goes and how it connects to the rest of the car like steering wheel controls for radio and volume, connection to speed and motion sensors, etc.

  • Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (4)
  • Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (5)

pro tip

You can subscribe to one-day or monthly access to an online store manual by going toToyota's Technical Information System (TIS). Get the paper version ofHelm, Inc.

(Video) Lexus is250 is350 OEM Navigation installation toronto

Step 3 - Do the math

How much does an OEM system cost to install compared to the aftermarket system? You need to get all the wiring, main unit, console buttons, popup case with screen and motor, antenna, etc. The parts can exceed the cost of installing an aftermarket system. Shopping spree. Making something permanent can hurt you when you sell it, so consider that. Many people have a map or navigation app on their phone. Is it really that important to install an in-dash sat nav when it costs $2,000 and potentially hurts resale value?

Step 4 - If you want to commit, you have a plan (and the right tools)

Study manuals on how everything falls apart and put back together, and look for posts on the ClubLexus 1st and 2nd generation IS forums, as well as the audio/video safety and electronics forums. Then pull out your typical hand tools - screwdrivers, socket wrenches, pliers, wire cutters/splicers, radio keys, etc. For an overview of how to perform this installation on a 2005-2013 Lexus IS, see the relevant forum thread below. There will be lots of wire drawing, cutting and general electrical work.

(Related thread:How to upgrade from a non-nav to

Lexus IS How to Install OEM Navigation System (6)

Step 5 - Disassemble interior and remove parts

After disconnecting the battery, have printouts or diagrams available that show how to remove the dash and console panels. You need to use the appropriate radio removal tools to take out the head unit, then route the cables from the trunk to the console and dashboard, and mount the navigation ECU in the trunk and the GPS antenna above the rear window. You may also need to remove the shift knob and steering wheel. This is not work for beginners or the inexperienced.

(Video) 2021 LEXUS IS Navigation and Video In Motion Installation and Demonstration

Featured video: How to remove the head unit from the Lexus IS 250/350

pro tip

There are times when a job is better left to the professionals. Considering what's involved, you might be better off going to your favorite car stereo retailer and putting your credit card on stun.

Step 6 - Install new components

We will gloss over the installation step by saying that you should study the shop manual and wiring diagrams to make the correct connections or modify the existing wiring harnesses. Where connections need mods, take the time to make them.

Step 7 - Boot the system

Assuming you've routed everything correctly and made the right connections, you should have a working system. Load the appropriate Lexus Navigation Update DVD (which typically costs around $170) with updated map information to ensure you have the most up-to-date data. Once you're sure everything is working properly, button everything back up, select a destination for a nice dinner in the NAV system, and take it for a test drive.

(Video) video 2 :Lexus IS300 oem, navigation alpine screen

pro tip

The 2002-2005 IS 300 has the DVD player for the NAV system in the trunk; On 2006 and later IS 250/350 models it is hidden behind the clock and hazard switch under the dashboard. You can download a PDF of the NAV system update from the appropriate link below.

Related discussions and website

  • Navigation System Installation Guide
  • Lexus IS 250/IS 350
  • Is it possible to install an OEM navi unit on my Mon-Navi IS250?
  • IS300 Non-Navi to Navi the

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Can I install navigation in my Lexus? ›

No. The Lexus Navigation System is only installed in Lexus vehicles by the factory. The Navigation System installed in Lexus vehicles at the factory is not available for purchase as an aftermarket dealer-installed option.

Can I upgrade my Lexus navigation system? ›

CAN I INSTALL A NAVIGATION UPDATE IN MY LEXUS VEHICLE MYSELF? Yes, some models are accessible enough for customers to install the update. Some models require professional installation at a certified Lexus dealership. Contact Metro Lexus for information regarding installing navigation updates.

How to upgrade navigation system on Lexus is250? ›

Once signed-in, click on 'e-Store' > 'Map & Software Updates'. Click on the price button to get more information on your update. Identify your car, agree to the terms and conditions, add to your shopping cart, and pay by credit card or via PayPal. Go to the 'MyAccount' page to view your purchased update.

Where is the SD card in a Lexus? ›

To check if your Lexus vehicle uses a MicroSD card update, look for a MicroSD slot beneath the audio control panel in the centre console.

Can you add navigation to a car after purchase? ›

While navigation systems for cars come standard on most new vehicles, they can also be installed aftermarket or purchased as portable units.

How much does it cost to have a navigation system installed? ›

Car Installation

Rates for installation range from $150 to $450 depending on where you have the service done. Generally speaking, the more complex the system, the higher the cost to install. Less frequently, a technician will charge by the hour, but it's more common to be charged for the job.

Can I use Google Maps in Lexus? ›

Activate the maps function and your Lexus vehicle will guide you to your destination through the integrated dashboard display. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® are compatible with other third-party maps applications, such as Google Maps, so you can navigate with the app that best suits your taste and needs.

What navigation system does Lexus use? ›

Lexus navigation system uses signals from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and in-vehicle sensors which the in-vehicle navigation ECU uses to calculate vehicle location.

Can I upgrade navigation on my car? ›

If you have a factory fitted Sat Nav system, unfortunately, your update options are quite limited, often requiring a trip to the dealership and the exchanging of quite a large sum of money for the 'official' map update, which is often one or two years out of date by the time it becomes available.

