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post #1 of 18 Old 05-22-2014, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Car drops bluetooth connection

I have a 2014 Accord EX-L 4 cyl (no Nav), purchased Jan 2014 (build date Oct 2013). My phone is a current model Android and is on Honda's list of compatible phones.

The car drops the bluetooth connection from time to time (I get a "Device Disconnected" message on the screen). When this happens:
a) The phone shows that it is still connected to the car, but the car no longer shows a connection on the screen.
b) Sometimes I'm able to restore the connection via the car menu by navigating to the Phone-Connect screen. But this does not always work and in those cases I'm able to restore the connection only by shutting off the engine and restarting. In these situations I've also tried turning off bluetooth on the phone and then re-enabling it, but that has not restored the connection.

This disconnection does not happen all the time but I'd say it does occur 3 days out of 5. Usually I'll need to be driving for at least 45 minutes for this to occur but a few times it happened faster than that. Most times there is only one disconnect per day but that's not always the case. The disconnects have happened in a wide range of places-- a mile or two from home as well as hundreds of miles away, on the interstate but also on streets in my local town. I have not found any pattern that would allow me to force the disconnection behavior.

When bluetooth is connected it appears to operate correctly-- no complaints there. Although I will note that it takes longer for the car to connect (maybe 30 to 45 seconds) than I've seen on other (non-Honda) vehicles-- does that seem normal?

I tried deleting the phone from the car's bluetooth list and then re-paired it. This has not resolved the issue.

I just brought the car in to the dealer and they said my car has the latest software. They also said that they are unable to replace anything unless they can observe the failure (ugh) and they've asked me to leave the car with them for an entire day next week (they will provide a loner) and of course I've agreed to do that. But because of the sporadic nature of the problem, I'm concerned that the dealer may not be able to see one of these disconnects actually happen.

I've asked the dealer to call the Honda Tech Line to see if they have any reports of this problem and/or repair suggestions and they said they would do so.

Has anyone else here experienced this problem? Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 18 Old 05-22-2014, 08:42 AM
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Try with another device

Try with another device to see if it is your phone that is having problems and if you get disconnected with another device is probably something wrong with the Bluetooth in the car

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post #3 of 18 Old 05-22-2014, 08:54 AM
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What Android device are you using, and does it have stock or custom firmware on it? (Android Guru here)
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-22-2014, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Schoat333 View Post
What Android device are you using, and does it have stock or custom firmware on it? (Android Guru here)
The phone is an LG Optimus F3 (Android 4.1.2). Phone has been rooted but is stock in every other respect-- no custom firmware.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-22-2014, 09:07 AM
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I'm not using an Android device, but I do experience disconnects every now and then. But not nearly as often as you, so I've lived with it. Where do you place your phone in the car? Do you have other bluetooth devices in the area as well?

I know once I had some really odd bluetooth behavior with the car and tried several times to re-connect and re-pair. Nothing seemed to work. Then I rebooted (full power cycle) the phone. Everything worked properly after that. I thought it was a problem with the car and it was really a phone issue. (I'm not saying there aren't issues with the car, just that this particular one was the phone.) I'm using an iPhone 5s.

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post #6 of 18 Old 05-22-2014, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not using an Android device, but I do experience disconnects every now and then. But not nearly as often as you, so I've lived with it. Where do you place your phone in the car? Do you have other bluetooth devices in the area as well?

I know once I had some really odd bluetooth behavior with the car and tried several times to re-connect and re-pair. Nothing seemed to work. Then I rebooted (full power cycle) the phone. Everything worked properly after that. I thought it was a problem with the car and it was really a phone issue. (I'm not saying there aren't issues with the car, just that this particular one was the phone.) I'm using an iPhone 5s.
My phone is usually in the small open bin under the dashboard (near the power outlet). If it's not there, it's in my pocket. This does not appear to influence whether or when I get the disconnects.

There are no other bluetooth devices in the car.

I've rebooted (i.e., power-cycled) the phone several times during this time period but the problem persists.


Follow-up...

Today was my follow-up appointment and it did not go well. The service writer I dealt with last week was off today so I dealt with the service manager.

He looked at my phone and said, "I see the problem-- your WiFi is on. You need to have WiFi turned off when the Bluetooth is on. If the WiFi is on and you pass by a hot spot the car gets confused and drops the Bluetooth connection. We've had lots of people with this problem and supposedly Honda is working on a fix for this. Meanwhile you should always turn off Wi-Fi before getting in the car."

I questioned this, because it's something I never encountered before with any other Bluetooth-equipped vehicle. Also, I pointed out that the circumstances of my disconnections don't match up well with this scenario-- most of my disconnections occur after driving at least 45 minutes (and certainly I've passed other hotspots before then-- for example, my neighbors' homes!) and most of the time I experience only one failure per day but certainly I pass many hotspots after that failure. The service manager dismissed my observations, saying that he can't do anything about my problem until I've driven with the Wi-Fi turned off to see if the problem occurs under those circumstances.

I'm willing to do that experiment but I do wonder if there's any truth to what they are saying. Has anyone here been told this ("WiFi must be off when you are using Honda Bluetooth")? Does anyone know if this is a problem acknowledged by Honda? I asked the service manager if there is a written communication from Honda about this and he said there was not-- "but that's what the TechLine has told us when we called about it."

Do most people here routinely have WiFi off while in the car? I don't, but if that's what I need to do I'll learn to change my behavior. But I am skeptical about this-- it just doesn't seem to add up.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveww48 View Post

Has anyone here been told this ("WiFi must be off when you are using Honda Bluetooth")? Does anyone know if this is a problem acknowledged by Honda? I asked the service manager if there is a written communication from Honda about this and he said there was not-- "but that's what the TechLine has told us when we called about it."

