One of the prerequisites for Android Auto is having Google Play Services fully up-to-date, as in some cases, you could miss out on a specific improvement that depends on the latest version. So in other words, you are recommended to keep everything updated on your device to make sure Android Auto is working correctly (we all know this isn’t always the case, but this is a completely different story).
One of the errors users sometimes come across concerns Google Play Services, and it typically shows up during the first run or after installing an update that reset your settings.
What the Google Play Services error meansFor a beginner who expects a straightforward experience from Android Auto, fixing a Google Play Services error sounds like rocket science, so before anything else, it’s important to understand why this is happening.
First and foremost, when the Google Play Services error shows up on the screen, this is likely the result of Android Auto not being able to connect to Google Play Services. Contrary to what you’d expect, this isn’t necessarily something caused by the lack of an Internet connection (as a matter of fact, you can also set up Android Auto offline) but a technical problem that is encountered when setting the app.
So in theory, the Google Play Services integration in Android Auto is not working properly, and this is why you need to turn to the workaround detailed below for the whole thing.
It doesn’t take more than a few seconds, and once you do it, everything should be up and running without the Google Play Services appearing again until you reset the app.
How to fix the Google Play Services errorFirst and foremost, make sure you don’t open the Android Auto app on your smartphone. The best way to make sure it’s closed is to fully reboot your mobile device so that you can then start from scratch.
When you’re done, connect your smartphone to the head unit in the car, but even if the Android Auto app shows up on the screen, don’t tap it. Next, while you are parked and the phone is plugged in, unlock the mobile device and look for any notification Android Auto might show.
Even if you don’t see a warning on the screen, look in the notification center – you should see a prompt asking you to set up Android Auto. Next, you need to complete the setup wizard and provide permissions for the app – Google says you are recommended to accept all permissions in Android Auto, as the app needs access to read information like phone calls, contacts, and calendar entries to be able to display such data in your car.
When you’re done, just unplug and reconnect your phone and everything should work correctly, with Android Auto launching just fine.
If Android Auto doesn’t start, make sure you are running the latest version of Google Play Services. To do this, launch the Google Play Store, search for Google Play Services and then check if the listing provides you with an update button. If it does, install the latest version, reboot your phone, and then run the aforementioned steps once again.