Ford introduces new Sync 3 system for some 2016 models

In 2015 Ford will bring a new, redesigned easier-to-use Sync system, and phase out the MyFord Touch system now in use.

In 2015 Ford will bring a new, redesigned easier-to-use Sync system, and phase out the MyFord Touch system now in use.

By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

Ford will introduce a new communications and entertainment system called Sync 3 on some 2016 models, and more will come on line in 2017.

Sync® 3 promises to reduce on-screen complexity, offer easier-to-use voice commands and changes to the control options for users. This new approach brings the Sync system in-line with typical smartphone commands and usage features.

Additionally, the new system will drop the Microsoft partnership and move to the Blackberry QNX system. A new Texas Instruments system-on-a-chip will bring noticeably improved response and processing times.

So the promise of Sync 3 is to offer faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more intuitive smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface to help Ford customers connect and control their smartphone on the road.

Initial photos and videos showing the new system reveals that the new system understands more conversational voice commands and allows functionality more like a tablet or smartphone.

Ford will also offer seamless integration of AppLink™ for a simple way to control smartphone apps.

Plus they will offer the addition of Siri EyesFree capability for iPhone users.

Also you’ll be able to get over-the-air software updates using Wi-Fi – which will allows easier updates.

Finally, it will offer enhanced 911 Assist® that provides subscription-free emergency calling in the event of a significant accident.

The Ford Sync system was first introduced eight years ago – the same year the iPhone was introduced.

Ford’s new SYNC® 3 system is a communications and entertainment system that is faster, more intuitive and easier to use with enhanced response to driver commands. SYNC 3’s more conversational voice recognition technology, a more smartphone-like touch screen and easy-to-read graphics will help millions of drivers connect with their lives and control their smartphone while on the road.

The next-generation system builds on the capability of SYNC technology already in more than 10 million SYNC-equipped vehicles on the road globally. With the earlier versions, some users just weren’t getting the most out of the system. Many claimed the system was impossible to use, but maybe the real issue is that some users were familiar with smartphone commands and those commands didn’t create the same results on the Sync system.

“Ford is delivering an easier way for customers to stay connected,” said Raj Nair, Ford chief technical officer and group vice president, Global Product Development. “SYNC 3 is another step forward in delivering connectivity features customers most want, and they tell us this kind of technology is an important part of their decision to buy our vehicles.”

Ford took a customer-centric approach in developing SYNC 3, drawing on 22,000 customer comments and suggestions, plus insights gleaned from research clinics, market surveys and tech industry benchmarking.

Since there are multiple Microsoft-based platforms that have been offered throughout the Ford system for many years, it is unclear if the older systems could be updated. Most likely, Ford customers will have to buy a new vehicle to get the newest infotainment system.

Ford is delivering MyFord and MyFord Touch Sync system currently. With the roll out of 2016 models (later in 2015), the new Sync 3 system will be available. Look for more stories in the next few months that will focus on this new system.

Maintenance Workshop: Tips for Best Performance

To get the best performance from your Ford Sync system, sometimes you just need to do some "maintenance."

To get the best performance from your Ford Sync system, sometimes you just need to do some “maintenance.”

By Vincent Hennigan
Ford Sync Specialist

Android phones are growing in popularity and sometimes Ford Sync users should use a maintenance workshop for the best performance.

Sometimes Android phones just aren’t “paired” correctly from the beginning. This could distort the Bluetooth connection over time and this could result in poor performance. Just like a home or office computer, a Sync owner needs to sometime to “maintenance” to keep their Sync system running properly.

If your Sync system doesn’t operate well, then you may need to do a “Re-Pair” procedure (also called “Clean Pairing.”). This is a multi-step process for clearing out your former Bluetooth connection and reestablishing a fresh connection.

First, if you haven’t registered for a free account at the support.ford.com website, then do so, Visit the site for ongoing information and to verify if you need a software update.

Here is multi-step process for on-going maintenance of your Sync hands-free system.

