We have been following iPhone Bluetooth problems closely and offer some new fixes. As our readers know, there have been constant Bluetooth problems/glitches with iPhones and cars since updating to iOS 8.0 in the fall of 2014 up to iOS 9.3.1. The new fixes include removing special characters, disabling location services, changing Google Maps settings, restoring iOS to its original software while the favorite still is the Nuke-it Fix.
There’s Something Special About Special Characters that Messes with Bluetooth
One of readers revealed an excellent fix that works with people who have GM cars with MyLink, Buick IntelliLink and more. Sometimes, people put special characters in your contacts either on purpose or by mistake. You cannot have any . $ – & @ NO special characters in your contacts at all this includes any emojis in your contacts. When you delete all of these and your phone will sync and voice commands will work. It took our reader three months to figure it out.
Disable Location Services
Another fix if you are having Bluetooth problems with iPhones is to disable the frequent locations feature in iOS that keeps checking for traffic to remind you when to leave for appointments. It could be clogging up the memory and functions of the iPhone causing Bluetooth slowing. Anything that clogs things up including the HANDOFF feature has caused problems.
Step 1: Tap the Settings icon.
Step 2: Tap Privacy > Location Services.
Step 3: Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap System Services.
Step 4: Tap Frequent Locations, then toggle the setting to off.
Our reader found that disabling traffic helper notifications helps Bluetooth problems because it seems to interfere with the audio BT syncing process.
Check Google Maps Play Settings
Another fixes a problem GM vehicles that after Google Maps played a voice direction, the media that was playing in the car would not come back on. In Google Maps navigation. if you have the right setting it will work. After upgrading to 9.3.1 Under Google maps Navigation settings, if you select “Play Voice Over Bluetooth” it does not play over Bluetooth, unless “Play as Bluetooth Phone Call”is slected. Now any audio returns after a Google map audio update.
Turn Off Siri
Sometimes turning off Siri helps with GM model Bluetooth connections.
Reports of iOS 9.3.1 Car Bluetooth Glitches Details
Meanwhile with each update on cars that only a few years old the Bluetooth process continues to fail in cars.
- Our reader with an Honda Odyssey 2013. With every iOS update, Honda’s integration fails more. On the Honda, the owner no longer able to select music, browse the contact directory or perform any other task than calling using the pre-stored shortcuts. Honda does not have updates are available for the Odyssey.
- A reader with a 2015 Silverado reported that his iPhone 5S paired seamlessly until the latest iOS upgrade, now he is unable to pair the device any more.
- A reader with 2012 VW GTI’s Bluetooth worked fine with the iPhone 6+ for almost a year and one day it just quit working.The driver can connect the iPhone just fine, however music doesn’t come out of the car’s speakers.
- There are also problems reported when playing music with iPods in a new 2016 Prius 2.
- A Ford owner report no problems pairing an iPhones.Someone with a 2015 Mustang with Ford Sync and an iPhone 6S+, who tried resetting the iPhone reports that Bluetooth calls are choppy and almost unusable and music from the iPhone to car is choppy, cuts out, and seems to mess up the timing of the music while it is skipping and cutting out. There were no issues at all prior to 9.3 update.
- After iOS 9.3.1 the music will play fine until a phone call, then the music starts up again, it fades in and out. Music was deleted ont he iPhone
- An owner of 2016 Mazda CX-5 noted that hedidn’t have any issues until the latest update 9.3.1 on my iPhone 6+. Bluetooth connectivity cuts in and out, and the auxiliary cable keeps saying it is not supported. After un-pairing the phone, and deleting the settings, it worked for a few hours, but then stopped working again after I had turned off the car for a while.
The Nuke-it Fixes are still your best options for fixes Bluetooth issues, notes one of our readers with a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Uconnect system and an IPhone 4S. After updating to the latest IOS 9.3.1, he was unable to connect to the hands-free mode. He used the steps outlined in the Nuke-It-Fix and it now works fine. Follow it exactly and you should be successful. He tried skipping a couple of steps and it wouldn’t work.
The Nuke-it Fixes
These fixes remove all the settings from the car and the iPhone to start from scratch. Some have gone as far as disconnected the car battery to clear all the settings in the car, too.
1. Reset All Settings – Go to iPhone Settings ▸ General ▸ Reset ▸ Reset all settings.
2. Unpair Phone and Car Infotainment System Rename Phone – Go to iPhone Settings ▸ General ▸ About ▸ Name. Change the name of the iPhone and pair with the car infotainment system again.
3. Reset/Restore Network Settings: Restore all network settings of iOS 9.2 Go to Settings ▸ General ▸ Reset (at the bottom)▸ Reset Network settings. This method also deletes all Wi-Fi and other network settings! If you reset you must re-add all your network settings in iOS.
4. Delete and Start All Over: Delete all Bluetooth devices. See full instructions.
Complete Restore Install Instead of OTA Update Fix
RESTORE using a full 9.3 install rather than an over the air update through iTunes.
- Open iTunes on your Mac or PC.
- Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your computer with the cable that came with your device.
- If a message asks for your device passcode or to Trust This Computer, follow the onscreen steps.
- In the Summary panel, click Restore [device].
- Click Restore again to confirm. Then iTunes erases your device and installs the latest iOS or iPod software.
- After your device restores to factory settings, it restarts. Now you can set it up as new.
Hands Off Handoff Feature
Another fix is the hands off the Handoff feature, just by turning off the HandOff feature some users have been able to connect iPhones to their cars, again. The other new fix is to use the car as “Bluetooth Headset”
Disable Handoff on iPhone- Launch the Settings app from your Home screen ▸Tap General. ▸Tap Handoff & Suggested Apps ▸Toggle Handoff to Off.
Change Bluetooth Settings- Go to General ▸ Accessibility ▸Car Audio Routing ▸ Select “Bluetooth Headset” instead of the default Automatic.
One reader disabled the Handoff, changed the phone from Automatic to Bluetooth routing and did a network reset and the iPhone now works with the car.
Automaker Help or Software Updates
Sometimes contacting your car service provider or a telephone hotline for your automakers does help. Some automakers have released their own software updates.
To make things even more confusing after updating iPhones, Bluetooth turned on by default after the update, draining batteries for people who don’t even use Bluetooth. There are also reports that after iOS 9.3.1, all of Bluetooth pairings disappeared.
There is a new explanation on why there are so many Bluetooth issues with each update. Updating iOS can alter the Bluetooth signature of the Bluetooth device that was used before.
If you have updated to iOS 9.0-9.3.1 for iPhone 5/5S/5c 6-6+ 6S/6S+ and it fixed or fried your Bluetooth issues or music streaming with your in-car infotainment system, please let us know in the comments below, be sure to note your make, model and year of your vehicle. We also welcome any solutions you have found worked with your car.
We have comments from readers that there are still Bluetooth problems reported with BMW, Audi, Acura, MINI, GM(Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, Buick), Honda, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Lexus, Fiat, Hyundai, Chrysler, Acura, Mazda and more. The year and model of your car are very important.
Previously, after talking to many automakers we asked Why Bluetooth iOS 8-8.1 & iPhone 6-6+ issues persist in cars? It seemed like the 8.1 update helped with a few new model cars. Here is a summary of Bluetooth issues and fixes and checkout the most popular nuke-it fixes.
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