Sometimes Your Contacts List is the Source of Problems

Sometimes it takes a little practice to learn how to get the Sync System to understand your voice commands.

Sometimes your phone Contacts List – and the Ford Sync system’s trouble understanding it – can cause system problems.

One of the most common problems is miscommunication with the Sync system. To begin a call, push the “voice” button on the steering wheel (it’s the one with the mouth and the sound waves coming out of it). The system will respond over the speakers with a statement, such as “Sync, state your command.” Reply by saying, “Phone.” The system will respond with “Phone, state your command.” Then say “Call + Name on (device.) “  For example, “Call John Smith on cell.” You won’t be able to say “Dial John Smith” or “Call 800-555-1234.” Refer to your Sync handbook on the work tracks that are effective. The “Phone” icon (looks like a small phone receiver) is for answering a phone (by giving it a quick definite push) or for hanging up or cancelling a call (by pushing the button and holding it down for about five seconds).

Sometimes the problem is your contact’s name. For example, let’s say you were calling “Mia Thompson.” If you pronounce the first name as “Mee-yah” the Sync system won’t find her because a computer would assume the first name is pronounced as “My-ah.” The reason: a computer assumes the letter “I” is pronounced as “eye.” So, if you “think” like a computer you can say the name the way the computer wants to hear it.

Another problem is words in all capital letters. With some phones it seems like that is the only way you can input the names is in all capital letters. However, use capitals and lower case letters instead. For instance, spell John as “John” not JOHN. If you spell a word in all capital letters, then you must call out the individual letters, for example, “Call Jay, Ohh, Hhh, Nnn.”

Avoid using short names in your phone book. If you have a “Mom,” “Don,” and “Ron” as your listings, then don’t be surprised if you say “Call Mom” and the system replies by saying “Calling Ron” and then beginning to dial the wrong person. Modify your phonebook – especially people you call frequently – and put more syllables in the listing. For example, “Mom Jones,” “Ron The Plumber,” or “Don Masterson.” Use more syllables to help the system tell the difference between similar sounding contact names.

Another problem: Don’t save the contact names in the phone’s SIMM card.  Sync cannot access contacts saved to the SIMM card. They are stored there for security reasons and Sync won’t be able to find these contacts. Instead, save your contacts to the “handset” or “copy to handset.” Sync will be able to “see” the contacts and make the calls this way.

Avoid speaking too slowly and be sure to speak clearly. When you push the voice button, speak clearly in a normal or slightly louder tone. Avoid hesitation. Say “Call John Michaelson” and avoid saying “Calllll, Johnnnnn, Miiiculllsooonnn.” Speak towards the microphone and don’t yell at it. The microphone is sensitive to loud inputs. Too loud of a noise or yelling may signal the system to stop listening to you. Older models (2009 and 2010) had microphones in the rear view mirror. By 2011, the microphone was mounted in the headliner just to the side of the windshield visor. On other vehicles the microphone was mounted in the headliner just above and to the left of the driver’s head.

Avoid random noises when speaking to the system. Close the windows, have your vehicle occupants “shush” and avoid other interfering noises when speaking. Otherwise, the system will assume you are speaking commands and it will randomly interpret what it thought you said.

Don’t “confuse” the computer with compound numbers. Say ‘Three-Ohh-Five-Eight-Four,” don’t say “Thirty Five Eighty-Four.” Say a complete address such as “One-Two-Six-Five South Johnson Avenue” and not “Twelve Sixty-Five Johnson Ave.”

Be aware of your vocal tonality. Some people don’t realize that they speak softly or that they “fade off.”  Sometimes the system will ask you to respond with a “Yes” or a “No.” You can say “Yep” or “Nope” if it helps you to speak more clearly with the system. And let’s face it, sometimes you need to speak clearly and drop your accent. “Like, fer sure, uh, like ya-ah” doesn’t really mean anything does it? Also, you don’t need to respond to the system… If it doesn’t understand what you said, don’t reply “No, that ain’t it!” The system will probably stop listening to you.

Not sure what to say? When in doubt, push the voice button and say “What can I say?” or “Help” and the system will give you some clues and suggestions.

Sometimes you might be on a call with someone and the person on the other end of the line might be saying they can hardly hear you. If so, turn up the volume on your phone handset. The volume controls on the steering wheel or on the dashboard will only increase the playback volume. The handset volume increases or decreases the sensitivity of the Sync microphone.

