Ford Sync

Problems with Android and Ford Sync

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.

Solutions:

Check Hardware

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

Power Off

Long-press your Android until it turns off completely. Wait 15-30 seconds and turn your device back on. Try re-pairing your Android to your Ford. Tap Forget, then reconnect the device/auto.

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

Android Auto

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.

Solutions:

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.

Forget Device

Reverse Pair

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.

Contact Ford

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.

Solutions:

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.

Solutions:

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.

Software Update

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.

Bluetooth Menu

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.

Fuse Box

Master Reset

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.

Contact Ford

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

Solutions:

Long-Press Power Button

Some have found that pressing Volume buttons also helps, but definitely try the Power button.

Restart Vehicle

Often the problem is resolved the next time you start your engine.

Update

Go to www.syncmyride.com and register, and/or just visit your local dealer.

Contact Ford

A module may need to be replaced.

Pull Fuse

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.

Ford Battery

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.

Solutions:

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.

Contact Ford

Visit support.ford.com. Often the problem is a certain module that may need to be replaced.

Ford Support

Master Reset

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.

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.

Master Reset

And of course, you can always try a master reset.

Conclusion

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.

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13 Comments

  1. I cannot get my Galaxy J7 V to pair with sync. It does not even recognize my phone. My carrier is Verizon.

    1. Hi, Britt! Clear any pairings with devices that are no longer used from your Sync. Often there is a limit on the number of devices that can be paired with a Bluetooth device.

  2. My 2013 Taurus with SYNC decided to kill the sound from the radio. I have been to the dealer twice. They installed a new Accessary Interface Protocall Module and still no sound. The dealer cannot get the new module to recognise the radio. The radio stations appear on the screen but only the Sattelite radio dial works. No FM No AM and no sound. What will quit working next?

  3. Hi,
    My phone syncs up with ford f150. I can receive /hear texts, receive and make calls, etc but I can not sync Google maps or waze with my truck. Help!!!!!
    Thanks,
    Kim

  4. My SYNC settings show my Galaxy S7. The phone, however, does not see SYNC. i’ve tried every reboot and combinations of reboots I can think of.

  5. 2018 Lincoln MKX, sync3/Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will not maintain call audio in car. Call audio switches from car to phone or vice-versa, or drops call! Samsung replaced phone for me w/no effect.

    3 Lincoln and 2 Ford dealers = 0, have no clue?

  6. My 2014 E-350 has a Sync radio and when my Verizon Samsung S4 phone is bluetoothed, everything seems to work just fine… until I receive a text or sometimes just a phone call… and then all audio just stops. No radio, no CD, no audiobook from my phone, just Dead Air.

    If I stop the van, turn it off, open the driver’s door, wait a minute or 2, restart the van, everything works fine again… until I get another text or phone call.

    Rinse and repeat. Very frustrating, to say the least.

    Please advise.

  7. We have a 2016 Ford Taurus and I have a Samsung Galaxy S9+. I have not had any issues with the Blue Tooth system working until recently. Now, when I receive calls, and end the call, the system does not fully disconnect. It seems to freeze up, the phone box on the screen shows it is connected, but the call time stops at whatever point I ended the call. When it does this, I cannot listen to music, send or receive any calls or texts. The only way to get it to finally disconnect is to shut the car off for several minutes and then restart. I have tried uninstalling my phone, rebooting the Sync system, all with no luck. It does not happen with every call, but does seem to happen most often when my daughter calls me. Her phone is one of the blue tooth connections in the car and she has an iPhone.

  8. I have a 2018 Lincoln MKX AND a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 phone that refuses to stay connected to the Sync 3/bluetooth system!

    Can’t make calls, receive calls, when I do get a connection it switches between car audio and phone—virtually useless!

    Been to dealer 5 times still UNRESOLVED!

    ‘HELP’

  9. I have a 2018 escape which has always had problems with my old Samsung Avant phone. The biggest problem was when I had a call waiting while on a current call. This made the radio flip on and STAY on. Nothing I could do would get the radio off until I turned off the car and started it again. This happened the first week I owned the car. Dealer had no idea what was wrong.
    Fast forward 8 months- bought a Galaxy S9 hoping for no more problems. Had the SAME problem yesterday. And the connection keeps getting lost. Message from SYNC is that MY PHONE cant maintain connectivity to the car. Have uninstalled phone and reinstalled on SYNC every time something like this happens. Going into the dealer this week for this issue again. If they can’t fix it, and it happens a third time- it’s strike out and a lemon law for me!!

  10. I am experiencing the exact same problem: a call won’t disconnect/end. The Ford Sync screen stills shows this status even when I totally turn my phone off. Sometimes, opening the door and letting the Sync screen turn itself off works, but often it does not. The Sync is totally inoperable at this point, as user above experiences, there is no music available. Really frustrating.

  11. My s10 + connects great only issue is when playing through spotify it switches/jumps between speakers or sides of my car, can anyone give any advice?

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