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Getting a bit long in the Bluetooth

Bluetooth is becoming more and more important because of the safety risk of driving while talking.

It's great to drive around hands-free and connected, but I wish I had a smile for every time I've had a technical problem or been asked why I sound like I'm talking to a tin can on the end of a piece of string.

Every week there is another car to try and seduce you into a new relationship, but it never seems to be the same process. Just finding the pairing package can be a pain. Is it the button on the steering wheel, some sort of setting I must access through a jet fighter-style dash layout, or a hidden link through the infotainment system?

Some systems want a password on the phone, some want it through the infotainment system, some want it for both. And some systems just don't want to connect. If you try to make a Bluetooth connection on a suburban street, how do you know if you're actually linking to the car in question or another that's idling at the kerb, someone sitting up the street, or even someone walking past with the Bluetooth activated on their cellphone? Urk. It's a mess.

Just this week, as I was trying to connect to a new Infiniti hybrid, I realised my phone was storing connections for over a dozen cars I have driven over the past month. Doing a bulk delete definitely made things easier. My problems are a bit extreme, but each week I get emails from people who are having Bluetooth dramas. The most common complaint is that their particular phone won't connect to the system in their car.

As an example, Doreen is complaining today that her iPhone won't talk to her new Mazda CX-5. And her neighbour has the same drama with a CX-9. Mazda is getting back to me.

Bluetooth is becoming more and more important because of the safety risk of driving while talking, and NSW has just brought in tough new rules that will be rolled out across the country. You need to check them, now. But you should also spend a few minutes to focus on your Bluetooth needs and ensure you have a system that works with zero interruption to your driving.

I've got to dash now, a Kia Sorento has just arrived and I need a few minutes to pair my iPhone.