Visit the support.ford.com website for more answers, tech support and more. Sometimes the reason why your system seems to not hear you may be because you might need to “upgrade” your system software. If you have registered your account with support.ford.com you can check to see if you need to update the software. The website will give you instructions on how to do this. Also, be sure to keep your phone’s firmware up-to-date (you might need to check with your phone company on this). And, at least once a week, completely power down your cellphone and then restart it.

Hopefully, by reviewing these suggestions you’ll be able to come in “loud and clear.”

 

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58 thoughts on “Sometimes Your Contacts List is the Source of Problems

  1. I’ve worked with thousands of customers and I have to say the only time I’ve had something like this happen is if the microphone wasn’t working, or wasn’t connected. The software upgrade wouldn’t have disconnected the microphone. Most of the time the customer was pushing the Phone icon and expecting the “Voice.” You have to give the “Voice” button a quick, solid push and the “Voice” comes on. Also, if someone has set your System Settings, and Voice Settings to “Advanced” then you won’t even hear a voice, it will just use tones to prompt you to speak.
    And, have you reviewed the Owner’s Manual Guide on Sync to see what Voice Commands to use.
    For example, if you push the Voice command and ask straight up for “Set Temperature 72 degrees” the system will come back and ask what mode… Start by saying the mode, “Phone”, “Audio” or “Climate”, then the command. You just can’t say whatever comes to your mind. There are certain commands the system responds to.
    Numerous “Frozen” screens are usually caused by the User putting out commands either A) too quickly, B) Using a multiple command sources and forcing a system overload, C) having conflicting devices in use (i.e. a Mp3 player in the midst of indexing song information, while trying to use “Destination Street Address” and then using the five-way controller on the steering wheel to change the radio station…) Please contact your Ford dealer’s Service Department to have this system reviewed.

    • Explain a little more… what kind of Sync system (LED readout in center of top of dash? touch screen nav system with Sync?) When you start the truck does the “bluetooth” symbol show? If it doesn’t, then that means your system has lost connection to your phone. Go to the Phone Menu and select System Settings, then Bluetooth Devices and then Connect Bluetooth… use the Tuning dial (on the basic system) to select your phone model number/name, then push OK (in the center of the tuning button). You may need to repair your phone… see this video on pairing the phone.
      And, all of this is based on you having your bluetooth on your phone turned on…. is it? Is you phone set to be discovered? What kind of phone do you have? If it is a Droid-based phone, have to the Phone Book Alert to “Always stay connected to Sync?
      Without a Bluetooth connected phone that is properly paired, there is no reason to do a Master Reset — the issues is stemming from the phone or it’s connection.
      Let me know how things work…

  2. Hennigan – my sync system in my 2011 Flex has suddenly stopped responding, as if the system can’t hear me at all. You mentioned in your first comment above that you have heard from customers with microphones that have gone bad or been disconnected. Can you tell me how I can check to see if that is my problem and how I can fix it? I can’t get to the dealer right now nd I miss my voice commands and hands free phone.

    • First of all, turn off your Flex.
      Open the hood.
      Locate the battery and use a wrench (an adjustable will work, but it might be an 8 mm, 9mm or 10 mm) to…
      Loosen the bolt on the main wiring clamp of the black (negative) battery cable.
      If the clamp is still really tight, use a flat head screw driver to spread the clamp a little.
      Take the cable assembly off the battery post for at least a minute or two.
      Then replace the clamp assembly and retighten it.
      Close your hood.
      Then go to your Flex and start it.
      The ignition may seem like it’s lagging a bit, but it will start.
      Your radio will probably start up on the AM frequency.
      If you’ve got a MyFord Touch system (or touch screen NAV) you may notice that the time has defaulted to 12 pm.
      Let the vehicle run for at least a minute or two before you start messing with anything.
      Go ahead and delete the Sync system out of the phone settings file.
      Go to your Sync phone menu and delete the phone from your Sync system.
      Turn off the vehicle and completely power it down.
      Turn off the phone and completely power it down.
      After a few minutes, restart your phone.
      Then restart the vehicle.
      Let’s re-pair your phone (see this video on pairing a phone)
      Go to the phone menu…
      Go to Bluetooth settings on Sync.
      Tell your Sync system to Add Bluetooth device.
      Go to your phone’s settings and…
      Go to the Bluetooth settings…
      Instruct your phone to search for Bluetooth devices.
      Tell your Sync system to begin the pairing process.
      Enter the PIN number.
      Follow the instructions to finish pairing…
      Download your phonebook and wait a few minutes to allow the process to finish.
      Once complete, turn off the vehicle again.
      Completely power down by opening the door…
      Then restart the vehicle.
      The Flex should start up and find your phone.
      Then attempt to make a Sync hands-free call on your Flex.
      It should work fine.
      – If your vehicle’s voice button is pushed and no voice comes from your Sync system… then it might be the control button not working.
      – Go to your touch screen, to the Phone mode, and attempt to manually enter a phone number and make call…
      – If that works, then the Sync system is at least working through direct entry
      – If you push the voice button and the Sync voice comes on, and you tell it a command, but it “cannot hear you” then it might be the microphone.
      – If any of these things, or more, is going on, it may be the need for your Dealer to check to see if you have the latest software version for your vehicle. Call and schedule an appointment for them to do a complete diagnostic.

