Is your Android-based smartphone acting up on the Ford Sync system? Today’s workshop and lessons will focus on the Android phone when used with Ford’s Microsoft Sync system.
The Ford Microsoft Sync system works well with most phones. However, if some phones, like the Android-based Samsung, HTC or even the Blackberry phones, need to be “paired” correctly. If paired incorrectly some Android-based and Blackberry cell phone will not download their phone books — making it impossible to “call” out a name to the Sync system. Also, the calls may randomly drop or the phone might randomly switch into “Privacy Mode.”
If you have already paired your phone, then you need to do a “Clean Pairing.” Begin by starting your vehicle, turning on your radio and your phone. Go to the Phone Menu (displayed on the LED screen in the center stack or on the Touch Screen navigation window). Use the tuning knob (or touch screen) to select System Settings, Bluetooth Devices, Delete Device. Select your phone, and then push the OK button on steering wheel or dash to delete it. Then go to the phone, to its Settings folder, Bluetooth Settings, Connected Devices, and then “delete” the phone.
As an added measure, turn your vehicle off, and raise the hood. Then loosen and pull the black battery cable clamp assembly off the battery post for about a minute. Then replace it and retighten it. Close your hood and return to the vehicle. Turn it on. Let it run for about 5 minutes. Then turn the vehicle off, and open the door to make sure everything is powered down. Then restart the vehicle. Some people have been trying to pull the Sync fuse from their vehicle’s fuse box, this process accomplishes the same effect, and its easier. This procedure signals your vehicle to “reboot” from factory specs and it refreshes the system. It may require you to rest your clock and to check preset radio station selections.
This completes the initial part of the “Clean Pairing” process.
Now, to “Pair” a phone for the first time, to add a new Bluetooth device, or to continue the “Clean Pairing” process, now go to the Phone Menu, System Settings, Bluetooth Devices, Add Bluetooth Device, then push OK to begin pairing and the system will come back with a 6-digit PIN. For those of you with the LED screen on your center console, turn the tuning knob until it says Special PIN, hit OK, and it usually comes up with “0000” (or the alternate”1234”). Then go to your phone, to the Settings, Bluetooth Settings, and push Add Device. When it recognizes the Sync system, it may initially say something like “Handsfree device.” Wait until it shows “Sync.” Then then tap the Sync button on the phone. Usually, after a few seconds, it will come back and prompt you to enter the PIN number. Enter the “0000” (or the “1234” number) and then push Pair on the phone. For those with the Touch Screen NAV system, you have to use the 6-digit PIN. Some Android smartphones assume the PIN is “0000” and enters those numbers automatically.
Be sure to watch, some Droids come back with a sub-menu that asks you if you want to always recognize the Sync/Bluetooth connection, select “Always On” and tell it OK. The Sync system will then ask if you want to make this the Primary Phone, push OK on the steering wheel or console. Tell it OK on the 911 Assist. When it asks to Download Phonebook, now you can push OK, and OK again, and it will download the phone contacts. It may take the system a few minutes to index all of the contacts in your cell phone’s phone book.
The 6-digit PIN gets an Android or Blackberry phone confused so the Phonebook does not download completely, or at all. The 6-digit PIN works fine with the Apple iPhone. Using the 4-digit PIN corrects that and it seems to hold the Bluetooth signals better so it doesn’t drop calls or shift back into Privacy Mode.
Be sure to register an account on Ford’s SyncMyRide website. This site is a resource for all Sync users and has a wealth of resource information and videos. Check to see if there are any software upgrades. If you want to upgrade, use a clean USB jump drive and follow instructions to download the update from the website. A common problem with outdated Sync software is to have the random switch to Privacy Mode. Sometimes if it seems the vehicle’s Sync microphone cannot “hear you.” This is usually due to out-dated Sync software. Once a week, be sure to power down your phone and then restart it. Also, from time-to-time, be sure the firmware on your phone is current and up-to-date.