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).

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

  1. I have a Sony radio in my Ford focus and tried updating but it says update failed ally the time.
    What can I do?
    Hope you can help me.

    1. Please read all the previous comments for possible solutions, and check that your language is supported.
      Thanks, Will

  2. Should probably mention that older head units cannot be upgraded as they won’t recognise any USB compatible module. Hold buttons 1 and 6 with the stereo turned on and it will display the firmware version. If it’s 05-04-02 or higher then it will recognise USB modules, if lower (eg. 04-05-02) then it won’t.

    Took me a few hours of digging to eventually work that one out.

  3. Hi there hope this thread is still going as I need bit of help..I have newer Bluetooth module with usb and I want to do this update but the usb doesn’t highlight on dash and I tried plugging something into the usb be cable but it’s as if no power is going to it?

    1. Try resetting the stereo, press and hold power button at least 15 seconds. If that doesn’t work, then try pulling out the fuse and leaving it for an hour or so (make sure you have the security code first!).

  4. Hi

    I’m hoping someone can help.

    Ive just got a late 2011 SMAX with a Sony DAB unit, and having a few issues with bluetooth audio and phone calls so wanted to run the update.
    I’ve tried using a few different USB sticks of varying sizes and formatted as FAT32, and tried with having all files on the USB stick as well as just the English language – or what I think is the English language files, but nothing seems to run. If I navigate to USB, it says no supported files, but still doesnt do anything.

    Anyone have any ideas? apologies in advance, I know Im really late to the discussion so no one may be using this any longer



    1. You seem to have tried everything I would. Just make sure the files are in the root folder of the USB drive.
      Beyond that, try resetting the head unit (Hold power button for 15 seconds until it reboots) before trying again.

  5. I have 2008 zetec sony dab stereo
    Calls work just fine via Bluetooth
    Want to stream music through Bluetooth.
    I’ve been advised there’s a wiring modification that can be done, anyone that does it or know someone

    1. This update should do that, no wiring change necessary, unless perhaps you have a very basic Bluetooth module fitted.

  6. Worked a treat, even though failed on first attempt, I just restarted it and then 17 mins later update successful!
    Thanks so much.

  7. I updated my sony radio and everything went well other than the fact i still have no voice control .When i fitted my first module without usb i had voice control with that, but not with my new one .Is there something i need to do to set it up ?when i press the centre button on my steering wheel controls (mine are fitted to the cowling) it just changes the track or station ,a long press just changes from radio to usb then cd . Any ideas ?

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