      In any case, I believe there have been at least three software upgrades for a 2011 Flex with MyFord Touch. Plus there have been new Nav SD-card upgrades (if you have the full NAV system).
      If you did the “clean re-pairing” (described above) and everything is working again, then it sounds like you had a Bluetooth connection anomaly (your signal got corrupted by interference from another source). Hey, with the amount of smartphones on the road, you could competing for Bluetooth signal at any stop light with six other vehicles!

      Good luck and happy motoring!

      • I have done all you suggested. But when I push the voice command button the screen (not nav version) says listening.. I speak, still nothing but listening then after 30 seconds if starts saying all the things I could say. I don’t think my microphone is working. If I’m handy is this something I could replace myself?

        • Visit your Ford service department. This sort of thing is covered under the bumper-to-bumper warranty. It may not be the microphone, it could also be the steering wheel controls, and/or how the commands are processed by your system’s core processors. Your Service Department can run diagnostics to see what needs to be replaced, repaired, reflashed and/or reprogrammed.

  3. I just bought a 2013 Edge – love the vehicle.

    Tried adding a second phone (both iPhones) and it was successful including the upload of the phone books.

    I can voice command the first phone OK but not the second one. Have set it as favourite and everything. It’s the phone SYNC is using when I attempt voice commands but SYNC does not recognize anything in the phone book. Doesn’t get it wrong – just keeps repeating that I can say CALL and gives me examples.

    Phones are identical – iPhone 4 and latest IOS. We are getting the NAV system put in this week and will see if the updated software gets us anywhere.

    Anyone else experience this ? Fixes ?

    • This is a difficult issue to handle via e-mail… I would need to sit in your vehicle and see/hear what is happening. You see, if voice commands work on one phone, the system doesn’t selectively turn off the sensitivity of the Sync microphone for the other. These systems are made to handle 10 different devices (paired to the system) — however, only one will be able to make and receive phone calls.
      I would initially guess that you may have paired the second phone, but you haven’t got it “connected” and made primary when using for phone commands for the second phone. And, it is possible that your second iPhone has been set somehow to have (the phone’s) the microphone set to Mute. If this were so, the Sync system would not “hear” your voice commands and proceed to inform you the things to say, etc…
      But, the trump card is the new software update coming in August (MyFord Touch v3.6). This software addresses a multitude of BT connection anomalies, phone to sync command issues, etc. See support.ford.com for more assistance….

    • It’s probably the way you have set up your phonebook, or it’s the way you are using the voice commands.
      Most smart phones have a contact file (your phonebook). A lot of people (for time’s sake) just enter the entire name of the person on the first name line. DON”T DO THIS!
      Edit your phonebook!
      First name on first name line. Last Name on last name line.
      Don’t use shortcuts (such as AAAJohn Smith) or (ICEJULIE).
      Sync cannot recognize all capital letter words. You have to spell those out. SO why not just take them out. Use Cap and lower case. Note if the phone number is a cell, work or home phone.
      Go to your phone settings and be sure to set it up so your phone stores names in a Last Name, First Name sort order.
      Once complete with all of your phonebook editing, power down your phone for a few minutes. Turn the phone back on and while it is rebooting, turn off your vehicle, open the door, close the door. Turn on the vehicle. Let things reboot for a few minutes before trying your voice commands to call someone on your phonebook.
      Push the voice button, say “Phone” after the tone.
      When it replies, “Phone, state your command.”
      Say “Call (contact complete name and type of phone)” For example, say “Call John Smith on cell.”
      The system will reply, “Calling John Smith on cell.”
      DO NOT say “Dial John Smith.”
      If you say “Dial” the system will prompt “What number please?”
      Then in a moderate pace, speak each number individually. For example, say “Six, One, Nine, Nine, Nine, Four, Four, Eight, Three, Five.” DO NOT say, “Six, One, Nine, Nine Ninety Four, Forty Eight, Thirty Five.”

