Why Is My Car Radio Bluetooth Not Working?


Most people these days connect their smartphone to car stereo through Bluetooth. This feature allows you hands-free calling, audio streaming, remote app control, access to your mobile’s phone book, etc.

Despite all of these fantastic features, it is pretty frustrating when your car radio Bluetooth stops working. But why is the car’s Bluetooth not always working? Let’s find out.

Generally speaking, there are many reasons why your car’s Bluetooth is not pairing with your device. For example, it can be a compatibility issue, interference from another device or outside signal, the device is not in pairing mode, etc.

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Tip: To check if your car radio Bluetooth is working correctly, try pairing it with another mobile device. If it is working properly, there is some issue with the device you tried to pair before.

Also, if you have already paired your car Bluetooth, there is an option of “forget device” in the Bluetooth setting of every mobile phone.

Try forgetting your car audio Bluetooth and then repair it again. This simple trick works for me whenever I connect car Bluetooth, AirPods, or any other device.

If you do not have Bluetooth in your car, the easiest way is to install it is via Bluetooth adapter or Bluetooth car kit.

In this article, I will show you why your car’s Bluetooth is giving you trouble and share some techniques that can help you fix this problem.

Why Won’t Bluetooth Connect to the Car Anymore?

Bluetooth is a wireless communication mode, and Bluetooth devices communicate with each other through short radio waves that have a maximum reach of around 33 feet.

This forms a small network between devices called a personal area network or PAN.

You will not be able to connect to car Bluetooth unless the device you are trying to pair shows up on the car stereo screen. If the device is not shown on the screen, it is either off or not in pairing mode.

The Bluetooth connectivity depends on both hardware and software of devices, and if you are not able to connect to car radio Bluetooth anymore, it may be because of one of the issues below:

  • If your car’s Bluetooth is already paired to some other device, you won’t connect to it through another device.
  • Some cars’ stereos, for safety reasons, do not pair with mobile devices when you are driving. So, before pairing with any device, make sure to stop the car and then pair the device with Bluetooth.
  • If the battery is low, some mobile devices turn into a power-saving mode which cuts off the Bluetooth. To connect the Bluetooth again, either charge your device or turn off the low power mode. Sometimes enabling Bluetooth manually in low power mode also works.
  • If both of your devices are updated to different software versions, they may not pair. There are lots of updates coming on mobile devices these days. Suppose you recently updated the version of android or iPhone, and you are facing a Bluetooth connectivity issue with your car stereo. In that case, there is a possibility that your mobile Bluetooth is not compatible with the car’s Bluetooth.

Why Did My Bluetooth Stop Working in My Car?

If your car’s Bluetooth stops working, it’s better to restart the vehicle and try connecting again before investigating further.

If the problem still persists, here are the six reasons why your car Bluetooth is not pairing:

Incompatible Versions of Bluetooth

To pair properly, both Bluetooth devices have to be compatible with each other. The devices with Bluetooth version 5 are compatible with Bluetooth version 2.1, launched back in 2007.

Bluetooth 5 is, however, not compatible with devices that are using the Smart Bluetooth version (low energy version) because they have different protocols than version 2.1.

Most of the devices these days use Bluetooth Smart versions 4.0 or newer, so make sure your stereo or device you are connecting with your stereo has the latest Bluetooth version.

Devices Are Too Far From Each Other, or There Is Obstruction

The normal range to pair your device with a car stereo on Bluetooth is around 33 feet. If you go beyond that area, then you will face trouble in pairing.

If there is some obstruction, removing it will work. Once your phone is connected with a car radio, you can put it in your pocket, car phone holder, or cup holder.

Low Battery

As I mentioned earlier, some devices go into power-saving mode when their battery is low, and they do not support Bluetooth connectivity in these modes.

So make sure to charge your device or manually turn on Bluetooth in settings.

Bluetooth Is Not Enabled

Check your device’s settings if Bluetooth is enabled or not, and check that your device is not connected to some other device.

You can also try hard reset as it clears all the temporary memory and improves device Bluetooth performance.

Device Is Not in Pairing Mode

Make sure that the device you are trying to connect is in pairing mode. In some devices, you have to press the pairing button for a few seconds to get into pairing mode or touch the device you want to pair.

You want your device to be discoverable by your head unit.

Signal Interference From Outside

Outside signal interference can cause massive problems while pairing your device via Bluetooth. These can be either wifi connections or hotspots.

If you use your phone’s hotspot while connecting Bluetooth and face problems, turning it off might help in successful pairing.

Any signal that comes under the 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum will cause problems in Bluetooth connectivity.

Some smart home devices like Zigbee, Amazon Echo Plus, which use wireless technology, can also cause signal interference.

Newer laptops with high-speed USB port 3.0 can also obstruct Bluetooth pairing because their signal falls in the 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum. Move your computer away, and they try pairing your device. 

