Why Bluetooth is Good & Bad in iOS 11 iPhone 6-7-8 Plus & X for Car Owners: Fixes for Honda, BMW, Ford, Chevy & More

AUTO Connected Car News readers know there have been problems with Bluetooth connections and car owners since iOS 8. The good news is that there are some neat new features in iOS 11 such as “Do Not Disturb.” However, many drivers are becoming disturbed when their new iPhones or iOS 11 updates don’t work with their cars.

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.

Bluetooth is supposed to be backward compatible and we may never know why so many Bluetooth problems exist between cars and iPhones. The iPhone 8 series uses Bluetooth 5, which is supposed to  create more reliable and efficient connections. The good news is Bluetooth 5 offers longer range, faster speed, and larger broadcast message capacity, as well as improved interoperability and coexistence with other wireless technologies. However, most cars are still in Bluetooth 4 or earlier.

If the Bluetooth problems from iPhone and cars is based on the glitches in the signature during upgrade, the new version of Bluetooth may or may not help with problems. Let’s look at the some good news for Bluetooth with iPhones and cars first such as new features and then we’ll do some trouble shooting.

Good Bluetooth News

Bluetooth Remembers Where You Parked Your Car

Show Parked Location records when you iPhone disconnects from your car’s Bluetooth, and records the location when it is disconnected. Then the feature then marks where you car is parked on a map (when enabled. So if you are wondering around a parking mall or giant stadium looking for your car, you can find on it on the map.  The Show Parked Location feature, works on iPhones running  iOS 10 or later, and an iPhone 6 or newer.

Do Not Disturb or Distract Feature

Another new feature in iOS 11 which is somewhat Bluetooth related is “Do Not Disturb While Driving.” By default this setting is set to manual and must be activated before enabled.  When the Do Not Disturb is enabled you don’t get messages while driving, text messages receive automatic notification that they’re busy and you can set it for call calls not to go through. How the iPhone knows you are driving is that it detects the Bluetooth connection.

There is a way for messages to get through when “Don Not Disturb” is enabled by marking it “urgent” and it will go through. It may not be good idea to tell friends about the urgent feature, everyone has a different view of urgent. Sometimes they think urgent is to let you know that the pizza is needs pepperoni. The feature blocks incoming calls unless the caller is from your favorites list. You can also let the calls come through as long as it set to allow calls or you can set it only allow repeated calls.

Wireless Charging

Another good news for iPhone 8 and iPhone X is the addition of wireless charging. Wireless Qi charging is available in many new model cars and some a few years old. AUTO Connected Car News has a whole list of cars that come with wireless charging the most popular brands include Toyota, Lexus, GM, Chevy, Honda and BMW.

How to Set Do Not Disturb/Bluetooth Settings

To turn on the feature Open Control Center, then tap the Do Not Disturb button. When Do Not Disturb is on, the Do Not Disturb icon appears in the status bar.

Allow calls to go through: Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. To allow incoming calls from selected groups, tap Allow Calls From. To allow repeated calls to come through for emergency situations, turn on Repeated Calls.

Allow calls and messages from emergency contacts when Do Not Disturb is on. Go to Contacts, select a contact, tap Edit, tap Text Tone or Ringtone, then turn on Emergency Bypass. Or, create a Medical ID and identify an emergency contact. Even if Do Not Disturb is on, calls and messages from your emergency contacts come through.

Schedule quiet hours. Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb, turn on Scheduled, then set the start time and end time for your quiet hours.

Set when to silence iPhone. To set whether Do Not Disturb silences iPhone only when it’s locked, or even when it’s unlocked, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb.

Hey iPhone I’m Not Driving

There is also an “I’m Not Driving” setting to be used the iPhone while you sitting parked in the car. When Do Not Disturb While Driving is set to turn on automatically, it may become activated when you’re a passenger. Tap the Do Not Disturb notification on the Lock screen, then tap I’m Not Driving— or press the Home button, then tap I’m Not Driving.

Easier Disconnect

In iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories but Apple features are still enabled.

