Android Auto Connection Nightmare

  1. Tw1tcHy

    Tw1tcHy Member

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    Hey all,

    Bought my Civic new last year in March, it's a 2018 EX-T, and in the near year and a half that I've owned it, by far my biggest gripe is issues staying connected to Android Auto. The only way I know of to enable Android Auto is via USB tethering, but every single day throughout the day I encounter times where just the slightest jostle of the phone untethers it and oftentimes re-plugging it in immediately will not reconnect it. I've had the same issue with several authentic OEM Samsung cables, brand new, and even when I upgraded to an S9 last year from my S8, the issue persisted, so I know it is likely not the charging port on the phones. I also do not have issues with the charging port when the phone is on a charger, so it's definitely something with either the software of the car's USB port.

    Anyone else have this issue and know of a remedy? I wish Android Auto could be enabled via bluetooth or something, that would make the hassle 10x easier. Ironically, even if Android Auto loses connection, the phone is still clearly connected because it continues to charge. If I could charge the stupid phone and just have AA run off Bluetooth, life would be good.

    Are there factory updates for the headunit? I haven't been back to the dealership since I bought it, save for a brief visit for a TPMS related inquiry. If there are factory firmware updates, do you think that would help?

    Appreciate it!
     
  2. Merlanit0

    Merlanit0 Senior Member

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    Alright, first of all, the cable is not the problem, this problem occured to me once, I've used multiple type C cables, including the OEM and still wasnt working. One solution would be to do a factory reset and go from there. If you take to the dealership, they'll act like they know something g and they'll reset the head unit (some dealership will charge a $130 "troubleshooting diagnostic" to see what's the problem. Dont fall for that).

    The infotainment system have an update, but most of the dealerships are unaware of it. If you're lucky enough to find a good dealership, they'll charge you $140 for the update anyways.
    I've been trying to make my android auto to work but nothing. The music player (spotify, google play, amazon music,) doesn't play any sound, so it only work as a GPS.

    If you open AA in your phone (without plugging it), go to settings, there's an option to connect via Bluetooth, but I haven't tried it yet. I dont know if it really works or not. You try it out and let us know.
     
  3. SCOPESYS

    SCOPESYS Senior Member

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    #3 SCOPESYS, Aug 1, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
    but every single day throughout the day I encounter times where just the slightest jostle of the phone untethers it and oftentimes re-plugging it in immediately will not reconnect it.

    would seem to be an important factor here - I am not suggesting that there may be something else wrong with say Software etc, but the mechanical issue is one that you can start with, as there seems to be a definite Cause/effect here that you can reproduce.

    Could it be the cable connection at the USB Car Port ? Could it even be an issue with the cable from the head unit to that USB port in the car ?

    Could it be the case on your phone ? Many time the cases restrict the USB plug.. on my phone with it's case, I had to file down the plastic on the Cable's Plug, so it would smoothly and easily fit all the way into the phone's USB port.

    Maybe it is the car -- so try a different car !!! Seriously.
    If you don't know anyone with the same model and year car, you should be able to find a car you can try it in.
    When go visit a CarMax location, find the same car, and go for a test ride in it .. trying out your phone.

    The bottom line is that your Dealer is probably not going to be of much help, especially in Diagnosing the problem, and if they are willing to try, they are going to charge you big bucks, and the maybe just make something up !!

    I would strongly suggest you take charge of the issue, and try to figure out exactly where the issue is... and then if you cannot easily fix it yourself, then is the time to present the issue with great details to the Dealer.

    If nothing else, the actions taken by the Dealer will be a very good indication of if you should stay with that Dealer, or be looking for a different Dealer to pay for your service work,

    OH, and you don;t want to revert to Bluetooth instead of the USB connection (assuming that you can)... I can't believe you can,, you could never get the Video from your phone to go over a Bluetooth connection to display on the head unit -- I HAVE NEVER TRIED, but Video bandwidth on a Bluetooth connection would seem to, in theory, rule out that possibility.

    WiFi maybe, but currently the AA system in the car, (and also on most phones) does not support AA by wifi.

    USB "should" be the Optimum connection for performance in any case, and since you probbaly want to keep the phone charged -- it's USB ...

    FYI: I have a 2018 Si -- never had even one occurrence of AA disconnection, or not connecting when required.
    (No software updates either) Always use the USB connector up under the head unit, and use the USB connector in the center compartment between the front seats for a USB Music Thumb drive.

    I am not sure if I might get issue of I swapped those connection .. never tried .. KISS -- If it ain't broke - don;t fix it.
     
  4. dby2017

    dby2017 Senior Member

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    The issue with AA you are describing (music players not working, only the GPS) is what others have experienced when we flashed our radios to the 197 firmware. I have found no solution for that and the radio will not let you go back to an older firmware. it stinks, but it is my own fault. If anyone has found a solution let us know here please. In the meantime I just use AA on my phone and just connect it to the radio's bluetooth and it works fine. Really bummed I can't use AA directly on the Civic radio though. I may end up buying a used radio from a salvaged 2017 Civic to get AA back.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Tw1tcHy

    Tw1tcHy Member

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    Agreed, I ruled the cable out due to the fact that there have been zero issues using it for normal charging purposes on a Samsung charging block, coupled with the fact that this has been an issue with several brand new cables.

