Knowing how to use Ford Sync and MyFord Touch before you drive anywhere is essential to your safety. Computers make it possible to tell your car what you want it to do, from controlling the heat, to tuning into a radio station, to telling you the day's sports scores. It brought to mind a cross between Kit in KnightRider and My Mother the Car.
The Ford Sync / MyFord Touch is not simply an in-dash radio and GPS navigation system. It also controls important functions including hiding and showing the gas, water temperature, and battery gauges. Beyond the futuristic fun, the MyFord Touch is a computer that you need to master. You don't want to be on a learning curve while driving on a curve in the road.
If there's one thing I know from years of working in electronics stores and tutoring clients, people want to dive right in without reading the owner's manuals. They figure out how to use their gadgets on the fly, as they need it. The problem with this approach to the MyFord Touch is that you aren't sitting at a desk where you can give all your attention to working out how to accomplish a task.
There have been many complaints from customers about the unreliability of the MyFord Touch. I would bet that the cause of many malfunctions is due to the user not understanding how to operate the MyFord Touch. When I knew what to do, and when the MyFord Touch learned my commands, it worked perfectly.
While testing the Ford Edge, I found myself in some sticky situations that showed me how important it is to learn how to use the car before getting on the road. When I couldn't figure out how to answer my phone, I found myself veering for the wrong side of the road.
How to control Ford Sync /MyFord Touch
While I'm sure Ford was trying to make it simpler by offering control options, it makes it more difficult to understand how to use the Ford Sync / MyFord Touch. If it was only voice-controlled, you could simply master the commands. Instead, the MyFord Touch can be controlled in many ways.
To control the MyFord Touch:
1. Use knobs and touch-panel buttons on the dashboard panel for radio, CD player, heater, and a/c adjustments.
2. Steering wheel controls work with speedometer displays to show or hide important gauges including gas, temperature, oil pressure, and rpms.
3. Voice commands control the climate (heater and air conditioning), navigation, entertainment, settings, phone and more. Press the button on the steering wheel to before speaking your command.
4. Use the touchscreen by tapping the controls for each feature.
Before you drive:
Before you drive your car, take time to learn how to use Ford Sync/ MyFord Touch.
I can't emphasize this enough.
Read. Read. Read. When you received the car, you should have received the MyFord Touch Handbook , the comprehensive MyFord Touch Supplement book, the car's owners manual, and a DVD with introductory tutorials. The amount of literature provided should be a hint that it is important to learn how to use the Ford Sync. You need these instructions. If you still need help go online. I've offered some instructions, and Ford has created a website dedicated to Ford Sync help.
As you go through the manuals, look for common tasks you will undoubtedly use. Learn to turn up the heat and air conditioning, how to answer your phone and put a call on hold so you can confer with your passengers, how to change radio stations, play a CD, or choose a playlist on your phone or media player.
While sitting in a parked car, practice using a command, the touchscreen , or a steering wheel button until you know the MyFord Touch understands your voice commands, or you can use buttons without having to take your eye off the road.
Have a back up plan - If you need to quickly lower the music volume you can turn the big knob; to hold a call have your phone nearby, or turn off the heater fan by pushing the climate power button at the bottom of the dashboard.
Change settings before you start to drive or pull over to make changes. It's never as easy as you think it will be.
It is a lot of fun and convenient to use the MyFord Touch and Ford Sync. I've written this blog because you simply cannot learn to use a computer while driving 50 mph.
And while the MyFord Touch makes it easy to control the car's system, it can make you nostalgic for the days when all you needed to know was where to find the light switch and wiper controls—both of which are automatic in many cars today.
For more tips check out the How-to use the MyFord Touch slideshow.