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Why iOS 11-12 Bluetooth & CarPlay Issues with iPhones Continue with Cars (Honda, Subaru, Toyota Mazda)

There are known issues with iOS 11-12 with Bluetooth since iOS 8 on through to iOS 12 for iPhone 5, 6, 7, 8 and X Plus. We have found several solutions that seem to help which follow. There are fewer problems with CarPlay connections with cars than Bluetooth connections which may be due to the fact millions of cars of Bluetooth connections while CarPlay is now recently being installed on new vehicles.

If you have a choice when you buy a car, CarPlay offers better connections than Bluetooth in most cases because iPhones have been plagued with Bluetooth issues for years . Wireless connections will be increasingly more important to iPhone users with cars because Apple is part of the Connected Car Consortium which is working on specs for wireless car keys from smartphones, called Digital Key Release 1.0 that will use the NFC chip on mobile phones to for automotive functions.

There are many Bluetooth issues with iOS 9-12 for iPhone 5, 6, 7, 8 and X with vehicles this time we are getting the most problem reports from owners of iPhones with Honda, Acura, Toyota and Subaru vehicles. If the iPhones are not able to connect due to problem with car’s system, the fixes may not work, then you have to contact your car dealer for help.

Bluetooth issues could be lost connections, inability to make phone calls, not being able to play music through Bluetooth or no connection at all. New Bluetooth issues our readers and forum members have reported include.

  • iPhone 8 doesn’t automatically pair with Subaru Forrester.
  • iPhone X has a very bad connection with a 2018 Honda CR-V.
  • Bad iPhone 8 audio connection.
  • 2018 Subaru Outback not compatible with iPhone 8.
  • No Bluetooth audio connections with iPhone 7, connects briefly and then drops.
  • 2018 Jeep Rubicon CarPlay rarely works.
  • Bluetooth doesn’t work wiht iPhone and 2018 Acura RLX or 2016 Acura MDX.
  • iPhone 2016 Acura MDX contacts don’t sync with car.
  • 2017 Honda CR-V FM radio presets lost after connection with iPhone 6.
  • 2018 Accord LX, if the driver/owner touches the iPhone 6 Plus in anyway the Bluetooth disconnects.
  • 2015 Subaru Outlook car disconnects to iPhone Plus every time.
  • iPhone 8+ Bluetooth won’t connect to Acura TLX.
  • 2018 Honda Ridgeline iPhone doesn’t connect.
  • iPhone 7 Bluetooth won’t connect Toyota Prius C or Rav 4.
  • Genesis G8 steering wheel voice button doesn’t activate Siri on iPhone.
  • iOS 11.2.6 static calls over Bluetooth with iPhone 6 for Mazda CX-5.
  • OS 11.2.1 doesn’t connect with  2017 Honda Ridgeline.

iPhone iOS Bluetooth and Cars Solutions

The Nuke-it Fixes

If you have Bluetooth problems with iPhones and your car, most fixes remove and reinstate settings.

  • Forget/Delete Device – go Settings, Bluetooth and Forget Device, then, repair your iPhone with the Bluetooth connection in your car.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Other Fixes:

    • Turn on HFP – Hands Free Profile or Hands Free Protocol must be on in your Bluetooth settings. You have to be in the car with the power on to access it, turn on HFP and that should help with Bluetooth connections. This fix was reported from a Honda owner, which may be also helpful to Acura owners.
    • 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.
    • Change Bluetooth Settings– Go to General ▸ Accessibility Car Audio Routing ▸ Select “Bluetooth Headset” instead of the default Automatic.
    • Change Bluetooth to Automatic Go to settings, General->Accessibility->Call Audio Routing and change to automatic.
    •  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.
    • 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.
    • Reset Delete Variation for Cars

      1. Delete iPhone device profile from car.
      2. Delete Bluetooth link setting from iPhone for car’s iPhone.
      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.

    • 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.
    • Forget device on iPhone  then pair again in Airplane Mode.
    • Connect through USB or AUX – for playing music  you can connect with the AUX adapter or through USB to play music.

Suggestions for prior to iOS 12 update in September for Car Owners with Bluetooth Connections:

  • Don’t update on the first day when network servers are stressed, there is more of chance that one of many, many files will be corrupted.
  • Update your iPhone over Wi-Fi or through iTunes to ensure fewer chances of software glitches.
  • Wait until you have time to spend diagnosing your vehicle’s Bluetooth settings and  backup your apps via iTunes and keep your password someplace safe in case you need to re-install the software.
  • Check with your automaker or aftermarket maker for compatibility. With previous updates, Pioneer and other aftermarket suppliers showed on their websites that there was not a software patch available, yet.
  • If your iPhone 5-6-7-8-X S+ is working fine with your vehicle, wait at least a few weeks even as much as a month to upgrade because sometimes there are bugs that are discovered by other car owners.

