SYNC Workshop: “Pair” a Phone to Your Basic SYNC System

The is the basic Sync system, with a center screen that only displays LED text.

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.

 

31 thoughts on “SYNC Workshop: “Pair” a Phone to Your Basic SYNC System

  1. 2010 focus pairs and tests find== 15mins later push phone button — sync states NO PHONE FOUND — ipush ok a few times and it re-pairs.
    car and lg220c have been working together for years

    • My recommendation is to delete Sync from your phone’s bluetooth settings. Then go to the phone menu on your sync system and delete. Then turn off your vehicle (be sure to open the doors to make sure everything is off.
      Then restart the vehicle. Go to the phone menu and tell the sync system to pair a phone. Now, when you go to your phone’s settings: make sure the phone is in discovery mode, if you can, change your Sync PIN number from a 6-digit to a 4-digit, pin, then have your phone search for devices, enter the 4-digit PIN (or the 6-digit PIN if you have to)… your Sync system will ask a few questions, then it comes to the question about “Download Phone Book” Push OK on the Sync system but watch your phone… it may ping your phone and ask the question “Connect with Sync?” and another check box (“Always Connect to Sync”). Be sure the box is checked, and tell your phone to connect to Sync…. this probably wasn’t done at the first pairing and so your phone automatically has been disconnecting. It’s true, sometimes phones do not stay Bluetooth connected… when you push the Voice button and ask for the Phone mode, the system should connect for you. This is sometimes inconvenient, but it does work. Another idea is to have your phone checked by your phone store. It may need to have its firmware updated. Is this phone older than 2 years? If so, it may be time to consider getting a newer phone. I’ve checked the list of phones that work with the Sync System and I don’t see your model number on the list.

    • Do you have a basic Sync system? It’s the one with the blue LED text display on the center console.
      If so, when you push the Phone icon on the steering wheel, and you go to the Phone Menu and select “Add BT device.” When you push OK to begin pairing and it shows a 6-digit PIN, then use the Radio tuning know to select the option “Special PIN.” Push OK, and it should either 0000 or 1234. Push OK, then go to your phone, search for devices, when Sync appears, tap it, and when prompted, enter the 4-digit PIN, and hit Pair on your phone.
      If you have the MyFord Touch system, go to Settings, Bluetooth Devices, then go to Add Device, when you push OK to begin pairing, it will display the 6-digit PIN. Then tap the screen at Edit Pin, and enter a 4-digit PIN.
      If you are still having issues, call Ford at 800-392-FORD (3673) for further assistance.

  2. I have an Ericsson Xperia Ray which used to be connected without any problems to my Fiesta, this weekend I had to do a factory reset on my phone and when I try to pair, I do get the Sync but not the option to enter the 6-digit code. Any known problems for this? Also, note that the Sync system still “sees” that the phone originally paired is the Xperia Ray.

    • I’m not sure if you have MyFord… But I would recommend deleting SYNC from your phone. Then power it off for a few minutes.
      Be sure the phone is deleted from the BT Devices list on your Fiesta. Now turn off your Fiesta. Open the doors and shut.
      Now power up your phone. Wait until it comes completely up… now turn on your vehicle.
      Go to the Phone Menu, BT Devices, Add Device. Push OK to begin pairing and the 6-digit PIN will show… enter that on your phone. Push OK on your Phone and let the Sync system ask its next few questions. Push OK to accept everything.
      It should be back to working properly….

  3. I have just bought a 2011 focus, how do I re-program the sync with my phone. It continues to find the old owners phone, will not discover mine………. No idea on how to delete the old phone & re-program with mine.

    • Push the Phone icon on either the steering wheel or dashboard.
      In a few seconds the screen with display “Phone Redial,” (this is the Phone Menu).
      Use the double-arrows on the steering wheel to “scroll” through the Phone Menu.
      When you see the title “System Settings” then push the OK on the steering wheel.
      Use the arrows to scroll until you see “BT Devices.” Push OK.
      Scroll until you see Delete Device. Push OK.
      Scroll through the menu to select the phone/device you want to remove. Push OK.
      When the system prompts “Delete?” then push OK.
      Now, scroll until you see “Return” Push OK.
      Scroll until you see “Add BT Device.” Push OK.
      The system will say “Push OK to begin pairing a device and search for Sync on your device.”
      Push OK and then go to your phone menu, find the Settings Folder, to select Bluetooth. Turn on Bluetooth, then have your phone begin searching for a new device (I don’t know the type of phone you have, so I can’t be more specific).
      When your phone displays “Sync.” Then tap the symbol or tab that says Sync and when the next screen on your phone appears, then enter the 6-digit PIN displaying on your dashboard. Push OK or Pair on your Phone.
      In a moment the Sync system will chime in and say a few more commands, such as Primary Phone? Push OK on your steering wheel or dashboard.
      Turn 911 Assist to on? Push OK
      Download Phonebook? Push OK
      If you phone chirps after this, be sure to tell your phone to Always Accept the connection to Sync….
      In a few moments the phonebook should be downloaded.
      Every thing should be ready to go at this point.
      Please refer to this video for “pairing a phone.”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZMeeegVAAA&feature=relmfu
      Refer to this video for using your phone
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7k-twcdqpc&feature=relmfu

