Toyota Bluetooth Cell Phone Basics

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Bluetooth technology has radically changed the way that people integrate personal electronic devices into their automobiles. The term “Bluetooth” refers to a protocol for wireless data transfer that allows different types of consumer electronics – cell phones, navigational systems, and mp3 players, for example – to communicate with each other. Probably the most common instance of Bluetooth technology in use are wireless headsets for mobile phones. These small earpieces are paired with a cell phone that can be as far as 12 feet away, allowing hands-free operation of the phone while driving or working.


The Blackberry Bold (right) and the Samsung Eternity (left) are two new popular Bluetooth enabled phones that are compatible with Toyota”s Bluetooth systems.

Since cellular phones and driving safety have become inextricably linked over the past few years, many municipalities have passed laws banning the use of hand-held phones while driving. This has lead to a surge in the popularity of Bluetooth earpieces and headsets, as hands-free phone use is still usually permitted. Over the past few years, Toyota has helped to lead the charge to incorporate Bluetooth technology into their vehicles in order to take hands-free cell use a step further.

By building Bluetooth functionality directly into a wide range of their vehicles, Toyota has created a system wherein a phone can be paired with a vehicle instead of just a headset. This means that when the phone rings, it can be answered through the car’s stereo system, which has been updated to include a small microphone. Drivers can speak as though they are conversing with another passenger instead of concentrating their attention on a phone. Obviously, using your Tundra’s Bluetooth system to take and make phone calls is much safer and far less distracting than holding a cell phone, drinking a Big Gulp, and steering with your knees.

Toyota has also added in a bunch of features like one touch dialing through a vehicle’s navigation screen, as well as directly connecting to destinations listed on the nav system. A phone log is also kept, along with a phone book for the car. Toyota’s website provides an excellent description of Bluetooth technology in general, along with the specifics of what their integration includes.

Up to 6 different phones can be paired with a single Toyota, meaning that your spouse and children can all take advantage of the additional safety of hands-free phone service without having to go through any complex procedures to activate their mobile units. Unlike a standard earpiece, Toyota’s Bluetooth system can maintain a call even if the phone is up to 30 feet away from the car, which could be useful if you need to answer your phone only to realize that it is in a friend’s pocket while they are making a pit stop at a gas station or convenience store.

In order to take advantage of this new technology, Toyota requires that your phone be compatible with their service. Fortunately, the list of phones that can by used with Toyota”s Bluetooth-enabled stereos  is quite long. If your phone isn’t in the list, but you are still interested in using Bluetooth in your Toyota, you can actually purchase a handset from them that will let you do so.

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  1. Jeremy the Techno-god says:

    By far the second best feature in my truck. If you have to ask about the best feature you either don’t own a Tundra or you didn’t opt for the 5.7.

  2. Mickey says:

    Had the verizon/Onstar in my 06 chevy. Used the phone maybe 5x a month. Not worth the extra $10 a month. In my Tundra I use my MP3 until it died and now have an Ipod Nano.

  3. TXTee says:

    Could care less to answer my phone while driving. I’m used to being unavailable while on the road anyway (motorcycle). I have a headset as it’s the law in Cali and I can walk out of the truck and continue to use the phone when I get to my destination.

  4. Jeremy the ......What am I anyway? says:

    Being in the Technology support field I have to be in constant contact with people. I guess that it why I love mine.

  5. Hold on – I’ve got a call. I’ll comment on this later! 🙂

  6. TXTee says:

    My Blackberry has a special tone for every other setting except my work email which is silent (no sound, just the red light). That should tell you how much I stay connected to work.

  7. Chris says:

    I tried to connect my I phone to my 09 Tundra Via bluetooth and it does not seem to want to connect. It seems like a shame that one of the most popular trucks and most popular phones are not compatible. Hopefully im mistaken can anyone clarify.

  8. Dan B says:

    Wish Toyota’s bluetooth functionality supported encryption. My Corp blackberry requires bluetooth connections to be encrypted. Anyone know if there’s an update from Toyota available?

  9. Dan B – Good question!

  10. Dan B says:

    Hopefully someone knows the answer. I’m working with my BB support group to edit their enterprise policy on this issue.

  11. Toby Bonner says:

    Has anyone been able to pair the new blackberry storm 2 9550 with the 2010 toyota tundra?
    I upgraded from the storm this week, which paired in no time, to the storm 2 and can’t get it to.
    Any help?


  12. Wats Up? says:

    I just purchased a 2010 Tundra and can only pair my blackberry bold (9000) for bluetooth audio which works great. I can’t get the phone functions working and the system acts like it has not been paired. When I try to pair it for phone only it will not pair. I looked on the compatibility website and the bold is not listed there for the 2010 Tundra. Tell me there is a firmware update for the Tundra BT system????

    • Jason says:

      Wats Up – Sorry man, I don’t have an answer. This is one of the few times when it makes sense to call Toyota’s customer service number directly rather than your dealer. Honestly, it might be easier to get another phone…

  13. Dan B says:

    @Wats Up: I have the same phone and am able to pair it to my ’07 Tundra. Are you not getting the “BT connection successful” message on your Nav unit? Make sure your bold is not trying to find an encrypted connection, I know that won’t work. Ocassionally the connection will flake on me and i have to delete the device from both the truck and phone but not too often.

