I like my new 2014 Mazda6 a lot. It’s a good car, but within a couple months the Bluetooth stopped working. Definitely not something you want to see, especially on a new car.
I’m writing this post to help anyone who might have the same problem.
My car has the touchscreen entertainment system, which includes Bluetooth for streaming my telephone and media through the stereo. The Bluetooth worked perfectly with my iPhone–until it stopped. When I say stopped, I mean the car’s bluetooth shut off on its own. When I pressed “PHONE” it wouldn’t respond. If I pressed the Bluetooth buttons on the steering wheel, the screen would say “Starting Bluetooth Hands-Free System, please wait…” but nothing would change. The Bluetooth tab in on the stereo was grayed out. It was impossible to reach the Bluetooth pairing screen.
I ran into this thread on the Mazda 6 Club Forums, where user GeraldEGB suggested disconnecting the battery for a few moments. This fixed everything. Cutting the power must have reset the system because once I reconnected the battery, the Bluetooth started working again. It’s a very, very simple fix.
For reference, here’s the battery on the 2014 Mazda 6:
To fix it, I disconnected the negative battery terminal (shown with the red arrow) for about three minutes or so. There’s no need to disconnect both wires or remove the battery. I don’t know if the Bluetooth system will quit working again, but if happens infrequently, performing this fix a time or two per year is fine with me.
Before doing this I contacted the proper channels for help, including Mazda USA and my dealership, Orem Mazda in Utah. Included with the car is a handy pamphlet called 2014 Mazda6 Smart Start Guide which includes Bluetooth setup instructions. On the Bluetooth pairing page (p. 29), it includes this information:
When my Bluetooth stopped working, I called the toll-free number (1-800-430-0153). The Mazda tech was friendly but told me it wasn’t a software problem; something was physically wrong with my car and I should call my dealership. Perhaps the Bluetooth had come unplugged from the entertainment system, he said, and my dealer would correct it.
At Orem Mazda, they said they couldn’t fix Bluetooth problems, and they wrote a Bluetooth support phone number on a card. Apparently I needed to call this number for a ticket number before they could do any repairs. As you may have guessed, the phone number from the dealer ended up being the same one that referred me to my dealership in the first place. This is the same circular, lazy, pass-the-buck routine I see between techs and dealers in almost any industry.
All this, and I only had to disconnect a battery terminal.
More and more, looking for answers online beats talking to professional technicians. I’m bugged that the techs never bothered to check online for an answer. And I ignored a major rule of electronics: If it’s not working, unplug it and plug it back in.
UPDATE August 2015:
A while ago my in-dash GPS system stopped working. The map was stuck in one location, which was on a freeway onramp near my house, and it never moved from that spot, even though I had driven thousands of miles in the meantime. Today I decided to try the trick above — unplugging the battery and plugging it back in — and it reset the GPS. Now my maps work perfectly and the GPS follows me as I drive.
So, in case you have trouble with your GPS, the unplugging trick works for that too. Since it has now fixed two computer glitches, I’m guessing there are lots of other Mazda6 computer issues that can be fixed by simply unplugging the battery.