USB-C cables causing CarPlay issues for iPhone 15 users

If you are one of the early adopters of the iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro, you may have encountered unexpected issues with CarPlay.

Reports on social media platforms such as X and Reddit suggest that some iPhone 15 owners are facing difficulties in getting CarPlay to work as expected. These issues appear to be linked to iPhone’s transition to USB-C.


Apple investigating CarPlay problems on iPhone 15

A common theme in these CarPlay reports is the choice of cables and available port options. Many users have found that the functionality problems are closely tied to USB-A to USB-C cables. This issue arises because several vehicles, including some recent models, only come equipped with USB-A ports and not the latest USB-C ones. Consequently, users are required to use a USB-A to USB-C cable to connect their iPhones to their cars.

While the majority of complaints are from users with vehicles limited to USB-A connection ports, there are also reports from those with USB-C ports and even issues with wireless CarPlay. Some users have suggested that VPNs might be causing connection problems, with CarPlay failing to initiate when a VPN is active in some cases.

A frustrated Reddit user shared their experience with the iPhone 15 Pro and CarPlay:

I bought a 15 Pro but it refuses to connect to CarPlay in my 2021 Hyundai IONIQ. Looking through the car settings, it states it needs to be an approved USB cable, is this likely my issue?

Another user revealed that although their iPhone 15 Plus begins charging when plugged into their car, CarPlay does not work.

Was due for an upgrade so I got the 15 Plus, which has a different charging port (the USB-C port instead of lightning) and I used a brand new USB to USB-C cord I had laying around that I put in the car to use. But CarPlay no longer comes up now. The phone acknowledges it is plugged in and begins charging, but no matter how many times the car or phone is restarted CarPlay will not launch and when I try to open it in settings it just says it’s searching for Bluetooth CarPlay (which I don’t have.) help?

One user tried using a USB-C cable that they use for data transfer on their PC. Unfortunately, it did not work:

I have a iPhone 15 pro and a 2017 f150 with car ply. I used a usb c cable that I used for data transfer on my pc but it won’t even charge my iPhone let alone CarPlay. Any suggestions to try?

This Reddit user tried a myriad of things in an attempt to get CarPlay to work such as resetting iPhone network settings, forgetting the car from Bluetooth connections, and more:

The USB wired connection is totally fine. The wireless connection mostly fails, though. I think I managed to get it connected once, but after turning the car off and on, it failed again. I didn’t have these problems with my previous iPhone XR, which connected automatically when the car starts (cable or no cable). Some things I’ve tried:

– In iPhone settings, forgetting the car, deleting the Pioneer’s wifi network and Bluetooth connection, and starting over with setting up the wifi connection and pairing Bluetooth. If the cable is connected, I’ll get the dialogs to allow Bluetooth contact sync, allow Carplay while the phone is locked, and allow wireless connection (instead of USB only). On initial connection to the car’s wifi network, I’ll enter the password shown on the Pioneer deck.

– Reset network settings on the iPhone

– Cleared Bluetooth memory on the Pioneer deck

Even if the phone says that the Wifi and Bluetooth are connected, there is no CarPlay. Sometimes I will get an error message “Bluetooth Auto Connection Failed” on the Pioneer deck.


Possible solutions and Apple’s response

For now, trying a variety of cables, especially those from reputable brands with data transfer support, appears to be the best workaround for CarPlay issues. However, it’s worth noting that some users have reported being unable to get CarPlay to work even with Apple’s adapters and cables.

Luckily, Apple seems to be aware of the issue. A few users filed official complaints with Apple and were told that the tech giant is working on a fix. A potential solution could come in the form of a software update that improves compatibility with certain cables, or Apple could provide clearer guidelines on which USB-C cables are compatible with the new iPhones.

About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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