Hard Resetting Your Ford Touch System The Easy Way


[Jeff Clymer] owns a Ford Focus, and while he’s generally happy with the car, the “My Ford Touch/Sync” system can be buggy at times. He spends a lot of time in the car each day, so when the entertainment center locks up as it is frequently known to do, he has to turn off the car and pull a fuse to reset the system. Since pulling a fuse while on the road is pretty impractical, he decided to install a reset button, making system reboots a breeze.

He started by disassembling various fuses until he found one with an easy to remove fusible link. Once it was in pieces, he soldered a pair of wires to the fuse terminals and connected everything to a normally closed momentary pushbutton switch. After adding an inline fuse holder and reinserting the original fuse, he installed the button into the back of his glove box

Now instead of physically removing the fuse each time his stereo locks up, he can simply push a button and be on his way. Here’s hoping a software fix is coming for [Jeff’s] car sooner rather than later!

28 thoughts on “Hard Resetting Your Ford Touch System The Easy Way

    1. Compared to other software systems where you have to rebuild an entire kernel with gcc to do even a 1 byte fix, and that’s just easy patches.. There are reasons why MS products populate most businesses and embedded systems..

      1. For a simple kernel fix in a Windows system, Microsoft rebuilds the kernel and you get given a patch. For a similar fix in some other system, the distributor rebuilds the kernel and you get given a patch. What’s the difference?

      2. ha, he said “MS products populate embedded systems”. Was that sarcasm? Sometimes I just don’t get it.

        The reasons Microsoft is so popular in business is that they lock people into the software, not because it is reliable.

        When I heard that Microsoft was the software in the Ford cars. My first thought was, “How often do you have to pull over and reboot?” Guess I wasn’t really that far off. Glad they are only doing the Audio and not the whole engine system.

    2. Speaking of Microsoft i was HORRIFIED to watch the screen of an ATM located in the Commonwealth bank that was being updated boot into a desktop of embedded windows complete with start menu o.0

  1. This is hilarious… not the hack, the problem.

    I had to replace the car stereo 3 times in my Hyundai, and 5 times in my wife’s Hyundai. I got so sick of it that I just bought some sweet iPod ready CD/MP3 player head units and the rest is history.

    Cars and their electronics are a joke… I would never pay for an optional upgrade on electronics in a car. I don’t care what it does, I can do it myself better for a fraction of the cost.

  2. @Brett W. Totally agree, but I think the auto makers are on to us. I bought a base 2012 Mustang GT and figured I could just replace the stereo. But its integrated in to the climate controls, and there is only one or two kits that will work to restore it and they are like $300.

  3. I don’t really expect any smart person to buy a car with this amount of closed-source software and electronics: it’s built-in obsolescence!

    All the manufacturer has to do to force you to buy a new car is give you crappy software and no upgrades for your old one. That’s not going to happen to any car I own.

    And yes, I realize my current car is already full of software for engine control, climate control etc. but that doesn’t need to be updated all the time, because it’s not connected to anything outside my car that gets updated all the time, like cell phone systems and road maps.

    1. While I whole heartedly agree with you, cars aren’t going in that direction. It won’t be too long before all the crappy gadgets are going to be stock and not optional. Or almost as bad, when it becomes more expensive to “downgrade”. Those with manual locking hubs will know what I mean. Or…. When that crap is required by law. Did you catch anything in the new requirement to have backup cameras? Yeah, another custom $1000 part ready to fail at the turn of a hat.

      So good luck on that thinking, but that boat is sinking. :(

  4. So, do you think an open source car (i.e. all software and hardware) is feasible? How would the tooling get built? If not, what’s the next best thing?

    I’d love to have one, but what would it take to get the ball rolling?

  5. Pulling a wire from the fuse box and installing a remote fuse/switch risks burning your car down in case of a fault.

    Because the lenght of wire and the switch provide additional series resistance, which may limit the current to below where the fuse would burn, or may slow it down enough that things catch fire before it does.

    His insurance company will love this hack.

    1. Not on something this simple and lower power, as long as the wire and switch used are designed for this.

      Assuming the radio is on a 15A fuse, any switch rated at 20A or higher and 12-10 awg wire should be just fine.

      I think the problem is putting it in the glove box unprotected. It should have a cover like an airplane switch.

  6. It’s “just” Consumerism: You’re reaping what you’ve sown.

    Moral of the story: Your patriotic self-delusion (ooops I mean reason) does not negate a LONG track record of woeful/non-existent QA, even if you put both hands over your ears and shout “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-I’m-NOT-Listening”

    Ford is perhaps the original “WalMart” where everything is build down to a price and NOT up to a standard.

  7. Ah, its so easy all those electronics. If they only used a ‘duino, if they only used linux, if they only… Have any of you actually seen what goes into engineering any kind of system for mass market let alone an automobile? Automotive electronics are subjected to every extreme of environment. You can’t even start to imagine. Expecting any automobile to work without fault is asking a lot, let alone something with a computer in it and expecting it to work for years without a fault. Yes, yes, your iphone works fine without fail ( likely not, I restart mine once every week at least), And is it left in the freezing cold or the burning sun for hours if not days at a time? I think apple would void my warranty if I did… How about tossing that linux box in a mud puddle or leaving it out in the rain Or shuttling it down a highway at 70 miles per hour in the rain? Leave your computer in a hot parking lot for a couple of hours on the pavement and then boot it up and report back to us what happens…

    I don’t work for the automotive industry but I do work in a certain electronics field on things than CAN NOT FAIL, EVER. I laugh at the comments from people that think it’s soooo easy to make electrons behave how ever they like and things must operate 100% – 100% of the time. Keep smoking that crack pipe, it’s helping you.

    1. The computer would only experience heat and jarring inside the vehicle. We’re not talking about the rest of the system you’re equating. To make this route of computer isn’t hard, as it’s not the hardware that’s failing it’s the software, again sometime you’re falsely equating. This is all about Microsoft and the software devs at Ford.

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