  4. Suddenly my Sync system won’t respond to my voice commands. It’s like it can’t hear me at all. I will push the voice button, and it will come on and ask for a command. No matter what I say it acts like it cant hear me and will then go on to tell me my options. No matter what option I pick it will not respond. I know the mic works because I can still use it to talk to people who call me. Any ideas.

    • I would really recommend a hard reboot:
      Delete your phone from the vehicle.
      Delete your Sync from the phone.
      Turn off the vehicle.
      Loosen and remove the black (negative pole) battery cable clamp for at least five minutes.
      Completely turn off your phone while you wait.
      Keep the phone off for at least three minutes. Power it back up.
      Re-tighten the battery cable clamp.
      Close the hood.
      Turn on the vehicle.
      Let it run for at least a few minutes before resetting anything.
      Now pair the phone back.
      Everything will be working again.

    • Hey, Mine is now doing the same. When I hit the button steering wheel it comes on and I say call john smith etc and it keeps repeating pls say a command or call then listening appears on screen and then goes back to radio station?? Weird was working fine till this. I can accept calls so mic is on and I can use hands free to answer incoming just won’t work when I command. Nor will it let me use radio buttons to make call any thoughts?

      • It sounds like a simple issue…
        ANYTIME you press (or pull) the Voice button, listen to what the Voice says….
        If you hear, “Sync, state your command>”
        Then say a “Mode” if you have MyFord Touch, or with the MyFord or any other system say “Phone.”
        She will reply “Phone, state your command.”
        Now you can say “Call John Smith on Cell.”

        It sounds like you went straight to “Call John Smith on Cell.” after a few attempts the system will kick it back to radio (or whatever it was doing before the Voice command sequence.

        Paste this link into your URL to see a video on the voice command sequence:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7k-twcdqpc&feature=relmfu

  5. I purchased a new LG wine 111 now my buttons on steering wheel don’t want to work. When I give a voice command it comes back with phone disconnected. Should I delete all phones, and start all over?

    • The way you’ve worded your questions makes me think you had a phone paired to your vehicle. Then you bought a new phone (the same phone number) and the Sync system doesn’t work.
      If this is the case, then Yes. Go to the Sync system and Delete All phones. Go to the settings on your phone and make sure that Sync has been deleted, then pair the phone back to Sync. If you can, use the Special Pin (0000 or 1234) (if you can).
      Now, when you say the buttons on the steering wheel don’t work… do you mean that the volume control, the seek arrows and the rest don’t work? IF the volume button and others don’t work,then visit your Ford Dealer and have a tech review the steering wheel controls.
      If you push the Voice button and say phone and then are told “No phone connected.” Then this means your haven’t got your phone paired to the system. Or, it means your phone is turned off, or the Bluetooth is turned off.
      Try to re-pair and see how everything works…

      • I work with a cell phone carrier. I am having trouble aslo paring an LG Wine iii phone to a Ford Fusion 2010.

        I have deleted the phone from the car and the car from the phone. I then repaired the devices and the SYNC system seemed to work till the customer drove his car parked it and turned it off. After a period of time the customer went back into his ford fusion turned on the car and the phone was no longer paired correctly stating the same thing as the previous post from a different ford customer. The SYNC system would respond with “PHONE DISCONNECTED”.

        The customer returned back to the cell phone provider to see me we rebooted the whole SYNC system and are still have no luck on having the phone and SYNC working correclty. I have troubleshooted the phone and there are no probelms with the device.

        Please get back to me at your earliest convience.

        • Sorry for the delay, after you have deleted Sync from the Phone and Phone from Sync, did you completely power down the device? While you are doing this, power off the vehicle completely. When you pair the phone again, be sure to note if the phone is in discovery mode. And, once you pair and start the Phone Download, be sure to tell the phone to “Always Connect” and pair… and, please check this website to see if the phone is completely compatible with the Sync system…
          http://www.ford.com/technology/sync/

  6. When I am using my bluetooth on my 2015 Fusion it sounds like I am in a wind tunnel/airplane to whoever I am talking too? There has to be a sensitivity setting for the microphone or something, this is terrible, people can not hear me if the car is moving.

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re having these issues. Yes, it’s rare, but sometimes there can be “air leakage” around the windshield that can be “heard” by the microphone. Or, there is some acoustic dampening that is placed around the mic that could be interfering with the sound. Or, the microphone itself is having issues. Please schedule a time for your Ford Dealer to review the problem and find a solution.