After checking all these reasons, you should consult a professional if you still face Bluetooth connectivity trouble.

Keep in mind that not all devices use Bluetooth technology for pairing.

How Do I Fix the Bluetooth in My Car?

Bluetooth connectivity is only possible if both the devices you are trying to pair have the same or corresponding Bluetooth versions.

Bluetooth connectivity depends on both hardware or software. To check if your car’s Bluetooth is working correctly, try to pair it with multiple devices.

If your car’s Bluetooth is not pairing with any device, there is some issue with the stereo’s Bluetooth. For software-related issues, you either have to update the firmware or reset the Bluetooth and for hardware-related problems, you have to replace the Bluetooth module.

Here are a few steps that you can take to fix your car’s Bluetooth:

Delete Phone Profile in Car Bluetooth

The easiest way to fix this problem is to delete your device profile from car Bluetooth and then pair it again. Here are the steps to delete phone Bluetooth profile from the car stereo in the example of the Honda Odyssey:

  • Click the” settings” button on the stereo and select “Phone Settings” from it.
  • Touch on “Bluetooth Device List” and select the device’s name that you are currently pairing.
  • Now click on “Delete this Device” and “Confirm” it.

Now your device’s profile is cleared from stereo memory, try repairing it again. You can also reset your car’s Bluetooth and then pair it again.

Update Firmware

The next step to fix the Bluetooth problem in your car is to update the firmware because the most recent firmware updates will have new features that can help in improving car stereo Bluetooth.

Refer to the car stereo manufacturer’s website to get the latest firmware update for the same model. They will provide you with a USB or DVD, which automatically updates the firmware of your car stereo. 

While updating firmware, ensure that the car stereo does not turn off and always check the model number before updating the system.

Replace Bluetooth Module or Upgrade Bluetooth

The last option to fix your car’s Bluetooth is to replace the Bluetooth module, install a new Bluetooth adapter, replace the stereo or purchase a Bluetooth car kit.

How Do I Fix the Bluetooth Pairing Problem?

Most Bluetooth manufacturers like Apple and Microsoft use the Bluetooth 4.0 version in their new hardware, and if your device has Bluetooth 3.0 version, it will not connect.

To fix the pairing problem, delete the Bluetooth Cathe of your phone.

  • To clear the cache, switch off your phone, press and hold the power, volume, and home button simultaneously.
  • Once an android icon appears, release the power button and continue holding the other two buttons until you see the recovery-mode screen.
  • Now release all buttons and use volume buttons to navigate through options appearing on the screen.
  • Use the power key to select “Wipe Cache Partition.” This will clear all the cache from your device. 
  • Now use the same volume keys to navigate the “reboot the device” option and press the power key to confirm the selection. 
  • Once the device reboots, try pairing the device again.

Here are some of the other solutions that you can try to fix the Bluetooth pairing problem:

  • Turn the Bluetooth off from your mobile device and then turn it on again. Confirm that devices are connected and paired.
  • Restart your mobile device or car stereo again, and then try to pair them.
  • If you have already paired the device with a car stereo, try “forget device” on your mobile phone and connect again.
  • Clear any obstruction between car radio and device.
  • Check software compatibility.
  • Ensure that your device or stereo is not connected to any other device.

How Do I Force a Bluetooth Device to Pair?

You cannot force a Bluetooth device to pair unless you have a receiver that allows multiple connections.

Once a connection is established, it is impossible to pair a new device and terminate an old connection.

To force a Bluetooth device to pair long, press the pairing button, and the stereo will start searching for a new device.

Many stereos have a “scan for new device” option in the car stereo, which you can use to establish a new Bluetooth connection. 

Receivers tend to connect automatically to previously connected devices. The only way to establish a new connection is to disconnect from the previous device and pair it with a new one.

How Do I Reset My Bluetooth in the Car?

If you have tried everything listed above and you are still not able to pair with car Bluetooth, then resetting it is the only option left.

To reset car Bluetooth, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Bluetooth button on the stereo and use the toggle key to select the “set up Bluetooth” option.
  • Now find “Bluetooth Initialize” in that window and select it.
  • Click on the “All initialize” option and “Confirm” it also. Now your car stereo is initializing and resetting Bluetooth.

Conclusion

Bluetooth is an essential part of modern media systems in most cars, making your journey easier. Via Bluetooth, you can listen to your favorite songs, podcasts, or audiobooks.

Most modern stereos come with Apple and Android car play that allows access to your apps on the stereo screen.

However, it becomes so annoying when you are not able to pair your device. The solution can be as simple as simply turning off your car, device Bluetooth, and pair again.

However, in some cases, you have to replace your Bluetooth adapter, or if you have the proper budget, you can upgrade your stereo. 

Martin

Welcome to ImproveCarAudio! I am Martin, and I love to write about everything related to car sound systems. I strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about car audio through extensive research, as well as my experience with car audio installations.

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