Sync 3 is an infotainment system used specifically in Ford vehicles. It’s displayed on an 8-inch touch screen on the dashboard of vehicles manufactured after 2015. Sync 3 is a more refined version of older Ford Sync systems that has new features and a streamlined interface.
Ford first launched its Sync program system in 2007. Since its initial launch, the software has undergone major changes. Sync 3 has improved touch-screen, software, and support elements. Its three main functions include navigation, phone information, and stereo.
What Is Sync 3?
Sync 3 is Ford’s interface program for the touch-screen displays on the dash. It has several features and is more responsive than the older versions of the program. It has a simple user interface designed to limit distractions for the driver. The features and benefits of Sync 3 include:
- The ability to control the climate. Sync 3 provides options to change the in-car climate on the touch screen or the home screen. The climate controls are also on the bottom menu of every other screen in the program.
- Connects with your smartphone. Regardless of the smartphone you use, connect it to Sync 3 using either a Bluetooth connection or a USB cord. It connects to specific apps, which display on the screen while you drive.
- Streams audio from your mobile device. When you connect your phone, you can stream your music with the application of your choice. The interface shows controls such as skip track, pause, and play.
- Has access to navigation. While Sync 3 has in-car navigation abilities, connecting your phone allows you to use the navigation of your choice. The program itself supports a connection to Waze, a popular mobile navigation app.
- Eight-inch screens that enhance user interaction. Each new vehicle outfitted with Sync 3 comes with an 8-inch touch-screen display. This display allows you to interact with the program in the same way you use your mobile phone.
- Lets you choose how you control Sync 3. You can decide whether you want to operate Sync 3 with the steering wheel buttons, voice commands, or touch-screen controls.
- Has an intuitive design. The system uses simple, blue graphics that minimize distractions. It’s an upgrade from the older versions of Sync, with a clean interface and fast response times.
- Boasts multiple menus. Sync 3 displays a menu bar with the major functions at the bottom of most screens. This enhances usability and reduces confusion when operating the system.
- Takes advantage of Sync Connect. Sync Connect is a mobile app that connects to your Ford vehicle. It has options such as starting the car, seeing its location, and checking fuel levels.
Types of Ford Sync
The version of Ford’s interactive system depends on the year of the vehicle. If your vehicle is new, expect the newest version of Ford Sync.
Ford’s Sync 3 system exists in Ford models from 2015 onward. Other than the vehicles that received the newest version, most Ford vehicles have Sync 3. The 2016 Ford Escape and 2016 Ford Fiesta were the first models to receive Sync 3. If you have a Ford model with a Sync 2 system, there may be options to upgrade to a Sync 3 with an upgrade kit compatible with your vehicle.
A huge upgrade from Ford’s previous system, Sync 3 uses QNX software to deliver easy interaction and simple designs. Ford sought to create a user-friendly interface that minimized driver distraction. Despite appearing plainer than some interfaces on competing brands, Sync 3 functions properly and includes several useful features.
The newest version of Ford’s infotainment system is Sync 4. Ford is slowly inputting Sync 4 into new vehicles. The vehicles that currently have Sync 4 installed are the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, the 2021 Ford F-150, the 2021 Ford Bronco, and the 2021 Lincoln Nautilus. Other vehicles might get the new system in the next few years, as it gets integrated into more models.
The main differences between Sync 3 and Sync 4 are the screen sizes and wireless access. While Sync 3 requires some mobile devices to connect using a USB cord, Sync 4 allows a fully wireless connection. Additionally, it offers screen sizes from 8 inches to 12.5 inches.
How To Install Sync 3
Disclaimer: The guidelines in this story are general and not meant to replace instructions for your specific vehicle. Please consult your owner’s manual or repair guide before attempting repairs.
If you own a Ford vehicle made after 2015, Sync 3 is already installed in your vehicle. However, the system sometimes requires periodic updates. If you need to install an update of Sync 3 on your Ford vehicle, follow this quick installation process:
Obtain the Appropriate Software
First, download the software update onto a USB drive. Then, turn the vehicle on. Leave the car running while completing the installation.
Navigate to the Installation Option
Next, insert the USB drive into the port, and select “Menu.” Scroll until you see “Sync Settings.” Press “OK,” then select the option to “Install on Sync.”
Listen for the audio alerting you of the Sync update. The update should take between 10 and 30 minutes from start to finish. Once it’s installed, the audio alerts you that the system will reboot before you can use it. After the final reboot finishes, the new software display appears. Remove the USB drive and turn off the vehicle.
Another option is to take the car to a Ford dealership, where a technician can perform the installation process for you quickly and accurately.
Where To Buy Sync 3
Ford’s Sync 3 comes installed in Ford vehicles. Your purchase of the car includes this interface. However, the program might need periodic updating throughout the life of the vehicle, which can cost money. You cannot upgrade Sync 3 to Sync 4 on an older Ford model, because the foundational software differs. The newest version of Sync is only available on the newest models of Ford vehicles.
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