The labyrinths of Bluetooth - or - how my Nissan Qashqai lost it"s audio (and finally got it back!)
Bluetooth is one of the small technological wonders that surrounds us. Connect almost everything together to enhance the “thing-experience”.
For example I have connected my car’s audio system (a 2012 Nissan Qashqai) to my iPhone 5s, and thus I can listen to audio stored on my iPhone. Great for learning a language when commuting!
A couple of days ago, the sound suddenly died in my car! The “head unit” (the display and all the buttons) with the navigation, radio and phone controls all seemed to work - albeit no sound!
Read on to see my endeavor to get the audio back
What do a I, as a programmer, do when I have problems like this? Hit Google and start searching around on the net of course, with search words like “Nissan Qashqai No Sound” And of course I get hits;
- “Check this!”
- “Check that!”
- “Read more in the Service Manual”
- “See this or that video!”
- “Get the wiring!”
Phew! Reading forum posts en mass! After the initial advices, all the interior fuses were checked.
- “Remember, it’s sometimes difficult to see if a fuse is actually broken - check it”
Phew! Out with the fuses again and check them thoroughly. All ok.
- “Check the fuses in the bonnet”
What?! Other fuses?! It turned out that there is a fuse box beneath some air duct. Off with the air duct, and check all fuses in that “hidden fuse box”. Again - all OK. Another hour gone
- “Check that the amp gets power”
Smart enough. The only caveat is that the amp is placed under the passenger seat. After another round of swearing I finally was able to measure 12 Volts coming into the amp. After all measures, the electrical system probably is OK. Yet another hour gone...
- “Your amp is probably dead. This happens often as the it is somewhat unprotected under the seat!”
Grrrr! I came to the same conclusion too, and started to search for amp-replacements on EBay. Of course nothing available right now ....
The magic trick - or not!
After a while searching like mad, you have seen sooo many hints and tricks, that you obviously lower the guard and become receptive for other “tricks”. As an example I found this;
Click on the image above to launch the video on Youtube
The title “Problems with Nissan Connect - no sound” sounded exactly as my problem, and since the producer of the video doesn’t say a thing, he basically shows that the stereo is dead - just like mine. Then the magic trick is revealed. Instead of starting the car with the keyless fob, he extract the real key from the fob and start the car with the key. Voila - the sound is back! Straight out to the car and test this Bob! As soon as I inserted the key into the keyhole, it snapped in place, and (of course) the magic trick didn’t work for me. And now the physical key was stuck in the keyhole .... (anyway, thanks to the video guy for sharing and posting!)
I have been using the key fob since we first got the car, and I have obviously never really thought about the little button just behind the start knob. I have obviously allways pressed when turing off the ignition - just as a muscle memory thing. But now, with the key inserted I didn’t think of it. I must have looked really stupid when I somewhat frustrated turned up at the garage and told them that my key was stuck. Well, the service man hadn’t forgotten then little button behind they key, and voila the key was out I also told him about my reason for using the real key instead of the keyless fob. He laughed when I told him about my “no stereo” and that starting the car with the real key should fix the problem
Note to self - really think twice before testing everything you see on the net.
The solution - the real magic trick
A couple of days ago my iPhone again got the “Storage Almost Full”-message. I have blogged about that in the article “Hmmm, a restore of my iPhone 5S found and freed 7,3 GB from nowhere?!”. For some stupid reason iPhone doesn’t have control over all it’s memory and something is slowly and steadily eating memory. For me the only solution has been to do a full restore. Sad - but true! So after a restore my iPhone was back up and running again.
Since my car-stereo has been dead for a while now, and I wanted to start again with my language learning during commuting, I thought I could use my Bluetooth-enabled headset Plantronics BackBeat Fit paired with my iPhone. So far so good, all the way to see that my iPhone-restore hadn’t restored any of my audio files! Crap! No Greek learning today! I turned the Plantronics headset off.
Of course, removing all the fuses cut the power to the Connect system, so suddenly I didn’t have any phones paired anymore. So, I turned the Bluetooth on and started the pairing procedure with my iPhone.
For some reason (remember - muscle memory!) I hit the audio on button - and voila - the radio was playing and the sound was back!!!!
While not being 100% sure, I belive that something like this has occurred:
- Before the sound-off I have listened to my language files on the iPhone via Bluetooth (using the BT Audio in the Nissan Connect). I have probably not turned off the BT-audio or/else the file-playing on my phone. I guess I just turned off the ignition. Somehow the Nissan Connect has determined that the last thing it was connected to before the ignition was turned off was a bluetooth device (and perhaps that the sound could be routed to the iPhone). This connection was reestablished when the car was turned on again. But since my phone had acted strange with the “Storage Almost Full”, perhaps the connection wasn’t really reestablished?!
- My iPhone has of course also remembered this connection, and it was first when I connected another Bluetooth sound device to the iPhone, that Nissan Connect somehow “unfriended” the previous setting.
So perhaps the procedure should be to unpair any phones both in the Nissan Connect and on the phone (“Forget this device”). Always remember to turn off any Bluetooth devices before turning off your car-stereo!
Hopefully you never have this problem!
What did I learn? Trial and error is never bad, albeit timeconsuming I also learned new stuff about my car, such as the whereabouts of the hidden fuses and that the amp is probably very unprotected under the seat! I also found a new System Setup menu on the stereo and finally I learned that Bluetooth connections can turn sour