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Android Auto / Bluetooth Distortion

JazzJPH Feb 3, 2019

  1. JazzJPH

    JazzJPH Registered User

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    Hi guys,

    I've had my Audi A4 B9 (67 plate) for just over a year now. I noticed a few months in that the music would occasionally distort on Android Auto. I'd unplug the phone from the USB cable and it would play over Bluetooth - still distorting. Then I'd switch to radio and music quality would be fine.

    The music wasn't turned up loud. The only way to stop it happening seems to be to turn off the engine, get out, lock the car and wait 5-10 minutes for the entertainment system to sort itself out. Then it's just a chance whether it will do it again or work fine. Toss of a coin really.

    When it does distort, if I turn off the engine and open the driver side door without unplugging my phone, even the "Your mobile phone is still in the vehicle" audio warning is distorted.

    I had it in with Audi and they couldn't find anything the issue The fact I only ever experienced it on my Samsung Galaxy S7 didn't convince them of an issue with the car. My wife has the same phone so I wouldn't prove much if the issue persisted.

    Today I tried out my new phone (Huawei Mate 20 Pro). It worked fine first time. Then in the afternoon when we decided to head out, the distortion happened again over Bluetooth. Definitely the car.

    I tried a few different tracks. Some seemed OK as there wasn't a great deal going on in the song, but once they build up and there is plenty of singing and instruments, it distorts, regardless of volume level.

    It's really bizarre. Has anyone experienced this? The car has had the latest updates from Audi...
     
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  3. JazzJPH

    JazzJPH Registered User

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    Today the music was fine. Same songs that sometimes distort. No clear pattern to this..
     
  4. WesT-gefül

    WesT-gefül Well-Known Member Bronze Supporter

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    Disconnect Bluetooth for your phone/car. Doesn’t android auto no play over the usb cable? Bluetooth isn’t as good as playing over the actual cable. I use CarPlay so I deleted my phone from the car because it kept connecting.

    What service are you using to play music? Have you checked quality settings?
     
    JazzJPH likes this.
  5. DotNetDude

    DotNetDude Registered User

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    Initially from your description it does sound unlikely to be an issue with the car, however if you've changed the phones and the problem is still occurring, then it could point to the car. I would say you need to go through a few steps, and then you can go back to the dealer. You said it was originally happening through Android auto. Try switching off Bluetooth on your phone, and just connect through the cable (with AA) and run for a few days to see if it occurs.

    Assuming it is fine, next try connecting your phone to another Bluetooth device not related to your car, such as a TV or Bluetooth speaker, and see if you get the same behaviour with the same source/tracks.

    Finally, try a couple of difference sources (apps) from your phone. Maybe the built in music player, and then amazon or spotify, or something else. Is it just music, or can you hear the distortion for everything such as notifications, GPS instructions, voice messages, etc. You need to find if it occurs only with one app, or with more than one.

    For it to be the car, the problem needs to be happening with everything over Bluetooth, and not just one app. Assuming that is the case, you've isolated the issue to the car. So then I suggest you wait until the problem occurs, and then drive the car to the dealer, so that you can actually demonstrate it to them. You can then be more demanding, you can tell them it is a bluetooth fault, and you can "prove" (albeit only by telling them) that it happens with multiple devices (phones), and those phones don't suffer from the problem when connecting to other Bluetooth units, or when connecting to the car via the cable. This leaves the only item remaining which is the Bluetooth module/circuit in the car.

    The car will have a specific Bluetooth module which will just be a circuit with a bluetooth chip. As is the way with electronics, they can become faulty, and by providing the dealer with all the evidence, and telling them you want them to change the bluetooth unit/module, perhaps they will be more inclined to do something about it. After all, from their point of view, when you initially reported the fault, it does sound like it could be "user error", and if they connected a couple of phones and couldn't reproduce it, and if the bluetooth module is a small part of a bigger (expensive) module, they are not going to want to change the entire module for what might just be "user error". It is a pain, but if you take the appropriate steps to diagnose and isolate the problem, they should be more inclined to listen to you this time.
     
    JazzJPH and DaveW like this.
  6. JazzJPH

    JazzJPH Registered User

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    WesT-gefül/DotNetDude,

    Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention, if it does decide to distort I just connect my phone to my Bose bluetooth headphones and it comes through fine. I'm using Spotify.

    I thought Android Auto plays through USB but it always puts my Bluetooth on so maybe everything else is via USB (display, navigation, call logs etc.) while audio is through Bluetooth?

    When it's distorting, it will even distort when the Audi lady car voice tells me my mobile phone is still in the vehicle.

    I fully agree with you about taking the appropriate steps and fully ascertaining the issues is car-related and not device/user related. I think I'm approaching that mark now. I need to try to make sure Bluetooth is off and audio goes through USB for my next few trips.

    Cheers for the help :)
     
  7. JazzJPH

    JazzJPH Registered User

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    My wife recorded the sound issue.
     
  8. JazzJPH

    JazzJPH Registered User

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    I tested this out. Whilst the phone was plugged in and Android Auto was active, I turned off bluetooth. It turned straight back on. I tried turning it off again and again but it was straight back on. Seems that audio plays through bluetooth and the rest of the info goes through USB.
     
  9. JazzJPH

    JazzJPH Registered User

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    Collected the car from Audi. Thankfully one of the techs managed to get the same issue with their phone on my bluetooth. Technicians report says "found issue due to an internal electrical fault with the radio ECU. Replaced and coded new ECU, tested OK".

    So there we have it. Only a year left on the lease so hopefully the car will behave until I hand it back
     
  10. DotNetDude

    DotNetDude Registered User

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    Glad you got it resolved.
     
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