How Do I Know if My Car Has Apple CarPlay?

We live in a tech-focused era, where phones have become a necessity. Unfortunately, staying connected while driving is a huge distraction that can lead to serious accidents or even death. The good news is that most new vehicles on the road come with smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Apple CarPlay is a technology that connects your iPhone to your car’s infotainment system. The technology takes apps on your phone and transfers them to your vehicle’s driving-friendly and hands-free control interface. With CarPlay, you can call, text, navigate, control your music, and much more without endangering your life and that of others on the road.

 In this article, we’ll look at Apple CarPlay, including how it works and how to add it to an older car.

How to find out if a car has Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay being used through an iPhone smartphone in a 2017 Hyundai Ioniq
Apple CarPlay in a 2017 Hyundai Ioniq | Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Determining if your vehicle has Apple CarPlay isn’t a difficult task. You can accomplish this process in several ways. In the first instance, do a Google search to get your car’s year, make, and model. Most vehicles made in 2014 and later have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality.

According to A Girls Guide to Cars, the second way to check whether your vehicle has Apple CarPlay is to plug your phone into your vehicle’s primary USB port if it doesn’t have a wireless dock. If the car has Apple CarPlay functionality, the app will pop up on the screen requesting permission on your phone. Thirdly, you can know if your vehicle has CarPlay functionality by going through its user manual.

Some vehicle systems, such as Hyundai, launch Apple CarPlay automatically when you plug your phone into the infotainment system; for others, you must activate it via the system. Read the following section if you discover your car has CarPlay but don’t know how to connect it. On the contrary, if your vehicle lacks Carplay, move to the last section and find out how to add it to your car.

Why is Apple CarPlay not showing up in my car?

Apple CarPlay may fail to show in your car for several reasons. First, the app may be faulty or turned off by accident. In this case, the solution is to configure it properly on your iPhone. Also, CarPlay requires Siri to function effectively. To solve this problem, enable Siri on the app’s settings.

Another reason for Apple CarPlay not showing up is the lack of the latest updates. So, ensure your iPhone and Apple CarPlay run on the latest versions of iOS and apps. The problem can also be due to a faulty USB cable if you’re not using a wireless connection. Ensure you plug in your phone securely in a functional USB port and the cable is working.

Lastly, the CarPlay connection may become corrupted, which requires you to reconnect it from scratch. If you try all solutions and they’re not working, you may need to restart your iPhone and flush out all corrupted data and digital debris, including crashed apps. Alternatively, contact Apple for assistance. 

How to add CarPlay to an older car

Fortunately, most automakers, including Jaguar, Audi, BMW, Bentley, Porsche, and Maserati, have or plan to make vehicles that support Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, most automakers don’t provide upgrades for older vehicles, although some, like Porsche, allow you to add a 3.5-inch screen to your car even if it was made in the 1960s.

If your car manufacturer doesn’t offer an option of upgrading your vehicles to add Apple CarPlay, you’ll have to install a universal aftermarket screen. Most of these touch screens that are CarPlay compatible are available starting at $250, but you’ll pay up to $1,000 for premium quality screens. If your vehicle is older than the 2014 model year, you can use CarPlay, but you’ll need some add-ons, including additional apps, to make the system functional.

Displays that support CarPlay come with additional features that may increase the installation cost. For instance, they may include SiriusXM radio connectivity, HD radio, an HDMI connection, or a backup camera.

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