Tell us your Nexus 4 Bluetooth car kit woes

Nexus 4 Bluetooth woes

It seems that there are a lot of folk interested in the fact that the Nexus 4 doesn’t seem to work with all in-car Bluetooth kits. I wrote this short post a little while back and it seems to have been an under documented issue.

Symptoms

The symptoms I’ve experienced are that the phone will connect via Bluetooth but when you try to make or receive a call nothing can be heard either end. This results in you or your caller hangs up as it sounds like the line is dead.

Whilst connected if you press a number the to e for that is transmitted so there must be something peculiar to particular setups. I’ve also managed to hook up a cheap Bluetooth headset to my phone which works OK.

Android 4.2.2

I was hoping that with the advent of Android 4.2.2 that the Bluetooth woes would be behind me. Unfortunately this doesn’t make a difference with connecting to affected car kits. The issue still persists.

Workaround

I’m reliably informed that Parrot car kits work well with the Nexus 4 – I’ve not tried this myself but can confirm that an old O2 Bluetooth headset works fine so there are some reasonable work arounds available.

Get in touch

Please leave a comment if you’re affected by this issue advising what make and model of car you are using and whether you are experiencing any different symptoms to those mentioned above. It would be useful if you could provide any specific information about your stereo if you can.

I’m not promising that we will get a fix to the issue but we might save someone lots of effort trying to solve an issue that cannot be fixed.

Update 19 May 2013

I’ve had the following feedback about cars which appear to be affected by this issue:

  • BMW X3
  • Lexus RX400h
  • Mercedes CLC
  • Vauxhall AstraΒ 
  • Vauxhall Insignia

Cars not affected by the issue:

  • Audi A1
  • Dodge Journey
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Ian McCullough

    Vauxhall astra CD 400 radio. Won’t pick up phone book or use steering wheel controls to make call!

    • Are you able to make and receive calls Ian or is this just an issue with the phone book and remote control?

      • Ian McCullough

        I can receive calls if I use the radio control buttpn but its not possible to make calls. A bit useless.my old HTC works perfectly!

        • Thanks Ian, I’ve been trying other phones with my car and it seems the only one not to work is the Nexus 4. Must be a hardware incompatibility.

          • Ian McCullough

            I contacted Vauxhall and they rang me very promptly with the reason it doesn’t work. It hasn’t been tested with the radio model. No plans to test it. She is going to send me a list of compatible phones! Still not sure of this is Vauxhall fault or Google!

      • Ian McCullough

        Looking at other forums it appears to be a common problem. Not just Vauxhall car s affected.

  • Vauxhall Astra & Nexus 4 4.2.2 : pairs with the car however no contacts and no steering wheel controls. This is ABYSMAL.

    How do we report this to Google?

  • Nick Shepherd

    BMW X3 seems to pair with Nexus 4 on 4.2.2 but when the phone book tries to open it loses the data and audio connection. Can receive calls but not make them. Previous phones (HTC Desire HD and Nokia E71) work perfectly. This is not acceptable.

    • Thanks for sharing your woes. I’m now pretty sure that this is a hardware compatibility issue as other phones test fine.

  • I have a Vauxhall astra and audio works fine on a Bluetooth call but I have to answer, hangup etc using the phone itself (therefore not hands free!). Does anyone know if this is an android problem or are LG going to fix this?/ is there a way around it? Many thanks.

    • Gerry McC

      I have exactly same problem with Nexus 4 and Opel Insignia

  • Sean Keogh

    My Insignia wont connect either. Has anyone found a work around for the phone book issue?

    • Doesn’t look like it. The options seem to be get a bluetooth car kit that is compatible with the handset, replace the Nexus 4 or replace the car. Either way this isn’t that great.

  • kumaraswamimathapati

    I am affected by this issue. I got
    Toyota Rav4 2010 model.

    My old iphone 4S worked absolutely fine with this car.

  • I can definitely say my 2013 Scion xB works great with the in-house standard Bluetooth kit. Calls (both ways), audio, and music work fine.

  • Simon Hockridge

    Holden Cruz, one of Australia’s biggest selling cars has same issue. Nexus 4 pairs but dashboard controls don’t access phone as they should. Have to manually dial, answer, etc from phone so definitely not hands free compatible.

  • Alistair

    I have a 2010 Mercedes B160 and the Nexus 4 doesn’t work with the factory Bluetooth kit. I can connect, sync phonebooks and dial but no sound ever comes out of the speakers. Basically, everything expect what you want – making and receiving calls…. Works fine with iPhone 4S.

  • John

    With android 4.2 I couldn’t connect to Nissan X-Trail Eclipse head unit and was forced to buy Jabra hands free. Connection and calling problems vanished with android 4.3 update.

