How To Stop Apple CarPlay Crashing: 6 Simple Solutions

The constant presence of technology today makes even the tiniest disruption to connectivity feel enormously frustrating.

Take in-car software integration, for instance.

The ease and seamlessness of using Apple CarPlay only make crashes in service seem more annoying.

Apple CarPlay can crash because of connectivity, software, or hardware-related issues. Depending on the source of the problem, you may need to reset your system, replace your cable, obtain faster internet access, or modify your settings. You may also need to update your software or hardware.

In this article, I’ll take a step-by-step look at how to resolve Apple CarPlay crashes.

Beginning with the most straightforward solution and proceeding onto more complicated and expensive ones, we’ll fix your CarPlay issues by the time we’re through.

Possible Reasons Your CarPlay Is Crashing

Jeep wrangler radio black screen
Jeep wrangler CarPlay radio black screen

Apple CarPlay integrates your iPhone into your car’s onboard electronic media system.

So interruptions to service can originate with any of these components.

CarPlay may crash because of problems in the software or hardware of:

  • Your iPhone
  • Your Car
  • Your Media System.

 

Apple CarPlay crashes may also result from disruptions to the smooth software integration of the various electronic components.

We’ll deal with each of these problems one by one.

Network & Connectivity Issues

CarPlay can connect your iPhone wirelessly or over cable to your vehicle’s media system.

It relies on Bluetooth / Wifi or a lightning cable connector to do so.

If your media system doesn’t support wireless connectivity or your lightning cable is defective, CarPlay will not function effectively.

For CarPlay to work smoothly, your media system must also be fully functional. It must support CarPlay integration.

Finally, the media system must also receive uninterrupted power from your vehicle.

Additionally, you’ll need uninterrupted WiFi at adequate speeds when using many apps over CarPlay. It goes without saying that disruptions or bottlenecks in WiFi connectivity can cause your CarPlay to crash.

Software Environment

The software of both your systems – phone and car – must support proper CarPlay integration.

While most iPhones today and many vehicles do precisely this, changes in the software environment caused by updates to any component can cause their integration to go out of whack.

Hardware Issues

If your iPhone, your car’s media system, or your vehicle has developed hardware issues, this can easily cause CarPlay to crash.

However, before you rush out to replace any hardware, you’ll want to perform a number of other tests.

This is because connectivity problems and software issues are more straightforward and less expensive to deal with.

Fixing CarPlay Crashes

As you’ve noticed, several issues might have caused CarPlay to crash.

But where should you start if the problem is with your phone, media system, car, or integrated software environment?

I’ve put together a simple checklist of steps you can run through to solve the problem, beginning with the simplest.

Here are 6 simple steps to stop Apple CarPlay crashing:

1. Perform a System Reset

forget car network - fix carplay microphone not working

*The image above is of a home Wifi network, but the premise is the same.

Since your car and your phone frequently connect to other devices, the first step to try is a complete system reset.

For many connected electronic systems, this simple measure will resolve a surprisingly large number of issues.

Besides resetting your iPhone and restarting your vehicle and its media system, you should also forget all connections and reset network settings. Or just forget your exact vehicle network.

You’ll need to reconnect to WiFi and re-enter any passwords, so keep them handy.

Once done, reconnect like new.

2. Test Your Cables

iPhone Cable Connected to CarPlay
 

If you’re using CarPlay wirelessly, try switching to a cabled connection.

Your Bluetooth connection may be temporarily spotty, or software issues may be causing it to break periodically.

If you’re already using a cable, ensure that the cable is an MFI Apple lightning cable and not a defective third-party accessory. 

See my guide to the best CarPlay charging cable for my favorite cord.

Alternatively, if your vehicle’s media system does not have a USB port and you are using an adapter to connect your lightning cable to your car, the problem may be with your adapter. Wireless CarPlay adapters can be particularly bad for this.

However, even high-quality cables can go bad over time and must be replaced.

3. Check Internet Speeds

screenshot of internet speed test to stop apple carplay crashing

It may seem obvious, but apps may stop working smoothly over CarPlay if your internet connection is patchy.

Although less common, this problem may arise in remote areas. CarPlay navigation apps can be partially bad for this.

In this case, you’ll have no other option but to obtain or wait for better reception.

If you want to test your internet speed, my favorite is the Ookla internet speed tester.

4. Grant All Necessary In-App Permissions

CarPlay integration is also affected by your phone and app settings.

If these have changed recently, they may be causing the frequent CarPlay crashes you are experiencing.

For just one example of this problem, consider that your iPhone needs to grant permission for CarPlay to function when it’s locked.

5. Update Software

iphone settings area for how to update carplay
 

If your iPhone or media system software is outdated, it can cause CarPlay to crash.

So, ensure that all software on your car and phone is up to date.

Unfortunately, sometimes the update itself can be the problem. 

See my article Carplay not working after an update for more information.

Many users report being unable to use certain app features after updating their phone to iOS 15, for instance.

In these cases, you may have to avoid using a particular app feature or roll back your update if an older version of iOS is still available.

Lastly, make sure your apps are up to date with the latest software. If it’s a common bug, develops will often fix it in the next update.

6. Look for Hardware Issues

Apple CarPlay Home Screen With iPhone

If none of these steps solve your problem, you may have to consider the worst-case scenario.

Your phone, media system, or vehicle may have a problem that needs servicing or replacement.

As a first step, try using another iPhone in your vehicle and see if that solves the problem. In this case, your phone is at fault.

If your iPhone is particularly old, this can be a problem. While CarPlay supports iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and upwards, it’s not going to work well because the tech is old.

After that, you should look into problems with the stereo/radio, although this will be more difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Final Thoughts

There are several hardware, software, or setting-related issues that can cause CarPlay to crash.

Going through the steps outlined above will help you solve the problem with the minimum of fuss and expense. 

CarPlay can have lots of problems that cause it not to work, such as freezing up, stopping, disconnecting, and much more, but they are often fixed with the simplest solutions.

Best of luck!

Alex
Alex

I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system!

Founder
StereoUpgrade.com

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