Do You Know How to “Pair” a Cell Phone to a Bluetooth Vehicle System?

Today an auto owner needs to learn how to “Pair” a cell phone to a Bluetooth hands-free phone system in order to show that they are embracing technology. Nowadays a driver needs to be tech savvy! Your friends may ask, “can you pair a cell phone to the Bluetooth system?”

So open your minds to the new technologies and let’s use this lesson to learn how to do this task.

Ford Motor Company has the Microsoft Sync in most of their vehicles now. These instructions are for a non-navigation Bluetooth system found on the Ford Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Taurus, Escape, Explorer, Expedition, F-150, F-250 and F-350.

First, let’s look at your cell phone. Is it Bluetooth compatible? To find out, go to the phone’s main menu and look for the toolbox, the settings or the connectivity folder. Then look for the option that says “Bluetooth” and set it to on. We’ll come back to this setting in a moment.

Sync will NOT pair a phone while a vehicle is in motion. Plan on doing this procedure while parked in the driveway. Turn the vehicle on and turn your radio on. On your steering wheel you will find some toggle buttons. One will have a mouth (let’s call it the “Voice” button), another will have a phone icon (let’s call this one the “Phone” button). On the other side of the Phone button will be another button with the word “OK” on it. This button is used to confirm certain commands. On top center of most dashboards will be an LED screen that will tell you the radio station settings and the phone settings or menu. On the center console will be the radio on/off and volume know, as well as the tuning knob. Other buttons will pertain to CD, AM/FM, Sirius or AUX. You will also find corresponding Phone and OK buttons.

Usually when you push Phone icon on the steering wheel (or on the dashboard), if no phone is paired and active, it will tell you “No Phone Found” on the LED screen in the center of the dash and ask “Do You Want To Connect One?” or “Add a Phone?” or “Add a Bluetooth device?” then hit the OK button. The system will prompt you with the statement “Press OK to begin pairing a phone.”

This starts the Sync system searching for active Bluetooth devices. Go to your cell phone and find the commands to make your phone “Search for a device to add.” Some phones will have additional functions for Discoverability. Be sure to set the phone to be in the “Visible” mode. The vehicle’s Sync system will show a 6-digit PIN code. Look at the cell phone display, if it has discovered Sync, it will prompt you to select this device. The cell phone may ask the question, “Do you want to connect to Sync?” Tell the phone to “pair” with Sync. It should then prompt you to enter the 6-digit numeric code displayed on your dashboard LED screen. Then hit enter or OK on the phone. Within a few seconds the Sync system should respond with a successful pairing notice. Sometimes the cell phone will respond with the question, “Do you want to pair with Sync?” Respond with OK on the phone.

The Sync system will ask if you want to make this phone the Primary phone. Press the OK button if you want this as a Primary, otherwise, use the tuning button to switch the dashboard screen from showing YES to NO, then press OK. On some Ford vehicles Sync will then ask to you want to set the 911 Assist ON. Just press the OK button on the dash or steering wheel to accept, this is a valuable safety application.

Just a note, when you push the Phone icon, it will display the Phone Menu on the dash LED screen. Use the Tune knob to move from topic to topic. Press OK to go to that function. Press OK again to affirm that command. Use the tuning knob to move from Yes to No, and so on.

So, back to the Pairing Process… Next, Sync will ask if you want to Download Phone book. Press OK. Sync does not have a hard drive that it stores your contact information with. This process allows Sync to “index” your contacts so that when you call out your contact’s name as you’ve saved in your phone book it will find it. Sync can hold up to 2,000 phone contacts and the download process may take several minutes. When finished, the dash unit will respond with “Download Complete.” Then you can push and hold the Phone icon for three to four seconds and the system will go back to the radio functions. You are now ready to make and receive phone calls.

Push the Voice button, the voice of Sync system will come on and state “Sync, state your command.” After the tone, reply with “Phone.” The system will say “Phone, state your command” Then say “Call (contact name)” and use the name of one of your phone contacts as you have it saved. For example, “Call John Smith.” If the system recognizes the contact it will respond with “Calling John Smith.” Sometimes the system will respond with a question, such as “Call John Smith, on Cell, on Work or at Home?” Just let the system know which one you want to call.

Or, you may push the Voice button and say “Phone”, the system will say “Phone state your command.” Then say, “Dial.” The system will, like an operator, ask you what number, just tell it the whole number in a steady pace in a normal tone. The system will repeat the number. If correct, then say “Dial” and it will call the number. If the number is incorrect, then say “Cancel” and start the process again.

Watch the road while driving and speaking. Adjust the radio volume knob to better hear your side of the conversation. If the person you are speaking too complains that they cannot hear you, then make sure windows are closed to prevent outside noises. Also, by turning up the volume on your cell phone, it increases the sensitivity of the vehicle’s Sync microphone.

