Why iPhone 7 & iOS 10-10.2 Bluetooth issues in cars is déjà vu & some new fixes

bmwbluetoothcompatiblitycehckIt déjà vu all over again for car owners with new iPhones (7 7+) and iOS upgraders to iOS 10 with audio problems.Two years ago, with the release of iOS 8.0 there serious Bluetooth problems that were fixed with various software updates or other means such as the nuke-it fixes. Previous fixes don’t  as well for some, while some have resorted to restoring iOS 10. Some contend it is a GSM interference issue while others say it is a hardware issue with early model iPhone 7 models. This time, BMW acknowledged that there are issues.

Update 7/8/2018: We have compiled a new list of Bluetooth fixes to try and have more models with problems reported by our readers..

The main issues appear to music audio streaming issues, dropped calls and audio dropping out. We were seeing comments from our readers who own BMW, VW, Honda, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Jeep, Cadillac, Volvo, Audi, Mini Cooper, Subaru, Toyota, Lexus, Porsche and Dodge vehicles.

Here are some reports of problems

  • iPhone  5S and VW Tiguan 2011 & VW Jetta 2014, impossible to hang up the call when connected.
  • iPhone 6 to iOS 10.0.2 Phone connects via Bluetooth to Microsoft Sync in 2011 Ford F-150 but cannot hear any audio for either streaming music or phone calls.
  • 2013 Kia Optima drops connection with iPhone 7 and iOS 10 but not iPhone 6 and iOS 10.
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2013 goes into a mode to call the iPhone number.
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee drops call every 30 seconds.
  • BMW 2015 528
  • 2013 Hyundai Elantra has Bluetooth issues with iOS 10.
  • 2013 Kia Optima audio cut out issue.
  • 2016 BMW 228, owner switched out to another iPhone 7 and it didn’t help.
  • 2014 Cadillac SRX, iPhone 7 won’t play music through audio speakers.
  • 2014 Audi SQ5 and iPhone 7 can’t sync contacts.
  • 2011 Hyundai Soanta iPhone 7 iOS 10.1 fails to connect has to re-pair Bluetooth then only works for a day or so.
  • BMW X4 2014.
  • iOS 10 on iPhone SE not working on 2011 Mini Cooper, deletes device and the works for a while.
  • iPhone 7 and the Bluetooth nightmare – it works intermittently, but calls come in on the phone, then switch to the car, and vice versa in BMW 2015 640.
  • iPhone 7 works intermittently via Bluetooth with 2014 BMW, problems with music streaming but still works with iPhone 6.
  • 2010 Volvo S80. iPhone 5s on both 9.3.5 and 10.0. Calls are simply noise.
  • iPhone 6 with iOS 10 many issues interfacing with both 2016 Audi MMI and 2014 Harley Infotainment systems using either USB or Bluetooth, artists and songs don’t appear for music.
  • 2015 Subaru STi iPhone 6 owner has to re-pair each time he starts the car.
  • iOS 10. iPhone pairs with the car audio of Toyota Camry Hybrid 2015 but streams only phone calls not music.
  • iPhone 6 to iOS 10 and won’t pair with Mazda CX-5.
  • 2009 Dodge RAM 1500 Laramie. My U-Connect Alpine Stereo no longer sees my IPhone 5S through Bluetooth.
  • 2017 Ford Escape Titanium with Sync, randomly disconnects Bluetooth then reconnects.
  • Toyota Tacoma 2016 freezes with iPhone 7 but not iPhone SE.
  • 2013 Ford Explorer. Bluetooth works for while, gets choppy, and only Airplane Mode/reconnecting will get audio back to car.
  • 2015 X3 and 2015 M3 both have issues with music player.
  • Phone 7 and Audi A5, deleting device and re-pairing worked.
  • 2016 Scion iM, music plays through iPhone speakers then goes through car speakers.
  • Bluetooth issues with 2015 BMW M4 with a launch day 7+. The Driver river returned that iPhone and for 256 GB iPhone 7+, two days ago and now doesn’t have any problems
  • Problems reported for Toyota Sienna, Porsche Cayenne, 2011 Ford Focus, 2015 Kia K900, BMW i3, Kia Soul, Audi (calls dropping)2013 BMW X5, Lexus GS350, 2016 Honda Civic, Ford Fusion Energi, 2016 Toyota Rav 4, 2012 Acura MDX, 2013 Ford F-150, 2016 Highlander, Land Rover Evoque 2017 and 2013 Lexus.

