CarPlay Crashes Constantly in My Car

Update:

Today, I spoke to a senior AppleCare advisor. He wanted me to set the phone up as new to see what happened. I did this, and sat in the car for a few minutes, and there were no crashes.

I hadn’t signed into anything when I set the phone up, so I signed into Apple Music so I could listen to music while waiting, and there were still no crashes.

I then signed into iCloud with my Apple ID, and CarPlay promptly crashed. I signed out, restarted, and everything worked fine again. I signed into iCloud, and it crashed. I signed out, and it worked fine.

I then signed in with a different Apple ID, one I don’t use much, and CarPlay worked fine. I signed out, signed in again with my normal Apple ID, and it crashed again.

So there’s something in my iCloud data – contacts, calendars, phone call info, or messages – that is corrupt and causing CarPlay to crash. I don’t know how they are going to figure this out, but the person sent this on to Apple engineers to see what they can do. I imagine that if it is possible to export all my iCloud data, then reimport it, it might solve the problem, which seems to be some corrupted data that CarPlay reads.

Of all the things that I could think of causing these crashes, this would never have crossed my mind. Lots of people are reporting issues with CarPlay and iOS 13, and I wonder if this is the cause of many, if not of most of them.


Original article:

I have a magenta fizz 2018 Toyota Aygo, which was the first Toyota that offered CarPlay, and that feature is one of the reasons I bought this model.

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Under iOS 12, I never had a problem with CarPlay, but since iOS 13, it has consistently crashed. It started when I updated my iPhone XS Max to the golden master of iOS 13 (that’s the final release version of the software, available to people with developer accounts about a week before the official release). Since then, there have been three other updates to iOS §3 (and my phone is no longer running betas), so you’d think that Apple has had plenty of time to squash bugs.

When I start the car, the car’s head unit displays its welcome screen, then CarPlay displays, then, after about 20 or 30 seconds, it crashes. The screen goes black for 20 seconds, then the head unit comes back, and repeat.

Today, my partner and I went on a short trip, to a town about a half hour away. After several crashes, CarPlay worked for me, long enough to get us to our destination. But on the way back, it wouldn’t work for more than 30 seconds. But my partner’s iPhone SE works fine.

This has happened on two iPhones: my iPhone XS Max, and the new iPhone 11 I got last week. So it’s not specific to a given phone. The fact that it works with an iPhone SE is odd. I’ve tried “forgetting” the car in the CarPlay settings on the iPhone, several times, and I even changed the USB cable in case that could be a variable.

So I called Apple today, and they are escalating the case, but given my experience with Apple and complex problems, I have absolutely no faith that they will do anything at all. I’m taking the car to my Toyota dealer in Thursday, but they’re scratching their heads; all they can do is bounce it up in the Toyota chain to see what happens. It could be something as simple as a firmware update for the car; I got it last December, so it’s possible that there is an update available.

I hope they find a solution to this, because, as my car dealer knows well, this is one of the main reasons I upgraded from a 2017 Aygo to a 2018 model (plus they were having a promotion, so made it worth my while to make the change). But if they can’t fix this soon, I’ll have to see what my options are regarding my lease. Since there is no GPS/satnav on the car, because it supports CarPlay, then I have no way of navigating (without falling back on my iPhone mounted with a suction cup on the windshield, which I really don’t want to do).

What about you, dear reader? I’ve heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that I’m not the only one seeing CarPlay crashes. Have you had similar issues with your car?

30 thoughts on “CarPlay Crashes Constantly in My Car

  1. I have a Mercedes Benz and CarPlay is not crashing but WAZE is not displaying a map on the car’s screen. Voice comes through but no map. Apple supporta told me to use the Apple GPS program , they do not support WAZE.

    • Of course they support Waze. If not, it wouldn’t display in CarPlay. What a dismissive response from Apple.

  2. I saw a few problems recently with a new head unit where it turned out to be the length of cable I was using. Started using a shorter cable and all the problems stopped. In another instance it was an update to the head unit of my car that was needed to fix a bug they had.

