CarPlay is an awesome functionality that I have wanted since it was launched. I have used iPhone since its launch in 2007 and when Apple announced CarPlay I was extremely excited. Recently I purchased a 2016 F150 and unfortunately, the 2016 lineup did not include Apple CarPlay at launch. After doing some digging I found a video on YouTube that showed that I could get this functionality installed on my truck with a simple piece of hardware and while this started me down the right path, I wanted to share my process as I am sure many others have tried and failed due to some of the same issues.
The video I found on YouTube went over the process and made it seem to be as simple as installing a different USB module into the center console of the truck. While that is a part of the process, it is not the complete process. The issue I ran into required two things, one – I would need that USB module, and two – the Sync 3 Version installed in the truck was very out of date. The software version that was installed was Version 1.0. CarPlay and Android Auto were added in Version 2.2, and the current (as of 2019-07-09) build of Sync is Version 3.
When following the basic video process, I ordered the part (HC3Z-19A387-B) on Amazon, and immediately on receiving the part I attempted the quick install and was greeted with an error message saying something along the lines of “USB Hubs are not supported”. I was frustrated, but continued to research.
What I noticed was the software version in the video was something long the lines of Version 3.0, and when inspecting my software, I saw that the version was Version 1.0. I read online about how to update, and that the system has the ability to automatically update when connected to WiFi, so when I returned home from work I connected the system to WiFi and waited for a bit. Nothing happened so I turned the truck off and went in to eat dinner. When I came back a bit later and turned the truck on it read that it last checked for updates to Sync on the current date, and approximately an hour earlier. Nothing had changed though.
I then began the process of going to owner.ford.com and downloading the update to a USB drive, then forcing the update. Nothing again. After this failure I got on a chat with Ford and after a bit of conversation the issue that I ran into was that the Mac Archive Utility unpacks the updates from the Zip file incorrectly. When using the software recommended by the Ford provided instructions (Stuffit Expander – found on the Mac App Store) the files were structured correctly after being unzipped. After redoing the USB stick setup, I plugged the drive into the USB ports again and the Sync System immediately began the update. The system will let you know in the black bar at the top of the screen when it is updating.
From there, the system added better App support right off the bat, but still did not allow CarPlay. Looking online, Android Auto would work at this point, however, there is an issue with the stock USB module that came on this model year that causes the Apple CarPlay support not to work. At this point I installed the new USB Module again and plugged in my iPhone and immediately was given the CarPlay prompt screen.
At this point it was only a matter of clicking the Continue button and from there, I was shown Google Maps on the CarPlay screen.
Overall, the process was not too bad, and definitely is better than buying a new head unit, or living without the functionality altogether. The truck does not have built in Navigation, and while it is not something I would have used (built in navigation usually lacks when compared to Google/Waze/etc), having navigation by either Waze, or Google Maps, built into the vehicle is a massive feature. In addition, having access to everything from messages, to the phone, without having to use the phone itself while driving is a huge help.
I do not know for sure whether this is an issue on other Models from the 2016 Lineup, but definitely look into this if you have a 2016 Ford that doesn’t support CarPlay or Android Auto. These features are huge, and definitely worth an hour or two of time.
- Goto owner.ford.com and follow their process to upgrade Sync Software past Version 2.2 (Update it to most recent version)
- Install part HC3Z-19A387-B (Able to be ordered from Local Ford Dealer for ~$60-80 (I bought the part on Amazon, but to ensure you receive the correct part, I would recommend going through Ford directly)
- Plug in iPhone
- Accept the Sync/Carplay prompt
Please note this product was purchased with my own funds, however, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This is no way changes my opinion of the product.
If you are interested in the part that I used to complete this upgrade please use the link below:
11 Replies to “Installing CarPlay on a 2016 F-150”
I know this was over a year ago, but I’m hoping you can still help. I use that StuffIt Expander but still nothing happens when I plug in the USB. Can you help troubleshoot this?
1) Download the update
2) Move the zip archive to the USB drive
3) Right-click and Open with the Stuff-It expander
The tool should unzip the files and create a new file (not zipped) within the drive. From there, you should be able:
1) Open the newly created folder
2) Move the contents of that folder to the main directory on the USB drive, and eject
What is the behavior you are experiencing? Please reach out via the contact form at https://kevin-douglas.com/contact-me/ and I will do what I can to assist.
It has definitely been a while since I did this, so I cannot promise I will be able to solve the problem!