So far, a possible solution for audio streaming problems is to put the iPhone in airplane mode, and connect with Bluetooth according to one commenter. It appears to be a GSM interference issue. We are trying to figure out if the problem doesn’t occur for non-GSM carriers such as Verizon or Sprint. Therefore when you report problems, please include your wireless carrier.

Possible Solutions

The first fixes are the “nuke-it” fixes which involve deleting settings and starting over again from scratch. These work if the Bluetooth signature has been corrupted during the update process. Updating through Wi-Fi or iTunes seems to help prevent Bluetooth signature corruptions.People have gone as far as disconnecting the car’s battery to get Bluetooth functionality to return.

The next possible fixes are:

    1. Enable Airplane Mode, then turn back on Bluetooth and Wi-FI. The bug for music streaming, reportedly is caused by interference with GSM cellular signals. A reader reports that this works. However, in theory in Ariplaine Mode, you won’t be able to make phone calls.
    2. Disable Handoff on iPhone – launch the Settings app from your Home screen ▸Tap General. ▸Tap Handoff & Suggested Apps ▸Toggle Handoff to Off.
    3. Change Bluetooth Settings– Go to General ▸ Accessibility Car Audio Routing ▸ Select “Bluetooth Headset” instead of the default Automatic.
    4. Delete/Reset the Vehicle’s Bluetooth Settings – we have reports that by removing the fuse for the infotainment unit for a few seconds and then re-pairing the updated iPhones, it then allows the Bluetooth to work again. A variation on this fix is to disconnect the car’s battery for a few seconds to lose the stored data and then re-connect the battery and re-pair the iPhones.
    5. Restore iOS 10 – some believe that iOS 10 was not installed properly on iPhone 7/7+,  restoring iOS 10 through iTunes it may help.
    6. Connect through USB or AUX – for playing music in BMW or other vehicles, you can connect with the AUX adapter or through USB to play music.
    7. Replace iPhone 7 through warranty – we have one report that when a car owner returned the iPhone 7 and received a new one it worked with his car. However previous reports with early iPhone 7 manufacture dates, there was no difference.

The BMW website shows compatibility for only up to iPhone 6S +.

BMW owners who contact support get this message:

“Thanks for contacting the BMW Genius Team regarding the Apple iPhone 7.

We are aware of the concerns you speak of and we are currently working directly with Apple to ensure iPhone 7 compatibility in our vehicles. At this time, the Apple iPhone 7 is not an approved device for our vehicles until testing has completed. We do not currently have an estimated time frame regarding the completion of iPhone 7 testing. Please continue to look for an update from Apple for a new iOS and our update website to help resolve your concerns: www.bmw.com/update. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

If you have updated to iOS 9.0-9.3-10.00 for iPhone 5/5S/5c 6-6+ 6S/6S+ – 7+ 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. It is nice to know your cell phone carrier. We also welcome any solutions you have found worked with your car.

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. We can not send newsletters to Microsoft, Hotmail or MSN email addresses.

50 thoughts on “Why iPhone 7 & iOS 10-10.2 Bluetooth issues in cars is déjà vu & some new fixes”

  1. 2014 BMW X5 w iphone 7. After updating phone to ios10 & subsequent updates to 11..0.3, my music from phone cannot be controlled by my car. This is using usb or Bluetooth. I can play the music from the phone, just cannot interact thru the I drive. I have tried all resets for the phone & it still doesn’t work.

  2. 2014 Ford CMAX. Same issue as many – the bluetooth audio works fine for music, but drops the handsfree after 1-2 minutes, then reconnects after another minute. Rinse repeat. Iphone 7 – worked great with my 6S. Come on Ford and Apple – fix this issue!

  3. 2015 Ford F-150, intermittently intervals b/t “hands free” and my iPhone speaker. The music on my phone, via BT, works pristine. It’s the hands free capability (or inability, rather) which is giving me angst.


  4. Ford transit 2016, iPhone 7+, Change Bluetooth Settings– Go to General ▸ Accessibility ▸Car Audio Routing ▸ Select “Bluetooth Headset” instead of the default Automatic.
    Worked for me, now music plays again over bluetooth.