    • I tried changing cables, but I don’t think it’s the cable length that should make a difference. Again, this happened on two iPhones, but not on a third.

  3. I just purchased a Volkswagen GTI for CarPlay as well. I use Tidal. It is basically unusable while the Apple Music app works fine. Guessing third party devs have not taken steps to adapt to CarPlay in iOS 13, but very frustrating!

    • I haven’t been using any third-party apps. I did briefly use overcast, but I have mostly just been using Apple Maps.

  4. Workaround is to pair your phone using bluetooth and utilize your navigation from your iPhone that way in non-CarPlay mode until Apple fixes the issue. Toyota won’t be able to do anything for you especially considering your iPhoneSE is working correctly.

  5. I think the magenta fizz car color is attracting the police to point their radar at your ride, causing the issue. 🙂

  6. (1) When in non-CarPlay mode, using different iPhones (SE, 8, X, XS, XS Max) my 2018 Mercedes-AMG S 63 won’t allow next track/previous track controls to work; (2) when in CarPlay mode, Waze with every iOS update has put up sign-in or permission-type screens on the phone, out of my sight, making it appear CarPlay (not just Waze) isn’t working until you acknowledge the “message”; (3) Android works fine, except on my car, it doesn’t fill the 12-inch screen.

    Once I get past issue (2) above, CarPlay is working for me, but it was a different variation of the problem with every iOS 13 beta and beyond, including iOS 13.1.2 yesterday. Yesterday’s problem made it look like CarPlay itself wasn’t working. There was no indication on the media screen that CarPlay was available until I pulled the phone out of the console, lit it up and got past the Waze screen (again).

    I’m hoping Apple fixes the CarPlay problems, and the problem in my car anyway of using iPhones as iPods in general, without CarPlay. It’s broken for me and has been since the iOS 13 beta.

    • Bud, another problem in my 2018 Mercedes this afternoon. I was playing Pandora using CarPlay. I decided to play my music on the iPhone. The sound disappeared and the left hand screen continued to show Pandora. The center screen showed my playlist. But no sound. I unplugged, rebooted the iPhone XS, then restarted CarPlay. Same issue. Apple support told me it was a Mercedes issue. Going to dealer tomorrow.

  7. Hey Kirk, sorry, I just HAD to comment on the magenta fizz.
    But seriously, I, too have found that a short, AUTHENTIC Apple cable ‘can’ fix the problem, as others have noted. It happened to me on a French rental I drove for 3 weeks.

    And one more thing, thank you for all your past contributions (iTunes, etc); I have benefitted from your knowledge immensely.

    • I was using an authentic Apple cable, and even tried switching to a different one, but it made no difference.

  8. I’ve had CarPlay since August 2015 in a Honda Accord Touring. I’ve never experienced a single issue with CarPlay and iOS 13 made CarPlay even better. Reset your network settings.

  9. I have a 2017 Honda Accord. The first version of CarPlay on iOS 13 would connect about 50% of the time. Same with 13.1. 13.1.2 has been solid so far. CarPlay has been able to connect 100% of the time (crossing my fingers). The apps I use the most: Maps, Overcast, Messages have also worked without a hitch.

    Prior to iOS 13, if CarPlay did not connect, I would “reboot” the car to get it to try to connect. By reboot, I mean pulling off the road, turning the car off, and turning it back on. Sometimes, that worked with iOS 11 and 12 but it never worked with iOS13 or 13.1. I haven’t had a problem with 13.1.2 yet but it’s still early.

    It’s so difficult for users to troubleshoot since we’re dealing with 2 software and hardware systems.

  10. My wife just got a 2019 Subaru Outback. CarPlay has worked flawlessly with her new iPhone XR and my iPhone 11. We drove to Lake Tahoe yesterday and I was switching between Overcast, Waze, and Messages without a hitch. Now I’m jealous because my car doesn’t have CarPlay.

