Phone-Pairing Secret - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Phone-Pairing Secret

September 23, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

Some Edmunds editors were talking about the pros and cons of technology in our long-term cars and the topic of the 2013 Volkswagen Passat and phone pairing came up. The secret, Ed Hellwig said, is to ignore the phone icon on the left of the steering wheel. It will not get you where you want to go. Instead, you work off the Multi-Function Indicator (MFI) in the center of the instrument panel.

Since I had just signed out the car for the night, this was a valuable tip. I easily found my way to the Phone menu in the MFI and proceeded with pairing from there. Bluetooth Audio was also a cinch to fire up.

This was a reminder that sometimes the easiest way to learn a bit of car tech is not through guesswork or a manual, but to have someone walk you through it. Also helpful are tech videos like this one, created by a dealership, Luther Park Place Volkswagen in Rochester, MI.

When you're learning the ways of a car, do you prefer trial and error, show and tell, or RTFM?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 7,657 miles


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Just the tried and true way to learn things. You read the literature (manual), then get your hands on it to figure out what actually does and doesn't work, and finally collaborate with peers (forums) and use supplemental instructions to master the rest (youtube, friends, that dealership video...). To be honest though, I just ignore everything except the radio and navigation, and the driving of course. Sometimes, when I feel really adventurous, I mess with the climate control a little, or change the CD.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    I use everything short of social media to figure out something if I don't understand how to work a given device in 30 min to a hour of fiddling and fuzzing around with said device. Of course I am comparatively a caveman compared to any of the Edmunds editors since I have a phone that pre-dates bluetooth and even if it did have bluetooth I still rather hold the phone in hand to my head. You can survive without pairing your phone to the car. PS WALLS OF TEXT KILL MORE KITTENS PER A DAY THEN CARS *HINT**HINT*

  • shindig4 shindig4 Posts:

    I have a 2013 Passat with the same MFI as yours. I'm a pretty techy-savvy guy and usually figure things out by reading the manual and trying it out on my own. In the delivery process for my Passat, though, the salesman sat down in the car with me and walked me through everything. I tried to politely brush him off, thinking that I'd just figure it out on my own later, but he insisted (in a professional manner, of course) and showed me how to pair my phone, set up speed dialing, and use every feature of the MMI. VW and my dealer did a very good job here -- they know this can cause confusion and dissatisfaction down the road if the driver doesn't know how to use the tech, and they get ahead of it by training their salespeople and incorporating it into their delivery process.

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