Ford Sync Black Screen of Death Fix

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Ford Sync Black Screen of Death

Some users have reported having issues with their Ford Sync software where in some cases it causes what has become known as the Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death”. As the name implies, the Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death” will cause the user’s infotainment touchscreen center console to not function correctly and only display a black screen.

This issue can be frustrating and in some cases dangerous, as some models of Ford vehicles that include the Ford Sync feature have some important information displayed in the infotainment console that they depend on to reach where they are going safely.

This issue has been most commonly reported to occur when driving the following vehicles: Ford Fusion, Ford Focus, Ford Transit, Ford F-150, Ford Edge, and the Ford Expansion. All of these vehicles feature the Ford Sync software and use it to control media connections and other key locations and safety functions.

If you own one of the vehicles and are experiencing this type of problem, you can use this guide to help you identify the cause of your Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death” and also troubleshoot your issue and prevent it in the future.

The Ford Sync software is an important part of your Ford vehicle’s ecosystem. If it is not functioning properly, you could risk experiencing issues in other areas of your car. You should use this guide to immediately address any issues that could be causing your Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death”.

Why Does My Ford Screen Go Black?

The next part of this guide will focus on the many different causes and resolutions of the Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death”. You should use the list below to help you accurately identify your issue and use the appropriate troubleshooting method to resolve it.

It is important that you address all Ford Sync software issues as soon as possible. It can be frustrating dealing with the Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death” but this guide can help make your resolution process fast and simple.

Some of the most common causes of Ford Sync issues are out-of-date software, bugs and glitches, cable issues, APIM or FDIM issues, and faulty console displays. This list will cover all of these issues in detail and offer in-depth troubleshooting methods that you can consider.

1. Ford Sync Is Out Of Date

The most common cause of Ford Sync issues is out-of-date software. Like any software-based application, Ford Sync depends on regularly scheduled updates to maintain optimal performance. Without these updates, your Ford Sync software will likely encounter more frequent errors, including the “Black Screen of Death”.

Updates that are released for your Ford Sync software will generally include many bug fixes and patches that will serve to remove these errors. Because of this, it is important that you always stay up to date with your software updates.

You will need to manually download and install any updates that are available for your vehicle. The process to correctly do this will be outlined in the suggested troubleshooting method below.

Fix – Update Ford Sync

To resolve your out-of-date software issues, you will need to check for and apply any updates that are currently available for your Ford vehicle. To do this, you will first need to download the appropriate update files for your vehicle onto a USB drive. You will need to match the update files to the make and model of your vehicle.

You can find these update files on Ford’s official website. There you will be able to find support for your Ford Sync software, including updates and other important software information.

Next, you will first need to power on your vehicle. Make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area before you attempt the update process, as the car will need to remain running for some time while you complete the update steps.

After you have turned on your vehicle, you will then need to plug the USB drive containing the update files that you downloaded into your vehicle’s USB port. The exact location of your USB port will differ depending on the model Ford you own. You should consult your vehicle’s manual if you cannot locate your USB drive in your Ford vehicle.

Once you have properly located your vehicle’s USB port and plugged in your USB drive containing the Ford Sync update files, you will need to press the Menu button on your infotainment console. This will bring up the menu where you will see the SYNC-Settings tab. Enter into the Sync-Settings tab and scroll to highlight the Install option.

Once you have selected the Install option, you will be presented with an onscreen prompt that you should select Yes to. This will begin the installation process and your vehicle will respond audibly with a message explaining that your Ford Sync software will reboot and begin the update process.

You will not be able to use Sync to pair any devices or control audio media settings while this process is ongoing. This will take around ten minutes, so keep that in mind. During this time, your vehicle will automatically apply the update files found on the USB drive to your device.

Ford Sync will notify you once the update has been completed. You check your system software just to be sure by navigating back to the Sync-Settings menu and entering into the Systems menu. There you can view the current version of your software.

2. You Have Encountered A Bug With Your Ford Sync Software

Bugs and glitches are another common cause of the Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death”. These types of errors are typically caused by some type of internal run-time issue that the software has encountered. All software applications are subject to the occasional bug or glitch that causes errors with functionality.

When you encounter bugs and glitches, they quite often resolve themselves. Because of the random nature and ambiguity of the causes of these types of errors, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of your issues.

That being said, persistent issues that are attributed to bugs or glitches can be solved using the troubleshooting methods listed below. All of the methods in this list have been proven to resolve “Black Screen of Death” issues that are being caused by bugs or glitches.

Fix One: Perform Cycle Key

A cycle key is the best way to fix your Ford Sync software when you are experiencing display issues. To do this, you will first need to turn your vehicle all the way off. This includes accessory mode and the engine. If your vehicle does not turn off until you exit the vehicle you should open and shut your door to simulate this.

Once you have ensured that the vehicle has shut down completely, including all radio functions, you should leave the car off for at least 2 minutes before starting it back up. After you have done this, you will have successfully key cycled your Ford vehicle. This is the best way to encourage the resolution of display issues caused by bugs and glitches.

Fix Two: Perform A Soft Reset

A soft reset is another way that you can help encourage your Ford Sync software to resolve any internal issues that could be causing the “Black Screen of Death”. To perform a soft reset on your vehicle, you will first need to press and hold the Seek Up button while also pressing and holding the Radio Power button.

You should continue to hold down these buttons until the screen goes black. This will usually take around five seconds. If the screen is already black due to the “Black Screen of Death” simply holding down these two buttons will automatically start the soft reset process.

After the soft reset process is complete, your display issues should be resolved.

Fix Three: Perform A Master Reset

A master reset is a much more extensive reset and will reset all of your vehicle’s settings back to the factory defaults. All of the user information that you have saved in your Ford Sync software will be deleted including addresses, Bluetooth connections, and user media settings.

To perform a master reset on your vehicle, you will first need to enter into the Settings menu. From there, enter into the General menu where you will find the option to Master Reset your vehicle. Once you have confirmed that you wish to start the master reset process, press Continue.

This will begin the master reset process. You will be notified once the reset is complete. You will need to pair any previously paired devices before you will be able to use them.

Fix Four: Wait For A Few Days

You could simply attempt to wait out your issue. Bugs and glitches usually resolve themselves without any additional action from the user. If you simply wait for a few days, there is a possibility that your issue will resolve itself.

This may not be an ideal solution but it can save you time and a headache when trying to resolve your “Black Screen of Death” issues. If you are able to wait for the problem to resolve itself then this could be your best option for dealing with bugs and glitches.

Fix Five: Contact Ford

If you are still experiencing problems with your Ford Sync software after resetting and updating your software, you should consider contacting Ford to get additional support for your issue. Ford can offer additional troubleshooting methods and suggestions for resolutions to the issue that you are experiencing.

You can contact Ford by phone or on their website. You can also take your vehicle to the Ford dealership to have them take a look at your Ford Sync system. If you choose to contact Ford Sync online or by phone, then you will need to provide a detailed account of your issue.

A Ford technician will be assigned to your case and they will help walk you through any potential troubleshooting methods that you may have overlooked. This is often the best course of action when you are having Ford Sync software issues.

Having to take your vehicle in for repairs or dealing with customer support remotely can be frustrating. Rest assured that Ford is the highest authority on your vehicle and the software that controls the Ford Sync software. They can offer you the best advice for resolving your particular issue.

3. Bad Cables

The cables associated with your Ford vehicle’s infotainment center could be causing your display issues. Cable issues could also cause your devices to not properly pair with your Ford Sync software. Cables are an important aspect of your vehicle and should be maintained and checked regularly to ensure that they are functioning correctly.

Fix One: Disconnect Then Reconnect Cables

You should consider disconnecting and reconnecting all of the cables associated with your vehicle’s infotainment center. This can help resolve any faulty connections that your vehicle might be experiencing.

4. APIM Issue

The APIM software controls driving notifications and features like rear-traffic alerts, navigation controls, radio, HVAC, and cruise control. Issues with the APIM software associated with your Ford Sync software could cause your console to experience the “Black Screen of Death”.

