Technology drives the world we live in and drivers have become exceptionally dependent on the convenience of receiving directions, enjoying entertainment, and even engaging in safer, hands-free communication.
However, certain scenarios will lead to many motorists asking the question “Why does my Bluetooth keep disconnecting from my car?” We have the answers and the ways to prevent this problem from ever happening again.
First, confirm that your Bluetooth is turned on. Then, conduct a soft reboot — turn everything off and on again. Next, make sure that there is nothing interfering with the connection and that your phone’s software is up-to-date.
A hard reboot should follow if these simpler steps do not suffice. Reset the network settings and have your phone “Forget The Device” (your car). Then, rediscover your vehicle in the Bluetooth settings. Finally, if all else fails, contact your carrier about ways to troubleshoot and consider talking to the dealership about a software update on your car’s computer.
Top Five Reasons Why The Bluetooth Is Disconnecting In Your Car [+ Solution]
1. Software Upgrades
We are all familiar with the prompt to download and install the latest software update. Unfortunately, while these are designed to improve our devices’ performance, certain factory settings can get reprogrammed on the phone. These upgrades can also unexpectedly introduce bugs into the phone’s hardware, which can impact your Bluetooth capabilities.
When these types of problems arise, take the initiative to turn your Bluetooth off in the Settings section of your device and then conduct a soft reboot of the phone or tablet. Leave the device turned off for a few minutes and then power it back up again. Turn the Bluetooth function on and try reconnecting to your car.
If this method does not seem to work, check to see if there are further updates available and install them immediately. When there are bugs or glitches that arise after a software update, companies like Apple and Samsung will create a fix in the next software upgrade.
2. Phone Settings Get Accidentally Changed
Whether it be a slip of the finger or a helpful toddler playing with your phone, there is the chance that a button was just inadvertently pressed while the phone was out of your possession. This is a simple fix! Park your vehicle and turn your Bluetooth function back on.
Next, check that your vehicle is listed as one of your devices in the Settings section of your phone and that it is marked as “Connected”. If not, go into your vehicle settings and repair your device. This should restore your phone’s Bluetooth capabilities with your car.
3. The Device Is In Power-Saving Mode
Forgot to charge your phone? For those individuals who utilize the power-saving mode on their devices when the battery starts to get low, this shuts down any and all applications that will expedite the use of the battery. This includes Bluetooth. While inconvenient, until you get some juice back in that battery, this problem will continue.
4. You Stepped Out Of The Car
Your phone’s Bluetooth registers when the user is within about a 30-foot radius of the car. If you ran into Subway to grab your sandwich and left the car running, it is likely that the connection was lost.
Most of the time, if the car is in the park, it should reconnect when you get back into the vehicle. If this doesn’t occur, turn off the vehicle and then restart it with the phone inside.
5. Digital Interference Is Occurring
There are a plethora of Bluetooth devices in our lives. Unfortunately, this convenient technology can malfunction when too many devices are fighting for control. Therefore, take a pause and think about what could be causing your Bluetooth to keep disconnecting in the car.
The first culprit is your WiFi connection. While these two functions work hand-in-hand with no issue the majority of the time, when you are traveling, problems can arise. Many businesses provide free public access to their networks. Your smart device is programmed to automatically connect to the network with the strongest signal.
While driving, this turns into a game of WiFi leapfrog, which can also cause interference with the Bluetooth connection. Unfortunately, until you leave the vicinity, the problem will likely carry on. Thus, patience is a virtue.
- Personal Hotspot
A personal hotspot uses your cellular data to create a mini WiFi connection. As mentioned above, your Bluetooth will likely keep disconnecting in the car if this option is turned on. Your choices are to either turn off the connection or go without Bluetooth for the drive.
- USB Connection
If you plug your phone into a USB cable, this prioritizes that function over the Bluetooth link. Again, pick your poison and choose the connection that is most important to you at that moment.
- Other Bluetooth Devices
It is important to remember that any smart device, like your Bluetooth headphones or your smartwatch, can also cause your car to disconnect. Disengage the Bluetooth function on your other electronics during your ride to help remedy this issue.
Moreover, if you just purchased a new smartphone, it is likely that your car is still searching for the original device. It is amazing how technology tracks our “favorite” things, so even if you added your new phone, the car’s computer may be looking for your preferred choice.
When you get new electronics, it is important to also clear out the cache from your car’s computer. Thus, unpair your old device from the system to prevent further problems from arising.
Conduct A Hard Reboot To Prevent The Bluetooth From Disconnecting In The Car
Sometimes we can do everything right, but our devices still do not want to work properly. Clearing out your memory and then reintroducing your vehicle to the device is another alternative solution to your disconnection problem.
First, go to the Settings section of your phone and locate the Bluetooth. Find your car under the “My Devices” section. Click the “i” that is encased in a circle next to the name and then select “Forget This Device”.
The second step is to go back to the main screen under your Settings and select “General”. Find “Reset” and then choose “Reset Network Settings”. Lastly, pair your device to the car.
First, go to the Settings section of your phone and click on the “Connected Devices” section. Next, choose Bluetooth and find your vehicle on the list of previously connected devices. Click the gear-shaped symbol next to the name and then select “Forget This Device”.
The second step is to go back to the main screen under Settings and select “System” or “General Management” — this will depend on your device. Find “Reset” and then choose “Reset Network Settings”. Confirm this prompt. This will wipe the memory of your device!
Finally, unlike an iPhone, Android devices give you the option of clearing out your Bluetooth cache. Simply go back into your Settings and tap the Bluetooth option under the Apps tab. Then, select “Storage” and find the “Clear Cache” button. Tap it! Then exit and restart your device. Now re-pair your phone with the car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I update the version of Bluetooth installed on my phone?
Unfortunately, what you see, is what you get, when it comes to Bluetooth. This function is essentially the radio component of the SoC (System on a Chip — aka the brain of your phone). Therefore, if you purchase or lease a new vehicle that has Bluetooth software that is not compatible with your device, you will also have to purchase a new smartphone in order for them to pair properly.
Can I pair more than one of my Bluetooth devices at a time?
Bluetooth devices are designed to simultaneously pair to multiple sources. This is why you can get text message alerts on your MacBook Air while talking on your iPhone. However, only one device can receive audio output to the speaker.
Thus, if you have your AirPods in the car, it is likely that they are receiving the audio, not your vehicle’s speaker system. Turn off the Bluetooth connection to the headphones, pair the phone with your vehicle while it is in park and the audio function should start working again.
When your Bluetooth keeps disconnecting from your car, it is important to look at the big picture. What has changed that could be causing this problem? Many times the solution is quite simple. However, at the moment it can be quite inconvenient.
Take the time to find remedies after the first incident and not while you are on the road. Distracted driving can have detrimental consequences so pull over if it is imperative to address it immediately. Moreover, in case you didn’t know, your car has safeguards that will not allow you to pair with the device when the gear selector is not in “park” mode.
You may also be experiencing other problems with your vehicle. For example, you might be wondering if it’s safe to jump a car in the rain, or if your car will pass inspection with the airbag light on. You might even be concerned about how long a car can run without an alternator. To learn more about these topics and how they could be related to your Bluetooth issue, check out our articles on Is It Safe To Jump A Car In The Rain?, Will Car Pass Inspection With Airbag Light On, and How Long Will A Car Run Without Alternator?