  11. I’ve posted an update to the article at the top. If you’ve commented, you might want to see what the actual cause of the problem is (though I don’t yet have a resolution).

  12. Ditto the 2019 Outback. CarPlay with our iPhones X, 11 Pro, and iPod 6 seems fine. But we aren’t doing any 3rd party apps.

  13. Hi Kirk! FWIW, I have a 2019 Kia Sorento and, like you, an XS Max. CarPlay has worked fine for me since I bought the car new last year. I looked forward to the iOS 13 upgrade and improvements to CarPlay. I have had no problems since the upgrade; if anything, CarPlay works a bit more smoothly.

    I’m not as impressed with the “improvements” though. CarPlay is almost less usable than before, and things I looked forward to, like having iTunes track changes display in other apps, like Waze, are still not there. I guess there’s always hope for iOS 14…

  14. I have a 2016 VW Jetta sport a few months ago with CarPlay.

    CarPlay worked fine with iPhone 6s and ios12. Then I got an iPhone XR, still worked fine with ios12. The switch to iOS13 has caused all sorts of issues. 50% of the time it won’t connect at all, and when it does it constantly crashes. It got really bad just in the last few days on iOS13.1.2

  15. Have you checked if there is a firmware update available through your car vendor? I bought my Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX 3+ years ago, and it would crash with iOS updates at times and would often have firmware updates. While that hardware (the host hardware, the 8100) has not had a firmware update since August 2018, I have had no crashing with the shipping version of iOS 13.1.2 on an iPhone XS Max. I had some crashing issues with the 13.0 GM and before, but not now (an OCCASIONAL restart but I imagine we will have many of those in CarPlay is iOS 13). Not sure if it will do anything, but worth a check – especially since Toyota was one of the longer holdouts on CarPlay and may have had a couple of bug fixes at their end, and since like most car vendors, their car stereo is made by a 3rd party so it may take longer to go bug>car vendor>stereo manufacturer>Fix>Car Vendor>End User

    Good luck! I LOVE the new features of CarPlay. It was the reason I upgraded. I have seen a few user interactions issues in CarPlay related to having “foreground” multitasking (two active windows at a time in different or the same apps), grant you – but that is more to do with almost no third party apps and new built in apps still not being designed well for the dual interface. Which screen/window of an app to show and update properly still seems to be an issue. These will take time as the apps get updated by 3rd parties and Apple themself updates their apps and APIs in .x releases.

  16. I’m having ‘freezes’ with a 2018 Ford Fiesta and carplay in iOS 13. The map and audio just stops but stays on screen until i unplug the phone.

  17. Hi, I own a 2018 Citroën C1 Airscape with the same media system installed as the Toyota Aygo or the Peugeot 108, all functions with my iPhone 7 Plus was working fine in the car until the iOS 13.1.3 update the first iOS13 was stable and seemed fine. The system in the car crashes every couple of minutes, crash frequency rate is higher when apple maps is open. Apple support chat drew a blank and I have tried org. cables deleting profiles etc. etc. No change! Citroën say that there is no software update available for the C1s at this time and as with Apple they too were unaware of this issue.

    • I’m still waiting to hear back from Apple, but have you tried using it without being logged into your Apple ID? That’s what turned out to be crashing it for me. Apple’s engineers are supposed to check my iCloud account for corruption.

  18. I have literally just closed a lengthy Apple support chat and it seems that Taylor was on the nose with his suggestion as Apple support too suggested resetting the network settings, I went the whole hog and in ‘Settings>general>reset>reset all settings’ did exactly that. After logging all back in the carplay is now stable and all apps work. I cannot comment on third party apps such as Waze or Whatsapp as I don’t use them. According to the Apple support the issue may have been anything to do with the apple ID connection i.e. keychain, just as you said Kirk. I think this ‘reset’ could be helpful to others who too are experiencing system crashes. Just make sure your data is backed up to the icloud before you reset.

    • Yes, I tried that, and it didn’t do anything for me. Post again if it’s still working after a couple of days.

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