  4. My BB z10 does not show caller id on sync (fiesta 2013). My daughter’s 9320 curve does so I know it’s a setting on my z10 preventing the sync from seeing the caller’s name…. but which setting?

    • Go tot he Settings Folder on your iPhone.
      Tap the Bluetooth tab.On the next screen you will see Tabs, one of them might say Sync.
      Go and specifically touch the little blue box with the “i” on it.
      Another screen appears. At the top is a tab that says “Forget This Device.” Tap this and tap the pop up “Forget Device” button and your connection will be gone from your phone.
      To delete your phone from your vehicle it depends on which Sync system you have… I know of at least eight systems.
      But generally, go to the Phone Settings. Go to Bluetooth Devices. Then select Delete Device. Then select the device, tap OK and it will clear the connection.
      Let me know if you need more specific details, but let me know the year, model and Sync system…

  5. I just purchased a Ford Escape 2011 Limited. Finally went to the dealership as I could not get my Samsung phone paired. They worked on it for quit a while and got it synced, but then it immediatly read no phone found, it would disconnect, did this several time. They thought it must be the phone so went to Verizon and they tried to connect another newer samsung, and it just would not sync..period. Not sure where to go from here, the Dealership said to bring it in and they would do a reset to the sync system, do you think this is the problem, or maybe a lot of Samsungs (not smart phones) are not compatible. I saw your list and maybe I should purchase another brand of phone. SURE HATE TECHNOLOGY WHEN IT DOES NOT WORK!!!!

    • Ford has done a fantastic job of creating a platform that works with so many different types of phones, with so many different carriers and when the users are operating all kinds of apps…. HOWEVER,then comes along Samsung… I’ve found that on some Galaxy S III and IIII’s that you’ve got to power down the phone four, five times or more (even pull the battery out) just to get the phone to stop trying to pair to a Sync connection that you have turned off multiple times. It has worked the other way… I’ve tried to pair phones, even the Note, six times or more, just to get the phone to make the connection to Sync… I suspect that it may be the differences in how the components are assembled in Indonesia versus China, but Samsung folks claim that isn’t true…
      Honestly, the device that works best with the system is the iPhone 4S, 5, 5C or 5S.
      At least you can do a soft reset on the iPhone and get the phone to reconnect to the Sync system with relative ease. Strange, the iPhone uses the same microchip (sometimes) as the Samsung, it just seems like the iPhone is a more stable (phone) platform. It’s your call on getting another phone… I just know that Samsung phones are hard to work with…
      I am assuming that you have a Limited with the MyFord Touch system… so I assume you have installed the Gen 2 V3.6.2 software on your MyFord Touch.
      And, as I always say, when in doubt I would do a hard reboot of your vehicle (pull the black battery cable clamp for about five minutes, while you completely power down the phone) and then restart and let the vehicle run for at least three minutes before resetting or attempting to pair or re-pair any phones….

  6. I had my sony xperia paired and working fine in my 2013 Ford Edge. Now when I try to play music via the blue tooth settings, it starts, does not display the correct selection that I have on my phone and then pops up a screen to say that the phone is disconnected. I have wiped the phone out of the sync system and reprogrammed and it did it again. I can make phonecalls with it, but I keep getting the disconnect message everytime I try to play the music. what is up?

    • I’m not sure of the complete compatibility of the Sony Xperia with the MyFord Touch… contact the Ford in-vehicle technology center for more support at 1-800-392-3673.

  7. Hello, and excuse me if I might be asking this question via the reply section (could-not find the question area). I have a 2011 Fusion, and I paired my BlackBerry Z10 perfectly. My question is simple: is text to voice supported for text messages? I have the basic Sync system (no Nav). It would be an ENORMOUS time saver if this function would work ! It did not work with my BlackBerry Bold, so I was hoping it would work now !

    Thanx for any help !!

  8. Thank you very much, henniganV !! Got all the info I needed. Guess I’ll have to find another trick to get my texts / e-mails ……

  9. Just purchased a 2010 Ford Escape. For some reason when I press the “Phone” button there is no message displayed on the LCD screen. Is there a certain way to reset the button, or turn it on? Thanks.