I’ve been looking EVERYWHERE for an answer as to why my usb install isn’t working. Thank you for this, I haven’t actually tried your steps yet but it’s exactly the info I needed to get started on the right path. My Ford dealer just wants to charge me $200 rather than actually telling me how to do it myself.
Good luck, The cost of a part and some DIY time seems significantly better than $200 and not having my truck for a couple days!
Thanks a ton for the writeup. Just did this on my in-laws truck. According to the dealer the part is now slightly different (pn – HC3Z-19A387-E). On our truck I was at the same point with the version and couldn’t get it to upgrade (It would never upgrade anything). For me I installed the module, and turned on the truck and plugged in my phone. I noticed some new icons showing up but no Carplay. I switched over to the settings and where the automatic update config is. This time it actually showed up that it was downloading something. I left the car running for like 15+ mins. It never showed that it completed or progressed beyond like 40%. Turned the car off, and then back on, and the CarPlay connection acceptance popped up on the screen. After that everything worked perfectly. Not sure why the screen didn’t show the download more than 40% but it was complete. Thanks for the writeup!
Kevin, I can’t thank you enough for posting this. I bought my 2016 Ford F-150 XLT Platinum in 2019 and have always had general reliability and usability issues with the standard Sync interface, and always thought if it was only equipped with Apple CarPlay this vehicle would be absolutely perfect. And now it is — and it is truly awesome. So a few updates for those who want to make this a reality. It is a straight-forward process, but you need to pay attention to the details.
1) DO follow the instructions on Ford’s website for downloading the Sync software updates, just enter your VIN number to get the correct update.
2) On the Mac, you can use Stuffit Expander. However when I did use it, it failed to extract the entire subfolder entitled SyncMyRide. If you use the standard ZIP file utility in MacOS it will extract all of the necessary files, just not in the correct hierarchy. Luckily on the Ford site they have screenshots showing how the files should appear and it was simply a matter of creating a folder and renaming the files. NOTE: Make sure you use the recommended 8GB thumb drive so there is enough room during the upgrade in your vehicle for the compressed files to be extracted/installed.
3) The actual software upgrade went way faster than I thought it would, mine was updated to Sync 3.0 (303024). Took less than 10 minutes.
4) I was able to order the correct part from my local Ford dealer for around $60. There is a newer part with a -E at the end, which supersedes the -B as stated here. [Correct part number should be HC3Z-19A387-E]
5) Removing the old USB ports was easier than I thought. Use a small jewelers screwdriver (smaller than shown in the YouTube video) and I was able to push in the restraining clip on one side and actually just pull out the part without any further effort. There is not a lot of slack in the cables, so be careful when removing them.
6) I simply plugged the cables back into the new part but did not push it into the slot until I was sure it was going to work. Restarted my truck and plugged in my iPhone and immediately was greeted with the prompt for CarPlay. And voila, it worked on the first try!
Hope this helps others. Again thank you for posting this and improving my driving experience a thousand-fold.
Glad it worked! Thanks for posting your experience and the updates. This post was a couple years ago and I wanted to ensure folks had this opportunity because it is so helpful and makes the entire experience better for the vehicle.
I have a 2016 F150 with sync 3, version 2.0. I had been using android auto, which was a pretty straightforward plug and play. I think I just installed the app on my phone(s) and it worked right off. I just switched to iPhone 13 and want to use sync for navigation and phone while driving. I’m a little confused because when I look for “CarPlay” on the App Store it shows an app from Hang Duong for “car play with digital key”. When I install it wants a subscription and access to Ford Pass etc. is this the wrong app? I don’t want all that and was hoping for a similar functionality like with Android Auto. I have a dual USB port already, so I’m confused why I may need a different one?
There is no app to install, CarPlay is built into iOS by default. The issue is the wiring in the stock dual USB module within the 2016 Fords. If the Sync system is already updated to a newer version you likely will be good to go as soon as you replace the module. Good luck!
Followed the instructions, updated my sync 3 to version 3.0 and bought the HC3Z-19A387-B Genuine ford part from Amazon. Since installing the new USB hub my battery dies overnight. I see in the comments that there is a new part ending in -E.
I’m wondering if anyone else has seen the battery issue after installing the-B module.
I personally have not had any issues since installing this 3+ years ago. I also have a dash cam hooked in and have been through some harsh winters with this setup. I hope that you can find some help with this!