It seems like every time Apple issues an update to iOS 8-9.0-9.1-9.2, it creates the Bluetooth blues for car owners for Bluetooth connections for car owners. Apple released iOS 9.2 earlier this week and we are already getting reports of Bluetooth problems with the update. There is good news and bad news for iPhone owners with Bluetooth-enabled cars. We have been able to find some new tips and tricks to help those who can’t get Bluetooth to connect in their cars.
Update 9/06/2016 – On the eve of the iPhone 7 announcement, we warn against jumping the gun on updates your iPhone 5-6S+ when if first comes available due to possible Bluetooth issues.
Update 8/15/2016 – There continues to be Bluetooth issues reported in iOS 9.3.3 and 9.3.4.
Update 5/08/2016 – We discovered some new Bluetooth fixes for problems with iOS 9.3.1 and car infotainment systems.
Update 3/15/2016 – Bluetooth connection problems continued with iOS 9.2.1 Readers who have access to iOS 9.3 beta with Chevy vehicles note that the update does not correct Bluetooth issues.
There is some good news, a Mercedes-Benz owner reported that after the iOS 9.2 update, all her Mercedes’ Bluetooth issues were resolved with all functions restored to pre-iOS 9.0.1 functionality. After the iOS 9.2 update, Siri no longer worked with a BMW or any Bluetooth device, it was fixed by turning off Siri and Google Voice search, then it worked.
There have been numerous glitches with iOS 9.2 have been reported so far:
- After upgrading to iOS 9.2 overnight all of the playlists disappeared.
- Lost calendar data.
- Touch ID issues.
- When the iPhone 5 is connected to USB in the car, a song will play through the USB connection for maybe 1 second and automatically turn off.
- iPhone 5 stopped dialing Google Calendar appointments over Bluetooth.
- 2012 Mazda 3, iPhone 6 with updated iOS 9.2 does not find car Bluetooth while it is searching for Bluetooth.
- Updated iPhone 6 to iOS 9.2., 2012 Dodge Journey’s Uconnect refuses to see the device, there is no Bluetooth phone connection or music player.
- Since the latest update to 9.2, an iPhone 6S will connect via Bluetooth to a 2016 Kia Sorento, but the music will not play. The song shows up on the screen, but no sound comes out of the speaker. The owner has to delete the device off the car and iPhone and re-pair Bluetooth.
- iPhone 6S and Bluetooth pairs to 2014 Subaru Forester but doesn’t remain connected. The owner has to reconnect with each car start. Music will cut off in the middle of songs all the time.
- Bluetooth software does not work properly with a team car and constantly disconnects.
- OS 9.2 update, when driving and connected via Bluetooth, “Facetime Audio” sounds bad, like Darth Vader.
- 2015 Mazda phone connects for audio, music and Pandora. Other apps like Maps do not come through Bluetooth, the car tries to make a connection and disconnects.
- When and iPhone is connected “Subaru BT” Bluetooth device, the driver can hear turn-by-turn directions. However, the iPhone will often automatically switch to a device called “Car Multimedia” that won’t access the maps and then the driver can’t hear directions through the car radio. The workaround is to force the phone to forget “Car Multimedia” and connect to “Subaru BT” which then gives the option for HFP (Hands-Free Profile).
It appears in the first few days of the release of iOS 9.2 there are fewer reports of Bluetooth problems, however, the number of reports may be diminished by so many people going shopping and on vacation. For those who haven’t experienced Bluetooth connection problem with iOS updates, there are three major groups of fixes.
News Creative Fixes
These fixes come from our readers who have been very creative. One 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 phone now works with the car.
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.
Automaker Help or Software Updates
Sometimes contacting your car service provide or a telephone hotline for your automakers does help. Some automakers have released their own software updates.
There are many things that can wrong in an update, therefore, we suggest that first wait until you have the time and also be sure that you need the features in the update. Make sure that you backup your music and data before doing anything. We also suggest that allow plenty of time to pair your iPhone to car Bluetooth connection and play with the settings.
To download the update to iOS 9.2 go to ▸ Settings ▸ Tap General ▸ Tap Software Update. According to Apple’s website, “Devices updated to iOS 9.2 can not be restored to earlier versions of iOS.”
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.
If you have updated to iOS 9.0-9.2 for iPhone 5/5S/5c 6-6+ 6S/6S+ and it fixed or fried your Bluetooth connection 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.
If you look at the official Apple iOS Update 9.2 list of improvements, Bluetooth is not listed anywhere. There are Apple Music improvements, a new Top Stories section in News, Mail Drop, new iBooks features, support for the USB Camera Adapter, email POP account fixes and other minor improvements.
We have a newsletter dedicated to looking for Bluetooth fixes and in-car audio systems, you are welcome to subscribe to that newsletter, weekly news updates or email news when published.