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.”