  7. I just purchased a used 2011 ford f150 platinum, for the first week voice command recognized the names in my phone perfectly. All of the sudden now it won’t recognize the simplest of names. for example if i command “call Mary Holder” it will come back “call Amare on cell”. if I command “call Tyrone” it’ll come back “call Derrick Jones”. I don’t talk with a heavy accent. Plus it worked perfectly at first with even my difficult names. PLEASE HELP

    • Please tell me that you are NOT using emojis (smiley faces) in your phone contact list?
      If so, you’ve got to purge those symbols from every contact in your phone list and then reinstall your phone on Sync.
      The other main issue is putting the complete name on one line (such as the First Name line)… with the system always looking for a last name from the Last Name line). Then you would have to edit the contacts that you would be calling frequently on the Sync system..
      At worst case, delete your phone from Sync. Delete Sync from your phone. Power down your phone and restart it. Then “re-pair” your phone to the Sync system…
      Also, be specific. Push the Voice button, when the system responds, say “Phone” then when the system responds with “Phone, state your command.” Then say “Call Mary Holder on cell.”
      Some folks skip a step and push the voice button and just say “Call Mary Holder.” Sometimes this throws off the system (especially if the last command was for Climate or some other mode).

    • Wow, I’ve never had this question before. Obviously a factory-installed SYNC system is already warranted by Ford and uses Ford OEM-equipment. I’m sure it’s possible to pull the headliner and install a microphone (this would require some cutting and trimming of the headliner) plus you’ll have to run some wires down and into the back of the console. Then you’ll have to connect to your head unit… I think it would be better to have your Ford Service department handle this.

  8. I have a 2011 Ford Edge SEL with approximately 17,000 on it. My dealer upgraded/installed the latest My Touch/Sync software in November 2014. There are no cell phones, blue tooth devices, etc installed on my vehicle. Today I have a black screen. What should I do to reboot/fix? thanks

    • Yes on doing the reboot.
      It will take just a little “under the hood” work.. and remember, just loosen and remove the negative cable clamp (it’s usually got the black wire and hood cap).
      Leave off for a few minutes and then reattach and retighten.
      If you are still having issues, then please visit your Ford Service Department.

  9. I took my 2011 Ford Taurus in for pre-paid service and now the car gives me incorrect names to call when commanded. If I say call Al it will respond with call Bob. The Ford service included a battery check that was done twice and resulted with a failure. I was asked if I wanted to change the battery but I opted to wait until the spring service date. I have not had any power problems starting or any other demands so far. What should I do?

    • The phone has your contacts… if you are using proper voice commands and you are getting another name… then your contacts are corrupt. For example, sometimes your phone contacts can be “sorted” last name, first name or first name, last name. If you give a voice command, “Call Bob Jones” your Sync system (if it is drawing from a contact list that’s opposite) would be looking for “Jones, Bob” and wouldn’t get the call done right.
      Sometimes people have there entire directly done in all capital letters… and Sync’s voice recognition software can’t understand that, but it does under BOB as “Bob.” And, sometimes your phone directory has all of your contacts saved to a SIMM chip. These chips are used as a secure location and sync can’t access those names, thus making it fall back on the first available contact (which for you might be Bob). Be sure your contacts are saved to the phone/contact directory and not to the SIMM chip.

  10. 2012 Ford Fusion
    The commands work. Nav, phone, but when I say call “name”. It’s keeps saying ” Call …” and then calls the first contact in my phone.
    Just to follow up. When I say “Call Maria work” It states “Call…work” There is no DOT work should I calL Dot. It seems no matter what name I state it still thinks I’m saying call DOT.

    • Any time you get the reply “Call dot on…” it means there is an problem with the voice recognition software being able to interpret the phone contact list on the phone. Sometimes this is a result of a corrupt phone list due to usage of emojis, or excessive punctuation or other characters in the phone book. Also, the software can’t read names entered in all caps…. or if the names are stored in protected files (such as a SIMM chip).

  11. My hands free does not work. The phone is paired, commands work. I just have no speaker. The call is dialed, but on my phone, not the cars speakers. Same with receiving, I see I have received a call but cannot hear or talk.

    • What year and model of vehicle?
      What type of Sync system?
      What type of phone do you have?

      It sounds like your phone is staying in “privacy mode”
      But I will need more information.