CarPlay Fixes

CarPlay is a system that allows several features on your iPhone to be shown on the car’s infotainment screen. The car must come with feature installed. The iPhone connects mainly through a USB port in the vehicle or on the infotainment unit. Wireless CarPlay is no very common in cars or trucks, yet.

For CarPlay connections issues please check the following:

  • Make sure that you have the USB cable that came with your iPhone or a cable from an Apple certified vendor.
  • Make sure that you are connected to the correct USB port on your vehicle, sometimes automakers and infotainment systems only support CarPlay through certain ports, while others are for charging only.
  • If your car or infotainment system supports wireless CarPlay, tap the Voice  button on your steering wheel to set up CarPlay. You should also make sure  make sure that your car is in wireless or Bluetooth pairing mode. Then on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > CarPlay > Available Cars and select your car.
  • Look through the setup screens on the infotainment unit for CarPlay settings to make sure that is in on.
  • Make sure that you have enabled and not restricted CarPlay on your iPhone, go to Settings, General, Restrictions and make sure that CarPlay is on.
  •  Reset your iPhone and re-connect to your vehicle and follow the prompts on your car’s screen.

If you have problems with  iPhone 6S/6S+, 7,  8 or X 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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14 thoughts on “Why iOS 11-12 Bluetooth & CarPlay Issues with iPhones Continue with Cars (Honda, Subaru, Toyota Mazda)”

  1. I found if I turn off my Apple Watch , the problem with my Subaru Outback fixed. (Stop/start the music for 1 sec, the song play slowly and back too fast.)

  2. Toyota Tundra 2018
    First time ever had an issue in one year of owning vehicle. Just upgraded to iOS 13.1.2. Immediately the CarPlay system would auto reboot every 5 or so minutes. Trouble shooting specifically determined it was Bluetooth on iPhone 8. No Apple Watch issues, only since upgrading to new iOS 13.1.2. Still trying to determine how to fix it without having to wait and try iOS update.

  3. 2019 Mazda CX-9. iOS 12.3.1. When connected to car play, cannot make or receive phone calls. iphone 8 acts as if call is being picked up (screen shows caller name, length of call timer begins, etc.) but I cannot hear caller and caller cannot hear me. Mazda system requires usb for car play.

  4. We had a similar problem with our 2019 Pilot. Honda has repeatedly failed to take responsibility for fixing this.

  5. I have a 2019 Honda Fit and I have not been able to pair my phone with Bluetooth or Car Play. I have been to the dealer and twice called the Honda Technical Support line without any success. The dealer told me that there is a problem with the Honda software and that there is nothing that can be done to fix the problem. I just today sent a letter to Honda Corporation.

  6. Ever since iOS 10 I have had trouble with my iPhone 7 syncing my contacts with my 2012 Hyundai Sonata . At the dealership they paired an older iPhone with the Hyundai and when I rented a Chrysler my phone paired up with it perfectly including contacts. Worked with Apple for to months and no improvement. I kind of expected a fix after more than a year .

  7. Can’t connect iphone 8 plus ios12.1 and several models to Subaru Forester via Bluetooth and usb. Wonder why this happen. iphone 5 and normal Usb does work fine:(

  8. 2011 Subaru Forester, iPhone XR, iOS 12.1. — technically, the phone can connect via bluetooth, but immediately starts randomly skipping through whatever music I have available through the Apple Music app. I seem to be able to play from other music aps, like Amazon Music, without much issue, though.

  9. iOS 12.1 (16B92)

    Audi Smartphone Interface

    Software version: 0148

    Telephone drivers: 10.446.287

    Nothing work.

    Tested with iphon 6, 7 and X same iOS, different accounts and configurations.

    The only that works is Android… fix this issue soon as possible cause I spent 2k for the Smartphone Interface and MMI for use it.

  10. Just bought a 2019 Honda Ridgeline. Bluetooth connected without a problem. Apple Carplay connected, but would hang and sound would go in and out every 2 seconds. I found that turning Bluetooth off allows Carplay to work without any problems using iphone Xs.

  11. I have also have issues with carplay with my 2016 Corvette. I haven’t seen this mentioned but I find a 50\50 chance it connects with my cable and when it doesn’t it is supposed to connect by bluetooth, and that has another 50\50 chance. When it does connect by cable it scrolls thru my music or contacts only twice and stops. Dealer doesn’t understand what it’s supposed to do or not.

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