Open Control Center and tap . The icon will dim and your iPhone will disconnect from any accessory it’s connected to, except for Apple Watch, Instant Hotspot, Apple Pencil, and Continuity features, like Handoff.

If Bluetooth is turned off, you won’t be able to connect your iOS device to your Bluetooth accessories until:

  • You turn on Bluetooth in Control Center.
  • You connect to a Bluetooth accessory in Settings > Bluetooth.
  • It’s 5 AM local time.
  • You restart your device.

This is a good feature for most people, unless you are driving a 4:00 am in the morning and you forgot to turn on Bluetooth.  If you are having Bluetooth problems always check to see if you shut off Bluetooth accidentally.

Bad Bluetooth Issues with Cars: BMW, Honda, Kia, Ford, Acura, Hyundai, Nissan

We were hoping that Bluetooth issues had stopped with iPhones and cars but it’s deja vu all over again. This time we are seeing problems with newer vehicles.

Here are problems we are seeing reported.

  • Problems with Bluetooth iOS 11 BMW and iPhone after upgrade- voice connections stopping and restarting, no Siri from steering wheel button.
  • Problems with Blueotooth iOS 11 and Honda- pairing and unpairing Bluetooth did not help voice disconnectes nd Siri malfunctions.
  • iPhone is Getting Divorce from Car – it keeps fighting and disconnecting.
  • iOS 2015 Honda CR-V- Bluetooth connection doesn’t work at all.
  • Acura 2015 TLX with Navigation – no Bluetooth connection at all.
  • 2017 Aston Martin DB11 – Bluetooth phone calls not loud enough to hear with iOS 11 and iPhone 8.
  • 2017 Honda CR-V – bad phone call quality after iOS 11 update.
  • 2017 Nissan Rogue, Hyundai, Kia, 2012 BMW, Mazda CX-5 2016, 2014 Fiat – Bluetooth not working after iOS 11 upgrade, no audio music streaming, doesn’t connect to phone book.
  • Sound problems with Ford SYNC 3 Ver. 2.2 -Every time I get in the truck and Bluetooth connects, it raises my ring volume to max.  Ford Sync engineer the new Apple Bluetooth standards in the latest version of Ford Sync per Apple requirements and that’s what is causing the problem- they have no control over it. There is no fix on Ford’s end- it has to come from Apple.

If you go to the Apple Forums and there is Bluetooth problem the support responses tell the car owner to connect to CarPlay via USB—HUGH?  Drivers love Bluetooth because they don’t have to connect.

So far we haven’t seen any problems with GM, Toyota, Scion, Mercedes-Benz, Buick, Chevy or Cadillac vehicles. We are wondering what our readers are experiencing.

Solutions for Bluetooth Problems in Cars with iOS 11, iPhone 6, 7, 8 X Plus & More

AUTO Connected Car News has been on the forefront of helping car owners with Bluetooth problems.  We have hundreds of comments and fixes from our readers.  Google search however lists Apple as the best source for solutions which isn’t working.

Upgraders Beware

Let’s review all the Bluetooth fixes for iOS.  The Bluetooth signature may be lost during upgrading iOS. It may be easier to disconnect and remove all Bluetooth devices before you upgrade and start from scratch and save hours of trouble shooting. Also be sure to update via Wi-Fi or connected to iTunes then there are fewer changes of software uploading glitches.

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   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.

5. Pocket ot Purse Accidental Shut-off: Check to see if you shut off Bluetooth accidentally through an icon, or butt reset it by mistake.