  12. can not complete a call via MyFord Touch. The call begins and immediately hangs up, and I can’t hear anything:
    iPhone 6 is synced
    plays music from phone no problem
    MyFord responds to voice commands
    phone is not in privacy mode
    Ford Explorer 2014

    • There are a few things that need to be checked….
      Does your iPhone have the most current iOS software?
      Have you set up an account at support.ford.com to see if there is a software update for your MyFord Touch. Download and install if needed.
      Remove your phone from MyFord Touch.
      Remove Sync from your iPhone.
      Completely power down the phone.
      While it’s down, take your parked car, turn off the engine, open the hood… use a small adjustable wrench to loosen and slip off the battery cable clamp assembly from the negative side (black) of our battery for at least a few minutes. Re-attach the clamp and tighten it back up. Close the hood.
      Turn on your phone.
      Start up the car. After a few minutes you can reset the clock and begin the process of pairing the phone back.
      This should bring everything back up to par.

  13. I have a 2009 Ford Escape with Sync, and it does not let me “teach” the system my voice. I don’t have an accent but it does not understand me often so I thought I would try to improve voice recognition? Any ideas?

    • I’m not sure if you knew, but the Voice Recognition software was never designed to “learn” your speech patterns. You have to speak distinctly and use the voice commands as Ford recommends.
      Use this YouTube link to find out more:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDTwiPcaD_U
      Also, I have had some used with extreme lisps, missing teeth and so on that prevents them from using standard voice commands… in some cases (especially with an iPhone) you can press the Home button on the your phone face for a couple of seconds to summon up Siri, and once she comes on, then try your voice commands with her. That has worked for some people.
      Other folks have stored phone numbers on QuickDial and just push those (rather than use voice commands)…

  14. my SYNC module for my 2011 fied to do water damage. The dealer wants a lot of cash for it, my module part number is SYNC MODULE,AR3T-14D212-AG and i found one at a good price but its SYNC MODULE,AR3T-14D212-AF…..AF not AG, does this matter at all and does this have to be reprogramed?the new module came out of an exact car model and year as mine. Please help

    • I am not a Ford mechanic… so I can’t say with certainty that you are correct in assuming that the AF and AG units are interchangeable. In fact, I’m not even sure about the “reprogramming” phase but I am assuming that you need the Ford diagnostic software plugged into your OBDII port to check and verify that everything was connected, was up-to-date in software, and that it was set up properly.
      I’m sure the Ford dealer wants a lot of cash for it.. even at the part department these units costs hundreds of dollars and then you have to pull the radio head to remove the old and install the new and then plug into the OBD to verify everything…
      I’m wondering, did you not have insurance on your vehicle? This would be replaced as part of an insurance claim. But to do it right, you should have a Ford service Department replace OEM equipment to factory specs.

  15. Hello, I have a 2010 Mustang Gt with less than 23,000 miles. I have a sync system that shows “Fail Safe Mode” on the touch screen. The radio works, A/c controls work from the dash buttons, not the touch screen. The back up camera doesn’t work either. I took it to the dealer, and because of age it’s out of warranty. Dealer says they get error code B121C01 as an HDD malfunction. I live in Arizona and the weather is obviously hot. Dealer says I should replace the radio hard drive at $800 and the programming another $300. That seems unreasonable. The radio hard drive should last past 23k miles. Seems like the money for a loaded car isn’t worth the value. Any advice?

    Thank you for your time.

    • James:
      I can guess from the error codes that there probably is some major problems.
      “Fail Safe Mode” means something has been corrupted – probably a main component that’s been fried.
      As a last ditch measure, I would turn off the vehicle. Take the SD-card out of the console (the maps for the navigation system). Put it in park. Open the hood, and remove the black battery cable clamp assembly from the battery for about five minutes. Replace the clamp and re-tighten. Close the hood and start everything up again.
      Let the system run for about three to five minutes before messing with any buttons on the dash.
      Take note what changes, if any, are seen on the dash.
      By the way, if you have a nav card for your system, what version is it? A-2, A-4, etc…? You might not have any card…
      If you haven’t already… go to support.ford.com and register your vehicle. The site will give you a clue as to the operating system software that you had on your system and if it needs to be updated…
      If you need to update, copy the software to a black USB drive about 2 gb for bigger.
      With your vehicle running, please the USB in the car’s console port, the system (if it’s working) should recognize the USB and automatically start updating… the car should be on and running in park while it does this. And, the download process can sometimes take more than 30 minutes…
      There have been about four software updates (and a few nav map card updates) since 2010. And, you CANNOT use an old mapset with the newer upgrades… this could lead to the type of problems and a possible hard drive “melt down.”
      Yes, you’ve got a loaded car and the computer hardware and software that drives the Sync touch system isn’t so much affected by overuse… sometimes they can fail due to other reasons. Extreme heat is one major cause of failure… And, this is a six-year-old computer. It’s original cost was in the $1200+ range… so the replacement estimates are not out of line. And, you probably due have a Shaker system (which generated a lot of heat just from the radio/CD/Sirius output…)
      So give the “hard reboot” procedure that I outlined a try… sometimes it helps revive the system. But having the correct operating software would be very important as well…

  16. I have a 2015 Ford Focus Hatchback. On Saturday morning when I was on my way to class the phone/sync/voice was working fine. I would push the button and say “PHONE” and then it would give the standard answer. I would then say a name from my phone book and it would dial that person.

