Sony DAB Radio

Update Ford Audio Bluetooth (with Download)

What It Is

The following guide and downloadable file will help you to update the Bluetooth, Voice Control and USB module in the following Ford vehicles. The release date was November 2012, and was the third publicly released firmware update. According to the Ford documentation the update is valid for the following vehicles and build dates:

  • Fiesta: July 2008 – December 2011
  • Focus: February 2008 – January 2012
  • C-MAX: February 2008 – January 2012
  • Kuga: February 2008 – January 2012
  • Mondeo: September 2008 – January 2012
  • S-MAX: September 2008 – January 2012
  • Galaxy: September 2008 – January 2012
  • Transit: from June 2009
  • Ranger: from April 2009

The Ford Ka is not compatible, because it’s a rebodied Fiat Panda/500 and uses their electronics.

The following instructions and Zip file used to be freely available from Ford at the address www.ford-mobile-connectivity.com as described in the audio system user guide. The website was taken down some time in about 2014, presumably for one of two reasons. Either people were messing up their radios and requiring dealership service, or they realised that they were missing out on a source of service revenue by giving away the updates. I’ll not speculate…

I’ve succesfully carried out the update on two different cars, my Mondeo with Sony DAB headunit, and my wife’s Fiesta with the more basic (orange dot matrix display). The actual Bluetooth/USB module is the same throughout the range, with the exception of a few models.

Please not that if your car does not have a USB port you will not be able to do the update, and the only way to get it is via a visit to the dealership.

What Do You Get?

There are several improvements to be gained from updating your Bluetooth firmware. The level will depend on the age of your vehicle, as models later in the run will have been shipped with more up to date versions. The major differences are:

  • Compatibility. My phone (Sony Experia Z5) wouldn’t connect reliably and take calls properly in my 2011 Mondeo. The update fixed that. The same for the Fiesta (a 2009 model) which wouldn’t connect properly to any smartphone.
  • iPod Useability. The original firmware required use of a special Y-cable, which connected to both the USB port (for control and track name display) and the 3.5mm Aux in socket (for analogue audio). The new version allows use of standard Apple 30pin-USB cables, with the car stereo doing the audio decoding from the digital stream.
  • USB Playback. Allows use of MP3s saved on a USB stick. I don’t know if or how well this worked earlier, I never tried until after updating.
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming. The update adds compatibility for Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) or Streaming Music in English. This can also be used for Sat Nav directions through the speakers when using Google Maps on an Android device.

How Do I Do It?

  1. Put the kettle on.
  2. Download THIS ZIP FILE, which contains the Bluetooth firmware and voice control files in seven European languages.
  3. Unzip the files to the root folder of a USB drive. (i.e. not in an subfolder) The USB drive should NOT contain any music files, and for best results should probably be blank just in case.
  4. Make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and pick up a newspaper or magazine. This stage will come in handy later, trust me…
  5. Get in the car, and switch on the radio WITHOUT TURNING THE IGNITION ON. It may say something like 1 Hour Mode on the display.
  6. Insert the USB drive into the USB port. Depending on your car model this may be in the glovebox (Mondeo), centre console (Fiesta) or armrest. The stereo will display a message saying that no valid files were found to play. This is normal.
  7. Switch on the ignition until the dashboard lights come on (but don’t start the engine). Do this by turning the key to the second position, or pressing the Ford Power button without pressing the brake/clutch for keyless models.
  8. You should now see the message “Update running… Please wait! So now you wait. This is where the hot coffee and magazine come in handy, as the update takes around 20 minutes to complete, and you can’t go back in the house to keep warm because you’d be leaving the car unlocked with the keys in!*
  9. Once the update has finished the display will say “Update successfully finished”. The message doesn’t stay on the screen for long, so keep an eye on it. Once complete the radio will come back on to whichever station was playing before the update.
  10. If something goes wrong and the installation fails you will get a warning on the display. Again, it doesn’t stay on for more than a few seconds, so keep a look out. Just start the process again from the beginning and it will eventually complete.
*Whilst updating my Mondeo the car gave a Low Battery warning, and the radio shut off. I started the engine, and was amazed to see that the radio came back to life with the update still running. It had carried on even with the radio off (the bluetooth module is a separate box behind the glovebox area). I don't recommend relying on this method though!

