What to do if iPhone XS Max won’t pair with car Bluetooth

Hello Apple fans! This troubleshooting post gives the troubleshooting steps that you can do if you’re having an issue pairing your iPhone XS Max with your car Bluetooth.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Problem: iPhone XS Max won’t pair with car Bluetooth

I have an iPhone XS Max. I just bought it a few days ago. I’m actually running it on version 12.0.1. I’m trying to pair the phone with the Bluetooth in my car. I have a 2008 Nissan Maxima. It paired with my iPhone 4S and 6 with no problems. Before getting the phone I already deleted all the stored phones from my car’s memory. I have tried turning Bluetooth off, turning the phone off, waiting a minute and then turning the phone and Bluetooth back on. I have also reset the network settings, I don’t have any other devices stored in my Bluetooth to erase. I still can’t get the phone to pair with my Bluetooth. Any other suggestions?

Solution: Bluetooth issues, especially when trying to pair a car Bluetooth with an iPhone, is usually caused by incompatibility. This means that there can be a factor that prevents both devices from working together because each of the systems are not suited with each other. We usually see this when an old Bluetooth system tries to work with a newer Bluetooth device.

Troubleshooting car Bluetooth issues

When it comes to Bluetooth issues, an end user like you can only do so much. Most Bluetooth device come in fixed forms and their settings don’t allow under-the-hood customizations. With car Bluetooth, settings can be configured using an in-vehicle display or with a connected phone. The settings themselves don’t offer options to make deeper coding changes.

To see if you can fix your current Bluetooth issue at your level, these are the basic things that you need to do:

Refresh both systems

This often fixes Bluetooth problems. Restarting the phone and your car is one way of eliminating temporary bugs.

For your iPhone XS Max, here’s how to restart it:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

For your in-vehicle Bluetooth, just restart the car.

Restart Bluetooth

At times, turning an iPhone’s Bluetooth on and off solves issues easily. Make sure to do this after restarting the phone and the car.

To turn Bluetooth on and off on iPhone XS Max:

  1. Go to the Start screen.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Scroll down.
  4. Choose Bluetooth.
  5. Tap on Bluetooth.switch to turn on and off.

Toggle Airplane Mode

Some users were able to fix networking and Bluetooth issues in the past by simply turning Airplane Mode on and off. Make sure to try this before you proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

  1. From the home screen, select the Settings app.
  2. Select the Airplane Mode switch to turn it on or off.
  3. When Airplane mode is on, the Airplane mode icon will be displayed in the Status bar.

Alternatively, you can quickly turn Airplane Mode on and off via Control Center. Simply swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen, then select the Airplane mode icon.

Recreate pairing

Re-pairing your iPhone XS Max with your car Bluetooth may also work. Be sure to delete all Bluetooth pairings in both devices before you attempt to connect them.

To delete a Bluetooth pairing:

  1. Tap to open Settings app from Home.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the Information icon (i) next to the paired Bluetooth accessory.
  4. Tap the option to Forget This Device.
  5. Tap Forget Device to confirm.

The selected Bluetooth device will then be removed. Reboot your iPhone, add your Bluetooth accessory and then retry pairing.

Reset network settings in your iPhone

Clearing an iPhone’s network settings is a must-do troubleshooting step for any networking issue. For those who haven’t tried doing it, here’s how:

  1. Tap on Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Next, tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap Reset to continue.
  4. Select the option to Reset Network Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter the correct passcode for your device.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Install updates for your iPhone and car Bluetooth

When it comes to updates, phone Bluetooth receives more updates than car Bluetooth systems. Some car Bluetooth don’t even receive updates at all and that can be problematic. Although developers and manufacturers want to make their Bluetooth devices backwards compatible with older Bluetooth versions, not everything can work as expected. The older your car Bluetooth is, the greater compatibility issues become between newer Bluetooth devices. In some cases, an operating system update in a phone can trigger an incompatibility issue, making previous pairing no longer suitable out of the blue.

Try to see if there’s a way for you to update your car Bluetooth. If you’re lucky, doing so may eliminate the incompatibility bugging both devices at this time. If there’s no update available for your car Bluetooth, then that means you’ll most likely be never be able to fix the current problem.

Get manufacturer’s help

In many cases involving Bluetooth incompatibility with iPhones, the problem comes from incompatibility between devices. Because iPhones often receive newer updates, incompatibility can occur when they’re paired with older Bluetooth system, such as car stereos or in-vehicle Bluetooth systems. Try to ask the manufacturer of your car’s Bluetooth if their device can be updated to support newer devices.


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.