    When I got out of class and was on my way home I went through the same process. When I would say “Call John Smith” it comes up and says you can say, “You can say call a phone number, call John Smith, or dial a number.” It’s not recognizing my contacts list anymore for some reason. What is the fix?

    • I would recommend deleting Sync from your Bluetooth list on your phone, then completely power off your phone. While that’s going on, remove your phone from the Sync system. Then completely power off your vehicle. Turn your phone back on. Turn your vehicle back on. Let them both completely boot back up (takes a few minutes), and then Pair the devices back together. Everything should work fine.

  17. I have a 2011 Ford Fusion and a Samsung G7 Just started with when I try to make a call the car says ” the contact in the phone book is not available”
    I deleted the phone book and reinstalled it. and checked it is there. the sar still does the same thing.

    • Please delete your phone from the Sync System Settings.
      Delete Sync from your phone’s System Settings.
      Power off your phone completely and after a minute or so, reboot your phone.
      Now, pair your phone again to the Sync system, this time watch your phone’s screen… Samsung phone will have at least two screen appear during the phonebook download procedure. You MUST select the option on your phone “Always Connect” and/or “Always Allow Access.” Otherwise your phonebook will only be accessible by Sync for the first time your pair the phone.
      Also, be sure that your contacts are saved to the phone and not to a SIMM card. Sync cannot access number stored at that security level on your phone.

  18. I have a 2013 F-150 with the MyFord Touch and am using an iPhone 6. I am having trouble with incoming calls. When a call comes in, I push the answer button on the steering wheel and the call pops up, but I can not hear the caller. I can push the audio button on the iPhone and it shows that sync is selected. If I select the phone option and then reselect the sync option, I can hear the caller through the truck speakers.

    Thanks for your help!

    • A couple of things I would try…
      First, be sure you are registered at support.ford.com to see if you have the latest Sync software installed.
      Then, delete your phone from the Sync system.
      Delete the Sync connection on your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
      Check to see if you have Airplane Mode turned on on your phone, if so, turn it off.
      Completely power down your phone for a few minutes.
      Completely power down vehicle.
      Power up your phone.
      Turn your vehicle back on. Let it run for a few minutes in Park.
      Pair the hone back to your system.
      Have someone call your phone to see if it works properly.
      Still going straight to “Privacy Mode?”
      Then try this…
      Push the Phone button on your steering wheel to answer a call.
      Then press the MENU button and scroll by pressing the SEEK (double arrow button) button on the radio display until you see PRIVACY on the center console screen.
      Then select OK. PRIVACY ON? then appears on the radio display.
      Use the SEEK button to change options. Select “No” then press OK again to confirm your selection.
      This should bring the call back to the vehicle’s microphone and speaker system.
      Also, go to your Settings, to General, to Accessibility, and check to see if you have earpieces, headphones or other devices “ahead” of your system.

  19. I have a 2012 Escape, I set up the phone connection, but when I tried to call someone it will only call the first person listed in my contact. For example, I wanted to call my contact “Julie” and that is how it is listed in my phone and the voice command responded “Calling Dot” and called the first person in my contact list whose name is “Abbie”. I tried testing different names and even tried calling by a phone number and every time it responded “Calling Dot” and kept calling the same contact, “Abbie”. I can’t find a connection in those names to come up with a reason as to why it’s happening, and I definitely haven’t found a solution. Has anyone had something similar happen or have an idea of what to try?

      • Thanks! I deleted any emojis and extra symbols in my contacts. I restarted my phone and deleted the old and re-downloaded the updated phonebook to my car. But now when I go to use the call feature it is saying “No Work Number. Call Dot on Other”. Have you heard of a solution for this problem?

