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Pairing smartphone to vehicle's audio system

I have noticed a number of motorists with newer vehicles that I am certain have blue tooth capabilities still driving and talking on their smartphones. I didn’t find the pairing process all that difficult 7 years ago. Is this only true in East Central Indiana or have others on this board in other parts of the nation observed this.

I see that too. In my particular case, I have two cellphones, one personal and one from work. I get calls from work on both and they all could potentially be urgent. I have set my preferences so I get calls on the one that is connected to the car BT but not everybody follows the direction.

A fair chunk of folks never sign on to new tech. Many cars I’ve been in have climate control, but the owners keep them on ‘manual’ and wonder why it’s so hard to get them cold or hot enough.

I find most people don’t understand the functions of their phones. Some don’t care to learn, some don’t have the capacity to learn. “Capacity” includes
very poorly written manuals supplied with electronics these days. And manufacturer’s reliance on user forums to post answers to questions about how to use their product. They rely on an army of users to figure out THEIR product to help other users - anybody else have a problem with that??

If you aren’t willing to fiddle with it until the phone connects, you both won’t learn how these features work nor will you successfully connect.

I see people with a handy in one hand instead of using hands free. I don’t know when Bluetooth became standard. Maybe their cars don’t have the capability. When I bought my new Accord, I didn’t have to pair the phone andthe car. The salesman did it while explaining all the features of the car. It didn’t seem all that hard though.

I see it constantly, and–IMHO–the most ironic part of this situation is that most of the offenders are driving late-model luxury cars. Surely the folks at their dealership would “pair” their phone with the vehicle’s Bluetooth feature if they paid a visit to the service department.

Right after I got my 2011 Outback, I couldn’t seem to program addresses from my own state into the Sat-Nav system. Even though I felt like a bonehead because I couldn’t seem to figure it out myself, the service manager cleared-up the confusion for me w/in 10 minutes. It seems that the system defaults to The District of Columbia, and I didn’t notice that the small speck representing D.C. was highlighted on the map that is displayed on the screen. Simply pressing “change state” allowed me to proceed. :confused:

And, even though phone pairing is a bit more complex than simply being shown the correct controls for the Sat-Nav system, I was able to figure out that pairing process on my own. Even though I am somewhat flummoxed by modern technology at times, I was able to pair my Nokia smartphone by myself in 2011, and I was later able to pair my current Samsung phone by myself a few years later.

If I could do it, I suspect that almost anyone could, but if they can’t, surely their dealership would assist them. I recall that, when my friend bought his Rav-4 in 2008, part of the dealership’s procedure was the pairing of his phone, and they also did a decent demonstration of how the voice prompts work.

@Mustangman You make a very good point. I like to have at least an intuitive understanding of how something works. The manuals with many electronic equipment are very poorly written with no logic as to how it works.
I taught computer science for many years. I thought that an assembly language course was essential in understanding how a computer functions. Yet, I had younger colleagues that didn’t want the course in the curriculum. These colleagues claimed that very few people program in assembly language. I maintained that the purpose of the course was to gain an understanding of how a computer functions.
I am afraid we are getting away from scientific reasoning.

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Oh no! Your Bluetooth system in your car is controlled by an elite cabal from Inside the Beltway!!!

I bought my car near D.C. And didn’t notice their nefarious plot…


In the case of my car, it goes beyond that reality. The integrated Audio/Sat-Nav/Bluetooth system has its own manual which is actually slightly thicker than the “regular” Owner’s Manual, and it was obviously translated–VERY BADLY–from another language.

@VDCdriver. I have the same problem. Our 2017 Toyota Sienna has a separate manual for the Infotainment system and it is very poorly written. I have had the vehicle less than a.month. I have set up a few features, but I have a.long way to go to tailor the system to my needs. Mrs. Triedaq says it is good for me at my age (75) to be forced to learn something new.
We rented a vehicle this week to make the 350 mile trip back home after delivering our old.Sienna to our son. The rental vehicle was a Dodge Journey. The controls weren’t intuitive to me. I did figure out the keyless ignition with the stop/start button, but I never bothered with the audio system. We didn’t want to make the trip down in two vehicles. With all the road construction and lane shifts on the busy interstates, I felt better having Mrs. Triedaq in the same vehicle.

I understand it is hard for some drivers to pair a phone, but any dealership (of your brand) will do it for you. It only takes two steps in almost all new cars. I got so frustrated I once asked a neighbor why she doesn’t just let me pair it for her. Her reply was “Oh, I know how to pair it, but the kids complain when I talk on the phone because they can’t hear their phones.” Her kids are now drivers. God help us all.

This is common. And when one of them wanders into my lane, and they do, I lean on the horn. They look at me like I’m the one doing something wrong. And these experiences are in NH where driving with a handheld device is illegal. They don’t care.

@the_same_mountainbik If driving with one hand and talking on the cellphone also happens in NH, I guess I’ll stay in IN. Maybe it’s all for the best. You and Mike probably wouldn’t allow an Indiana hick like me in your state anyway.

I don’t know about your car, galant, but I can pair more than one device to my car. Have you considered that?

Yes, I have both phones paired, but they can not be both “connected” at the same time. You choose your priorities, phone #1 & phone #2; so if you have both phones with you and both BT are on, then it would connect to phone #1, so if you now get a call on phone #2, you are out of luck.

…and if they have learned about “ethics” from someone like my esteemed governor, Chris Christie, those people will probably also flash a one-fingered salute when THEY are in the wrong.
Surely I can’t be the only person who has noticed that the offenders are the ones who are most often to claim that they are blameless in dangerous situations that they created by their own actions or inactions.

You’re on their road, @VDCdriver. What do you expect?

Thank you, galant. As I only have 1 cell phone I hadn’t considered that situation. Good to know.

I’m not sure where they got it from but so many ignore laws they consider stupid.

I tried pairing my flip phone to the Subaru, I could not get it to work. My son paired it after several attempts but it only lasted two days. Then it “unpaired” itself. The Subaru has an audio to guide you through the steps for the car, but you have to have the phones manual out for part of the process. Too me, it is unnecessarily complicated.

Edit: and whats with the three buttons on the steering wheel. On hook, off hook and speaker. Thats one too many buttons. The phone is either on hook or off hook, it doesn’t need a speaker button. Rube Goldburg at it again.