Here is a very useful summary video. I didn’t make it, so claim no credit for it. It’s also out of date, as it shows the original website up and running, but the update demonstration is very useful if you’re not confident.

Video produced by iNath, over at Ford Owners Club

Any questions, feel free to comment below. Thanks for visiting my site.

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Hatch release switch removed

Repair or Replace Fiesta Mk7 Hatch Release Button

The Mk7 Fiesta is a very nice car, but it has some minor design flaws. One common problem is the hatchback release button. It is located directly below the rear wiper, which operates through a hole in the tailgate. Unfortunately this hole lets in water and muck, which then runs down and collects around the switch. Eventually water makes its way in and corrodes the contacts.

Symptoms of this can be confusing. In the case of my wife’s car it started releasing the tailgate every time you started the engine. or sometimes when it stopped. I’m not sure if this was a short caused by the vibration or a voltage issue, but repairing the switch cured it either way.

Before you start, please understand that any work carried out is entirely at your own risk. if in doubt consult a professional.


The first step is to remove the faulty switch. I actually found a guide on the internet that told people to strip the inside trim from the tailgate and remove the wiper motor to access it. Don’t do this, it’s just plain silly! The switch clips in from the outside, and can be easily pried out. It’s best to do it with the tailgate open, as everything is at eye level. Removing the number plate may help, as it’s a tight fit. I managed without. Use something wide and thin to prise it out, working at one side then the other in small steps, taking care not to scratch the paintwork.

Hatch release switch removed

This picture shows the location after the switch has been removed and unplugged. The plug was nice and clean inside, which was a relief. As you can see by all the gathered dirt, there was a lot of mess around the switch.



The switch is in two halves, held together by six small phillips screws. Undo these and inspect it. Mine was wet, and the both springs were corroded, one broke in half as I opened the switch. If it isn’t too badly damaged then you can dry it out, give it a good clean with an electrical cleaning spray, followed by a quick squirt of WD-40 to prevent future water penetration.

Switch in two pieces

If the switch is badly damaged, like mine was (it still works after repair, but doesn’t feel right when you use it) then it’s probably best to order a replacement. The part number is shown below:

Part No.

The code on mine was 6M51-19B514-AC

The two letters at the end are a revision code, so may vary depending on the age of the car. The part number and switch is also shared with the Mk2 Focus, C-Max and Mk3 Mondeo, so if you want a cheap repair then you may be able to find one at a breaker’s yard. The new switch isn’t expensive. At the time of writing it cost about £34 inc VAT and delivery from this Ford Dealership, or can be found new or used on.



Replace Stereo Display Screen Mk7 Fiesta

The following is a guide to replacing the LCD display screen in the dashboard of Mk7 Ford Fiestas. The images correspond to an early (2008-2012) pre-facelift model, but as far as I know the later ones are fitted in the same way. Be sure to get the right part number, as there are several different versions of the display, which may or may not be compatible. The most basic has two lines of text. I have heard that it’s possible to replace this type with the full matrix display, but don’t take my word on it, I haven’t tried it!

Take care when using tools in your car, the soft touch surfaces are easily damaged. Any work carried out is at your own risk. If in doubt stop and consult a professional.



First you need to carefully pry up the plastic trim piece that surrounds the screen. The best things to use are plastic pry tools, as these shouldn’t scratch anything. Alternatively you can use flat bladed screwdrivers. There are no screws to undo, it simply clips in. Start at the front edge, nearest the windscreen. The clips are very tight, so a strong pull is needed, but being careful not to crack the trim.

Faulty Screen

Here I’ve turned the trim panel upside down so you can see where the clips are. There are no clips at the CD player end, it simply hooks into the top of the fascia panel.

