Update Ford Audio Bluetooth (with Download)

Sony DAB Radio

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.

If this info has been of use to you please consider making a small contribution to help cover the costs of running this site. If you don’t want to that’s perfectly ok too! The button below will bill you one pound and reward you with my gratitude (and maybe some extra technical help).

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

  1. hi, i try to update the system but i have Update Failed to radio display……i try to many times but , no results…
    What can i do?
    I have Ford C-Max 2009 Sony player and bt kit with USB.

  2. Got a 2009 focus where about is usb I can’t seem to find one plus will this work on my car

    1. USB might be near the handbrake, in the front armrest, or in the glove box. Or you might not have one.
      Will it work? No idea. Depends if you have a suitable stereo with bluetooth and USB.
      If you have, it should do.

  3. Mine comes up with no files found, I press the start button and wait for the clutch message to go then comes up update failed straight away! What am I doing wrong?

    1. Read through the existing comments, there are many possible reasons, eg
      Faulty USB drive
      Wrong file system
      Incompatible USB
      Wrong folder
      Software already same version or newer
      Need to delete unnecessary language files

      You should be able to find an answer in there somewhere!

  4. Any further updates your a where of (I have a 2011 Ford smax). I used this (your page) when I updated the car three years ago. Worked on the second attempt once I realised I had done something wrong.

    Reason for asking is there are a few new dab channels I’m not able to get. Heart Christmas was one from last year and capital dance which just started this week.

    Any help much appreciated and thank you for this original post. Transformed my car stereo so I can’t thank you enough.

    1. Hi Martin.
      Unfortunately not, the DAB is entirely separate from the Bluetooth module, and isn’t updated in the same way. The stations you refer to are broadcast on DAB+, a more modern version of DAB which, unfortunately, the older Ford radios don’t support. I lost Radio X last year when they switched to DAB+ for better audio quality for that reason.

  5. I have an Smax 2009, it has the basic Bluetooth module that allows calls only no streaming and I don’t have a USB port, do I need the newer module to do the update?

  6. Hi I’m doing all the steps in a Ford Focus 2011 and it says “Updating BVC device” when I switch the key. But it stays on the loading screen for over 50 mins till I turn it off and the update doesn’t register. Do you know what it could be? Thanks mate

  7. I have galaxy 2013 with battery drain issue. I have identified the drain to bcv/dab module. According to your text this update is for 08-12 galaxy. However my radio panel looks exactly like in the top pic. Can I still try this fix or will I mess everything up?

    1. If your car is a 2013 (unless possibly very early in the model year) then it will probably have this firmware (or newer) already. If so, the update won’t install. I don’t think it can do any harm to try it.
      Does the Converse screen not switch off after the car has been locked?

      1. I was hopeful and tried but failed miserably. I inserted the flash drive but it didn’t say anything. Every screen shuts off but something is going on in the background when car is shut down. There are cases with other ford owners where the unit would still be active and search for phones even when the car is shutdown and locked.
        Do you have any advice for me? I am starting the get desperate with the drain. I even thought of putting one of those rally car type main power switches on the battery… 😀

  8. Hi, I’ve just done the update on my 11 plate C-max titatnium. Took just under 15mins, got eveyrthing working again, no probs with bluetooth now – connects much quicker, plays music from my phone, and mp3 files from usb stick (both did not work before). Still no DAB though, but this must be a different issue (I’ve replaced aerial mast earlier, but it might be the faulty base ). All in all the update is brill, many thanks.

    1. The DAB is part of the head unit, but the Bluetooth unit is a separate part. This update won’t do anything to help with DAB problems, unfortunately.
      Thanks 👍

  9. hello! i have waited about 30 minutes, but i needed to leave the card. when i came back the ignision wasnt on anymore (startstop). i pushed the button and it turned on but it stills says update running please wait. any suggestions?

  10. hi, my wife has a 2009 ford fiesta zetec and the issue we have is that the radio / phone user panel doesnt light up anymore so the radio is stuck on, cant turn it off, cant change stations etc , wont even work vis the sterring wheel controls, any ideas ??, and will this update fix it do you think, thanks,
    Steve from Australia

    1. see if any of the buttons got stuck when pressed . If it stayed pressed in, radio seems jammed. Happened to me a few times before I had realized.

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