Motorola Vehicle Navigation Dock Audio Problem


Dec 11, 2010
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This dock is driving me completely insane.

I was so excited to learn that both the audio signal and the charging current both came through the same single cable, so I ordered the Motorola Vehicle Navigation Dock from Amazon for 59.99. When I received it, I noticed it had an issue where the audio would only come through my car speakers *sometimes*. When I dock the phone, the battery icon indicates that it is charging, but the CarDock app will not launch, nor will the sound play through my car speakers. Instead, the phone would just sit at the home screen and continue to play audio through the internal speaker. Once in a while, I will dock the phone and CarDock will launch and the audio will come through my speakers.

So, I assumed I had a defective dock. I spent over 90 hellish minutes on the phone with Motorola support, and finally they agreed to send me a new dock. I received my warranty replacement dock today. To my extreme displeasure, it behaves in exactly the same way.

Just to be clear with exactly what is wrong, if CarDock does not launch, the audio will not come through my speakers. And it will only launch maybe one out of every 3 docking attempts. I have tried manually launching CarDock using AnyCut, but I cannot get the shortcut to work. Although, I am not positive that launching the CarDock app will force the audio to connect, it could just be a bad connection of some sort. Which would have to be something wrong with the phone's micro USB port, since this is my second dock that acts like this.

Can anyone help me here?
Thanks in advance.
After doing some further testing, its clear that the phone just has a hard time recognizing when it is connected to the dock. The CarDock app WILL NOT LAUNCH without the phone "knowing" it is docked, period. Does anyone know how this phone becomes aware that it is docked? I believe my Droid 2 used some kind of magnet, is it a similar situation with the Droid 4?
To make this situation even worse.. every time I successfully dock the phone, the bluetooth turns on. Even after I installed an application to completely disable bluetooth so that it can never turn on, this dock somehow finds a way to turn it on. This has never happened before yesterday. Every single time I dock the phone, the bluetooth comes on. I am ready to get a warranty replacement for this phone if either ICS or fastboot files are not released within the next few weeks (hoping those will fix my issues).
Try a different Car Dock App

From what i understand, from owning both the D3 and D4 car docks, the pcb chip in the mount in between the charger port and the connector that gets plugged into your phone is what tells the phone to switch to car mode. I had a big problem getting the D3 to switch to car mode and it would only do it half the time. With my D4, it connects everytime with no issue. I bought both of them at the verizon store. If you're having problems with two seperate docks, it might be a problem with your phone...?

Before you think of returning the phone though, try CarHomeUltra. I think it's much better than the stock car dock app and has much more options. It also has its own bluetooth options so maybe it will fix that for you.
A little update on my situation - I installed the app "Car Dock Setting" from the Market, and it instantly fixed most of my problems. Don't ask me how, but this app finally allowed me to disable bluetooth. Also, about 2/3 of the time, the phone will connect to the car speakers and launch SmartMode. Still not perfect, but at least its functional now. I have no idea how this simple application could change how well a PCB sensor detects the dock, but if its working I'm not going to ask any questions.

Thanks for the reply mrhavik.
I have this same problem with my Droid 3 and its car dock. Here's the solution that I eventually figured out: If you dock the phone, and audio doesn't start coming out through dock, unplug the dock's usb power cable (easiest place is at the cigarette lighter adapter). Wait a few seconds for the phone to switch the audio over to the dock output, then plug the usb connector back in. YMMV, but this works every time for me.... sigh. Life with Android, ain't it great?
I have had lots of problems with mine as well.. odd thing is, the other HD docks i have.. Work and Bedside all work fine with the phone.. car dock is a POS....

if my battery is a little low, it stays charging and carhomeultra will keep me hooked up.. but if my battery is topped off.. the phone will let go, bluetooth goes away and carhomeultra exits.. sometimes it may reconnect... but it's sketchy at best..

never had problems out of my droid x with the magnetic activation.. I have returned 2 docks for replacement at the Verizon store and need to take my current one back now, i just dont' have the time or energy to beat a dean horse..
anyone have any updates on this issue.. ICS has not made this any better..