Other Fixes:

    1. Disable Handoff on iPhone – launch the Settings app from your Home screen ▸Tap General. ▸Tap Handoff & Suggested Apps ▸Toggle Handoff to Off. This has worked for iPhone users with multiple devices. Handoff tends to confuse the iPhone and draw resources.
    2. Change Bluetooth Settings– Go to General ▸ Accessibility Car Audio Routing ▸ Select “Bluetooth Headset” instead of the default Automatic.
    3. Change Bluetooth to Automatic Go to settings, General->Accessibility->Call Audio Routing and change to automatic.
    4.  Factory Reset & Restore Factory reset  the iPhone and re-install iOS 11 from scratch. Restore apps and more from  iTunes. This cleans up all the settings and connections.
    5. 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.
    6. Reset Delete Variation for Cars

      1. Delete iPhone device profile from car.
      2. Delete Bluetooth link setting from iPhone for car phone.
      3. Turn Bluetooth setting to “off”
      3. Go to iPhone Settings> General> Reset > select “Reset all network settings.”
      5. Do a two finger “hard reset” on iPhone.
      6. Boot iPhone back up.
      7. Turn Bluetooth back on.
      8. Re-pair iPhone to car system.
      9. Test by making a call and see if it drops.

    7. Play with car dash buttons – just in case you turned something on or off by mistake, go through all the car’s menus and change the settings that seem appropriate. Kicking the car won’t help but may help you feel better.
    8. Forget device on iPhone  then pair again in Airplane Mode.
    9. Connect through USB or AUX – for playing music  you can connect with the AUX adapter or through USB to play music.

If you have updated to iOS a1 for iPhone 6S/6S+, 7 or iPhone 8 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.

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20 thoughts on “Why Bluetooth is Good & Bad in iOS 11 iPhone 6-7-8 Plus & X for Car Owners: Fixes for Honda, BMW, Ford, Chevy & More”

  1. I have been using an iPhone 6 with iOS 11 to handsfree with Bluetooth to an Alpine INE-W960 head unit in my Boxster since last July Suddenly the audio in both directions on a call is very loud and distorted. Since it worked I have changed from AT&T to Verizon, added an Apple watch, and connected to Made For Iphone hearing aids. I deleted the hearing aid app and unpaired the watch. I ran several tests, including making a call with the radio on but Bluetooth turned off, streaming music from Pandora on my phone to the Alpine via Bluetooth audio both over the LTE network and WiFi, all of which worked with no problems. The only thing that doesn’t work is handsfree phone calls over Bluetooth. I am at a loss as to how to solve this.

  2. I can make a call but not by using Siri. It won’t connect. I’ve tried all of the above recommendations for fix, including reset, and I am NOT going to do that again. But one thing I did change, and I don’t know if this will be a big deal or not yet, was to change the setting for receiving calls/messages while driving to “except if my car is connected to an auto voice.” I don’t know if this will work, I’ve been trying to fix it for days now. But it is one thing I don’t believe I saw in the fixes area.

    It’s just so much easier to put a headset on……

  3. 2010 Acura RDX/iphone 8+…the car doesn’t even recognize bluetooth, Dealer told me this has been a steady problem since iphone 6, and that Acura is “working on an update”…but apparently not that hard if no fix in sight and they’ve been at it several years???

    Best fix I’ve come up with is using the speakerphone and actually wearing my seat belt to hold the phone in place on my chest. Low-tech solution, but does present some volume limitations;)

  4. My iphone X has a very bad connection with my new 2018 Honda CR-V. A lot of feedback noise from using the handsfree. Need fix so that I can use it! Currently, having to use my headphones while driving a brand new vehicle! Honda blames Apple for not updating to work properly for my vehicle. Honda Link shows my vehicle is only compatible with an iphone 4 or 5!!

  5. I am going to try some of your fixes, but several I have tried already. I have a Lexus 2012 that worked just fine a few months ago with iPhone 7 and now I can no longer listen to iTunes through speakers,Audio refuses to connect through bluetooth although it is recognizing my phone. Phone calls no problem with BT. The USB CONNECTION DOES NOT WORK EITHER.

    The Lexus technician had it paired for a second yesterday but very fuzzy, and then it dropped and we could not reconnect.

  6. Does anyone have knowledge of how to resolve problems with an iPhone 6 causing the HD Radio in a 2017 Honda CR-V Touring to lose its FM and AM radio presets on a regular basis (approx every 2-3 weeks; occasionally more often)??

