Fix: Android Auto Communication Error 8

Android Auto (or Android for Automobile) may show the communication error 8 due to an outdated Android Auto app or outdated Google Play Services app. Moreover, the wrong date and time settings of your devices (car unit and mobile phone) may also cause the error under discussion.

The following message is thrown by Android Auto when a user connects his mobile with the car’s head-up unit or when he brings up Google Maps after a successful connection.

Android Auto Communication Error 8

This error occurs at random and there is no set pattern when this error can occur. Some users encountered it on the first day, whereas others encountered it after using the app for months or years. This error is reported by nearly all makes and models of cars and Android phones.

Before diving into more detailed and technical solutions, unplug the USB cable from both devices and turn off your phone and car. Wait for 2 minutes and then turn them back on. Now connect the USB cable again to check if the app is clear of the error. Moreover, if you encounter this issue at a particular place, then check the strength of your phone’s signals in that particular vicinity. Also, to rule out any damage to the car’s unit, it will be a good idea to connect another phone with the unit. Furthermore, do not forget to check if Android Auto is enabled for your phone in the car’s unit settings.

Enable Android Auto For Your Phone in the Car’s Settings

There can be different reasons due to which the Android Auto does not connect with the car, these reasons and their solutions are discussed below:

Solution 1: Change the Connecting Cable

If the cable connecting the car unit and your device is broken/damaged or does not support communication, then it can cause the current communication error. In that case, using a different cable may solve the problem.

  1. Use a new cable to connect the devices e.g. if using OEM cable, then try to use the original cable that came with the charger of the phone.
  2. Then launch the Android Auto and check if it is working fine.

Solution 2: Change Date and Time Settings

If the date and time settings of your device or car’s head-up unit are not correct/compatible then Android Auto will respond with a communication error. This can be very true if your area uses daylight saving and it is not implemented to the car’s unit or your device. Given the conditions, changing the date and time settings may solve the problem.

  1. Open your phone’s settings.
  2. Now tap on Date and Time settings.
    Open Date and Time Settings of Your Phone
  3. Then check if your device’s date/time is correct. You can check online the correct date and time of your area.
  4. Now on the car’s unit, adjust the date and time as per your device.
  5. If the car’s unit is using GPS Sync time, try disabling it. If it is already disabled, then try to enable it. Also, after enabling/disabling GPS Sync time do not forget to disconnect your car’s battery for 30 minutes.
  6. Make sure the car’s unit is using the same time zone as your mobile phone.
  7. After adjusting the date and time settings, launch the Android Auto and check if it is operating normally.

Solution 3: Update the Android Auto App

Like other applications, Android Auto is regularly updated to cater to new technology developments.  The current communication error could also be caused by an outdated Android app. Here, in this case, uninstalling the older version and then reinstalling the latest version (not just simply updating the app) may solve the issue (a solution reported by many users).

  1. Open Settings of your phone.
  2. Then tap on Applications (may be Apps or Application Manager), locate and click Android Auto. 
    Tap on Android Auto
  3. Now, tap on Storage. Click Clear Cache and Clear data from the preceding window.
    Clear Cache and Data of Android Auto
  4. Now tap on the back button and in the Android Auto setting window, tap on Force Stop.
    Force Stop the Android Auto App
  5. Now tap on Uninstall and then confirm to uninstall the app.
    Uninstall the Android Auto
  6. After uninstallation of the application, power off your phone and wait for 1 minute before restarting.
  7. Upon restart, launch Google Play and in the search bar, type “Android Auto”.
  8. From the search results, tap on Android Auto, and then tap on Install.
    Install Android Auto
  9. Now launch the Android Auto app and pair it with your car’s head unit to check if it is operating fine.

Solution 4: Update Google Play Services App

Google Play Services is one of the core applications and the central hub for the apps in the Android OS and that is why this app is pre-installed on your Android phone. Like any other application, these services are updated regularly to take advantage of new technology developments and patch known bugs. If you are using an outdated version of these services, then it can be the root cause of the current communication error. In this scenario, updating these services may solve the problem. But these services cannot be updated as a regular Android app, the instructions may vary depending upon the make and model of your device.

  1. Open Settings of your phone and tap on Applications (Apps or Application Manager).
  2. Then find and click on Google Play Services.
    Open Google Play Services Settings
  3. Now tap on Storage and click Clear cache.
    Clear Cache of Google Play Services
  4. Now, select Manage Space and then click Clear All Data.
    Clear All Data of Google Play Services
  5. Afterward, launch the Chrome browser on your Android phone. In the search bar type “Google Play Services”.
    Search for Google Play Services in Chrome
  6. Now tap on 3 vertical dots near the top right corner of the window and then tap on the Checkbox of Desktop Site.
    Tap on Desktop Site
  7. Now tap on the search result shown from the Google Play i.e. play.google.com (usually the first result).
    Open Google Play Services URL in Chrome
  8. A Google Play Store Window will appear with two Google Play Services options to update or deactivate. If there is any update available, then tap on Update.
  9. If there is no update available, then tap on Deactivate and later on, tap on Activate again. This will refresh the entire module.
    Deactivate Google Play Services
  10. Then launch Android Auto and check if it is working fine.

Solution 5: Updating Google PlayStore

Google Play Store is the core application of the Android OS and is pre-installed on almost all Android phones. This app is responsible for many different services and features like keeping all the phone apps updated and providing a central repository. But if you are using an outdated/older version of the app itself, then it may cause the communication error 8. Here, in this scenario, updating the Play Store app may solve the problem.

  1. Open the Play Store app and open its menu and click on Settings.
  2. Then scroll down till the end and tap on Play Store Version.
    Tap on Play Store Version
  3. If there is an update available, then update the Play Store, otherwise, Google Play Store is up to date pop up will show.
    Google Play Store is up to date
  4. After updating the Play Store, launch Android Auto and check if it is clear of the error. Make sure to restart your computer after updating it.

Solution 6: Update Your Device’s OS

Android OS is updated to provide important performance and bug fixes. If your device’s software is not updated to the latest built, then it may result in the error under discussion. Given the circumstances, it will be a good idea to update your device’s OS. Make sure that you have a stable internet connection to download the update.

  1. Open Settings of your phone and click on About Phone.
    Tap on About Phone in Settings
  2. Tap on System Update and then Check for updates.
    Check for Updates
  3. If there is an update available, then download and install the update.
  4. After updating the device’s OS, launch the Android Auto, and check if it is operating fine.

Solution 7: Turn on USB Debugging

By using USB debugging, Android devices can communicate with other smart devices/computers. USB debugging is essential for Android Auto to perform certain operations and if USB debugging is disabled in your Android device, then it can cause the current communication error. Here, enabling the USB debugging may solve the problem.

  1. Disconnect your phone from the car’s unit and force stop the Android Auto as mentioned in solution 3.
  2. Open your phone Settings and tap on About Phone.
  3. In the About menu, scroll down till the end and seven times tap on “Build number“.
    Tap Seven Times on Build Number
  4. Then a pop up of “You are now a developer” will appear.
  5. Press the back button and in the phone’s settings, tap on Developer Options.
    Open Developer Options
  6. Then scroll down till you find USB Debugging.
  7. Now toggle the switch of “USB Debugging” to enabled and then confirm to enable it.
    Enable USB Debugging
  8. Now launch Android Auto and connect your phone to the car’s unit to check if it is clear of the error.

If you are still having the issues, then most probably, the car’s head-up unit is damaged/faulty especially if it is not working with another smartphone. You can confirm it at the manufacturer’s authorized dealership and if the unit is under warranty, it will be replaced without charges.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Android Auto Communication Error 8

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