1. Start the “Re-Pair” Process by deleting device(s) from your phone:

Go to your phone Settings and turn Bluetooth On 

Under Bluetooth settings, choose Discoverable, and look for “Trusted Devices”

If you see an icon or tab that says “Sync,” then tap the circle icon or the gear icon to the right and then tap “forget Device” or “Unpair Device.”

Now, completely power down your phone for several minutes.

2. Continue the “Re-Pair” Process by deleting device(s) from your Sync System:

Push the “Phone Icon” on your steering wheel, on a center console button (if equipped), push the “Phone” button on the MyFord system, or tap the upper left corner of the MyFord Touch system.

This brings up the “Phone Menu” on your Sync display console.

Use the Tuning Knob (if equipped) or the Up/Down arrows to move through the Topics.

Go to System Settings, then push OK (on the steering wheel or on the console).

Now scroll through the menu to find Bluetooth Devices, push OK

Go through menu to select Delete Devices, push OK

Find your phone’s name (or model number), push OK

The system will say “Confirm Delete,” push OK.

Go to the menu, select “Return,” push OK.

Now select “Add Bluetooth Device” from menu and push OK.

Turn on your handset phone. Let is completely power up.

The Sync voice will say, “Push OK to begin pairing a device.” Push OK.

The Sync system will display a 6-digit PIN, on most phones this is what you will use. On Android-based phones, go to Step 4.

3. Pairing the iPhone and most phones.

Go to your phone’s “System Settings” (usually in the App with the gears, or in the “Toolbox” or “Connectivity” folder.)

Turn on Bluetooth (if it’s not already on).

Go to the Trusted Devices/Add Device area.

If you do not see a “Sync” tab, then pus “Scan for Devices.”

When you see a tab that says “Sync” then tap that, a secondary screen appears. Enter the 6-digit PIN displayed on the vehicle’s console. On some newer models, the Sync system will send a new number that matches on already received on your phone. Push OK, Accept or Connect on your console and on the phone.

4. Pairing the Android-based phone.

For Samsung Galaxy and other Samsung phones, for HTC, LG and other Android-based phones, then do this:

When you see the 6-digit PIN displayed on the console, then use the Tuning Knob (or Up/Down Arrows) to select “Special PIN,” push OK.

“0000” will appear on your console, now go to your phone’s System Settings.

Turn on Bluetooth (if it’s not already on).

Go to the Trusted Devices/Add Device area.

If you do not see a “Sync” tab, then push “Scan for Devices.”

When you see a tab that says “Sync,” then tap that. When a secondary screen appears and enter the “0000” PIN. On some newer models, the phone will automatically accept the “0000” PIN without having to input it.

Push OK, Accept or Connect on your console and on the phone.

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

5. The Connection Process

After entering the PIN (as described above), the Sync system will “find your phone.”

Android-based phones may chirp, or sound an alarm, and you will be a screen on your phone momentarily.

Be sure to tap to check the box that says “Always Connect.” Then push the “pair” button on your phone for the MAP access, PBAF access screen, or other access protocol screens.

Your console will show questions, such as “Set as Primary Phone?” Push OK twice.

Set “911 Assist to ON” push OK twice.

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”.

On the MyFord Touch system, a single screen will appear with the multiple questions. Tap the screen to select and accept your choices.

After a few moments (sometimes up to two or three minutes) the console screen will show “Phonebook Downloaded.”

Then the screen may show “Phone Redial.” If so, push the hold the Phone icon on the steering wheel for about five seconds and let go.

The console screen should now be clear, or defaults back to the radio or media playing on your Audio system.

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

To Make a Call

Push the “Voice” button or the icon with the “mouth and soundwaves” on it to get the tone and the voice will say “Sync, state your command.”

Say Phone, and the system should respond with “Phone, state your command.”

Then say, “Call + (a contact name and device)” from your phone’s Contacts list.

The Voice will respond with “Calling (your contact name and device).

