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Android Auto crashes, connection issues, and other problems (FIX)

android auto featured

If you don’t already drive a smart car, a handy car companion made by Google called Android Auto will make your car a little bit smarter. It’s very convenient, as it replaces some more expensive parts of your cabin like a GPS navigator and radio by combining them into a single package.

So, why would anyone buy expensive equipment when Android Auto provides everything? Well, maybe because Android Auto is still just an app. And apps tend to be less reliable than gear made specifically for the purpose.

Now, I don’t say Android Auto is unreliable. It’s a very well-made piece of software that will be your friend on the road. It’s just that issues will occasionally happen,  and you don’t want to be out on the road, with your navigation system broken.

That’s why I compiled a list of the most common Android Auto issues (and their solutions), so you’ll know what to do when they occur and continue to drive safely. Just remember to pull over when using your phone, I don’t have to tell you why.

1: Android Auto isn’t working

In case Android Auto doesn’t even work when you try to connect it to your car, keep the following things in check first:

  • Check if your car is compatible. You need more than just a USB cable for Android Auto to work, as your car needs to support Android Auto in the first place. Here’s the list of all supported manufacturers and cars.
  • Check your USB cable. A USB cable you’re using also needs to be compatible with Android Auto. Check out these tips on how to choose the right USB cable for Android Auto.
  • Check if Android Auto is turned on in your car’s infotainment system.
  • Make sure you added your car to Android Auto by going to the hamburger menu > Settings > Connected cars.

2: Android Auto crashes

1 – Clear the app cache

The first thing you’ll want to do is clear Android Auto’s app cache. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Apps or Apps Manager (depending on your phone).
  3. Find Android Auto.
  4. Tap Storage.Solve Android Auto clashes by clearing cache
  5. Tap Clear cache.

Solution 2 – Limit background processes

As crashing is a common Android Auto problem, a few users managed to uncover that it’s related to battery optimization and background processes. That’s why they suggest you disable battery optimization and limit background processes before using Android Auto.

We’ll start with limiting background processes. But we need Developer Options for that. If you don’t have Developer Options enabled already, here’s how to enable this feature:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to About phone.
  3. Tap the Build number continuously until you get a pop-up message saying that you’re a Developer now.
  4. After this, the Developer Options section will appear in Settings.

Now that we’re sure Developer Options are there, let’s limit these background processes. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to System > Advanced > Developer options.
  3. Scroll down to the Apps section, and tap Background process limit.
  4. Select At most 2 processes.solve android auto crashes by limiting background processes

Keep in mind this will limit the number of processes running in the background, which could slightly slow opening apps down. If you notice an unbearable difference, you might want to bring the background process limit to the Standard limit when you’re not using Android Auto.

Solution 3 – Disable battery optimization

If limiting background processes isn’t enough, make sure you disable battery optimization for Google Play Services. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Apps & notifications.
  3. Go to Advanced > Special app access.
  4. Go to Battery optimization.
  5. Choose All apps from the dropdown menu.Solve Android Auto crashes by disabling battery optimization
  6. Make sure both Android Auto and Google Play Services are set to Don’t optimize.

You can also reinstall Android WebView. Learn how to reinstall Android WebView in this article.

3: “Something went wrong Google Play Services doesn’t seem to be working at the moment”

At the time of writing this article, Google says it’s still investigating this issue. Which means we still may be far away from the actual solution. But when it arrives, you’ll probably receive it as an update to Android Auto. Just keep checking for new updates regularly.

In the meantime, one user reported on Reddit that he managed to resolve the problem by uninstalling Android Auto, disabling Google Play, and then clearing the cache of both Google Play and Google Play Services. So, you can try the same thing, and see if it works for you.

Here’s the step-by-step solution:

  1. Uninstall Android Auto.
  2. Go to Settings > Apps & notifications. Tap the three-dots menu, and choose Show System apps. Find Google Play, and tap it. Tap Disable.
  3. Stay in the Google Play section. Tap Storage > Clear cache.
  4. Go back to Apps, find Google Play Services, and tap it. Navigate to Storage > Clear cache.
  5. Go back to Google Play Store, and Enable it.
  6. Head over to the Store and install Android Auto again.