  14. Wats Up? says:

    After fiddling with the bluetooth settings again and trying a connection for the hundredth time the phone started working. I don’t know what the difference was as I was doing the same sequence of things but it just started working! Yeah! Thanks for the posts.

  15. ML says:

    Im having trouble transfering my contacts to my Tundra radio from my BB Bold 9700. Can anyone help me?

  16. Wats Up? says:

    The handsfree feature via bluetooth to the BB Bold worked for about one week and then quit. I tried to relink up with my phone but to no avail. The streaming music works great, just not the phone features. Tried to stream Pandora as well and it will for about 5 seconds and then drops connection. If Pandora is playing and then I use the built in media player via bluetooth, both the media player and Pandora stream at the same time. Very strange. I think there must be a bug in either the phone firmware or the Tundra firmware. Nor sure which. Is anyone else having similar problems?

  17. Mike says:

    Is this what everyone else gets? This might seem trivial but here it is

    The manual says to make a phone call
    -Push the talk button say “Dial By Number”

    In my truck if I do that it wants to register a new phone. I have to push the Off Hook button first

    To make a phone call

    Push ‘Off Hook’
    Push ‘Talk’ then say “Dial By Number”
    Push ‘Talk’ then say “the number’
    Push ‘Talk” then say “Dial”

    Scrolling through my phone is quicker. Is there some way to shorten this ?

    My wifes Infinity has 1 button to push. The rest is all talking

  18. Scott says:

    I’m having a similar problem to Wats Up?s’ problem. I can connect my Samsung Fascinate (galaxy S) as an audio player and it works great. No probs whatsoever streaming pandora. But when I go to connect my phone, the phone sees the car audio system, i’m able to put in the pin, and it claims it connects but my tundra searches and searches and is never able to find my phone. wtf?!

  19. Scott says:

    I’m happy to say that I figured out the issue and everything is working perfect just as it should! I can go into more detail if anyone is interested and is having similar problems..

  20. Mike says:

    Mike says “Is this what everyone else gets? This might seem trivial but here it is”

    I get the same. Tundra Bluetooth voice dialling is comically clunky.



    My wife has an Infinity, it is “infinitely” better.

  21. Wats Up? says:


    Happy to hear you figured your phone out. Can I get info on what you did to get it working. I still haven’t been able to get the hf phone working, only audio via bt. I can link my wife’s I-Phone 3G and a 3GS as well as a LG Xenon. Just not my darn BB Bold 9000. Other than the 1 week it worked fine and then mysteriously quit, bt phone not working. Any insight would be appreciated.

  22. Scott says:

    Hey wats up. Ya it was a weird thing that happened. I tried restarting my phone and that still didn’t fix the problem. the mistake ended up being from when i paired (and connected) it as an audio player. Even after the bluetooth was turned off, the phone still seemed paired to the car just not connected. I had to select the car audio bt from my phones list of bt devices and make it unpair. Then i repeated the process for pairing the phone and it worked like a charm. Sorry if this was TMI lol. As long as the bluetooth is turned as soon as i turn the truck on, it automatically starts streaming my pandora and everything works perfect. I’m very happy with it! Hope that helped wats up! Good luck to you!


  23. jimmy says:

    i have a storm and when i pair it to BT it works fine,but when i turn off the truck and restart it,it fails to reconnect!!! Anyone seen this problem?

  24. Hernan says:

    Im having trouble transfering my contacts to my Tundra’s bluetooth system from my BB Curve 8330. I dont have the navigation system just the bluetooth system. Can anyone help me?

  25. Tom says:

    I wish Toyota would publish a list of all compatible c/fones per mfg. that we could print, rather that having to identify a specific phone then search to find out if it is compatible with Toyota. Anyone know how I might find a printable list of all to take with me shopping?

  26. Jason (Admin) says:

    Tom – I saw a list like that once upon a time, but I can’t find it now. It’s a good idea.

  27. Rob says:

    Toyota needs to get their head out of their ass with these issues. I just bought a 2012 Tundra and about all I can do is make a call and answer a call. Can’t load contacts, or see who the hell is calling. You would think that of all things Toyota would ensure that this feature worked with all business phones,but especially Blackberries.

  28. bob says:

    how do I get all my contacts at once from my samsung galaxy s3 to my bluetooth in my tundra 2010 i can do one at a time but wth i’ll be there all year putting them in

  29. ranR says:

    I just purchased my second Tundra with the 5.7 force. The first one was a single cab. I tried to get another single cab this time. I couldn’t find one. Now I have a crewman that is not nearly as fast or powerful as the single cab. Of course you have to get an automatic transmission. Soon they will only have them with a travel trailer attached. If only more weight and a longer frame made a better 4 wheel drive. It looks as though we are moving closer to a mini van. Of course the price was much larger for the extra cab that I didn’t need or want. Have it our way.

  30. Blaine says:

    Is there a way to make it so you don’t have to manually pair your phone ever time you turn the truck off?

  31. newbie says:

    Is there anyway to play my phones music through bluetooth? The hands-free works great but I would also like the music. I have a 2008 double cab, let me know, thanks 🙂

  32. Louis says:

    I have a corolla 2009 the privious owner lock the phone book with a pin when I try to unlock it ask me for a pin…pls help


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