You rely on your Bluetooth/auto connection to help keep you safe by remaining hands-free while driving, to allow you to listen to music stored on your Android, and to stream services from your phone. So when that fails, it could put you at risk. (Although you really shouldn’t look at your phone regardless—concentrate on the road. You are still responsible for your driving.) Furthermore, no one wants to get stuck in rush-hour traffic without calming music.
You may feel like you don’t know where to begin, or that you’ve tried everything. Whether the issue is with SYNC itself your Android, we can troubleshoot. Keep in mind that there are a couple of version of SYNC and many, many version of Android and Ford vehicles. So what works on one device and one vehicle may differ from another.
Problem 1: Keeps Disconnecting
There’s usually an increase in these problems after any major Android update.
Sometimes pulling the fuse to the radio is necessary, but if you don’t feel comfortable you might want to leave it to the dealership to sort out hardware issues.
Power Cycle & Reconnect
Download Third-Party App
Some users have found relief in apps like Android Auto or Drivemode. This bypasses issues with SYNC by using a totally different application altogether. However, if your Android is a Google Pixel, these apps won’t provide compatibility.
Download: Android Auto
Download: Drivemode: Driving Interface
Download Phonebook Only After Establishing Connection
Go to www.syncmyride.com.
Perform a Master Reset
Go to the Advanced Options in SYNC if you have navigation; Settings > System if you don’t. Your Ford must be running and in park.
Contact Ford for Support
This problem is often due to an issue with a module that controls most radio functions.
Problem 2: Not Connecting at All
This advice is for when your Android and Ford fail to pair at all.
Restart Car and SYNC
Turn your Ford off and open and close the driver’s door. Wait until SYNC shuts off, then start your ignition.
Reboot Phone; Re-pair Connection
Turn off your Android for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then re-pair your auto and device.
Make sure that your Ford is not in Accessory Mode (that it’s in park and running). Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth and select Phone on the SYNC screen. Use the arrows to reach Add a Device, and press OK. Follow the prompts until you reach the point where you are asked for you 6-digit PIN. Use the seek arrows to find Special PIN and select that option. The screen will display 4 zeroes. When your phone prompts you for a PIN, enter these same 4 zeroes.
Perform Master Reset
This process does erase all data in SYNC, but not your Android. And it is one of the most common ways to resolve problems with Android and Ford Sync.
You can also visit support.ford.com.
Problem 3: Need a Special PIN
Although SYNC typically asks for a 6-digit pin, some Androids require 4-digits instead.
Ensure Discovery Mode is On
Go to the Bluetooth menu of your Android and make sure it’s on.
Use Arrows to Select “Special PIN”
Turn on both your auto and your Android. Choose Phone > Add a Device > OK. Follow the prompts until you are asked for the 6-digit pin. Use the seek arrows to see the Special PIN option. Enter the same 4 zeroes on your display into your phone when it asks you for a PIN.
SYNC with Navigation
When prompted for the 6-digit pin, select Find Other. Choose your device. You can use the preset number or your voice to choose your pin. Press OK if necessary. Now a new entry field should appear.
Try a Master Reset
If nothing else resolves it, resort to a reset.
Problem 4: No Audio
Driving is really a drag when all you can hear is silence.
Update Ford & Android
Check for any available new updates. On Android, go to Settings > About Device > Check for Update, and then Download > Install if one is available.
Forget Devices, Toggle Bluetooth, Re-Pair, Set SYNC Media Source
Unpair devices. Turn Bluetooth off, then on again. Reconnect SYNC and Android. Set the SYNC media source to Bluetooth.
Check Media Library for Accuracy
If it seems that SYNC is just not recognizing your voice commands to play music, make sure that all artists, albums, titles, and songs are spelled correctly; and that all songs do have an accompanying artist and album. This feature works best with a hardwired connection.
Reboot Media Player
Reboot your Android device.
Pull SYNC Fuse Box to Reboot
The fuse box is typically located in a compartment under the steering wheel that only a contortionist can easily access. It’s for that reason; and additionally, the difficulty a lot people experience in knowing which fuse to pull, that this might be best left your dealer.
