Echo Dot and Wifi for Your Car




Introduction: Echo Dot and Wifi for Your Car

About: I'm a nerdy dad who just loves to geek out on D.I.Y. Projects. In the immortal words of Ron Swanson "People who buy things are suckers".

You NEED a smart car right?

Who doesn't!

This able will teach you how to set up a mobile hotspot and integrate Amazon's amazing digital assistant Alexa into your vehicle (1996 or newer combustible engine vehicle).

You'll need a mobile hot spot for your car, an Echo Dot, a way to power it (USB port), and a smartphone.

Stop by this website to make sure your car is compatible with the T-Mobile device I use.

If not don't fret, it's not the end of the road. I also successfully hooked up the Dot with my Iphone 6 mobile hotspot. Some newer cars also carry an AT&T hotspot baked in. I'm sure this option would work as well. Long story short, if there's internet and a way to connect your Dot via bluetooth or 3.5mm audio cable then you're good to go!


Step 1: Buy These.....

An Echo Dot and a Mobile Hotspot. I just so happened to buy a T-Mobile Sync Up Drive 4G LTE but you can do this with any mobile internet device (integrated or otherwise).

I also required a cigarette lighter USB power adapter to power the Dot. Quick note: A "connected to the stereo" USB device failed to power my Echo Dot. I needed a true external power plug.

Step 2: Download the Apps

You went out and bought your Dot and Hotspot, now you need the apps to control them.

Head to the app store in your mobile phone and download these guys to get started.

Amazon Alexa

Motion by Mojio

Step 3: Install Your Internet

This nifty little guy plugs into your car's standard OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) port.

You can find them hanging out underneath your dashboard typically within a couple of feet of your steering wheel column.

Just plug and play....the device lit up with 2 green lights to indicate power and internet broadcast.

I then started the sync up drive app to sync the 2. After that I changed my hotspot name and password in the setting tab to keep things safe.

With the internet up it's time to rock!

Step 4: Install & Connect the Echo Dot to the Internet

Start your car.....With your internet up and running you need to plug in your Dot to the USB port for power. Quick note: To the best of my knowledge if you have a USB port that runs directly to your stereo unit it will not recognize information as this is strictly a power port on the Dot, no data is fed through. That being said I used a cigarette lighter USB adapter to power her on. She just so happened to slip perfectly into a cup holder and looks almost integrated into the bonus!

When she has power launch the "Alexa" app on your smartphone to start setting her up. Once launched find the home 3 bar symbol to find the "settings" tab. Click settings and it'll bring you into a devices menu. I own a ton of Amazon devices so they are all listed. If you only own this Dot, it'll be easy to find her. Click the device and it'll bring you into another menu with the option to set up your wifi connection & bluetooth. Follow the on-screen instructions to successfully set up your internet connection.

Step 5: Connect the Dot to Your Stereo Via Bluetooth or 3.5

Your Dot needs to talk to your one of these two (2) methods.

I have Bluetooth in my stereo....lucky me.....If you don't have Bluetooth, I hope you have an Aux 3.5 jack. If that's the case, plug a cord to connect and find the right input on the head unit. Problem easily solved.

If you have Bluetooth it'll take a little more work. Start your car and while Alexa is booting find the Bluetooth pairing mode on your stereo to connect the two. My 1st gen Dot connected without me having to do this extra step. The 2nd gen just doesn't seem to play ball in a similar way.

Once they're "speaking" the same language with your Dot connected to your hotspot and connected to your car you are ready to rock!

Step 6: Have Fun and Be Safer!

Technology is awesome. A simple answer as to why you should do this is......It's safer.

Eliminate distractions. Never take your eyes off the road to change a song. You don't have to check your calendar visually any longer. Have the traffic and news read to you while you drive. Expand your music selection instantly with Pandora, Spotify, Amazon music to name a few. I'm sure our hero developers will start creating amazing tech for this solution once people start using it. Share to spread the word!!!

It's a no brainer. Nerdy...big level? Hell yes!

Feel free to ask me if you have any questions or problems.

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    Question 4 years ago on Step 6

    Hi, if I connect echo dot to car stereo with 3.5 jack, can I still connect/receive info to my in ear Bluetooth earpiece? Thanks


    6 years ago

    Did this in a 2011 Acura with Handsfree Link that requires a pin. Miraculously added the Dot as a new "cellular phone" by experimenting with a work around for a PIN entry. With tenacity, finally used my phone Bluetooth with the Alexa app open to Bluetooth connect and a PIN entry option popped up on the phone and then the Alexa connected to Bluetooth without needing a PiN again. Signed up for the Mastermind Beta waiting list and received an invite in a matter of days. Now can incorporate non-Alexa supported apps (Google Play Music and Navigation) in the mix for driving truly hands free. The TMo Sync Up N Drive has been quite stable. Using TuneIn, Podcast One and iHeartRadio for general Alexa supported listing and using Audible for audiobooks. Very, very happy!


    Reply 5 years ago

    How did you do this, exactly? I tried the same thing on my 2013 Prius, and it wanted a PIN but all I kept getting was "pairing failed" messages!


    Reply 5 years ago

    Paul, I do wish I could tell you how I did this. I have been able to add tablets to my HandsFreeLink but the Dot was a serious challenge. I just kept trying until the PIN option popped up on my nearby cellphone. I can recommend that you take your vehicle away from any nearby residential and business WiFi and/or BT items that may be causing an interruption in your ability to connect. The BT Dolby sound is so much better than the Aux sound. I just kept trying it until I got the PIN screen. Watch what pops up on your WiFi and when it happens in the process. My husband drives a 2011 Insight with Aux only. He uses a SoundBot for BT and it works great with the Dot. Mine is touchy in highly congested business areas where public WiFi is all around. It will pick back up but that issue appears to be a HandsFreeLink issue and Android version upgrade that makes devices more receptive to surrounding WiFi that interrupts even BT connections. On the open road, it is great. When HFL drops my Dot on BT, I just switch over to Aux and get by on the Aux/audio cable as a backup untill I see the BT light up, then switch back to BT option again. I just keep the Aux audio cable connected.


    6 years ago

    great Idea! just one caveat you might want to include - you need decent WiFi to play music with the echo, if somebody lives in the boonies where they barely get enough signal for a phone call, it won't work properly. If the signal isn't there, it just isn't there, and the echo dot requires a decent WiFi connection.