When you’re finished speaking, press and hold the Phone icon button for at least three to four seconds. If you are driving and the phone rings, you will see a Caller ID on the dash LED screen to let you know who’s calling. If you want to answer, just give the Phone icon a quick, definite press and start speaking. If you don’t want to receive the call, just press and hold the Phone icon for three to four seconds.

As a note, the Sync system is a “Voice Activation” program. The system cannot differentiate three-letter words. Mom, Tom, and Ron sound too similar for the system to correctly interpret. You may want to revise your phone’s contact list and change “Dad” to your Dad’s first name, or maybe, “Papa John” – this way the system won’t struggle so much with short names.

This system has to be used for you to better understand it. So give it a try. In time you will get used to the hands-free phone system. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will offer more details on using the system.

The Windshield Replacement Survival Guide – Consumer Auto Glass Education

Replacing Your Vehicle’s Windshield? Here is Your Windshield Replacement Survival Guide.

Safety First

A vehicles windshield provides the occupants a barrier from road debris and the outside elements. But most people don’t know a windshield is designed for structural safety in case of an accident, especially a rollover. A windshield is a vehicles third most important safety feature behind the seat belts, and air bags.

Windshields are like basketball backboards for air bags. So if you have a damaged windshield your air bag may not function correctly. It actually may inflate out the windshield cavity, rather than towards you. Or it won’t adsorb any pressure because your windshield simply pushes out.

Most consumers are not aware that when technicians replace your windshield, there is significant scratching to the “pinchweld” where the glass bonds to the car. These scratches must be prepped using paint and rust prevention steps. They should not simply leave exposed scratches where moisture from the exterior side can cause rust to develop.

Here are some questions you should ask your auto glass company:

  • Is the new glass OEM?
  • Did they remove the brand label on the windshield?
  • Does the new glass have a shade band that matches your old glass?
  • Is the new windshield the same color glass? (glass is actually colored, not clear)
  • Does your windshield have a rain sensor?
  • Is your windshield heated? (companies will install non-heated and charge for heated)
  • Does the windshield have the right bracket for your rear view mirror?
  • Does the new windshield have the same third visor as your old glass? (the painted black design which you can see around the rear view mirror on most cars)
  • Are they using a universal trim molding, or the actual trim molding part for your vehicle?
  • Does the company pay to fix paint scratches, if made by the auto glass technician?

Always inspect a piece of glass for scratches and distortion before it’s installed.

Types of Automotive Glass

A windshield is actually two layers of glass with a laminate material between the layers, what is called “laminated glass”. Laminated glass is extremely hard to puncture or break apart. That’s why a large object like a stunt man, can impact the windshield without breaking through. The strength of laminated glass combined with proper adhesion of the windshield to the body of the car provides massive strength against the roof collapsing in a rollover.

All of the other windows in your vehicle are “tempered glass”, which means they break into tiny fragments to reduce injury to the occupants. (a small fraction of vehicles have laminated side and rear windows also)

Windshield Urethane

Today’s vehicles use urethane as the adhesive to bond the windshield to the vehicle, like a glue. Some urethane after complete hardening which can take 2-4 weeks, can hold 500 pounds per square inch of pressure. That’s one reason why you could never simply push your windshield out. Impossible! Some urethane allows you to drive away within one hour after installing the windshield, hardening just enough to withstand vehicle accidents. When your replacement has been completed, make sure to inspect the inside of your vehicle around the edge of the glass. Make sure no urethane has oozed out into view or onto your vehicles interior. This is more common then people realize and needs to be fixed immediately before the glue hardens!

The urethane is normally heated, then applied to the glass or car body at the raised temperature. Depending on where you live or the application, they can use different kinds of urethane, even a cold temperature apply that is not heated. Temperature has a huge impact on the adhesion qualities of the windshield. I would recommend never getting your windshield replaced in temperatures lower than 55 degrees, or higher than 105 for the best results if possible. This is easy if you have the glass replaced inside of a shop or in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can heat the windshield to over 125 degrees!

Urethane does have an expiration date, so make sure you ask about this before a technician begins replacing your vehicle glass. Using expired urethane means minimal bonding power and the windshield has a chance of coming out during an impact. All urethane is made with an expiration date printed on the tubes, and if they don’t call someone else!

Paint Scratches, Rust, and Proper Windshield Installation

Deep vehicle scratches can turn into major problems later. Moisture will enter through a scratch and attack your vehicles body causing rust later. For people who live by the ocean, this can be disastrous for the structural integrity of your vehicle down the road near the windshield. If you are buying a used vehicle, make sure you check around the edge of the glass and under the trim molding for evidence of rust. Rust will spread under your paint, it is amazingly aggressive.

