Area 51 Bluetooth Woes - 2012 Honda CR-V Long-Term Road Test

2012 Honda CR-V Long Term Road Test

2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Area 51 Bluetooth Woes

October 17, 2012


During my Oregon trip, and every now and then around town, the CR-V's Bluetooth connection drops out, but I only know this because the nice nav lady's voice breaks in and says "The phone has been connected" as a similar text message covers the screen.

This is supposed to happen just once when you start the car to let you know an existing connection has been reestablished, but in our CR-V it sometimes happens while we're driving, indicating the connection was lost then found again. On long trips it's not unusual for it to happen once every 30 minutes to an hour.

Why? I have no idea, but it should have nothing to do with variations in local cell reception, because Bluetooth is a protocol that connects a phone/MP3 player to the car. What's going on at the tower shouldn't matter.

It's mildly annoying, but things started to get out of hand when we were in Rachel, Nevada, where the message started to come up every 2 or 3 minutes. I started to keep track but quickly gave up after I recorded 30 incidents in less than 90 minutes.

In case you don't know, Rachel is mid-point way station on Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway. It's the nearest settlement to Groom Lake and Area 51, an isolated military base where top secret stuff is tested. It's all fun and games, but the top secret military base is for real. Who knows what kind of radio signals and jamming devices are in play out here.

From the Honda I want two things: a stable and robust Bluetooth connection, and if I can't have that I need a way to turn off the damn warning so I don't have to listen to it all the time. But there is no such setting in the CR-V's nav system.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 9,618 miles


  • kwahamot kwahamot Posts:

    Good write up Dan! I have the same problem with my 2012 CR-V, though nothing like what you experienced in Nevada. I hope Honda will update the software to fix that annoying message. It's different than other notifications in that it completely overrides the volume of whatever audio is playing, usually the most interesting part of a talk show or news story. Even the "fasten seatbelt" warning is less in your face than the Bluetooth connection note. For most notifications you can turn off voice completely so it just plays the chime with radio or whatever still audible. Maybe there's a hack to permanently turn it off. If I'm alert enough I can dismiss it by quickly hitting an audio or nav button. Second complaint: Why does the navigation system have to display the Confirmation screen every time it starts up? It's minor, and probably due to legal paranoia, but it makes me miss the days of analog controls. Thirdly: Cracking a window a few inches during highway speeds results in a bad case of interior "wind hammer" (or whatever it's called). Not good for the ear drums! I always have to crack two windows at a time. Other than those three things, and a bit of instability with gusty crosswind, I love my 2012 CR-V. Our 1 year anniversary is this Mother's Day!

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411