        • Yes, this is an extension of the original issue. There is something in your contacts list that cannot be interpreted by the Sync contact cataloging protocol. For example, I’ve seen people put in listings such as:
          AAAA-Bob
          BFFF-Julie
          Sophie:)!
          Jones, Bob & Julie
          So excessive punctation, symbols, etc. can still mess things up.
          Also, when you save a contact’s number and your phone’s default is to place it in the “Home” category, but when you say “Phone” and the system responds, “Phone” and you ask for Julie Ones on Cell and the system wants to ask “Multiple contacts found, say 1 for Home, 2 for Mobile, 3 for work.”
          So you may have to clear your phone from your Sync System Settings, Bluetooth Devices, and do clear Sync from the Phone once again.
          By the way, what type of phone, what operating system, and what kind of Sync system do you have?
          One thing I’ve noticed.. you referred your contacts with one name only, such as “Julie” or “Abbie.” I know it’s sound weird, but if you put in first names only into your phone book into the first name slot. And, if in your phone settings you have your phonebook organized with First Name/Last Name… then your Sync system can’t locate any last names… this could be causing the problem. You would need to do more complete name listings in your phone’s contact list.

          • I have an IPhone 5s which is updated with the most recent ios. I am not sure how to find out what Sync version I have, everything in the manual just says “Sync” and not “Sync 2” or “3”. So possibly the first version? I downloaded an update onto a USB, but I can’t figure out how to make it download in my car. I’ve tried to Sync USB through the media menu and that didn’t work, I also tried to “Install Applications” through system settings and that also did not work. But to go back really quick, I added last names where needed and made sure all symbols were erased from contact names. I tried re-syncing my phone with my car and is still saying “No Work Number. Calling Dot” no matter if I say to call a name or number. By the way, thanks for all your advice- I appreciate it.

  20. Hi, our Sync has worked fine with our phones until we had the car serviced last week. Now when we try to dial a contact via voice commands it responds ” The requested contact is currently unavailable in the phone book – contact ford service”. This is the same for all three phones paired. I have deleted all of them and added again, but same problem.

    Is there a quick fix to this, or do I need to go back to service?

    • Here is a question… did you recent service job have any part of the repair process involve completely removing both the battery cables?
      Elsewhere in this blog I write about a process I call the “hard reboot.” This is turning off the vehicle, opening the hood and loosening and pulling off the black (negative pole) side battery cable clamp for a few minutes. Then reattaching it to the battery and retightening the clamp. This specifically resets the Sync components (and a few other things).
      Sometimes, for example, when you get your old battery replaced with a new battery, this “undoes” a lot of settings on the Sync system.
      I would recommend deleting the phone(s) from your Sync system.
      Deleting the Sync system from your phone.
      Completely power down the phone(s).
      Do the hard reboot…
      Start up the vehicle and let it run in Park for a few minutes.
      Then power up the phone(s).
      Pair the devices again…
      then everything should work.
      Otherwise, I would visit the Service Department again…

  21. Hello,

    my Sync3 doesn’t not recognise all my contacts in the telephone list on the screen, however all the names are all recognised in receiving sms’es.
    how can this be solved ? it is frustating when driving and you want to make a phone call. Ford Belgium can’t/won’t help me….
    cellphone Motorola G3.

    • I think the issue is how your phones can store its contacts. You have two levels of contact storage. One level is on a SIMM card – a “hidden” level. Contacts saved to this level cannot be “found” or “accessed” using voice commands with Sync. The other level is on the phone – the visible level.
      Try this to save one, some or all of your contacts to the phone…
      From a Home screen, tap the Apps icon (located at the bottom).
      Tap Contacts.
      Tap the Menu icon (located in the upper-right).
      Tap Import/export.
      Tap Import from SIM card.
      Tap the account to save the contact to (e.g., Phone, Google, etc.).
      Tap (check) the desired contact(s) then tap Import (located in the lower-right).
      To select all contacts, tap Select All (located in the lower-left).
      Tap OK.
      Tap OK to confirm.

  22. Hi thx for your advice.
    now I don’t ahve any contacts anymore on my sim card, there are all on my google account.
    but still no transfer of the contacts to the sync3.
    I think I have a phone of which sync3 is not compatible…. i found it in their guidelines… what a step backwards for me. In my Volvo the system takes all contacts… does anyone knows when Ford will adapt this problem with the sync 3 with an update…? this is not a professonial base to work with… I’m driving an s-max 2017 business plus package….

    • First of all, did you transfer contacts to the Google account?
      If so, did you completely power down your phone?
      Did you delete Sync from your phone and your phone from Sync?
      Did you pair the devices again?

      Yes, I understand that some phones are somewhat compatible or just don’t work well with the Sync system. The reality is… the phone manufacturer often makes phones with limited functionality (to keep costs down) thus making them non-compatible with Sync. The phone manufacturer is the one that should be making a device compatible to the Sync 3 system.

      If you are in the UK contact Ford ONE CALL Customer Services at Phone Number 02035644444. If you are international, contact them at +442035644444

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