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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181 thoughts on “Update Ford Audio Bluetooth (with Download)

  1. Hi, I’ve just recently purchase a Ford Fiesta Titanium 2010 and im trying to figure out wherever the audio system enables to play music via Bluetooth. I can connect my phone (Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus) via Bluetooth but cant seem to find an option to play my music through my phone. I have read plenty of forums and watched some YouTube clips but was never clear wherever it played music via Bluetooth.

    I’ve come across about this software update for the audio system and I’m wondering could this software update enable playing music via Bluetooth? Could you or anyone shed some light in regards to this as I am hesitant on going through with this update in case it brings up any fault on the audio system.

    This query is purely in relation to my vehicle (Ford Fiesta Titanium 2010) to avoid any confusion.

    Many thanks,

    Steven C

    • Yes, this update should fix your missing Bluetooth music, provided your car has the higher spec version of the Bluetooth device. Being a Titanium I would expect it to. If it does there will be a USB port by the handbrake.

      Our previous Fiesta had a bug in that Bluetooth music didn’t appear in the menu but could be selected using voice control.

      The update should improve compatibility with your phone.

      • Thanks for your reply, yes I do have a USB port by the handbrake so I believe i’m ok there. You say it could be selected by using voice control, did you have to say a command and if so what was it? Just so i can test it.

        That’s good to know the update could fix these problems, I’m happy enough to give the update a go as the instruction you’ve provided along with the video seems straight forward.

        • It’s something fairly simple like “play Bluetooth”.

          The update does include updates to the voice commands as well.

          • Ok, I’ll give it a go and come back with an update. I’m hoping this resolve it all.

            Thanks for your help

  2. Hi Will,
    Great simple guide, thank you. I’ve just picked up a 2014 Titanium X Sport with the Sony DAB radio. I’ve got an iPhone 6s on iOS 12, and have no issues connecting to BT at all-everything is stable and responsive. Is it worth me doing this update? I am a man who likes things just so, but if there’s nothing to gain then I’ll leave it be!

    Cheers,
    Dan

    • No, there’s nothing to gain because this is the last publicly available update, from 2012.
      Your car, being newer, will at the least have come with it, and may well have a better version already!

  3. hello I have a ford sports party of 2008 trying to update the firmware tells me on the screen error to actulizar retry, I get to that point and I can not do anything else.
    please help

    • Hi,
      Every time I attempt to update the radio get the error message I’ve tried repeating the update over and over but still the same result any advice?

      • Have you tried deleting unnecessary files from the USB drive? See other comments for details.

    • Leaving my feedback, works like a charm.
      Ford Focus Guia 2009 AT, Sony stereo unit without DAB.

      Now i can listen over the BT, all my favorite songs.

  4. Hi, I have the ford nx system on a 2008 mondeo, Just upgraded the bt module to one hat support bt play back and usb etc, it connect fine, but can’t have usb play back or Bluetooth play back, it recognises it all but no sound from speakers?
    Any ideas?

    • The input level is very low, I’ve found. Try increasing the Bluetooth volume level on the phone, and turn up the stereo volume too.

  5. Hi so ive read what you said about the ford ka.. My sons just bought a ka zetech 2014 model which was advertised with bluetooth there is voice control but no instructions anywhere! Any ideas where to go for them for a ka he can connect but there are issues thanks

  6. Hi Will. Thanks ever so much for publishing this guide. I have been scratching my head for weeks ever since purchasing my 2010 Smax Titanium with Sony Hi Fi.

    I haven’t downloaded the file yet but want to see what you think before I go ahead. My wife’s and my iPhone both have the same problems – they sort of work but when there is an incoming call sometimes it will ring the in car system and sometimes it won’t. And when it does there is always a delay until the system picks up that there is an incoming call. It never rings as such – it just silences the radio or Bluetooth music. So far as playing music is concerned, it’s also hit and miss. Sometimes YouTube connects and other times it continues to play without coming out of the speakers. The weird thing is that at all times iPhone will show that it is connected to the Ford system.

    I wonder if you have any ideas as to what’s going on?

    Many thanks again, David

    • Basically the old version of the Ford Bluetooth system is rubbish. There’s a pretty good chance the update should fix your problems.

      • Thanks very much Will. I’ll give it a go. If it doesn’t work can a more recent model simply slide in? Better that than I buy a Parrot. I reckon I’d find one on eBay for not crazy money.

      • Hi Will- I’m struggling with this. My car recognises the usb but repeatedly says intialising and no files on disc. I have formatted the usb to FAT32 and i can get it to do the update running but it goes off the screen within two or three seconds, highly frustrating, wondering if i possibly have a faulty USB as it will only charge my phone intermittently

        • It does sound like it could be the USB socket. You could test it by trying to play some mp3 files from your USB stick?
          It’s also possible if so that charging your phone could have damaged it, the USB port is only designed to provide to provide 500mA of current. Modern phones can draw up to 3000mA while charging. You should get a lighter socket adaptor instead!

          • I tried it purely on ford’s advice to test if it worked! Ive had the whole thing apart this evening and can’t figure it out. I think I may have to try and bypass the existing USB to get the update on and try it that way.
            I’m only 5ft 1 but I’m fed up of getting in the passenger footwell 😂😂

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