  5. 2017 Subaru Legacy Limited with the horrible Starlink. Iphone 7 on ios 10.3.1. Phone connects most times, audio player will not. It did for the first week or so I had the car. Now….nope. I’ve done all the tips and tricks I’ve read. No worky.

    • If it were my new car, I’d take it back to dealer or at least call the Subaru tech support. I would also check a with a friend’s Android phone to see if Bluetooth works. I have three different Android phones that all work with my 2013 MY car with no issues.

  6. 2012 Kia Optima. since ios10.3 update when i plug in my iphone 5s i get:
    Music plays for 3 seconds
    Music Stops
    Screen displays “Media Error”
    It then wont reconnect and the iphone is never again available as a media device.

  7. Count me among the many. I have an iPhone 5c running iOS 10.2.1, paired with a VW Tiguan 2013 that I got in November 2016. Phone and the car will both appear to be paired with all the indicators in both the car and the phone indicating a successful pairing, but about half the time there will be no sound when I’m trying to play music or make a call. The volume is on, it is not muted. I have tried hard resets, forgetting and re-establishing the pairing, etc. If I find a fix that works one day, it will not work the next. This is terrible. The point is a hands free device for safe driving but this is a complete failure. Is there a fix? none of the resetting and re-pairing fixes, or the odd secret fixes with hand off or blue tooth headphone or airplain mode I’ve read about online (including here) are solving my problem. This is science, not magic; there has to be a workable repeatable solution out there somewhere, and certainly a known cause.

    Science people! Apply it!

    • The most important thing we recently learned is that Apple is asking iPhone owners to un-pair, remove the device and then re-pair before makking updates. We suspect that there is some kind of corruption in the data or a problem with the Blueooth pairing. The other problem may be some kind of interference with GSM wireless carriers and the Bluetooth signal. Apple has extended it’s beta testing program to work out the glitches. However when I talked to automakers, they told me that Apple charges so much for consulting that they would not be able to sell cars at an affordable rate. Apple makes the product or change and the then the rest of the world is supposed to follow their rules.

  8. I have a 2017 Hyundai Elantra. Bluetooth and CarPlay both worked fine when I got the car in April of 2016. After an update and many more updates hoping the problems would be fixed. I have Verizon and the Bluetooth constantly connects, disconnects and reconnects over and over randomly. Also when plugged in using CarPlay when a new text message arrives and you select it to be read to you it is muted and can’t be heard at all. Although if you had some unread messages before you plugged in the iPhone SE it will read those to you. I’ve contemplated getting an android device instead in hopes the issue would not exist. I’ve tried all the recommend fixes that others say worked for them, but nothing solves the problem. And yes I did get a 2017 Hyundai Elantra in April of 2016. And believe it or not I purchased it because it had CarPlay. Stupid reason, especially now that it hasn’t worked for months.

  9. 2013 HONDA ACCORD- I have an iphone 6 with AT&T service. My bluetooth paired fine with my car almost every time until I updated ios to 10.2.1 just yesterday. Now I’m having similar issues that others have had. Phone will pair with the car initially, play for a minute and then the display in the car will tell me that the bluetooth has disconnected. A few seconds later it will reconnect itself and play again for a few minutes and then disconnect again. Having problems with both phone calls and music. It has to be an issue with the 10.2.1 update because nothing else changed (same phone, same car). One day it worked fine and the day I updated to the new version of ios I started having these problems.

  10. Since updating to IOS 10.2.1 with Verizon the voice commands no longer work in my 2012 Toyota Camry and I can listen to songs on my iPod but I can’t fast forward or reverse to a different song.

  11. 2015 BMW 528i, iPhone 6, AT&T running iOS 10.2. I seem to have the opposite of what others have problems with. My phone works fine thru the Bluetooth but audio doesn’t play at all. Whether it’s connected thru BT or via USB, it won’t play from the screen. I have to hit “play” from my phone to get the music to play. I’ve re-paired and hard rebooted to no avail. Just downloaded the latest BMW software and will update that to see what happens.

    • Update: I hit “Reset Network Settings” and repaired my phone and it worked. BUT the fix didn’t “stick” as the next day when I got in my car, it wasn’t working again. Grrrr….

  12. I have an Audi tts 2016 and the 10.2 update screwed up the entire ablity to play music or listen to my GPS on waze, nice apple, nothing like taking a dump on your customer base.

  13. 2014 Subaru Impreza – sound is ok but you have to reconnect each time you enter the car despite the fact it remains paired.