Trim panel clips

Once you’ve removed the trim piece the screen is exposed.

Exposed screen

Undo the two Torx screws marked below and carefully lift it out.

Screw locations

Now gently turn the screen over and disconnect the multiplug from the back of the screen unit. There is no need to unclip the wiring from the dashboard, it is just long enough.

screen_removed

Installation of the new screen is simply the reverse of the process, plug in the multiplug, sit the screen in place and replace the two Torx screws. It’s a good idea to test it at this stage before replacing the trim piece. Once you’re happy that everything is working, simply press the trim panel back into place. The Ford part number for the screen I installed was 8A6T-18B955-BL, this is the orange matrix display. So far as I can tell the two line display has a two letter code starting with A at the end. There are also white versions, as fitted to cars with Sony stereo systems, and blue ones on cars from 2012 onwards (facelift model). Apparently the white and orange ones are interchangeable, but the blue ones are not compatible. Again, I haven’t tried it, so don’t assume this is correct! I got my screen from a breaker’s yard via eBay.



Re-gas Fiesta Mk7 Air Conditioning

Welcome to the first in a series of How-to guides. Unlike most of the geeky articles I write, these will be about car related DIY, which is a small hobby of mine. This first one comes about because I was looking on the internet for information about the Fiesta Mk7 (2008-2017) A/C system, but there was nothing useful out there.

Ever noticed that your air conditioning is a bit slow to cool down, or maybe it isn’t as cold as it once was? The chances are that you have a slight leak in the system, and some of the refrigerant has escaped. The main reason for this is lack of use. The refrigerant contains lubricating oils that keeps the seals supple and working. If the refrigerant isn’t kept moving through the pipes from time to time then there is chance for the seals to dry out and shrink slightly, which is how you get the leaks.

The easiest way to avoid this is to run the system for about 10 minutes or so, at least once a week, even in winter. Some people recommend leaving it on all the time, but that seems unnecessary to me, as well as a waste of fuel and a drain on the car’s power.

If your A/C doesn’t get cold at all then this guide probably won’t help, your system may need repair, or at the very least completely refilling by a professional. The same applies if it won’t switch on. If when you turn the A/C on you hear a click but no change in engine note then it means the compressor isn’t working properly. If your system is working but not very effectively, read on…

A word of warning. Hot engines, compressed gas and moving parts can all cause injury or damage. Follow these instructions at your own risk, and if in any doubt consult a professional technician.

First you will need a can of DIY refrigerant like this one. When I got mine (many years ago) it came with the necessary filling hose attached. These seem to be rare/expensive nowadays, so you may also need one of these hoses that screw onto the aerosol. Have a good look at the connector you’re getting, and try and get one with a 90 degree connector, rather than a straight one. The reason for this is that the pipe you need to plug into is located very close to the panel above it, and is difficult (but not impossible) to connect to with a straight fitting.


Once you’ve got your can of refrigerant/sealer/oil mixture and attached the hose you will need to get the stuff into your A/C system. Open the bonnet of the car and you will find the Low Pressure Service Point just below the rear edge of the bonnet. The car shown is a 1.6 TDCi, other engines may have the fill point in slightly different positions.

AC_Fill_Overview

Here is the connection point close up, it’s located immediately behind the brake fluid reservoir. The service point is protected by a black screw on cap.

A/C Fill point

Remove the black dust cap from the service point, then carefully connect the filling hose to it. You need to lift the collar on the connector, slide it over the service point then release the collar. It can be quite fiddly, as space is limited. Once connected make sure that the can is in a safe place, or get someone to hold it, as you now need to start the engine, open the windows and switch on the A/C or climate control. Set the temperature to the minimum. Once the compressor is running you can gradually add the refrigerant. You should hear the engine note change as the compressor clicks on and off.  If there is any sign of leak, such as a hissing sound from the pipework, then stop immediately and refer the system to a professional for repair.

Now that you’ve added some refrigerant you should very soon notice an improvement in your A/C system.