Instructions for resetting SYNC vary by vehicle, and can be found in your manual. In all cases, it’s possible that personal data will be erased, but it helps that it’s only the data in SYNC. If the data is stored on your Android you should get it back when you reconnect.
Call your local dealership in case they need you to bring your vehicle in.
Problem 5: Screen Goes Black and Won’t Restart
Out of all of these issues, perhaps nothing seems more hopeless than a black screen. But not all hope is lost. Even though the advice we give here is intended for the the Ford SYNC screen, below is a link to help when you are experiencing this issue with your Android screen instead.
Must Read: Troubleshooting Android Boot Problems
Long-Press Power Button
Some have found that pressing Volume buttons also helps, but definitely try the Power button.
Often the problem is resolved the next time you start your engine.
Go to www.syncmyride.com and register, and/or just visit your local dealer.
A module may need to be replaced.
The fuse that needs pulled is most likely Fuse 29, but check with your dealer to be sure. Each of the fuses is assigned a number directly on the fuse, but do not go by this. This is the amperage for the fuse. Instead, look for a diagram on the back cover of the fuse box. Pull the fuse out using tweezers if necessary, for about a minute or longer, and push it back in. Restart your vehicle.
Manually Reboot Ford SYNC
Delete SYNC from paired Bluetooth devices on your Android and vice versa, deleting the Android connection from your Ford SYNC. Turn your vehicle off, open the hood, and remove the negative battery cable for about five minutes. Reboot your Android. Replace the battery cable and shut the hood again. Now when you start your engine it should show that the system is rebooting. Let your Ford run for about five minutes, then shut it off. When you open the driver’s door and restart, the system should function normally.
Problem 6: SYNC Restarts Without Warning
For when your screen does go black randomly, but then it turns back on. This is a scary, but most of all—annoying, problem with Android and Ford Sync.
Update Ford SYNC
If you want to go to the trouble of installing updates, you will need to first download them to a USB drive. You will then plug that drive into the USB port, and press AUX > SYNC Line In > OK. > Menu > Media Menu > Play Menu > SYNC USB > OK > USB Selected > OK. At that point you are going to get into a new series of prompts. Touch Seek to get to Install Applications and hit OK. Only when you see Installation Complete is it okay to press Menu to exit and remove your USB drive. An easier approach might be to let the dealership install it, if you have that option.
Visit support.ford.com. Often the problem is a certain module that may need to be replaced.
Be sure to disconnect SD cards and USB cables before you start the reset. In many vehicles, the reset option can be accessed by going to Settings > System > Master Reset. Another, less common, route is Settings > MEDIA Settings.
Manually Reboot SYNC
First, delete SYNC from your phone’s connected devices in Bluetooth settings. You can do this while your ignition is still on, but your Ford is in park. Then, turn your vehicle off, open the hood, and remove the negative battery cable for about five minutes. Reboot your Android. Replace the battery cable and shut the hood again. Now when you start your engine it should show that the system is rebooting. Let your Ford run for about five minutes, then shut it off. When you open the driver’s door and restart, the system should function normally.
Problem 7: Spotify Solutions
Many users describe this problem with Spotify as a screen they can’t get past to even access their playlist. If that isn’t Hell at 7:00AM in rush hour traffic, I don’t know what is. But we have the solutions.
Connect to AppLink / Stay Connected
A lot of people aren’t going to like this advice, but do not disconnect from AppLink, as it can cause operational issues.
Open Spotify First
Launch Spotify and get your music going before you even turn your vehicle on.
Exit App and Reopen
Close Spotify and launch it again.
Download Earlier Version of Spotify
Uninstall Spotify and disable Auto Update in Google Play. Then download an older version of Spotify, pre-update, such as 4.9.
Clear System/App Cache
This is a system-wide option in Recovery Mode, or go to Settings > Apps > Storage to find the option to clear Spotify’s cache and data.
And of course, you can always try a master reset.
Hopefully, you can now just refer to your problems as “silly SYNC” rather than cursing the app and its makers. When it comes to doing a master reset you might have to reset the clock, but you will probably find it easier to recover from than doing a master reset on your Android.. We also have articles for common Bluetooth problems. If you have a serious problem with Android and Ford Sync, especially involving hardware, the best solution might be to contact support from Ford or the manufacturer or retailer or your Android.