Honda HR-V Owners & Service Manuals

Honda HR-V: How to Troubleshoot the Handsfreelink System


The HandsFreeLink (HFL) system works only with Honda approved Bluetooth-enabled cell phones with a hands-free profile. If you are not sure if your cell phone is compatible with the HFL system or if it is configured correctly, Honda has a dedicated HandsFreeLink Customer Service and web site (USA models) or (Canada models) to answer your questions.

Always call the HandsFreeLink Customer Service first, not Tech Line because the HandsFreeLink Customer Service has the latest information about cell phone software versions, settings and other issues.

Most HFL complaints are due to pairing, configuration, or compatibility issues. Contact the HandsFreeLink Customer Service before replacing the HFL components (the HFL switch, the audio-navigation unit, or the audio unit).

General Operation

The HFL gives the user the convenience of hands free operation. It cannot control the cell phone's performance (call quality and signal strength). To avoid performance problems, do not put the cell phone in a metal briefcase or in a purse under the seat.

If you want a complete description of this system (how to pair a cell phone to the HFL and make and receive calls, and how to use simple voice tags), please refer to the Owner's Manual.

Checking Cell Phone Compatibility

The most important step in troubleshooting HFL issues is to identify the customer's cell phone model, the software version, and the cellular carrier that experiences the HFL problem.

Not all cell phones with the Bluetooth feature and a hands-free profile are compatible with the Honda HFL system.

Go to (USA models) or (Canada models), or call the HandsFreeLink Customer Service (see web site), and check if the customer's cell phone is approved to work with the Honda HFL system.


  • The approved cell phone list is constantly changing, so check them frequently.
  • Cell Phones may be removed from the approved list if a software bug is discovered that makes the cell phone incompatible.

Pairing a Cell Phone (Display Audio Type (7-inch Screen) )

1. Make sure the cell phone you are pairing is on and in its discovery mode

2. Turn the vehicle to the ACCESSORY mode, and select OK on the disclaimer screen

3. Press the HOME button, then select the Phone icon from the HOME screen.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

4. A cell phone connection confirmation screen appears on the display. Select Yes to add a new cell phone.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

5. Select the your Bluetooth Device from the device list. If the device name is not found in the list, select Reflash to recheck the Bluetooth cell phone.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

6. If the HFL does not find the cell phone, select the Phone Not Found icon. When the 4-digit PIN appears on the display, enter the PIN into the cell phone.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

7. Once the cell phone is discovered by the HFL, Confirm the connection on the cell phone.

NOTE: The confirmation screen may vary by the cell phone. Depending on the Bluetooth version of cell phone, it may be necessary to operate the cell phone.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

8. Once the cell phone is successfully paired, the screen displays (phone name) PHONE has been added.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

9. If the HondaLink confirmation screen appears on the display, select the Turn On HondaLink911 icon to confirm the HondaLink 911 Setting screen. In some cases, the confirmation screen may not appear. If it does not, select the Exit icon. If a confirmation screen does appear, go to the next step.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

10. If the HondaLink911 Settings screen appears on the display, select On or Off, then press the BACK button to exit the screen.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

11. If the Automatic Phone Sync screen appears on the display, select On to import a Phonebook and call history information.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

12. The Phonebook and call history information is automatically imported from your cell phone.

Audio Visual Systems - Testing & Troubleshooting

Pairing Troubleshooting

Many pairing issues are resolved by altering the customer's cell phone settings.

If you cannot get an approved HFL phone to pair, go to (USA models) or (Canada models), or contact the HandsFreeLink Customer Service.

Dropped Calls

Customers may perceive dropped calls as being an HFL system fault, but most dropped calls are resultant from phone and cell phone carrier issues.

Always confirm with the customer if the number of dropped calls is higher while using the HFL system as opposed to using the cell phone only. Customers often confuse problems with their cell phone or carrier as a problem with the HFL system. The HFL system cannot control or determine the following issues:

  • Cellular connection quality
  • Signal strength
  • Cellular coverage
  • Ambient weather conditions that affect cellular signals

When a customer complains about dropped calls, ask questions about when or where the calls are dropped, such as:

  • Do you drive the same route on a regular basis?
  • Does the call drop in the same location?
  • Where do you keep your cell phone?
  • Have you compared the number of dropped calls using the HFL versus making calls from the handset?

There are many reasons for a dropped call that are not related to the HFL system. Here are some causes for dropped calls:

  • If the quantity of dropped calls is about the same when the customer uses the HFL system versus the handset, the issue is likely due to the cellular phone or carrier.
  • If the cell phone is equipped with a retractable antenna, it needs to be extended to maximize signal strength.
  • If a customer also notices that the calls tend to drop in the same areas, the HFL system may be operating normally, but something about the area diminishes cellular coverage to a point where the call drops.
  • Hills or mountains can block or interfere with cellular signals.
  • High-rise buildings, bridges, or other large structures may block or interfere with cellular signals.
  • Electrical storms, heavy rain, or overcast conditions interfere with signal strength.
  • Placing the phone in a purse, in a metal briefcase, under the seat, in the glove box, or in the trunk can all affect signal reception.
  • There are coverage gaps in the mobile service. When driving, a call is typically passed from one tower to another. If the customer drives through an area where there is a coverage gap between towers, the call drops.
  • The cell phone battery's state of change can affect signal reception. A low battery may reduce the cell phone's ability to boost the antenna's power and function properly, especially in low signal strength areas. Some phone manufacturers trade off signal transmission and reception strength for battery life. As the battery weakens, the signal strength may also weaken. Some phones may operate more effectively than others in low signal strength areas especially with a partially charged battery.


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