What You Must/Should Know About Audi MMI

Audi MMI 2G Screen

Remove CP To Restore Sound on New Head Unit Installation

DO NOT touch the MMI software unless you know what you’re doing. If the MMI is not working, updating software WILL NOT fix the MMI… Many people broke the MMI by updating the software with the wrong procedure…

If you’re missing the suspension menu, someone might turn it off in the hidden menu… Use VCDS or OBDEleven to turn on the hidden menu and enable the suspension to get it back

MMI Suspension Menu 

If your software version is below 1070, you must update to 3360 before jumping to 4610 – There are 3 CDs not 2CDs.

If you own a newer Audi (2004+), you may have option called MMI (Multi Media Interface) which control all your media player and display on your dash 7″ screen. Some are built-in the dash or flip up like the A8 D3. The MMI is actually a very simple system, but quite confusing for Dealers or Repair shop to troubleshoot when things failed and consumers will normally end up paying for the wrong diagnosis and good parts until the problem is finally fixed, i.e, they replaced the right one after many other trials and errors. It’s good to understand the system and sometimes you can fix or find the problem yourself and save money. It communicates with MOST (Media Oriented Systems Transport) optical bus.

MMI Software Versions Update

Most dealers don’t offer software update for MMI 2G – The latest version is 4610. Don’t update software unless you need to add AMI because you will needVCDS or OBDEleven to get back the instrument cluster functions that’s lost in the upgrade. I have upgraded mine from 1160 to 3360 and from 3360 to 4610. My 2008 Q7 still has the original 4140 which I’ve never updated. If it works, don’t fix it.

Audi MMI MOST bus system     Optical LED blinking

Since the optical bus is connected in SERIES, first device out to then second device input and so on until it gets back to the first device input to complete a loop. Think of it as some Christmas lights string, one burned out, the whole string is OFF until you replace the correct bulb to complete the loop.

So, one morning after a heavy rain over night and your car parked outside, the sunroof drains were clogged, the water entered the car, you turn on the MMI and the screen comes up with the MMI screen for a minute and goes black. You can hear the clicking in the rear of the back seat in the trunk, but nothing happens. Some devices on the MOST bus is malfunctioned (broken), the optical (red led) signal got stuck somewhere and didn’t get back to the head unit (first device) input. It could be one device or more. Before you get panic, you should check all the fuses, especially the one in the trunk, just above the battery, that’s the fuse for Radio, Amplifier, Navigation and TV tuner. If you’re lucky, the fuse is blown, replace it may fix the problem, but if it’s still intact, you need more troubleshooting to do.

60A_fuse for Radio Navigation

It’s a mandatory for Audi owners with MMI system to have is the optical bypass loop (female), at least one as spare in case the system is down. Audi dealers do have the originals, but it’s not necessary, any aftermarket female loop would do.

Most of Audi savvy people would normally rely on the VAGCOM or VCDS to troubleshoot the system, but they will end up replacing some good parts instead. VCDS or VAGCOM will report very confusing data because when one device failed, all devices will show up on VCDS as broken which doesn’t help us to find out which one is the culprit. I’ve created a video to show how falsely VCDS can report failures. The incompetent dealers or Indies will use the VCDS output to justify for their replacing good parts mistakes on customers expense.

Here are some of the common troubleshooting techniques that I’ve seen so far. Every time we push a button on the control panel, it will wake the MMI system and try to select the device connected to the button, when the MMI wakes up and check the MOST bus by sending signals to all devices and got stuck due to some devices not responding, it will shut itself, hence the MMI screen displayed for a few seconds then goes black. The device query restarts when any button is pushed. Only if the head unit is functioning.

1. When you push any button on the control panel: NAV, CAR, SETUP, CD, AMFM… etc, the MMI screen comes up and then goes black, it normally indicates the Head Unit (most expensive part of the system) is working. If it doesn’t, then it may be dead or the control panel itself is broken.

2. Sometimes, people spilled drinks over the control panel by mistakes, the control panel no longer works, but still, we can check to see which part of the control panel is bad by pushing one button at a time to see which button is bad. If the MMI welcome screen never shows up, the head unit is dead.

3. It’s also known that if the device is faulty, there won’t be any LED signal passing through, so if we unplug the optical cable of one device and it’s not blinking when a button is pushed (MMI wakes) then we can assume the device before this is faulty, check the device loop picture to see components relative to the loop.

4. If you have to replace the HU (head unit-4E0035729-4L0), you do need to get CP (Component Protection) removed by a dealer or your sound won’t work or you can swap the old eeprom to the new one but you need electronic soldering skill.

If you spill drinks on the MMI control panel…

Remove and clean the circuit board, it may work after or buy a new 4E01919612 to replace.

This is my understanding of the MMI system, it’s only for references and not guaranteed 100% accurate, use it to troubleshoot at your own risk. If you see something that I missed, please comment below so I can add to help other Audi Enthusiasts.

For your specific problems,Audiworld may be the best source to make queries.

40 thoughts on “What You Must/Should Know About Audi MMI”

  1. My mmi screen is getting power(tested with multimeter) but it is not turning on at all. All my research shows examples of what do when mmi turns on but screen is black. I have replaced the the screen unit and the head unit box located behind the dash. Nothing has changed. My button panel does nothing besides parking brake and engine stop. I have checked fuses all around the car, Installed new battery. I am ready to give up at this point, please help.

    1. Read and watch the video to understand instead of blindly replacing good parts and introducing more problems. If you don’t want to read, take the car to the dealers or shops

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