Or say, “Dial.” Then the Sync system will respond with “Number please.”

In a normal tone and pace say the complete 10-digit phone number.

The Voice will repeat the number (and show it on the console screen).

If OK, say “Dial“, after you hear the Sync tone.

If the Sync System does not respond with the correct information, then press and hold the Phone icon for a few seconds. Release the phone icon and press the “Voice” button again to start the process again.

To Answer an Incoming Call

Give the Phone icon on the steering wheel a quick push.

Or, you can also:

On a MyFord System, you will see on your center console screen the Called ID number or name, plus the words “Accept” and “End.” Push the appropriate button underneath to Answer the call, or to “Reject” the call.

On a MyFord Touch screen, you will see the Called ID and a box with a green phone that says “Accept” or “Answer.” Or a box with a red phone that says “Answer, End or Reject.”  Push the appropriate box to either answer or reject the call.

Rejected calls are sent to your phone’s voice mail.

When finished with a call, press the hold the Phone icon on your steering wheel for about five seconds and release. Or, with the MyFord or MyFord Touch systems you can push the “End Call” button on the console.

Troubleshooting Tip:

If the Sync system is still not working, and if your MyFord Touch screen isn’t displaying properly, then you need to review this video to do a “Master Reset.”

If the Sync system is still not working, then you can try this “hard reboot” process.

Park your vehicle. Turn it off and remove the key from the ignition.

Open the hood. Locate the car battery. Please be careful, do not touch both the positive and negative poles at the same time. Do not drop a metal tool across both of the poles. This could result in a electric shock and/or a fire. So please be careful! Or, if you prefer, visit your Ford dealership Service Department for assistance.

Use the correct-sized wrench (could be an 8 or 10 mm size), a socket wrench, or an adjustable wrench to loosen the black battery cable clamp. This is the battery pole marked with the “-“ (negative) sign. Just a few turns of the nut should loosen the cable clamp.

Twist and pull the entire battery cable clamp off of the battery and keep it off for about five minutes.

Now reattach the battery cable clamp and retighten the nut. Now close the hood.

Start the vehicle and let it run for at least three minutes or so. The radio may start on the AM band and the clock may have reset itself to noon. Let the Sync have a few minutes to “reboot” before going to your vehicle settings and resetting the time. Just push the FM radio buttons to get back to your favorite radio channel.

In some cases, you may want to do the complete “re-Pair” or “clean pairing” process again (the steps listed above).

Ford Sync Bluetooth Troubleshooting Tips

Ford Sync relies on a good Bluetooth connection to operate. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

Ford Sync relies on a good Bluetooth connection to operate. Here are some troubleshooting tips.

From time to time, Bluetooth signals get scrambled and this causes system problems. Here are troubleshooting tips to help solve the most common problems.

Ford Sync is not a subscription-based system.  If there is a bad connection it’s not because your subscription ran out. Basically the major issues are caused by loss of, or a corrupted, Bluetooth signal; a phone software or firmware issue; a driver’s misuse of the system; a cellphone carrier or network issue; or, rarely, a software or hardware issue with the Sync system in the vehicle.

Your phone is basically a hand-held computer and your Sync system works on a computer-based system. Both communicate with each other using a communication technology called Bluetooth. Both of these systems need to be reviewed to see where a connection issues are.

For reference, please visit support.ford.com – this website is your on-line resource for information about Sync and other Ford technology. Register your vehicle to set up your own personal, complimentary account. This is the site you would visit for future software updates.

First, completely power down your phone. Turn it off and keep it off for about five minutes. It is best to do this before you get in the vehicle and start it up. It is recommended to completely power down your phone at least once a week. Always check to see if your phone’s operating system has all of the current updates.

Once your phone has powered back up, go to the Settings on your phone to make sure the Bluetooth connection is turned on. Check your “Trusted Devices” list to see if Sync is on the list. If it shows “Sync” and “Not connected” that’s because your phone recognizes the Sync connection and is waiting for your vehicle to be turned on before it links up with the Sync system.

