Users Pulling Over Immediately Due to Android Auto Causing Phone Overheating

Android Auto occasionally displays the most peculiar glitches, leaving even Google puzzled and grappling to find a solution.

This issue seems to persist with a new error that poses a danger while using Android Auto, prompting users to pull over and immediately disconnect their phones.

A number of readers recently informed me that when they connect their mobile devices to the head unit, Android Auto triggers a “phone overheating” notification, along with various suggestions on the screen, such as turning off the camera (even if it’s not in use).

Upon conducting some online research, I came across reports of this problem dating back to February, with more users encountering similar behavior in their cars.

Here’s all the information you need to know about this glitch.

Android Auto Coolwalk

Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

One key point to remember is that reports of false overheating alerts have also emerged, so while Android Auto may indicate excessive heat, it doesn’t necessarily mean your device is at risk of exploding. Even if overheating does occur, modern phones come equipped with additional safeguards – a lesson learned worldwide following the Samsung Galaxy Note7 debacle, resulting in smartphones now featuring added protections against overheating.

The overheating alerts immediately pop up after launching Android Auto. Readers mentioned receiving a notification that their “phone is getting too hot” after connecting their phones – this bug seems to only affect the wired version of Android Auto, as the wireless variant doesn’t provoke this abnormal overheating behavior.

The error message can be triggered by various apparent “overheating” causes, like the phone’s camera or screen. The reason seems to be selected at random, resulting in a different message each time. Two of the warning messages instruct users to “try turning off the camera” and “try turning off the screen.”

One reader shared that they received the camera warning without even using the camera app on their smartphone. Despite launching and closing the camera app, the issue persisted, despite the phone feeling warm.

Android Auto Coolwalk

Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

These details imply that the phone is indeed experiencing overheating, validating the alerts generated by Android Auto. Nonetheless, since phones don’t feel warm before being connected to the head unit, it suggests that Android Auto is the culprit behind the excessive heat.

It’s no surprise that some Android Auto users feel uneasy using the app due to this issue. Some mentioned immediately pulling over, while others struggled to disconnect their mobile devices even while the vehicle was in motion. This situation can be perilous, emphasizing the importance of remembering that the phone will eventually suspend processes to cope with the excessive heat.

This means you don’t need to disconnect the device immediately; it’s safe to pull over and then remove the cable.

Some users opt to continue running Android Auto in their cars without disconnecting their iPhones. Interestingly, access to Android Auto isn’t restricted, but the app becomes extremely laggy, making navigation and on-screen interaction nearly impossible. The lag serves as a symptom of overheating and typically occurs when the phone’s cooling systems can’t handle the excess heat.

In a peculiar case, someone on Google’s forums mentioned that their phone stopped overheating after a repair. They owned a OnePlus 8 Pro running Android 13, which experienced overheating upon launching Android Auto. After receiving a replacement mainboard and battery, everything returned to normal in their car.

This report hints at a hardware-related overheating issue, unconnected to Android Auto, although it’s unclear why it only manifested when the phone was connected to the infotainment system.

Android Auto Coolwalk

Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

The issue affects phones from various brands, including Google Pixels, but it’s unclear if a hardware problem is to blame in every instance. However, Google has requested more details, like the Android Auto version running on the affected devices, so we should soon know if a fix is necessary.

Meanwhile, if you encounter the same overheating alert in your car, there’s not much you can do. One reader informed me that they switched to using Android Auto wirelessly, eliminating the overheating message. They utilized an AAWireless Android Auto wireless adapter to eliminate cables, and everything returned to normal despite using the same mobile device and infotainment system. The Android Auto version that triggered the overheating warning functions smoothly on the new setup.

It’s too early to determine when a fix might be released – if one is required at all – but it’s advisable to keep the app up-to-date. The latest stable build is Android Auto 11.4, with Google already putting the final touches on version 11.5. This version recently entered the beta program, and if all goes well without any major bugs surfacing at the eleventh hour, the rollout to all production devices should commence in the coming days.

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