Bluetooth Tech Checklist for Car Shoppers

Bluetooth Features To Look for When Buying a New Car


Review the vehicle owner's manual for phone-to-vehicle pairing instructions and hands-free controls/features.

Enable Bluetooth connection on the phone.

Starting Out: Basic Things To Check for

Does the phone pair to the vehicle?

Does it reconnect automatically if the vehicle is turned off and back on?

Are you able to:
      Place a call?
      End a call?
      Reject a call?
      Redial a call?

Advanced: Features To Test Once Your Phone and Vehicle Are Paired

Is caller ID visible?

Is call waiting available?

Can you download your phone's address book or does the Bluetooth system have its own address book?

Are all the phonebook fields displayed (name, number, etc.)?

Does the system distinguish between different numbers for the same contact in your address book (home, work, mobile, etc.)?

Is voice activation available for calling a number or contact in your address book just by speaking it aloud?

Can you view:
      Call history?
      Dialed calls?
      Received calls?
      Missed calls?

Is the phone's battery level displayed?

Is the phone's signal strength displayed?

Does the audio system return to its previous state (playing the radio, playing a CD, etc.) after the Bluetooth system hangs up a call?

Is text messaging available? If so, is it:
      Displayed on screen?
      Converted to voice?

See the related articles in the Car Technology 101 series.