If the rust spreads to the “pinch weld” which is where the urethane is placed, the urethane will not bond and a windshield will leak or can even be pushed out. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage from water leaks or can even can cause death in an accident! If the rust moves into this area the technician must remove it before applying the urethane, or the vehicle must be sent to a body shop for repair.

Make sure the technician takes steps to prep and repair scratches to the pichweld. There is primer paints, metal rust prep chemicals, and other ways to cover scratches to reduce the appearance or spread of rust. The most important areas are where water will contact your vehicles body, especially under the exterior trim molding. That trim is not water sealed between the body and glass. The water seal comes from the urethane bead.

It is very important that you watch the installation of your vehicle glass if possible, DO NOT just walk away. If a professional technician can not perform the job while you watch, they shouldn’t be working on your vehicle and call someone else. A technician can cause significant paint scratching to your exterior paint job with improper techniques. Some even use nail polish or paint to hide the damage. Some even rub dirt into the scratch to make it look old! Ensure that the technician is using vehicle protective equipment like seat covers, floor mats, tape on the car body where it’s close to the glass, and a protective mat over your hood.

Make sure the technician removes body parts like windshield wiper arms and the cowling (located beneath the wipers) are removed, if the glass edge is covered by these parts. Most technicians will simply shoot a ton of urethane under the cowling area and “stuff” the glass, sliding it into the glue and under the cowling. This is extremely unsafe! A technician doesn’t even know if the urethane has created a proper seal, or if it is bonded safely. A proper windshield installation requires that the glass be place straight down onto the urethane bead. Also this ensures the urethane is not shot all over parts beneath the cowling like wiper assemblies and wiring.

OEM Windshields and OEM Equivalents

OEM means, original equipment manufacturer. So if your vehicle is a Honda Civic, OEM glass would be purchased from a Honda Vehicle Dealer. Auto glass installers can simply order OEM glass from the dealer. Make sure the glass has the OEM label. The windshield label which is about a square inch in size, normally is located in the lower corners of the glass. Sometimes OEM glass says the actual glass manufacturer rather than the Car Dealer name. Call your local dealer on what to look for.

A lot of auto glass companies will tell you they are installing the “OEM Equivalent” part. Because consumers don’t know what to look for, most times a glass with no label or an aftermarket part is used. Do not buy a glass when the label has been etched or removed. No one knows where it came from! Always check the label.

The only scenario in which you may find an equivalent glass, is purchasing a windshield produced by the same manufacturer which produced the OEM glass. It may even be from the same production line and mold from the OEM manufacturing!

Aftermarket Automotive Windshields

Do not be fooled into thinking an aftermarket windshield is the same as an OEM glass. Aftermarket windshields are made using reverse engineering instead of the original OEM mold and production line.

Aftermarket glass tends to have more visible light distortion when viewing the glass at an angle, and the dimensions are not exactly the same as an OEM. All glass that is bent has some level distortion yes, but it is considerably worse with aftermarket manufacturing. You may even see distortion when looking straight through aftermarket glass.

Aftermarket glass is transported through different processes than OEM glass from a dealer. A lot of OEM glass is transported covered by plastic wrapping and using strict shipping techniques, and the windshield’s edges are protected by foam wrapping. But Aftermarket glass is transported by much different practices. Most auto glass companies use no protection covering all surfaces of the glass for transport. And sometimes pieces of glass have been taken to customers locations and returned to the distributor or shop. So aftermarket glass has been handled many times!

Now I’m not saying aftermarket glass is unsafe or unfit to use at all. I’m simply stating the facts about the truth, for your education and insight. I feel you should be educated about this part of your vehicle which essentially protects your family on a regular basis.

Rain Sensors and Other Accessory Plugs Such as Heated Glass

If your vehicle has a rain sensor it should be located near the rear view mirror. A lot of times it looks like a circle, square or triangle. This option allows the windshield wipers to speed up or slow down depending on the amount of rain automatically. Make sure you get the same designed glass. If the rain sensor involves a gel patch, make sure the technician does not leave lots of air bubbles when installing it. Those air bubbles can cause the sensor to malfunction.

Some vehicles like a Land Rover, have plugs located under the interior a-pillar trim. On some convertibles like a newer Ford Thunderbird, a large portion of the interior may need to be diss-assembled to remove the interior a-pillar trim. On the Honda Ridgeline, the heater plug is located behind the glove box. Some new vehicles also have Lane Departure sensors located near the rear view mirror.

You can always find out what you need by calling your local dealer and giving them your VIN Identification number from your vehicle. If your car is important to you and you want to maintain the investment, always call your local dealer and ask for advice about your specific vehicle.

Windshield Shade Bands and Windshield Color

All auto glass has a shaded color. No windshields are completely clear. Typical shading colors are blue, green, bronze, and grey. Be sure sure to get the same color. You will see that all pieces of glass in your vehicle are the same color, excluding privacy glass and tinting.

