From WhatsApp messages read aloud in English, to poorly functioning voice controls to even not even getting it to work at all: Android Auto does not work flawlessly for everyone. In this guide, we therefore provide solutions so that you can continue driving.
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Android Auto not working: 9 possible solutions
Your Android phone, but on your car dashboard. That’s Android Auto in a nutshell. Google’s on-the-go platform is very popular and generally very simple. With new Android smartphones, it is usually a matter of pairing with your car (which must be supported) and you can go.
However, Android Auto is not that easy for everyone. Therefore, in this guide you will find some solutions to common problems about the car version of Android. Tap on one of the links below to go directly to that tip.
1. Can you use Android Auto?
Before we start with all kinds of troubleshooting tips, it’s important to determine if Android Auto is on your phone. Do you have a smartphone with Android 10 or Android 11? Then Android Auto is installed on your phone by default.
Do you have an Android device with Android 9.0 (Pie) or an older version? Then you have to manually put the app on your device. You do this by installing a so-called apk file. Normally you can install new apps from Google’s Play Store store, but Android Auto is not (yet) available here. In the article below, we explain in detail how to install and download Android Auto.
→ Downloading Android Auto and using it in your car: that’s how you do it
Finally, do not forget to check whether your car supports Android Auto at all. The Android Auto website has an extensive list of all supported brands and models. If your car cannot handle the on-the-go platform, you can still install a system from, for example, JVC, Pioneer or Sony.
2. Updates: up-to-date on the road
Updates are for your phone what an MOT is for your car. The updated software versions ensure that your smartphone remains up to date and works properly. Before you go out, it is therefore important to update both the Android version of your phone and your installed apps. In the article below we explain how to do this.
→ Update the Android software: this way you always have the latest version
3. Cannot connect with car
You can already use Android Auto wirelessly, but in most cars you still need a cable. Does nothing happen when you connect your phone to your car, but should it?
Then try to rule out the possibility that the problem is not with the cable. Experience has shown that not every USB cable works equally well. It is best to use the original charging cable from your smartphone, or an alternative high-quality cable. In any case, avoid USB cables of dubious quality.
It also pays to browse through your car’s infotainment system. With most cars you have to start Android Auto yourself and the way you do this differs per model. With many car systems, however, you have a cup of apps from which you can start Android Auto.
4. Connecting several cars
Have you been testing whether Android Auto works on multiple cars? Then it might be wise to ‘forget’ these cars again when you connect the app to your own car. That way, you’ll start with a figurative clean slate and the app won’t get confused:
- Open the Android Auto app on your smartphone;
- Tap on ‘Previously connected cars’ and press the three dots at the top right of the screen’;
- Select ‘Forgot all cars’.
At this point, you have, as it were, reset the Android Auto app. Make sure that the switch at ‘Add new car to Android Auto’ turns blue, because this will allow your phone to take care of the rest when you connect it to your car.
5. Clear the temporary memory
Furthermore, there is no harm in clearing the cache of the Android Auto app. Cache memory ensures that apps, for example, remember your personal settings and temporary files. By clearing this temporary memory you refresh the Android Auto app:
- On your Android phone, go to the Settings app;
- Search for the Android Auto app, for example in the list with all your apps;
- Tap ‘Storage & cache’ and press ‘Clear cache’ in the top right.
6. Permit Android Auto …
With Android Auto you can send messages, listen to music and of course make phone calls. So the car version of Android has a lot of power, but you remain in control. If the app does not work properly, it is therefore wise to check the ‘rights’. For example, if Android Auto doesn’t have access to your calendar, it’s impossible to schedule new events:
- Grab your smartphone, go to the Settings app and open the list of apps;
- Find Android Auto in the list and make sure the app has all the necessary permissions.
You can give the platform on the go, among other things, permission to your contacts, calendar and location. With the latter you can also specify whether the app can always be informed of your location, or only when you get behind the wheel. For Android Auto to work optimally, you need to give as many permissions as possible.
7.… And don’t forget the voice control
Android Auto works closely with the Google Assistant. This way you can, for example, put on music, navigate and call someone without having to take your hands off the wheel. However, the Google Assistant does not work equally well for everyone. For example, the speech assistant responds poorly or not at all.
In that case, dive into the settings of the Google Assistant. You can get here by searching for ‘Google Assistant’ in the Settings app. Then you come to an extensive list with all kinds of settings for Google’s speech assistance.
For example, under the heading ‘Your places’ you enter your home and work address. For example, behind the wheel you can say ‘Navigate to work’, after which Google Maps (or Waze) automatically maps out the best route.
In the same way you can specify a standard music service (YouTube Music or Spotify), indicate which news sources you want to hear and, for example, set a standard calendar for scheduling appointments.
8. Connecting Android Auto suddenly no longer works
Have you always been able to use Android Auto without any problems, but the software suddenly stops working? Then there may be something wrong with the app itself, or with your device.
Shortly after the rollout of Android 11, for example, it turned out that smartphones with the (at the time new) operating system could not handle Android Auto. Updates to the car app itself sometimes also throw a spanner in the works. Furthermore, the problem can also be related to a specific app. For example, WhatsApp works very poorly for some Android Auto users. Received chat messages are spoken in English, or messages do not arrive at all.
If Android Auto suddenly no longer works properly, it is therefore wise to google for your exact problems. The cause may not be yours, but a recent software update. If this is the case, you will see news stories quickly enough highlighting users’ problems. In that case, there is nothing else to do but wait for a solution.
9. Remove and install
Finally, a tip in the category “Have you already unplugged and plugged it in again?” It will sometimes help to remove the Android Auto app from your phone and then reinstall it. This solution is especially helpful when you cannot get the app to work for unexplained reasons. This is how to delete:
- Open the Settings app on your Android smartphone and tap ‘Apps & Notifications’ or anything similar to it;
- In the list of apps, go to ‘Android Auto’ and tap ‘Remove’.
You cannot delete the app on phones with Android 10 and Android 11, as it is a so-called system app. In that case you can remove the updates. This will put a factory version of the Android car version on your phone. You can completely remove the app on phones with Android 9.0 (Pie) or a lower version. Then it is a matter of reinstalling the app via an apk file.
More about Android Auto
All of February stands Android Planet all about Android Auto. We look at how the car platform is doing in 2021, what the best apps for Android Auto are and we look ahead to the intended successor, Android Automotive. You can read all the stories published so far on our monthly theme overview page, or tap one of the links below: