If your car’s infotainment system is compatible with Android Auto but requires a wired connection, there is one easy way to make it wireless. It’s called Carsifi, a small adapter that you can plug into the car’s USB port to create a wireless connection to your Android smartphone. We recently got to try out this device. Here is how our experience went.
The Carsifi adapter is nicely packaged
The Carsifi adapter is well-packaged and simple. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit
The packaging for the Carsifi adapter is small and neat. That shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the adapter is about the size of a USB drive. In the box, there aren’t any paper instructions, just the Carsifi adapter, a USB-A cable, a USB-C cable, and a 3M sticky strip in case you want to mount the adapter securely.
Setting up the Carsifi adapter
The Honda Civic’s infotainment system showed that Android Auto was connected, but it didn’t work properly. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit
When it came time to set the Carsifi adapter up, the process was simple yet complicated. The simple instructions on the box are as follows:
- Connect the adapter to Android Auto USB port in your car
- Open the Bluetooth menu in the settings menu on your Android smartphone and pair the new device with the name “Carsifi-XXXXXX”
- Enjoy wireless Android Auto
As we can see, the instructions were simple enough, and we followed them properly. For reference, we were attempting to connect a Samsung Galaxy S21 phone to a 2019 Honda Civic Type R, which should work per the Carsifi website’s application recommendations.
However, after plugging in the adapter and connecting the phone via Bluetooth, it would connect, but Android Auto wouldn’t work on the car’s infotainment screen when the icon was pressed. After that, the phone would disconnect.
After adjusting the settings, turning the phone on and off, and even unplugging the adapter and plugging it back in – no dice. We even tried troubleshooting via the website’s instructions but couldn’t figure out how to connect it. We also tried downloading the recommended app and connecting to the adapter that way. After half an hour of trying to figure it out, we gave up.
The Carsifi adapter is an easy way to add wireless Android Auto to your car
Despite our failure to connect the Carsifi adapter, we will say that the idea of it is great. Some users online have posted success stories after using it for a few months. However, for all of the success stories, there are also plenty of other failure stories as well.
Some reviews on Appgrooves say things like:
- “Doesn’t connect easily after doing all of the recommended fixes and reinstall. Even when it did connect, it didn’t stay connected and was very buggy.”
- “The app and adapter are practically useless. It’s never stable.”
- “The adapter only seems to work if connected to Wi-Fi between phone and adapter.”
We also tried connecting using the Wi-Fi connection. However, it still didn’t work.
Is it worth it to buy the Carsifi adapter?
A shot of the Carsifi adapter connected to the car via USB. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit
Taking our efforts and failure into consideration, it’s hard to recommend spending the $89 for the Carsifi adapter. The success rate seems hit and miss, and we can’t say that the Carsifi adapter is the “easiest” way to add wireless Android Auto if it takes 30 minutes to set up. We can try again at some point and will call the customer service line next time to see if we can get it to work. If it does, we will update this story.
For now, if your car doesn’t have wireless Android Auto, you may want to stick to plugging your phone in every time. At least that way, you know it will connect and even charge your phone.