    Damn dealership better not charge me jack for an update, car is barely a year and a half old. Unfortunately the dealership I bought my car from were the scum of the earth and I almost regret buying my car if only for the fact that it gave them a sale. But the techs there are knowledgeable and friendly, I may just ask them straight away.

    The USB port in the car would be my best guess, I'm 99.999% certain it is not the phone. But generally, if the phone disconnects from AA, replugging in the other end of the USB where it connects to the car does not solve it. It takes multiple attempts plugging it back into the phone (sometimes only one attempt, there's really no pattern). I also use the USB port underneath the head unit, but I have not tried the one in the console. Might give that a shot and see what happens, to be honest I wasn't even aware that was there until a few months ago haha!

    I've never displayed video from my phone to the display, honestly also wasn't aware that was even a thing, so not a huge loss for me there. However this forum has introduced me to Honda Hack is mighty tempting. If I weren't having these issues currently, I'd have already bought and installed it by now, but I'm afraid of exacerbating any issues.

    Which leads me to this...

    That really sucks. So the latest version of the Infotainment software is v197 and with that newest update people are not able to play music anymore?? That seems like a HUGE issue, how has Honda not taken any action to correct this by now or at least make amends in some way? How long ago did you update it? Aside from that obvious screw up, did you notice any new improvements or changes with the new software version? I'd go to the dealership for an upgrade tomorrow, but not with that glaring software error...
     
  6. kperalta

    kperalta AluminiumCivic

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    I have this issue too. Sometimes while driving it'll just randomly disconnect. Unplugging and reconnecting it sometimes fixes it right away, but other times it'll take multiple times to fix it.

    Using a USB C cable from Anker gave me the most problems, and using a cable from Samsung gave me the least. It happened the most when I had my Samsung phones (S8, S8+, Note 8, S9) but since upgrading to my one plus 7 pro I've had no issues, though I bet it's happened once or twice I probably just don't remember. I doubt there's any way to fix it to be honest, the dealer most likely won't be able to replicate it and good luck getting to replace a USB port without seeing the problem. Probably just an issue with our head unit, but checking for an update wouldn't hurt.
     
  7. SCOPESYS

    SCOPESYS Senior Member

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    Really, that's the whole point of AA -- to act as a Display and Touchscreen for "Android Auto compatible" apps running on your phone.

    ie When you run Google map, Google Map is running on your phone, and the Honda head unit, running Android Audio, connects to the Android Auto on your phone, which sends the Google Map Video (and audio) to the Honda head unit display.
     
  8. OP
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    Tw1tcHy

    Tw1tcHy Member

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    Well that's disheartening lmao. The whole experience has really soured my view of Android Auto to be honest. It is what it is

    Sure, but I've only ever used it for Google maps and Spotify. I use Google Maps daily for keeping tabs on any traffic condition changes, but I was assuming you were talking about actual video, like Netflix or something.
     
  9. SCOPESYS

    SCOPESYS Senior Member

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    OH NO !!! "GOOGLE" (AA) is not going to make it easy for you to watch VIDEO like Netflix in your car, particularly when you are driving.

    If you REALLY feel the need to do this -- you are on your own, with solutions like Honda Hack.
     
  10. calonzo

    calonzo Senior Member

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    My 2 cents:

    1. If you get disconnected from AA, unplug it and wait 5 seconds before plugging it back in. Reconnecting it immediately never works.
    2. Just because you can charge your phone with a cable, doesn't mean everything is fine with cable and the USB ports. The data line is a separate wire from the power line. Also, the slightest interruption in data transmission can cause a problem, but an interruption in power does not cause a problem charging.

    Have a passenger try to hold the phone and cable secuirely while going over bumps and see what happens. Also have them try holding the cable at the USB port. See if that makes the issue go away. Then you can figure out if it is strictly a mechanical issue.
     
  11. special_ed

    special_ed Member

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    I had this same problem with a Moto G5 Plus. Tried an Anker cable which helped a bit. Eventually I upgraded phones to a Nokia 6.1 and zero problems. I am pretty sure this is some incompatibility between certain phones and this headunit. As a software developer, it really appears to me to be an issue with running out of RAM and then the phone killing the Android Auto app.
     
  12. Micah

    Micah Senior Member

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    S9+ here. Had the same issue. Replaced cable and the problem went away for the most part. Once in a while I have to reseat the cable.
     
  13. Fk8Desu

    Fk8Desu Member

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    On my 19' CTR, I'm having the worst issue with AA working on my Pixel 2 XL. I thought it was the cable and changed it which worked for about a week, now it only charges and the info screen says, "Android device is not responding".

    Its to the point where I don't want to even try anymore and use Bluetooth for my Spotify.
     
  14. calonzo

    calonzo Senior Member

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    Have you cleaned the USB plug on the phone? Every couple of months I have to clean out the dust that builds up and compacted in the bottom of the jack. You can't even see it because it is compacted flat. But if you use a tooth pick (or anything non-metallic) to scrape the bottom of the jack, you may be surprised how much dust is in there.
     
  15. Micah

    Micah Senior Member

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