A windshield may have a shade band across the top near the roof of the vehicle. This area is preferential. You should decide if you like it or not. It does tend to hide the edge of the interiors headliner when looking at the vehicle from the exterior. Shade bands do come in different colors but not all windshields

Most windshields can be ordered without a shade band at all. But you may find the part is actually more expensive because less people order it. Having a shade band does provide some shading in between your sun visors but it does little to drastically shade the sun. Take note the shade band will be darker at night.

Exterior Trim and Moldings

Your vehicle may have exterior trim or moldings cover the edge of the glass and/or covering the edge the car body. If the trim molding is just rubber, make sure you know what the technician is using to replace it. Some companies are now requiring that technicians use only a universal type aftermarket molding, rather than one that is specifically designed for your car. There should also be an OEM molding part available which is exactly the same as your original molding. Do note that cost for OEM is always more.

You may see plastic and/or metal trim moldings covering the edge of your windshield on the exterior. Normally these have some type of plastic or metal clips that attach them to the glass or vehicles body. Make sure the company replaces any broken clips or parts from removal of these parts. If your vehicle is older than 3 years, these parts become very brittle and damage easy. You may be warned about parts that always break, in which the company may request you also purchase that part ahead of time. You may find a lot of companies simply glue those parts back into place, rather than replacing the broken parts.

Vehicle Windshield Logo and VIN Window

On vehicles like a Ford Mustang and Ford F150, you may have a logo in the third visor above the rear view mirror. These windshields can be ordered with out the logo and are cheaper that way. Make sure you ask about your options.

Most windshields have a small narrow window for viewing of the VIN identification number near the lower drivers side portion of the glass. Make sure this window is in the right location on the glass. When the job is completed, make sure that glue has not covered the VIN, the VIN number plate has not been cut off, or that it has not been badly damaged. Police or the DMV will give you a hard time if the number is not legible or is completely missing from that location.

Getting the Best Auto Repair Advice

Not all of us are trained auto mechanics, but the chances are that at some stage we’re going to need to talk to one; do you know what to ask them so as to get your car repaired in the quickest and most affordable way?

In this article we’re going to look at three things you need to do to get your car repaired quickly and reliably. First, we’re going to look at the right questions to ask at the auto repair shop. Next, we’ll find out how to know if you’re getting the best advice. Then, we’ll look at how to choose the best auto repair shop. After that you’ll be able to go out and get your car repaired without worrying about whether you’re getting the right part repaired, by the right people for the job.

Do you know if you’re asking the right questions?

The first thing you should try to do is to narrow the fault down to a part or location. If you know what it is, or where it is, this will help the mechanic to find the problem straight away. This means they won’t be spending your precious money on labour just to find out what’s going on.

The other advantage for you in knowing where the problem is is that you can ask the right questions about parts and labor when you’re with the mechanic. A little bit of time spent online following up what you think could be the problem, could save you a lot of time and money later on when you find that several parts have been replaced, and you still have the same mechanical problem.

Are you getting the best advice?

It’s way too easy just to listen to what you’re being told, and then tell the auto repair shop just to get on with the job. If the problem isn’t urgent, and you’re able to go to one or two other auto repair shops, then do that. If they all agree that a certain part is causing all of your problems, then there’s less chance of paying for unnecessary repairs.

It’s also a good idea to make a note of what they think the problem is so that you can do a bit of research yourself. Make sure they tell you in plain English, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the jargon. Some people may feel embarrassed doing that, but you should know exactly what they plan to do, and how it’s going to solve the problem for you.

Are you choosing the right auto repair shops?

Now that you have a good idea of what the problem is, and how it can be fixed, you’re going to want to pick the best auto repair shop to have it done in. Price isn’t always the best guide. Start by checking that they have the proper certification for your country (or area) – a quick search online will usually help find out who they should be registered with.

Ask some of your friends for some recommendations. Knowing someone who has actually used the auto repair company is a big plus. Although the company may be qualified to carry out the repairs, they may not be the most reliable when it comes to time and price. If you know people who have used them before you can get a good indication of what they’ll be like if you use them yourself.

Try them out on something small. If you aren’t in a hurry to get any work done on your car, and don’t have any friends that have used the company before, then you should get them to do something relatively minor (like an oil change) so that you can see for yourself what they’re like as a company. If they can’t do the small things to your satisfaction, then you probably aren’t going to want to use them when you have a major problem with your car.

There you have it. If you can narrow down what’s wrong before going to the auto repair shop, you’ll be able to ask the right questions, and cut down the repair time. Don’t always go with the first company you talk to, get some advice from other companies, and see if they are telling you the same things. Choose the company you’re going to get your car repaired with based on their certificates, word of mouth from friends, and even try them out yourself.

Now you should be able to go out and get your car repaired with the confidence that it will be done quickly, professionally, and you will not be making a false economy by just going to the cheapest auto repair shop.