    • The Ford Sync system was factory installed on certain models in 2010. However, a phone icon was available on many Ford models as far back at 2005. This icon, when pushed, only mutes the radio so you could take a call on your handset.
      If you have the full system on your 2010 Escape, then on your steering wheel, right hand side, you will have a two-sided button array. The second button up from the bottom will have a “mouth with sound coming out” (the Voice button) on the left and the word “Media” on the right. The button on the bottom will have a “phone” icon on the left for picking up a call (with a quick push) or to “hang up” or “Cancel” a call, by pressing and holding the button down for about five seconds.
      Go to this URL to see a intro video:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QiYAaDlG-c&feature=relmfu

    • The Ford Sync system was not available on the 2007 Focus ST. If you have a “Phone” icon on your steering wheel or dash, that was dedicated to muting the volume of the radio unit. So, there will be no phones to delete.

  10. Hi I have a Ford Focus Sport for work with a Sat Nav system and everything built in and a new Xperia M phone again for work. I am having a problem with the the PBAB information and everytime I start the engine the phone asks me for confirmation of the PBAB before it will download to the Focus. As I spend a lot of time as a sales rep stopping and starting, it is one more thing to do before I drive to the next meeting. I do not have this problem with my Iphone 4s this holds and syncs the information and my Blackberry 9790 previous work phone held the information as well. Please help :)

    • Do a clean pairing.
      Remove your phone from the Sync phone menu.
      Delete Sync from your phone.
      Completely power down your phone.
      Turn off the vehicle (and open the door to completely power down).
      Start your phone. Once it is powered up completely, then start your vehicle.
      While in park, go to the Sync phone menu and begin the pairing process… this time, when the Sync system asks to Download phonebook, Press OK and watch your phone… within a few seconds the phone will display (or have in it’s system que) a secondary screen alerting your of the PBAB access request. Be sure to check “Always Connect” and then approve the download.
      Once the phonebook is downloaded, your phone will know that it can always connect to Sync.
      Paste this URL in your browser to see a video about your phone and Sync:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15KgRR1T6k&feature=relmfu

  11. I synced my phone ok bur every time I start my 2011 Escape, I get the message “phone disconnected”. I then have to go to my phone’s Bluetooth menu and highlight sync, then connect. Is this normal? Why doesn’t my phone automatically connect? Thank you for any assistance.

    • You didn’t say what kind of phone and what kind of Sync system in your vehicle, but I can assume if you’re getting a “phone disconnected” message, then it’s because you have an Android-based phone and you didn’t use the 4-digit PIN at the pairing process and when you were pairing, you probably didn’t notice the MAP request from your phone (or, in some cases the SMS request). This not a Sync “problem” or “issue.” This is what happens when a phone isn’t properly paired.

      I would suggest a “clean pairing.” That means delete Sync from your phone’s Bluetooth settings, and power down the phone. If you have an HTC phone, check the settings again, if you see Sync again, remove it again and power down again, at least twice. Go to your Escape, the Phone Menu and then to System Settings, to Bluetooth Devices, then to Delete device, and then delete your phone. Turn off your vehicle and open the doors, then start up your Escape again.

      Here is an overview of the pairing process:

      Before pairing your iPhone with SYNC, go to the Settings folder and turn Bluetooth On.

      If you have an Android-based phone (Samsung Galaxy, Motorola RAZR, HTC Evo, etc.), then go to the Bluetooth Settings and turn it on. Refer to this video on pairing the Android.

      With Android-based phones you may want to first delete Sync from your connected Bluetooth devices list. After you do this, completely power down your device. Turn it back on and let it power back up. Check it again to see that it has “cleared” Sync from the phone’s system. Once it is cleared, then you can re-Pair your phone to the Sync system. Here are some tips:

      Before pairing your AndroidTM phone with SYNC:

      Go to your phone Settings and turn Bluetooth On

      Under Bluetooth settings, choose Discoverable and Scan for Devices

      Go to your vehicle, go to Add Bluetooth Device, and begin the pairing process.

      Your Sync system will produce a PIN number and ask you to enter the PIN into your phone.

      Once your Sync system recognizes your phone it will begin to ask questions such as “Turn on 911 Assist?” Push OK or Yes.

      The Sync system will ask if you want to Download Phone Book, then push OK or Yes.

      During pairing, your Android phone may notify you that SYNC wants to access your messages and phonebook. Choose Always Allow/Connect and check “Yes”.

      Now, try to use the steering wheel controls to see if the system is working properly.

      Let me know if this doesn’t work for you….

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