Go to your vehicle and start it up. Within a few minutes your Sync system will connect to your phone. On the MyFord Touch system you will see the name or the model number of the connected device displayed in the upper right corner of the center console screen. Other Sync systems will show an oval Bluetooth symbol to show that it has connected to a phone.

With your vehicle running and your phone (with Bluetooth connection on) now try to see if the Voice commands (using the steering controls) work. See this short video to be sure you are using the hands-free calling process correctly.

Sometimes the issue is how you are speaking to the Sync system, see this video for more info.

Next, if the Sync system reports back “No Phone Found” then it cannot recognize your phone and it may need to be “paired” again to the Sync system. If necessary, go to the Sync system settings and check to see which devices are “recognized.” You may need to “connect” a phone back to Sync to establish the Bluetooth connection.

Click on this video link for a short video on “clean pairing” a phone to the basic Sync system.

Click on this video link for a short video on “pairing a device to MyFord Touch.”

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.

If the Sync system is still not working, and if your MyFord Touch screen isn’t displaying properly, then you need to review this video to do a “Master Reset.”

If the Sync system is still not working, then you can try this “hard reboot” process. Park your vehicle. Turn it off and remove the key from the ignition. Open the hood. Locate the car battery. Please be careful, do not touch both the positive and negative poles at the same time. Do not drop a metal tool across both of the poles. These things could result in a electric shock. So please be careful. Use the correct-sized wrench (could be an 8 or 10 mm), a socket wrench, or an adjustable wrench to loosen the black battery cable clamp. This is the battery pole marked with the “-“ (negative) sign. Just a few turns of the nut should loosen the cable clamp. Twist and pull the entire battery cable clamp off of the battery and keep it off for about five minutes. Now reattach the battery cable clamp and retighten the nut. Now close the hood. Start the vehicle and let it run for at least three minutes or so. The radio may start on the AM band and the clock may have reset itself to noon. Let the Sync have a few minutes to “reboot” before going to your vehicle settings and resetting the time. Just push the FM radio buttons to get back to your favorite radio channel.

In some cases, you may want to do the complete “re-Pair” or “clean pairing” process again.

Now everything should be working. Yes, it may seem like a lot of things to check, but the phone and the Sync system are computers. Computers need to be powered down and reset or rebooted from time to ensure that everything is working properly.

If things are still not working, then the issue could be the phone, the phone software and or its operating system. This may require a visit to your phone store or service provider. As mentioned, if all of the above troubleshooting techniques have been checked and the system is still not working, then please visit your Ford dealership Service Department. On new vehicles any Sync repair issues may be warranted for several years, ask your Ford Service Advisor for more details.

Making and Receiving Calls with your MyFord system

The standard right-side steering wheel controls for a basic Ford Sync system.

The standard right-side steering wheel controls for a basic Ford Sync system.

The whole idea is to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel… with that in mind, the MyFord and basic Sync systems have well-placed controls on your steering wheel’s right-hand side that you use along with your voice to make and receive phone calls. Here are some pointers to help you get started with this system…

When you take delivery of your new vehicle, be sure to have your salesperson “pair” your Bluetooth-enabled phone with your Ford Sync system. If you need a video reference, please refer to one of these short self-help videos:

Ford SYNC – Pairing Your Phone

The iPhone and Ford SYNC

The Android phone and Ford SYNC

The Blackberry and Ford SYNC

Have your phone turned on, and Bluetooth on, when you get in your vehicle and start it up.

To Make a Call

With your vehicle turned on, go to your steering wheel, right-hand side.

Push the “Voice” button – this is the left side of the button. This is the one with the profile of a face with sound coming from the mouth. When you’ve pushed this, you will hear a single tone come from your vehicle’s sound system.

It will be follow by the “Voice” that will say, “Sync, state your command.”