4: Google Maps stops showing

Once again, this issue is on Google’s “under investigation” list. So, the same logic applies to the problem above. However, a few users managed to find their way around missing Google Maps in Android Auto.

Samsung’s power-saving mode restricts various apps and features, including Android Auto’s integration with Google Maps. So, if Google Maps stops showing in Android Auto, and you’re using a Samsung phone, try changing the power-saving mode to Medium by going to Settings Device care > Power mode Medium power-saving mode.

Another case where Google Maps won’t show is if Android Auto isn’t permitted to use the Location service. Here’s how to check it out:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Apps > Android Auto.
  3. Tap Permissions.
  4. Make sure the Location is toggled on.

5: Can’t make a call or send a message

If you’re unable to make calls or send messages through Android Auto, Google once again advises you to update the Android Auto app. However, here are a few more things you can try:

  • Clear Android Auto cache
  • Reinstall Android Auto
  • Clear Google Play Services cache
  • Re-connect Android Auto to your car.

6: Android Auto won’t stop ringing

Speaking of calls and messages, there’s another related problem. And that’s when Android Auto just won’t stop ringing. But unlike the previous issues, there’s a known workaround for this problem. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Uninstall Android Auto.
  2. Go to Settings > Connections > Bluetooth > Advanced > Menu (three dots in the right corner) > find Ring Tone Sync and turn it off.
  3. Install Android Auto
  4. Leave the car off for 5 minutes.
  5. Go to Radio > Home screen > Settings > System > Phones > Select the little pen/pencil icon > Forget the device.
  6. Turn the car off and leave it for a few minutes.
  7. Reconnect your phone.

7: Location appears wrong

In case Android Auto shows a wrong location, there could be something wrong with the GPS and Location Services. Of course, the first thing you should do is make sure both Google Maps and Google Play Services are up to date. But there are a few additional workarounds you can try to resolve this issue:

Solution 1 – Increase GPS accuracy

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Location.
  3. Go to Mode, and enable High Accuracy.
  4. In case you can’t find this option, go to Security & location > Location > Advanced > Google Location Accuracy, and make sure it’s toggled on.
  5. On some Android devices, enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth scanning in Location settings.

2 – Refresh GPS data

  1. Install GPS Status & Toolbox.
  2. In the app, open the menu, and tap Manage A-GPS state.
  3. Tap Reset.Solve Android Auto issue by refreshing GPS
  4. When the process is finished, go back to Manage A-GPS state > Download. Your GPS will now refresh.

3 – Disable Mock locations

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to System > Advanced > Developer options.
  3. Scroll down to the Debugging section.
  4. Tap the Mock location app, and select Nothing.

8. Android Auto won’t connect

In case Android Auto doesn’t connect to a mobile network, you should troubleshoot the Mobile data issues by following the steps in the dedicated article. Make sure that you have passable network coverage and that Android auto is allowed to use Mobile data in the background.

Here’s how to check this option:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps and expand All apps.
  3. Open Android Auto.
  4. Tap Mobile data (or Mobile Data & Wi-Fi).
  5. Make sure that Android Auto can use mobile data in the background.

You can also try reinstalling the app and some even suggest resetting their devices to factory settings have fixed the issue. The latter is advised whenever you upgrade to a newer Android version.

That’s about it. I certainly hope you managed to resolve your problem with these solutions. Keep in mind that, due to system UI changes, some steps might differ. If you’ve encountered an issue I didn’t list in this article, feel free to write it down in the comments below.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in May 2019. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Ivan Jenic

Ivan Jenic

Editor-in-chief at Mobile Internist. @ivan_jenic I founded Mobile Internist to help people understand technology better. And maybe solve some annoying problems. That's about it, cheers!
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