How to Fix Communication Error 8 on Android Auto

In most cases, the problems users come across when running Android Auto come down to broken apps, random disconnects, and GPS issues. More often than not, fixing them is possible by simply switching to a new high-quality cable.
Communication Error 8 signals an authentication problem 1 photo
Photo: Google
When this doesn’t work, Google is pretty much the one that could lend you a hand, as the company needs to investigate the issue and come up with a fix in a future Android Auto update.

But at the same time, there are also errors users discover when trying to connect their phones to the head unit and which don’t say too much about what’s going on.

One of them is “Communication Error 8,” a cryptic message that leaves many users puzzled and not really knowing what to do.

What Communication Error 8 actually means

As you could easily figure out from its name, this is a communication error, which means the phone and the car can’t exchange data properly.

I know what you’re thinking; this sounds like a cable issue. But no, this time, the cable you use to connect to the head unit and run Android Auto isn’t the one to blame, because error 8 indicates an authentication problem between the mobile device and the car.

So, in theory, the two devices can’t verify the connection, and given that the authentication fails, no data transfer can occur. This is the reason the Android Auto icon doesn’t even show up on the head unit, as the connection is blocked from the very beginning.

Theoretically, fixing this error comes down to resolving the authentication problems. While it sounds pretty complicated, it really isn’t, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to do it.

How to fix Communication Error 8 on Android Auto

As weird as this may sound, the authentication error is caused by the incorrect date and time on your head unit. That’s right, in case this information isn’t correct on the head unit and doesn’t match the one of the phone, there’s a good chance that running Android Auto will fail with Communication Error 8.

What you need to do is disconnect the mobile device and then start digging into your head unit to find the date and time settings.

Very important to know is that you also need to set the correct time zone settings on the head unit and double-check if there are any options for winter and summer time. If present, make sure they are configured properly on the head unit, and once you’re done, you should retry to run Android Auto.

Before doing this, however, you should also restart your phone and the head unit completely, just to make sure no errors are stored in the memory. In some cases, resetting the Bluetooth settings and repairing the mobile device and the head unit also helped bring things back to normal.

If the aforementioned error doesn’t go away, you should check the version of Google Play Services on your mobile devices. The authentication failure could also be caused by outdated Google Play Services, so get the latest version, set the correct time and date, and then see if everything is back to normal.

Needless to say, it’s always a good idea to keep the software on your mobile device up-to-date all the time, and if a newer version of Android Auto is available, you should install that too. The latest releases typically come with more bug fixes and optimizations under the hood. If you come across an error that shouldn’t be there, there’s a chance the developer has already fixed it in the latest software update.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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