Give a Voice Command – The system is then awaiting a voice command and it will want to hear vocal commands such as “Phone,” “Bluetooth Audio,” “USB,” or, if you are equipped with a MyFord Touch system, you can designate a mode such as “Audio,” “Navigation,” or “Climate.”

The right-side of this two-sided button is called the “Media” button. The purpose of this button is to switch your audio system through anyone of the available mediums: such as, AM radio, FM radio, Sirius satellite radio (if equipped), the CD player, Bluetooth streaming audio, USB audio, and more… this is not the button to access SYNC.

Make the right Voice command – When you push the Voice button, listen for the tone. After a single tone, the system will state, “Sync, state your command.” By giving a correct response, such as “Phone,” then the system will respond with “Phone, state your command.”

Then say, “Call (contact’s full name as it appears in your phonebook) on (cell), or at (home, work).”

If correctly stated, the Sync system will respond (for example) with “Calling John Smith on cell.” You will hear the call being made and once the calling party picks up, you will hear them over the system’s speakers.

Although not recommended, you can use your handset to make a call. Once you have dialed it, the sound of the call will be heard over the system’s speakers.

Receiving a call

As you are driving you can receive calls (unless you have turned on the “Do Not Disturb” function (if equipped). If you are listening to the music, an incoming call will cause the music to be muted, then you will hear your phone handset’s ring.

To answer the call – Give a quick push on the button with the Phone icon (located on the lowest level of your right side of the steering wheel with the Phone icon). Within a second or so the active (in process) call will be heard over the vehicle’s sound system. Speak normally and use the steering wheel volume controls or your console’s volume knob to adjust the sound you hear from your sound system.

When you are finished with the call – Push and HOLD the same phone icon on the steering wheel for about five seconds and then release. The music will return to the previous volume setting.

The system will display the contact name (if applicable) or the calling phone number as the incoming call is ringing.

To reject a call – Just push and HOLD the phone icon for several seconds and your display will show “Call Rejected.” Your incoming call will go straight to your phone’s voice mail.

If you have additional questions, please contact your sales representative  or one of the your dealership’s Sync Specialists. Or you can obtain online support anytime on the internet at support.ford.com

MyFord Touch Problems? Use this “Reboot” Workshop…

Here’s a procedure to help correct some problems with the MyFord Touch system.

Since the MyFord Touch introduction in 2011, some Ford owners have experienced problems. This workshop offers a way to reboot and reset the system.

This is a general system “reboot.” This procedure varies from what is suggested in the Owner’s Manual, but it accomplishes the same thing. Both procedures require the owner to open things up to remove and replace things… but with this process, it seems a little easier to do.

I work with people every day with the Ford Sync system. I have discovered there are a number of people with issues with their Ford MyFord Touch system. The MyFord Touch was offered in some of the 2011 and 2012 Edge, Explorer and some Focuses. By the 2014 Model Year it is also in the F-150, the Super Duties, C-Max, Mustang, Fusion, and Taurus. The Sync system uses Bluetooth to allow your phone to “project” its functions through the vehicle. Bluetooth is what it is – a low-power short-range way to connect devices wirelessly. Often the system can get out of phase and cause connection problems. Here’s what you can do to set things back to normal…

The “Reboot” Procedure: First, go to your phone’s Settings, to Bluetooth Settings, and delete Sync from the list of connected devices. With your vehicle on and running (in park), go to the Settings tab (in the Phone corner of the MyFord Touch). On the next screen, tap the Bluetooth Devices tab. On the next page, tap the phone tab (usually shows the model number of the phone or the name you have given your phone). On the right side of the screen, touch the Delete tab.

Now, turn your vehicle off, open the hood. Loosen the bolt holding the black battery cable clamp assembly (on the battery’s negative pole). Remove it from the battery for about five minutes. Completely power down your phone for at least a minute. Turn your phone back on. While it’s rebooting, replace the battery cable clamp assembly and retighten the clamp. Close the hood. Continue reading