I found the answer on a Subaru owners' forum, so hopefully if anyone else is having the same issue with a similar car this will work for them too. The stock stereo unit in my car (2013 Impreza WRX) has two different methods of pairing the phone, one via the front panel controls on the stereo, and another through the hands-free voice commands. Only pairing via the voice commands will let the phone auto-connect to the car.
Unfortunately after fixing that, a different problem that existed with my other phone still exists - the bluetooth audio sometimes drops out entirely even while the phone is still connected and requires a bluetooth restart/reconnect on the phone. Given that this problem happened with two different phones I'm guessing that problem is with the stereo
@Iconix; thank you for sharing! We appreciate your feedback!
That reply sounds like nonsense. It worked before. Then I got a new phone. Now it does not work. Am I supposed to now buy a new car radio? It is obvious that Samsung has a defect in their newer phones. If it is not fixed I am going to return this phone and keep on returning new ones until I get one that works. Probably from another manufacturer.
Yes I have. I have not tried the voice setup route yet, but will do that shortly. But I am still wondering why I am going through this process. It worked with my old phone. My car is the same one. It really ought to just work out of the box without playing around. I hadn't mentioned it, but my new phone also does not work well with my Logitech multi-device keyboard. You can set it up to connect automatically to as many as three devices. For a couple of years I have been able to connect to my PC or my tablet or my phone by just turning a knob on the keyboard to the correct position. The tablet and the PC work just fine. The phone has to be told where to connect each time. I remain convinced that Samsung left something out of this phone.
Finally was able to get 2010 Toyota Highlander to connect with hands free.
Didn't have to do voice command. I went through screen display, to telephone, then bluetooth. Had to connect on and off--- had bluetooth on samsung off, then turned on.
My samsung galaxy s5 (yep s5) was connected before and couldn't figure out why the 9 wouldn't pair.
As I went through above steps, my memory was jogged that this was the route I had to take with the 5. But, because so long ago, I forgot.
Hope this helps.
I also found YouTube that reminded me.
Toyota Highlander Buetooth Set up from Crystal Toyota.
Hmm that's odd. Mind shooting me the following information?
Hi @SamsungMichelle --
I have the S9, Model SM-G960U. Software/Baseband G960USQU2ARF9, Sprint is the carrier.
I have a 2016 Traverse which auto-connected fine with my paired S7. When I upgraded to the S9, I removed all previously paired devices on my car, and re-paired everything. My husband's S9 would auto connect fine, but mine would always search and say "could not connect to **phone name**". If I would remove and manually pair it at car start-up, it would work fine for that trip, but once the car was turned off and on again, I would be back at square one. I did try to pair it through the voice pairing option, as some suggested, but still had the same problem.
The only fix that worked happened by accident; my fitbit broke, so I un-paired it from the phone (and have not re-paired it). The next time I was in my car, it automatically found my phone. It's worked ever since.