  14. 2015 Subaru Forester + iPhone 6+ with OS 10.2 + Verizon
    Phone calls (both incoming & outgoing) will not play through Bluetooth. When call goes through, there is complete silence on car system. Audio must be switched back to phone or speaker before call can be heard. I’ve deleted & re-paired but it still didn’t work. So Hands-off system is useless making for unsafe situation. Bluetooth streams music from iTunes ok. GPS connects with Bluetooth intermittently.

  15. 2016 iPhone 7 Plus and Verizon. 2013 Toyota Avalon. First bluetooth call always works and pairs fine. Oftentimes future bluetooth calls don’t go to bluetooth but go to some other mode instead (like a regular phone to ear method). Need to click on bluetooth mode on phone to get the call to switch to bluetooth (which is super super inconvenient) iOS 10.2

  16. iPhone SE running 10.2, O2 network (U.K.). Audi A5. Paired ok and picks up Bluetooth connection when I start engine. Randomly drops connection after say half hour. Incoming alerts mistaken for calls, says phone is connected, interrupts music, not possible to disconnect phone without physically rebooting it.

  17. Bluetooth calls were working fine without any issues until I changed my phone to iphone 7 (IOS – 10.2), with iphone7 the calls disconnect from the car system and connects back after a while, this happens once or twice for each call, this is really annoying, I shouldn’t have bought iphone 7, old models were the best !!!

  18. I’m from Brazil and I have an iPhone 6 and Honda HRV16. I did the update from iOS to version 10.2. Since then, Bluetooth no longer automatically connects to Honda HRV’s automotive sound, as it did previously. Also, you can not find a JBL sound box. I did all the tests suggested in the discussion forums (disconnect, forget devices, reset to network settings) except reset to factory settings.

    Reading the comments, I found suggestions of problems with operators in some countries, which could be causing the fact. My mobile operator is TIM (Brazil) and I modified the SIM Card to one of the mobile operator VIVO (Brazil). After the change, the problem was solved. I conclude that the problem is between the mobile operator and Apple, when the latter left the carrier incompatible with iOS 10.2.

    Detail: Whenever the mobile device is in airplane mode or out of area and has a signal return, Bluetooth automatically connects.

  19. Ford Focus 2015 & Iphone 6S
    As with Toyota above head unit on start up shows call being made but the reality is no cal being made by phone!!
    I found that if you go to phone on head unit & cancel handsfree it restores back to normal & you can make & receive calls.
    Some minor issue with music sync by Bluetooth but in the main ok!
    Just gone to IOS 10.2 will come back n let you if it’s worked

  20. Frequent drop out of BT in my Lexus LS and new iPhone 7 Plus. Nothing worked to fix it yet. Got 10.2.1 beta today. Will see if thats helpful.

  21. 2011 Toyota Highlander with iPhone 6 on 10.1. Toyota system automatically shows “Connected” to phone when you first start the car. No call, no audio, just the Toyota system showing “Connected” with no calls or music. Cannot “disconnect” phone. Have to turn off BT and turn it back on and only sometimes does it restore the system on the first try. Have not tried removing the device but may try that now. We are on the Verizon network.

  22. iPhone 6s + updated to latest IOS version – no names on incoming calls, just numbers, on 2013 Highlander – tried everything stated above except disconnecting the car battery – nothing works! This may be my last iPhone – sick of thus!!!

    • Forgot – I’m on Verizon. Traded 2nd 6s Plus for a 7 (not the Plus) & still doesn’t work. I’m done with Apple

  23. Updated my iPhone 6s to IOS 10 and my speakers in my 2015 Hyundai Genesis no longer work with my phone. I have to use the phone for calls hands free no longer works. Other aspects of the phone work just no audio through speakers for phone calls. My carrier is AT&T.

  24. 2014 BMW F31 with extended Bluetooth – IPhone 6 with iOs10. No voice for incoming calls only, otherwise fine (outbound calls work OK, music both via Bluetooth and USB cable OK too).
    Everything was smooth with iOs9
    I did a hard reset and repaired the phone to the car; it worked for a couple of days, then again went bananas.

  25. So, this past weekend I read that iOS 10.2 beta is resolving this issue for some. I signed up with apple to be a beta tester, installed 10.2 beta3 and since Saturday, my iPhone 7 has stayed paired with my 2011 KIA Sorento. Time will tell.

