Ask yourself this question, “can you pair your cellphone to your Ford vehicle’s SYNC system?”
Since Sync was introduced in 2008 to the Ford Focus, there have been a multitude of “formats.” The system pictured is the “basic” Sync system.
These instructions are for a non-navigation system found on the Ford Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Taurus, Escape, Explorer, Expedition, F-150, F-250 and F-350. plus the Econoline. This system would be found for the model years (depending on the trimline) from 2008 to about 2013.
First, is your cellphone Bluetooth compatible? Go to the phone’s main menu and look for the toolbox, the settings or the connectivity folder. Then look for the option that says “Bluetooth” and set it to on. We’ll come back to this setting in a moment.
SYNC will NOT pair a phone while the vehicle is in motion, so do this while parked and the engine running. Turn the vehicle on and turn your radio on. On your steering wheel you should be able to find some toggle buttons. One will have a mouth (let’s call it the Voice button), another will have a phone icon (let’s call this one the Phone button). Another button should have an “OK” on it. This button is used to confirm certain commands. On most dashboards you should also find corresponding Phone and OK buttons.
Usually when you push Phone icon on the steering wheel (or on the dashboard), if no phone is paired and active, it will tell you “No Phone Found” on the LCD screen in the center of the dash and ask “Do You Want To Connect One?” or “Add a Phone?” or “Add a Bluetooth device?” then hit the OK button.
This starts the SYNC system searching for active Bluetooth devices. Go to your cellphone and find the commands to make your phone “Search for a device to add.” Some phones will have additional functions for Discoverability. Be sure to set the phone to be in the “Visible” mode. The vehicle’s SYNC system will show a 6-digit PIN code. Look back at the cellphone, if it has discovered SYNC, it will prompt you to select this device. It may ask “Do you want to connect to SYNC?” Tell the phone to “pair” with SYNC. It should then prompt you to enter the numeric code displayed on your dashboard.**
** For an Android-based phone (LG, Samsung, HT, Motorola, Nokia phones), the phone would “prefer” a four-digit PIN. Instead of the above process, when the system displays the 6-digit PIN, then use the scroll know or the Seek arrow on the steering wheel to move to the words “Special PIN” in the display. Push OK. Then use the seek arrows to select the option of “0000” or “1234.” Then when you go to your phone, and see the Sync tab appear, then tab that, and enter the four-digit PIN of your choice.
Then hit enter or OK on the phone. Within a few seconds the SYNC system should respond with a successful pairing notice. Sometimes the cellphone will respond with the question, “Do you want to pair with SYNC?” Respond with OK on the phone.
The SYNC system will ask if you want to make this phone the Primary phone. Press the OK button if you want this as a Primary, otherwise, use the tuning button to switch the dashboard screen from showing YES to NO, then press OK. On some Ford vehicles SYNC will then ask to you want to set the 911 Assist ON, then press the OK button on the dash or steering wheel.
Just a note, when you push the Phone icon, it will display the Phone Menu on the dash console screen. Use the Tune knob to move from topic to topic. Press OK to go to that function. Press OK again to affirm that command. Use the Tune knob to move from Yes to No, and so on.
So, back to the Pairing Process – then SYNC will ask if you want to Download Phonebook. Press OK. SYNC does not have a hard drive that it stores your contact information with. This process allows SYNC to “index” your contacts so that when you call out your contact’s name as you’ve saved in your phone book it will find it.*** SYNC can hold up to 2,000 phone contacts and the download process may take several minutes. When finished, the dash unit will respond with “Download Complete.” Then you can push and hold the Phone icon for three to four seconds and the system will go back to the radio functions. You are now ready to make and receive phone calls.
*** Once again, on some Android-based phones, when you push OK to begin Phonebook Download: you phone may chirp and then display a notice about a “PBAF” request. Check the box to say “Yes” to “Always Connect.” and then push the OK to begin the download process. One some phones there may be a similar secondary for ask for permission for “SMS” (texting) access, be sure to select Always Connect and OK.
Once the console display shows “Download Complete” then your system is ready to go to work.
Push the Voice button, the voice of Sync will come on and say “SYNC, state your command.” After the tone, reply with “Phone.” She will say “Phone, state your command” Then say “Call + (Contact Name) on (Device)” and use the name of one of your phone contacts as you have it saved. For example, “Call John Smith on Cell.” If the system recognizes the contact it will respond with “Calling John Smith on Cell” – sometimes the system will respond with a question, such as “Call John Smith at Work or at Home?” Just let the system know which one you want to call.
Or, you may push the Voice button and say “Phone”, she’ll say state your command, then say, “Dial” The system will, like an operator, ask you what number, just tell it the whole number. The system will repeat the number. If correct, then say “Dial” and it will call the number. If the number is incorrect, then say “Cancel” and start the process again.
Watch the road while driving and speaking. Adjust the radio Volume knob to hear your side of the conversation. When you’re finished speaking, press and hold the Phone icon button for at least three to four second. If you are driving and the phone rings, you will see a Caller ID on the dash to let you know who’s calling. If you want to answer, just press the Phone icon and start speaking. If you want to decline the call, go straight to the Phone icon and hold it down for several seconds, then release. The incoming call will go to your voice mail.
As a note, the SYNC system is a “Voice Activation” program. The system cannot differentiate three letter words. Mom, Tom, Ron sound too similar for the system to correctly interpret. You may want to revise your phone’s contact list and change “Dad” to your Dad’s first name, or maybe, “Papa John” – this way the system won’t struggle so much with short names.
This system has to be used for you to understand it better, so give it a try and get used to the hands-free phone system. If you have additional questions, visit the website support.ford.com or even see some video demos on www.ford.com/technology. Or, you may contact a Ford salesperson or Ford Service Department.