How do I update my Lexus firmware? ›

To see if updates are available for your vehicle, select 'Settings' (gear icon), then 'Software update' on your multimedia display, also check if a 'Vehicle software update available' card is present within your Lexus App.

Will Lexus Enform be replaced? ›

Any active Lexus Enform subscription services will be terminated as of October 31, 2022, at 11:59PM CST.
Impacted ServicesImpacted Lexus VehiclesTermination Date
Lexus Enform Destination Assist2010-2017 all models2,3; 2018 GX3October 31, 2022, 11:59PM CST
3 more rows

What is Lexus navigation package? ›

A Navigation Package adds a 12.3-inch color screen for the navigation system, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, voice command, a DVD player, dual-zone climate control and Lexus Enform app suite.

Can you download maps on SD card for car? ›

Offline maps are downloaded on your device's internal storage by default, but you can download them on an SD card instead.

How do I activate my SD card? ›

Set up a new SD card
  1. On your device, swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the notification SD card detected.
  3. To set up your SD card for: Portable storage, select Format. Adoptable storage, select Format another way.
  4. Once your SD card is formatted, you can choose to Move content or Move content later.

Why would I need an SD card in my car? ›

They are also used, for instance, in order to store audio files in an MP3 format. Many SEAT sound and media systems are equipped with the appropriate recording option of these cards (SD card slot or "Slot"), thus allowing you to play your audio files through this medium.

Do dealerships install GPS? ›

Case in point: A wide range of different car dealerships often take the unusual step of installing a GPS tracker on a car before it rolls off the lot after purchase. Yes, this is bad ‒ but what's actually worse is that some drivers may not be aware that it's happening at all.

Do dealers put GPS on cars? ›

As a matter of fact, independent statistics indicate that about 70% of car dealerships in the United States already have their vehicles installed with GPS trackers.

Why do dealers put GPS on cars? ›

Dealerships typically use GPS tracking units so they can make loans to those borrowers they normally wouldn't finance. These borrowers are usually not bankable. A car tracker allows the lender to recovery the vehicle easily. However, if a customer does remove the GPS tracking unit, a tamper alert will be sent.

Is it worth to buy a navigation system? ›

Resale value: Factory navigation systems may improve a car's resale value but only for a short time. After three to five years, used-car shoppers are less interested in high-tech features, especially if they look dated and lack the capabilities of tech in newer cars, according to Edmunds analysts.

Is it worth buying a car with navigation system? ›

It depends. If you travel a lot, then integrated navigation is an excellent idea. You usually only have to purchase updated map memory cards every few years, and it only costs around 1-2 months of phone bills.

What is the difference between a GPS and a navigation system? ›

GPS is a satellite-based navigation system that uses satellite signals in order to identify a receiver's geographic location. Satellite navigation systems refer to a constellation of satellites that provide worldwide navigation, location, and timing services.

Can I use Waze in my Lexus? ›

Android Auto provides one-touch access to Google Maps, Waze, Google Assistant, Spotify, hands-free phone capabilities and much more. Learn how to set up and use Android Auto in your Lexus with this step-by-step guide.

Does Lexus have built in GPS? ›

Does Lexus ES has GPS navigation system? The In-built GPS Navigation option is available in all models of Lexus ES.

How do I put Google Maps on my car screen? ›

Click on the General tab.
  1. Tap "General." Marissa Perino/Business Insider.
  2. Select "CarPlay." Marissa Perino/Business Insider.
  3. Tap the vehicle whose home screen you'd like to customize. Marissa Perino/Business Insider.
  4. Tap "Customize." ...
  5. Add Google Maps. ...
  6. Google Maps will now be on your "Include" list.
Dec 11, 2019

Does Lexus premium package include navigation? ›

Lexus GX Premium Package

The Lexus GX offers an extensive list of amenities included with its Premium Package. This package includes navigation features, comfort features, and design features, like: Lexus Enform Destination Assist. Gray sapele Wood with Aluminum trim.

Can you use navigation without service? ›

Yes. On Android and iPhone devices, the google maps app can locate and follow you wherever you are without the internet or without data. The GPS on your smartphone is able to do both things at the same time. In fact, smartphones make the best GPS that works without Internet.

Is a car GPS better than Google Maps? ›

If you want better accuracy, you clearly want to choose GPS units over Google Maps. Even with the latest smartphone, Google Maps cannot promise to meet the expectations of a stand-alone GPS device.

What is the best free navigation system? ›

20 Best Free GPS Navigation Apps & Traffic Apps for 2022 |...
  • Google Maps.
  • Waze.
  • MapQuest.
  • Maps.Me.
  • Scout GPS.
  • InRoute Route Planner.
  • Apple Maps.
  • MapFactor Navigator.

Can I use Google maps in my Lexus? ›

Activate the maps function and your Lexus vehicle will guide you to your destination through the integrated dashboard display. Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® are compatible with other third-party maps applications, such as Google Maps, so you can navigate with the app that best suits your taste and needs.

How much does it cost to install Lexus CarPlay? ›

Only Answer. There is no additional cost for Apple CarPlay® as it is a standard feature when purchasing an eligible Lexus vehicle.


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