      • I still am having major issues in Mazda 6 with ios 10.2 beta — music will stop playing 30 seconds into a song and unpair and will not allow to repair again. It’s extremely frustrating.

  26. 2014 Ford Fusion Energi with iPhone 7 plus iOS 10.1.1 with Verizon. Poor and choppy USB and Bluetooth connectivity for music. Phone Bluetooth connection is OK. When I move out of wifi range at home or office, Bluetooth disconnect when wifi disconnects. I have to continually press Play on phone or car the get music back. I am very disappointed with Apple!!!

  27. I have a 2013 Buick Encore with perfectly working iphone connection. Since the Apple 10.1.1 update, my incoming calls go to the handset and have to be manually transferred to the car. I have done everything that Apple has suggested and nothing has worked.

  28. KIA Sorento 2011. BT worked fine with numerous iphones before I purchased the iphone 7 last thursday. Phone works okay once paired but each time I get in the car, I get “connection failed” and have to manually pair the devices each time. Going to try these suggestions and see what happens.

  29. 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. UConnect 730N RHR won’t do BT audio stream from my iPhone 7 w/iOS 10.1 software. I’ve paired and re-paired many times. UConnect acknowledges voice calls and even audio connection; receives audio data over the car speakers from voice calls normally. The issue is my Apple Music files residing on the iPhone’s HD or Cloud as well as Pandora audio or anything else with audio. Audio does not play through the car speakers. Everything “looks” like it’s audio streaming correctly, just no audio through the car speakers. A side note, the iPhone 7’s BT works perfectly with a separate, standalone BT headphone adapter I have.

  30. 2013 Elantra. Will pair and work for random amount of time (1 trip, multiple days) and then refuse to pair after starting car (head unit says pairing failed). Delete pairing on both car and phone. Lather rinse repeat. iPhone 7plus from day of launch on Verizon.

  31. I finally got my iPhone 7 to play thru the USB CABLE. I had to use BMW settings to turn off Bluetooth music, but left the phone part. Works fine. I am using iOS 10.1 beta 5.

  32. 2011 Toyota Camry V6 XLE will not pair for Bluetooth talking with iPhone 7. iPhone 7 will only pair for music playing — no phone calls.

    • My 2010 Venza is the same – the iPhone7+ will bluetooth audio playback but no phone calls. It is interesting to note that my iPhone6+ will connect for both audio playback and phone calls

  33. Toyota Sienta – V 2016, DVD-AVX audio system, update iphone 6 & 5S to IOS10, now the bluetooth audio can only make calls but no longer able to stream music or youtube over the audio system

  34. Toyota Prius 2012 – Audio streeming and incoming call audio over Bluetooth not working. Tried all the fixes mentioned in various sites. Had to rollback to iOS 9.3.5 to get all issues sorted.

  35. Maserati Quattroporte MY2008, Bose Infotainment System, iPhone 6S. To pair the iphone with the system turn Bluetooth off and on when in the car with Infotainment system on. This forces the car system to issue pairing request. Jiri

  36. 2014 Ford Taurus – About 90% of the time when I enter my car it says “Bluetooth Audio Stream Detected”. This started with the update to iOS 10. It doesn’t matter if the phone is hardwired or if I was listening to the radio, it appears as though Bluetooth has taken over the connection

  37. I have a 2016 Land Rover Discovery 4 and an iPhone 6+ with Telstra (Australia) as my carrier. Since updating to iOS 10.0.2 the Bluetooth connectivity to the car has been patchy at best. Display screen starts up repeatedly when trying to connect with phones Bluetooth. Resetting network settings did nothing. Apple not interested unless I restore it to factory settings and leave it like that for a day to see if the issue reoccurs, which is not possible as I can’t be without the phone for a day.

    • with the new advanced technology built into I phone 7-plus older cars I mean 2013-4 cannot connect to Bluetooth. james

  38. 2017 Subaru Forester iPhone 5s Verizon. Since updating iPhone software I have to re-pair my phone every time I start the vehicle. Grrr

  39. I have a 2013 Ford Escape. My iphone 5c is with AT&T. I can make calls with no audio or dropping issues, but when I receive phone calls it drops every time. I don’t know about streaming music issues since I use another device in the USB port.

    • Same exact problem as Ellen in a 2013 Ford Flex with a 6s updated with first 2 revisions to iOS10. Use Verizon mid Atlantic area.

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