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10 Fixes for Android Auto Not Working

by Nitin Singh

Android Auto can be your smart driving companion to make navigating roads easier. Whether you want directions or just want to blast your favorite songs, Android Auto makes it possible while letting you focus on the road. However, things can get distracting and awkward if Android Auto is not working in your car or Android phone. It’s dangerous to use your phone while you drive to look for directions. However, here are some solutions to fix Android Auto not working before you start your trip.

Try Basic Checks First

For starters, Android Auto works only in select countries. Several reasons may cause Android Auto to not work as expected. However, some basic checks can save you time and effort. Here are some basic solutions before jumping to more complex ones.

Pre-requisites to Use Android Auto:

  • Your phone needs to run at least Android 8.0 to use Android Auto over wired mode.
  • The USB cable needs to be under 3 feet long.
  • Your phone needs to run Android 11 or later to use Android Auto in wireless mode. For the EU region, ensure your phone supports 5GHz Wi-Fi.

Basic Checks

  • Restart Phone: If your Android complies with all of the prerequisites and Android Auto is not working, try restarting your phone. It’s most probably a minor bug and should go away after restarting once.
  • Update the Android Auto app: You can update Android Auto app to the latest version.
  • Update Android Your Phone: You can also update Android your phone to the latest version.

1. Restart the Car’s Infotainment System

Typically, every car has a dedicated button or method to restart the infotainment system. For instance, in a Honda car, you can hold down the power button for 5 seconds and tap on Restart/Reboot option to restart the infotainment system. Different cars have specific instructions to reboot the infotainment system.

A makeshift way to restart your car’s infotainment system is to turn your car off and wait for the infotainment display to turn off. Then, turn the car on after a couple of minutes to reboot the Android Auto interface.

Tip: If the infotainment system does not turn off easily, open the driver side’s door after the car turns off.

2. Enable Android Auto While Locked

By default, all Android phones need to be unlocked to start Android Auto. However, you can set your phone to start Android Auto when locked. Here’s how:

1. Open Settings and tap on Connected devices. Scroll down and tap on Android Auto.

opening android auto on android

2. That’ll open the Android Auto app. Scroll down and tap on Start Android Auto while locked.

enable starting android auto while locked

3. Next, set Android Auto to Always start automatically.

change starting android auto preferences to Always

After that, your Android phone will automatically start Android Auto when you connect it to the car’s infotainment system.

3. Enable Adding New Cars to Android Auto

What if Android Auto works on one of your cars but not on the other? That may happen if Android Auto doesn’t play well with other cars and you’ll need to add them to the interface manually.

1. Open Settings and tap on Connected devices. Scroll down and tap on Android Auto.

opening android auto on android

2. That’ll open the Android Auto app. Tap on Previously connected cars and enable Add new cars to Android Auto. With this, your phone will automatically start Android Auto when it connects to a new car.

enable adding new cars to android auto on android

Tip: Review the list of Rejected cars. Your car might’ve been added to that list by mistake.

rejected cars list in android auto on android

4. Clear Cache for Android Auto

Another quick solution is to clear the cache for the Android Auto app on your phone. This is quick and easy to get things going between your Android phone and the Android Auto interface.

1. Open Settings on your Android and tap on Apps. Then scroll down and tap on Android Auto to go to the app info section.

opening android auto app info on android

2. Tap on Storage and then tap on Clear cache.

clearing cache for android auto app on android

5. Change Battery Optimizations for Android Auto

The battery optimization prevents the apps from running in the background to save some juice. These battery optimizations can be too strict resulting in Android Auto not working. So it’s a good idea to check the battery optimization or management settings on your Android phone after you check the Android Auto app.

1. Long press the Android Auto app, tap on the app info, and head to Battery.

battery info for android auto app

2. Tap on Unrestricted. After that, the battery management or optimization features will exclude the Android Auto app and let it run in the background.

changing battery restrictions for android auto to unrestricted on android

6. Clear Cache for Google Play Services

Android Auto depends on Google Play Services to sync data and playback music. So when the Play Services stop working, it also impacts Android Auto’s functions. To avoid this, you may clear the cache of Google Play Services app.

1. On your Android phone, open Settings and tap on Apps. Scroll down and tap on Google Play Services.

opening app info page for google play services on android

2. Tap on Storage and then tap on Clear cache.

clearing cache for google play services on android

7. Change USB Debugging Settings

This may sound like a weird fix, but it’s worth checking out. For your Android Auto app, you can enable USB debugging from the Developer Mode menu in the Settings app. Alternatively, you can also turn off the Developer mode. These could be device/model specific workarounds. The closest we can say is that tinkering with these settings refreshed the USB settings.

Note that depending on your Android phone’s model and make, the Build number option may appear under a different option.

1. On your Android phone, go to Settings>About Phone>Software information. Then tap 7 times on the Build number to enable the Developer mode.

2. Return to the Settings screen and scroll down to tap on Developer options. Turn on the toggle next to USB Debugging. Tap OK to confirm.

enabling usb debugging in android phones

3. Connect your Android phone with your car and Android Auto should start. If not, disable developer options and restart your phone before you try to use it with the car.

turning off developer options

8. Change Default USB Configuration

Some cars may need file transfer permissions from your phone to start wired Android Auto. That does sound odd, but you’ll need to try this out if other methods don’t work. By default, when you connect your Android to a car, it merely charges. But you can change it to File Transfer from Developer options.

1. Open Settings on your Android phone and head over to Developer options. Scroll down to find Default USB configuration and tap on it.

moving to default usb configurations in developer settings

2. Now change the default to Transferring files. Then connect your phone to the car using the wired cable and it should start Android Auto.

changing default usb configuration to transferring files

9. Use an Android Auto Adapter

The car sometimes wouldn’t work with your Android phone even when everything else checks out. While the Android Auto app may work, the car’s infotainment system may not respond. The fault may lie with your phone’s USB port or cable. However, you can always get a dedicated Wireless car adapter for Android Auto.

While this is certainly not a fix but an alternative. With a dedicated wireless car adapter, you can easily continue using Android Auto with a better connection.

10. Reset Android Auto

If you’ve tried every fix present in this guide and still couldn’t get Android Auto working on your car, then try resetting Android Auto. Be aware that this will remove all the saved cars from your phone and you will need to go through the pairing process for each of them again.

Also, your driving preferences like the Taskbar widgets, layout, and customized launcher will also be removed from your phone. So, only opt for this if nothing else is working and you’re prepared to set everything again.

To reset Android Auto, open its app info page and move to Storage. Then tap on Clear data. This will reset Android Auto on your phone and now it should connect with your car.

clear data for android auto app

Bonus: Enable Passthrough for Android Auto Adapter

Do you use a Wireless Car adapter for Android Auto like the one from AAWireless? You may need to enable Passthrough from the AAWireless app to continue working on the latest version of Android. This is due to the updated privacy and other related options present in Android 14.

To enable Passthrough, open the AAWireless app and tap on the cog icon at the top right. Then tap on Passthrough and save your changes.

enabling Passthrough in AAWireless app

Note: You may need to clear the AAWireless app’s cache and re-pair your phone with the AAWireless adapter after enabling Passthrough.

Android Auto Not Working

When Android Auto stops working with your car, you may need to use your phone while driving and that can be dangerous. The solutions mentioned above will ensure that Android Auto works seamlessly between your car and your Android phone. And if you face issues with using it in wireless mode, the good old wired mode always works fine.

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