Do most people here routinely have WiFi off while in the car? I don't, but if that's what I need to do I'll learn to change my behavior. But I am skeptical about this-- it just doesn't seem to add up.
I have never experienced that problem with my iPhone 5s when streaming Pandora or Aha content. I keep WiFi on all the time, and when I arrive home, the phone will switch from cellular data to my wireless router (WiFi) without any interruptions to Pandora or Aha content.

I have no clue whether some other phones might be affected by this issue.

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post #8 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 08:22 AM
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No, I have Wifi on almost all the time. When I pull up to the house running Pandora, and enter Wifi range, it doesn't drop out there.

I do have a different model and trim though, so maybe it's a headend unit difference.

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 11:06 AM
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Get a new phone, I used to have that problem with my Nexus 4. It has something to do with a shitty Bluetooth that those phone have. Its some outdated version of Bluetooth.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 11:10 AM
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The phone is an LG Optimus F3 (Android 4.1.2). Phone has been rooted but is stock in every other respect-- no custom firmware.
Unfortunately, it is probably a limitation of the device itself. That is a low level Android phone, so the hardware used in it is probably old, and not very good. Some of these phones use outdated SOC's (System on Chip) that simply can't handle the newest software updates effectively.
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 12:31 PM
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Try turning off "ask to join networks" if you have it on, this way the phone wont be trying to hook up with random networks, which might, might be a problem if the service manager is not completely talking out of his a..

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post #12 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Get a new phone, I used to have that problem with my Nexus 4. It has something to do with a shitty Bluetooth that those phone have. Its some outdated version of Bluetooth.
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Unfortunately, it is probably a limitation of the device itself. That is a low level Android phone, so the hardware used in it is probably old, and not very good. Some of these phones use outdated SOC's (System on Chip) that simply can't handle the newest software updates effectively.
Although I can't completely rule out the phone as being the problem, this phone is on Honda's list of compatible phones (it is listed as compatible for almost all features, and in particular, all the features I care about). So it appears that the phone was tested by Honda at some point and it passed Honda's tests.

Of course I realize it's possible that my specific phone has a defect that is causing this problem.

Follow up...

I just called Honda's Customer line about this issue and I have to say that I was very impressed. The people I spoke with were very professional, very interested in trying to get my problem resolved, and far more knowledgeable than I expected.

After waiting a bit on hold, the first person asked for id info (mine and the car's) and a description of the problem. It seemed clear that he understood my statement of the problem. I specifically cited the statement by the service director at my dealership (that this problem was due to Wi-Fi being turned on at the same time as Bluetooth) and I asked the Honda rep if he could check on this for me. He put me on hold and came back about two minutes later saying that he found nothing in their database that related to what the service director told me. He then offered to switch me to a tech support person who was specifically knowledgeable about Bluetooth.

The tech specialist was indeed knowledgeable about Bluetooth issues and he also disputed the statement made by the service director ("absolutely no reports of that; having Wi-Fi on should not be a problem"). Clearly the service department at my dealership is just blowing smoke on this issue.

I described my trouble-shooting steps which have not resolved the problem (including re-booting the phone and re-pairing the phone and the car) and he asked a few thoughtful questions about the re-pairing process I had followed, including whether during the re-pairing I had deleted the info from both the car and the phone. Well, I knew I had removed my phone as a device from the car but I could not remember whether I had also deleted the car info from the phone. He suggested I go through the re-pairing again, this time being certain to first delete the info on both the car and the phone. He also told me to watch for a specific "Don't Ask Again" prompt on the phone during the pairing process and to be sure that I accepted that prompt.

I've now done all of this (including re-booting the phone after deleting the car info prior to today's re-pairing) and I'll see how it goes. Honda has opened a case file on this and I've made note of the case # should I need it for follow-up.

My next step will be to contact the owner of the dealership and tell him about my interactions with his service director . The owner presents himself as very customer-focused (and I have to say that the entire purchasing process was easy and pleasant)... I'm interested in seeing what customer-focused actually means now, in view of these interactions with the service department.
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post #13 of 18 Old 05-27-2014, 10:50 PM
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Well, I would try turning off WIFI and using bluetooth for a while, I never have WIFI on and never had a problem with connecting with any other bluetooth device? coincidence? perhaps, but worth a shot.
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-28-2014, 05:38 AM
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Somehow this thread has flown under my radar and I just now noticed it.

I listen almost exclusively to Pandora in the car.

I can tell you that my service manager told me exactly the same thing he told you about making sure that the WiFi on my phone is turned off when I leave the house so that my phone will only look for the Bluetooth signal from the car and won't be "confused" by other signals. I didn't like his "solution", but I did turn my WiFi off and I left it off for a couple of weeks. I didn't notice any difference in how often the car paired to the phone and so I switched the WiFi back on and it's been on ever since.

I've given up and have learned to just live with this issue. I've since upgraded my phone from a 4s to a 5s and the fingerprint scanner has made it easier to get reconnected because I don't have to take my eyes off the road to punch in a security code. This certainly hasn't cured my pairing problems but at least it has provided me with a band-aid solution that I can live with.

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post #15 of 18 Old 07-09-2015, 11:08 AM
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Honda is delinquent in not dealing with this issue.

They are passing the buck telling people to go to the dealer, but they are the ones who dictate to the dealer how to fix issues such as this. My dealer has other customers with the exact same connect/disconnect every 10-30 seconds problem and the guidance from Honda is "try another brand of phone, if it works then it is not our problem, too bad for you!"

Considering about 82% of the phones in the world are Android and blackberry, iphone etc share the other 18%, seems they should be dealing with this....

Very disappointing...

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