    Dealer and Honda Corp say it’s the phone not a defective radio. One says my phone is too old so I need to buy a new phone, the other says it’s because I allowed my iOS to update (so basically it’s “too new”). Conflicting excuses. FYI the problem has been happening since I bought the car last July. Lots of iOS upgrades since that time so can’t blame it on one particular version of the iOS.

    Getting desperate for a solution! Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

  7. So happy to have found this, going to see if any of this works for my 2018 Jaguar F-Type with iPhone X.

  8. Just ran in to a problem, My wife has a 2014 Mazda CX-5 with the infotainment center, and starting yesterday the Bluetooth phone calls over the system sound extremely staticky and muffled, so i tried with my phone ( both of us have Iphone 6s) and i got the same result, well it turns out that both of our phones auto updated to IOS 11.2.6 the night previously… we are going to try someone else phone that is not an apple phone to see what the results are, also on a side note its only the audio from the phone that is bad, the music playback via Bluetooth is fine. I’m going to try and erase all the phone and blue tooth profiles and re-pair to see if that works.

  9. Late to the club but similar issue. Honda 2011 Accord , 11.2 update completely detonated my my iphone6 bluetooth connection. Phones worked for the last 7 years with the car bluetooth until this update. It seems to have disabled my bluetooth system entirely…..

    Spoke to Honda Hands Free Link specialist for 20 minutes and was given “take it to the dealer to have it checked out”.

    I didn’t see in the suggestions above if it would be an option to revert to prior iOS?

    • Sometimes, Apple lets owners revert to previous iOS and sometimes it doesn’t. Often it is better to wait to update. Sometimes you can find copies of the previous version.

  10. 2017 Acura RDX I receive phone calls via Bluetooth but I’m not notified or read texts messages and I can’t play music from my IPhone 8 via Bluetooth. It didn’t worked with my previous IPhone SE either. Talked to Acura twice & Apple once with no help. It does work in a 2016 Honda CRV when I tested it. Same Handsfree Link in these cars.

  11. With IOS 11.2 update the Bluetooth issues seemed to have been resolved. I can only speak for my experiences with a 2016 Honda CR-V, but it has resolved my dropping/switching devices from the base Honda radio and my Jawbone headset with my iPhone X

    • Thank you. We’re working on a new article and researching it. It should be published on Sunday. It looks like 11.2 fixes the disconnects on Honda, Subaru, BMW and Acura. Does anyone still have problems with Honda not loading contacts with Bluetooth? We are checking on a temporary fix. I have contacted both BMW and Honda to see what they suggest.

  12. From 2 months ago, impossible to pair my iPhone 6s with my 2015 Lancia Voyager Platinium full options.
    When Bluetooth is OK, that’s for 1 to 2 minutes and the logo Bluetooth disappears from the screen.
    It can work for 2 to 3 days and not work for weeks.
    I tried with my iphone 4 that worked and it does not work anymore.
    I tried with different GMS and I have the same problem.
    Help me! Very frustrating!

  13. 2014 Acura KC2 (“Legend”) RXL Sport Hybrid Advance: We’ve been trying to warn Apple about this ever since early iOS 11 betas, but I guess not enough of us complained for it to be high up on the list.

    *Contacts do not populate
    *Caller ID does not write over phone number
    *Frequent disconnect/reconnect
    *Caller cannot hear you, or hears static
    *Pandora and other Bluetooth apps will not connect

    There’s nothing wrong with the car. My LG V30 works 100% of the time. 🙁

    • Yup there are iPhone Bluetooth issues with cars. Besides the various Nuke-it fixes that’s and re-installing iOS that’s the best we’ve seen.

  14. Just got the iphone 8 and it will not pair with my 2014 GMC Acadia Denali. When I try to add a new bluetooth device to the car, it comes up on the phone with a code and everything but when I click pair it says “pairing unsuccessful, make sure GMC is on and in range”. Well, I’m sitting in the car with it running so not sure how much more on and in range I can get. Very frustrating.

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