Android Auto - no/bad GPS after update FP4 to Android 12

Yesterday I used android auto for the first time after the upgrade to Android 12.
For the first 5 minutes on the road, the screen showed my starting location. Then it jumped to where I was at that point and told me ‘looking for GPS’. I disconnected the phone a few times and finally, after about 20 minutes, it started working.
Today: same story. 5 minutes of starting location, then the exact location. As a test I didn’t disconnect the phone. After a 35 minute drive to get home, the screen still showed the location after 5 minutes.
Anyone else notice this? Is there a fix? It’s “a bit” inconvenient this way. (Using FP4 on Nissan Leaf 2018.)

The odd thing: if I use the Google Maps without the phone, the GPS is just there without a problem.

I had that’s problem with Android 11 already and it has not yet improved. I do not have the issues in the car with other phonesyig at the same location.

Solution for me is to start GPS TestPro app on my phone and then the position gets updated in Android Auto, too.


I never had the issue on Android 11.
Where can I find that app, please? I don’t find anything with that name on the app store.

Its this one


Thank you so much for the fast responses!!
I sincerely appreciate it. :slight_smile:

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I am having the same issue as mentioned in the first post.

When i am using the Fairphone 4 with my Renault Zoe via Android Auto, the first few Minutes while driving are fine. The Car-Display shows “looking for GPS”, and when my passenger presses the “screen unlock” button on the Fairphone, one can see the “Location” marker in the status bar appearing and disappering very quickly.

When i start the “GPSTest” app while having that Problem, Google Maps on the Car-Displays gets its GPS fix.

However, after the screen on the Fairphone goes dark, Google Maps looses its GPS-Fix again. I would have to keep the display unlocked on the Fairphone to keep the GPS-Fix - which increases power usage, creates heat and wears down the display.

My gut feeling is that this might be a power-saving problem - that the Fairphone tries to restrict GPS usage when the display is dark. Currently, the Android Auto is not working like it should with A12 and the workaround is not optimal :frowning:

I’m not denying that folks here are having problems with Android Auto.
I have not experienced any GPS issues with Android Auto myself. I link to my work van, a Vauxhall Combo. I’m just giving suggestions to try. I don’t claim these will work.

Settings > Apps > All Apps > Android Auto
Disable Remove permissions and free up space

Settings > Apps > All Apps > Android Auto > Battery
Change setting to Unrestricted

Settings > Apps > All Apps > Android Auto > Permissions > Location
Make sure Use precise location is enabled.

Settings > Apps > All Apps > Maps
Disable Remove permissions and free up space

Settings > Apps > All Apps > Maps > Battery
Change setting to Unrestricted

Settings > Apps > All Apps > Maps > Permissions > Location
Make sure Use precise location is enabled.

Hopefully that will keep GPS alive, but you may also see an increase in power consumption. Keep an eye on it with the battery monitoring tools.


These sounds sensible. I’m going to give them a try. Thank you for the


For me it seems to help. Before the fix I had a lot of periods where Maps in Android Auto only showed “searching for GPS location”. After fixing the permissionsnthebfirst test was fine…

I have the same issue. GPS on android auto just sometimes works. Completely unreliable. But bot new with android 12. It started a few days or weeks earlier.
Did the settings thing described above and that didn’t help. Didn’t try starting another app while driving, as the point of android auto is to not use the physical phone…

Thank yo u for your suggestion.

I did apply your settings, and they seemed to work. However, yesterday the problem did occur again - i had to use Android Auto four times and twice there was the “waiting for GPS” on the display.

So, maybe this is is something the devs should take a look at for the next update?

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I gave the adjusted permissions a try too. No luck from the first moment.
After starting the GPS Test app, the location was there immediately, so I’m keeping this fix until there’s a proper fix. :slight_smile:


Recently the GPS functionality of my FairPhone stopped working in Android Auto. I think it began since one of the latest updates of Android.

The signal is frequently lost, for long periods (like many minutes). Making navigating via Android Auto useless.

I use the TomTom Go application, because I can use offline maps.

Google maps also had the same issues. I think I was able to resolve the issue there by allowing it to run all the time in the permissions. This option however does not exist in the permission settings of the TomTom app. I would also like te prevent using an all the time on feature for google maps.

When using the app just on the smartphone itself there are no issues. But who wants to look at the smaller screen when you’ve got a large screen on your dashboard :wink:

I think this might be a permission issue.

Android auto is on version 9.0.630834 - Location permssions are enabled when in use + exact location
Google maps is on version 11.69.0401 - Location permissions are on always allow + use exact location
TomTom Go is on version 3.6.128 - Location permssions are enabled when in use + exact location

Hi and welcome to the community, I moved your post to this existing topic, please see above


Hello everyone,
i think i have found the issue and can offer a workaround.

My thesis was always that the power-management is a bit to aggressive, which i think is the case here.

When you start the Navigation with the phone unplugged, and while the navigation is already running you plug it in - the GPS will continue to work without a problem.

It is only when you use the “in Car” Maps view to start the navigation that the GPS will be spotty or outright broken. When you have a fix, the short amounts of allowed GPS-Activity will be enough to get a position. When you need to first get a fix, or loose the fix, Maps will think you stay in the same position forever. Somethimes though, it is enough to get you from A to B. However, when you have the “Energy-Saver” active on your phone, the positioning-Info from the Google-Location-Service are too old, and you will most of the time never get a GPS fix.

I am not “fluent” in logcat, but it looks like the “started in the car” Navigation will not be allowed exact GPS fixes. Maps and Navigation from the Smartphone however will work every time and not “flood” the logcat with tries to get location information.

Is there a way to let the fairphone devs know this?

TL;DR: Start the navigation before plugging in the FP4 and everything will be fine.


Only way is to open a ticket by contacting support and hope they will forward.

Thanks for your suggestion, it seems to be working properly when I start the navigation before plugging the phone in.

I’ve recorded what happens on the screen when the phone is plugged in first and then starting the navigation (Waze or Google Maps):

I’m not sure if this is a Fairphone / Android or an Android Auto issue though. Android Auto is getting worse and worse with every update…

I have had the same issue and I also tried different ways to sort. I also think it has something to do with the assisted GPS in spotty areas. I have turned off Private DNS as was using and it has started working again. This could be that it needs to ping QCom or Google periodically and if it can’t connect it loses it’s spot. It’s just a theory but so far with it off it connects and works but with it on it’s hit and miss with GPS dropping out.

EDIT: Still having an issue so reporting to Fairphone as have taken a long list of measures to sort and lately has dropped out in important journeys. One in a busy motorway and one along a windy country lane in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal!!

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I have had severe GPS issues for a long time, even before updating to Android 12. I’ve installed the GPS Test app, which only highlights that the smartphone is unable to get a GPS fix. Curiously, restarting the phone temporarily fixes the issue.

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The best way to ‘fix’ this still is to start navigation on the phone before connecting to the car. Works all the time for me.
Find location, tap Start, connect, go.

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