How to fix Google Pixel 2 XL Bluetooth issues: keeps disconnecting from car head unit

Hello and welcome to today’s troubleshooting article for #GooglePixel2! We’ve been getting an increasing number of reports about Pixel 2 Bluetooth issues for the past few days so we’ve decided to publish one about them. We include two cases as examples in this post but the solutions mentioned here should be applicable if you have different circumstances too.

Problem #1: How to fix Google Pixel 2 XL Bluetooth issues: Bluetooth connection keeps disconnecting to car head unit

I have a 2010 Camaro and a Google Pixel 2 XL and I have never had any problems with the Bluetooth connection. Over the last 4 days, when I am on the phone, my phone will suddenly go from Bluetooth, to handset, then back to Bluetooth. There hasn’t been a specific period of time when it is switching back and forth, sometimes it’s 20 seconds, sometimes it’s two minutes, other times it doesn’t switch back. When it switches from Bluetooth to handset, my radio screen, that usually shows the phone number of the person I’m talking to , will change to ” connected pixel 2″, then when it switches back to Bluetooth, the phone number will reappear or sometimes it’ll say unknown. I don’t think I’m actually losing connection between the car and the phone. I think what’s happening is the phone is switching from broadcasting through Bluetooth, to regular handset mode. One time a few days back, I had lost the Bluetooth phone call through the car so I picked up the handset and started talking. I finished the phone call and as soon as I finished the phone call my phone started broadcasting my music again. This leads me to believe that somehow the phone is discontinuing Broadcasting the Bluetooth phone call, but not the connection. What do you think??? Thank you!!!!

Solution: There’s a number of possible reasons for your problem. Bluetooth devices often encounter pairing issues or incompatibility problems for a number of reasons ranging from firmware bugs, hardware incompatibility, out-of-sync Bluetooth versions, signal interference, among others.

Incompatibility issue

If your car’s head unit had not worked properly with your Google Pixel 2 XL Bluetooth ever since, it’s possible that there’s an incompatibility issue involved. Incompatibility issues between new devices and head units usually occur because the latter devices are not up-to-date, or their hardware is obsolete. Like smartphones, Bluetooth versions also evolve. But while newer smartphones run the latest Bluetooth versions (software and hardware), vehicle head units do not. This can usually lead to problems as outdated Bluetooth versions may not work properly or at all when paired with new devices. Device makers usually exert effort in making sure that their Bluetooth functionality can work with older Bluetooth devices. However, at times, compatibility issues may still exists. For example, newer phones now use Bluetooth Smart and since such devices can only with with other Bluetooth Smart devices, there are technical limitations that cause compatibility issues.

If possible, do some digging about your car’s Bluetooth capability and see if it’s compatible with Google Pixel 2 XL.

Disable possible sources of interference

It’s possible that there is another device in your car or in the vicinity that causes signal interference between your phone and head unit. Try to eliminate possible sources of interference by making sure that there are no other Bluetooth devices in your car or in the area. Also, you want to ensure that your phone and head unit are close to each other and there’s no object between the two.

Signal interference between Bluetooth devices is common since a lot of devices may use the same unlicensed  frequency at the same time. Even devices that don’t transmit may interfere with Bluetooth devices. Some of the suprising sources of interference can come from these items:

  • Wifi
  • USB 3.0
  • Other electronic device that may be in your car

To see if there are external sources of interference, bring your car to an isolated spot and see how Bluetooth works with your Pixel. If you have other devices like laptops, other smartphones, or any other electronics in the car, make sure to turn them off.

Update your car’s Bluetooth system

Some head units may allow update for their firmware. Consult your car’s manual and see if there’s a way for you to install an update for its Bluetooth. Alternatively, you can consult your car dealership to see if they can do it for you. Again, not all head units have update capability so be sure to try updating yours. Hopefully, an updated Bluetooth version will eliminate whatever is causing the problem.

Forget all Bluetooth connections

Another troubleshooting step that you can try is to clear all pairings or Bluetooth connections in both your head unit and phone. Consult your manual on how to do this on your car’s head unit.

To forget Bluetooth connections on your Pixel 2:

  1. Swipe up to view Apps.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Connected devices.
  4. Tap Bluetooth.
  5. Tap the Options icon beside the device you want to unpair.
  6. Tap Forget.

Reset network settings

We don’t think this has something to do with your Pixel device but some users were able to successfully make their device work by clearing their network settings. If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s what you need to do:

  1. From a Home screen, tap the Arrow icon Up to display all apps.
  2. Go to Settings app icon.
  3. Tap System About icon.
  4. Tap Reset options icon.
  5. Choose from the following:
    • Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth
    • Reset app preferences
    • Erase all data (factory reset)
  6. Tap RESET SETTINGS. If prompted, enter the PIN, password or pattern.
  7. Tap RESET SETTINGS to confirm.

Consult your car dealership

There’s only so much that you can do on your end when it comes to Bluetooth issues, especially since 99% of the time, the problem is compatibility-related. Make sure to visit your car dealership to know if there’s something that they can do to help. Keep in mind that Chevrolet may not be the maker of the head unit in your car so they may have to recommend you to contact another company for help.

Problem #2: Google Pixel 2 XL won’t detect any Bluetooth device

Hello. I own a Google Pixel 2 XL. Lately I’ve been having trouble connecting my bluetooth to devices like head sets, cars, speakers etc. The first time this happened I selected the device I wished to connect to but it instantly disconnected. I tried multiple suggestions to get it to work like turning bluetooth off and on, putting it in safe mode, clearing bluetooth cache and data, putting it in recovery mode and clearing the cache partition, etc. And it finally started working again. However, now it stopped but now when the bluetooth tries to scan for another device there are no devices listed. My phone can’t detect any other bluetooth devices and can’t work. I’ve tried repeating what i did the first time when i had problems with bluetooth, but nothing worked.

Solution: There may be an issue with your phone’s Bluetooth functionality. We suggest that you  return the phone’s software infomation to their defaults and see what happens afterwards. Be sure to create a backup of your files before wiping the phone.

To factory reset your Google Pixel 2 XL:

  1. Ensure that the phone is turned off.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons until the bootloader mode appears then release. It’s represented by an Android bot image with Start label on top.
  3. Press the Volume Down button to select Recovery mode then press the Power button to confirm selection. After doing so, your phone will flash the Google start screen momentarily then restarts in Recovery Mode.
  4. When you see the Android bot image with an exclamation point inside a red triangle with No Command label beneath, press and hold the Power button.
  5. Press the Volume Up button once then release the Power button.
  6. Use the Volume button to select Wipe data/factory reset option from the Android Recovery screen.
  7. Select Yes to confirm.
  8. Wait until the factory data reset process is finished.
  9. Select Reboot System Now.

Now that your phone has been reset, check how Bluetooth works before you add any app to the system. If it works fine, then you know the issue is most likely caused by an app or software glitch.

If Bluetooth fails to work right after a factory reset, that means you have a hardware issue. Call Google so they can repair or replace the phone.

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