APIM is an important and integrated part of your vehicle. If you are experiencing issues with the features above and also the “Black Screen of Death”, then you should address the issues as soon as possible.

Fix One: Update APIM Software

Your APIM software will automatically be updated when you update the Ford Sync software. To resolve your out-of-date software issues, you will need to check for and apply any updates that are currently available for your Ford vehicle. To do this, you will first need to download the appropriate update files for your vehicle onto a USB drive. You will need to match the update files to the make and model of your vehicle.

You can find these update files on Ford’s official website. There you will be able to find support for your Ford Sync software, including updates and other important software information.

Next, you will first need to power on your vehicle. Make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area before you attempt the update process, as the car will need to remain running for some time while you complete the update steps.

After you have turned on your vehicle, you will then need to plug the USB drive containing the update files that you downloaded into your vehicle’s USB port. The exact location of your USB port will differ depending on the model Ford you own. You should consult your vehicle’s manual if you cannot locate your USB drive in your Ford vehicle.

Once you have properly located your vehicle’s USB port and plugged in your USB drive containing the Ford Sync update files, you will need to press the Menu button on your infotainment console. This will bring up the menu where you will see the SYNC-Settings tab. Enter into the Sync-Settings tab and scroll to highlight the Install option.

Once you have selected the Install option, you will be presented with an onscreen prompt that you should select Yes to. This will begin the installation process and your vehicle will respond audibly with a message explaining that your Ford Sync software will reboot and begin the update process.

You will not be able to use Sync to pair any devices or control audio media settings while this process is ongoing. This will take around ten minutes, so keep that in mind. During this time, your vehicle will automatically apply the update files found on the USB drive to your device.

Ford Sync will notify you once the update has been completed. You check your system software just to be sure by navigating back to the Sync-Settings menu and entering into the Systems menu. There you can view the current version of your software.

5. Display Is Faulty

If your infotainment console display has been damaged or has cable connection issues, it could cause the “Black Screen of Death”. Display issues are rare, but could be caused by old age, misuse, or damage from a crash or exposure to liquid.

If you experience the “Black Screen of Death” persistently, then you likely have a damaged display and will not be able to properly use it until the issue is addressed.

Fix: Repair or Replace Your Display

You should consider taking your vehicle to the Ford dealership to have it repaired or replaced. Your infotainment center display is not something that can be easily repaired at home and should only be attempted by a certified Ford mechanic.

A Ford mechanic will be able to examine your display and determine whether a repair or replacement is appropriate. If you are lucky, they will determine that your problem is caused by software issues, which will save you a lot of money on display repairs.

6. There Is No Power Going To It

If your battery is running low on power or there is some kind of power transfer issue, it could cause your console display to not work correctly. If your console is not receiving the proper amount of power, you will experience the “Black Screen of Death”.

There are also fuses associated with your infotainment console that could have been blown and need replacing. Power issues are a common cause of the “Black Screen of Death”.

Fix One: Check The Fuse Box

You should check the fuse box to ensure that any blown fuses are identified and replaced. This will ensure that your center console display has the proper power to function. The fuse box for your infotainment console will be located in varying positions depending on the model of Ford that you own.

You should consult your vehicle’s user manual for the exact location of the fuse box or take it to a mechanic and have them examine it for you. Since there are electrical components involved, it is very important that you access the fuse box carefully and only when the car is completely powered off.

Final Thoughts

This guide has provided you with all of the information that you need to resolve your Ford Sync “Black Screen of Death” issues. The “Black Screen of Death” causes the infotainment console to not display correctly and can be extremely frustrating.

You can use the information provided in this guide to help you accurately identify and resolve any types of issues that could be causing your “Black Screen of Death” issues. It is important that you address any issues regarding your infotainment console as soon as possible. It can be dangerous to drive with this part of your vehicle not functioning correctly.

Common causes of the “Black Screen of Death” include bugs and glitches, out-of-date software, faulty cables, and components, or out-of-date firmware. All of these issues have been discussed in detail in this guide along with detailed troubleshooting methods that you can consider for solving these issues.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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