  • Alan Grant

    Android 4.3 has fixed the problem in my Mercedes A class with Audio 20 sound system. I set it up from scratch using 0000 to pair the two devices. I also had WiFi off though I haven’t checked with it on. Bingo – it worked first time. πŸ™‚

  • Alistair Hughes

    Update to 4.3 fixed everything for me in my Merc B160. Phone bluetooth works perfectly now.

    The phone is actually connects to a bluetooth hifi streamer/charger as well and works seamlessly, pausing music during calls etc.

    Now very, very, happy.

    • That’s excellent news and is consistent with what I’ve found with my Merc.

  • David

    My car also affected: Citroen C3 comfort.

  • Citroen C4 VTS, crashes phone whilst connecting to Bluetooth.

    • Have you tried Android 4.3? If so did this improve things or make matters worse?

      • Its still as bad, however Citroen have now said that there is a Bluetooth issue with all VTS and VTR+ C4 models in the range, they are working on a fix.

        I think its more around audio quality when playing audio through Bluetooth not calls though. I still get a crashed phone every time I start the car.

        πŸ™

  • Flakie Jones

    Parrot MKI9200 (latest 2.2 software) and Nexus 4 (android 4.3).
    Phone connection works flawlessly. Well happy.
    Music streaming does not work. Connects OK but not able to see any music.
    This is my last Nexus device and maybe even going to jump ship.

  • Flakie Jones

    Stop the Bus!

    OK, my Nexus had been rooted and had lots of testing done on it prior to me buying the MKi9200.
    After all this is the flagship Google development phone.

    So to test further I re-imaged it with stock Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), with no root or custom recovery.
    Tested everything again with the MKi9200 and can report that *everything* this device is designed to do now works with the Nexus 4.

    All phone features and all music streaming features are working perfectly.
    Including Bluetooth streaming which I had problem with initially.

    This has been tested with:
    Version 2.2 of the MKI9200 software.
    Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean).

    Any issues at all should be fixed by a factory data reset of the Nexus 4.

    I have rooted again and put back on custom recovery and all is still working.

    The Parrot MKI9200 and Nexus 4 is a highly recommended combination πŸ™‚

    • Sounds like you’ve had fun getting this going. Thanks for sharing with us.

      • Patrick

        Could you test if also navigation announcements (tts in Google nav or navigon) being streamed to the radio by using mute on streaming feature (temporarily stop playing car radio music for nav. announcements)? Thanks

  • Michael Goetz

    BMW Z4 2005 stock bluetooth is not working with Nexus 4

  • Stanley

    I put in a support call to return my Nexus 4 as it was useless to me if it could not be used in my VW Sharan vehicle.

    I was told to check that I was using Android V.3 which I was.
    However I also had my young daughter listening in and she said that her friend had the same problem and it was because she hadn’t “imported” her contacts from the sim card.
    I looked through my contact list on the Nexus and realised that all the names were almost the same but they were taken from my online email accounts.
    My daughter went into my “people” app, tapped the 3-dot icon in the bottom right of the screen and selected import/export, Import from SIM card and ….

    I went back to the car and IT WORKED righ taway without any further interaction.
    My phone-book came up on the screen immediately I pressed my phone button on the steering wheel and I was able to make my first call in 4 weeks

    I don’t know if this will be the problem solver for everyone but I hope it might help some of you guys…. it was really stressing me, I can tell you

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for the details of your experience, I hope that it helps others get going too.

  • Jenny

    Renault grand scenic and nexus 4 4.3 I can’t even get the phone to pair with the in car system it repeatey says password incorrect πŸ™

  • Zvi

    I’ve got an N4.For six months it connected to my Plantronics K100 beautifully. It has just started pairing but NOT connecting. When checking whats happening I get “connected (no phone). Can anyone tell me what happened here?

  • stefan aerts

    Hi, i drive opel zafira. The nexus 4 connection with bluetooth comes up always.
    But the issues are:
    1) i have to make some phone call(000 for example) before i put my phone in handsfree position,
    if i don’t do that i have no lists(incoming,outgoing conversations) and commands.
    2) the audio(when calling) is transferred to my car speakers, so thats ok, but if i play some music app on phone the sound is coming from my phone instead of the car speakers.

    Any solutions for those problems,especially the 2nd one?
    Maybe i just need to put a cable in the audio of the phone and connect it to to audio port next to the usb?

  • Laura

    I have a nexus 5 and a 2010 insignia. My phone pairs with the car and I can see the phone book on the car menu but the voice dialling using the steering wheel controls doesn’t work at all. It comes up with the number after I say the name tag of the person I want to call but then doesn’t do anything at all, it says dialling on the cars screen but the phone doesn’t do anything.