Update Ford Audio Bluetooth (with Download)

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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 note 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 a 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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339 thoughts on “Update Ford Audio Bluetooth (with Download)”

  1. I have a 2009 mondeo zetec with voice control and bluetooth. i have a replacement Sony (Ford) to fit, however it will not operate the voice commands nor bluetooth for phones. will the upgrade fix this or is it the set causing the problem?

    • Interesting one. In theory there’s no reason why the Sony head unit shouldn’t talk to the Bluetooth module. Try plugging it all in then doing a reset on the Sony (press and hold power button for 15 seconds).
      I don’t know what would happen if you tried updating whilst they weren’t working together.

  2. Hi Will
    I have a 2013 Ford Galaxy Titanium X with battery drain associated to Bluetooth module. Firmware update has been mentioned as a potential solution but how do I check if my radio compatible. The radio is Sony DAB MP3 with BT and VC and holding 1 and 6 down I get the date 24/10/2011 showing which I assume is manufacture date of the stereo do any of the other codes indicate what firmware the stereo has.

    • I don’t know of any specific way of getting more detailed firmware info. That date seems more likely to be a software date than when it was manufactured, they don’t keep them in stock like that. Try the update. It will only install if compatible. Battery drain can be caused by the Bluetooth module not fully disconnecting from the phone, preventing the radio shutting down fully, which in turn keeps the CANBUS on. This update may well help, it did improve connection for me.
      Good luck.

  3. Hi there, I’ve run this update on my 58 reg mk7 fiesta titanium and everything has been great apart from audio playback through Bluetooth? Any suggestions?

    • Some very early cars may not have that facility. Try resetting your stereo, with the radio on, press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds until it restarts.

  4. Hello,
    I currently have bought a Ford Fiesta Metal MK7, It is from 2011. It has currently no bluetooth and the very low end radio. Do i only need to update my radio or do i need a bluetooth module?

    Thanks in advance,

    koradhil

    • I don’t know. The Bluetooth module also contains the USB connection, so if you have a USB port then maybe you do have Bluetooth. I wasn’t aware that they made a version without it (but I might be wrong). If you have a USB port then it would do no harm to try and update.
      Will

  5. Hello, I have downloaded and extracted all the files into a formatted USB drive, when I go to plug it into the USB port of my 2010 ford kuga, after plugging in the USB drive the stereo says “unsupported device”. I have tried formatting at re copying all the files to the USB stick and have even tried another USB stick. By the way I have the older Orange screen display stereo
    If anyone could help that would be great

    • Hi.
      What capacity is your USB stick? Don’t forget that these radios are 10+ years old and weren’t designed for current tech. 16GB is the maximum size they’ll read reliably. To make sure the USB stick is being read correctly, format it (must be FAT32 format) and put a few random MP3 tracks on. If they play OK you can rule that out as being the problem.

  6. Frist of all thank you for a very helpful and informative site, now i have a question and i do not think you will be able to help me with it . I have replaced my old radio out of my 2007 ford fusion with a dab radio from a mk1 kuga. Everything works apart from there is no information on the little lcd screen between the dials ,song title/ radio station ect .If the this update is at compatible at all with my car would this update enable that function ? thank you

  7. Hi Will,
    Very clear and helpful post Congratulations for it.
    I have a question, I have a Fiesta 2010 individual,
    My voice control is in Italian I want to change it to English.
    I tried with forscan diagnostic to change it to english, but it is still in Italian.
    So I assume I have to load a new language package with english.
    Do these packages contains voice control languages, or these languages are for the menu?
    If I install English files will I have to change speech language to english?

    Thanks in advance,
    Andon

    • Hi Andon.
      These packages contain the voice control files, but the update will only replace whichever language is currently installed, it can’t be used to change language unfortunately. I thought Forscan was able to do that, if not you would need Ford dealer help. Sorry.

  8. Hi Will, thanks for a really clear post. It looks like your solution will address exactly the problem I have, my only concern is that I have a 2012 Fiesta which is not listed in the models you list. (But the audio system does look exactly like that shown in the video you’ve embedded.) Do you know if the update would apply to this model, or how I can find out? Or if there is any harm in trying an update that might not be compatible?
    Thanks

    • There’s no harm in trying the update, if it’s not compatible it just won’t load. The update was released on November 2012, so it’s likely your car was built before that, in which case you would benefit by upgrading.

      • Thanks for the reply Will. I’ve tried the steps but nothing happens when I turn the key to the second position, so can only assume that the update isn’t required – which is a shame as was hoping that would solve my playback issues! Thanks anyway, Joe

  9. Thanks Will
    Your Ford Audio update solved a difficult problem for me
    Much appreciated

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