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Ford SYNC And Sat Nav Upgrade.

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I have a 12 plate Focus Mk3. It’s the Titanium X with Sony DAB and satnav.

ive been looking recently if there’s any way to update the system to something more functional in the modern era, save for actually buying a new car!

I’ve looked briefly into this and can’t really tell what version I have, whether it’s actually a SYNC system at all or what version it is if it is SYNC?

On a side note, my sat nav SD card is quite old now, is there anyway to update this without getting stung by the dealership?


Many thanks in advance!

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Your Focus MK3 has the High Level Branded (Sony) audio system with the Ford MFD sat nav system. This audio system can be based on either the old bluetooth/Voicecontrol connectivity system or the SYNC 1.0 / SYNC 1.1 connectivity system.

Which connectivity system you have depends on the production date of the car.

The old 2nd generation bluetooth/Voicecontrol connectivity system was installed from 03-01-2011 to 16-01-2012. This system used the exact same bluetooth/Voicecontrol modules that were also used on the Focus MK2.5. From 16-01-2005 Ford installed a new type of bluetooth/Voicecontrol module which had improved phone compatibility and supported more languages. This type of bluetooth/Voicecontrol module was installed until 18-06-2012. Ford stopped the support for the old bluetooth/Voicecontrol system in November 2012 and since then the system became outdated.

The SYNC 1.0 connectivity system was installed from 18-06-2012 to 06-03-2014. The SYNC 1.0 system was the first SYNC system that was available in Europe and was based on the original USA SYNC system that was developed in cojunction with Microsoft. Officially Microsoft had nothing to do with the Euopean SYNC 1.0 system (Ford already ended the partnership long before the European SYNC 1.0 system was introduced) but being based on the USA SYNC system the European SYNC 1.0 system still shows signs of Microsoft's involvement in the configuration / update file architecture. The SYNC 1.0 connectivity system can only be updated by a Ford dealer. Ford stopped the support for the old bluetooth/Voicecontrol system in 2014 and since then the system became outdated.

The SYNC 1.1 connectivity system was installed from 06-03-2014 until the end of production of the Focus MK3. The SYNC 1.1 system was basically a further developed version of the SYNC 1.0 system. Apart from many improvements the SYNC 1.1 system also introduced new functionality like for example APPLink. Unfortunately the SYNC 1.1 APPLink functionality never was a big succes. The amount of supported Android/IOS apps was very limited and most app developers stopped supporting SYNC 1.1 APPLink. A major advantage of the SYNC 1.1 system is that the system software can be updated from a USB drive by the car owner. Because the SYNC 1.1 system was used for many Ford models the SYNC 1.1 system remained supported by Ford for many Years. The latest available SYNC 1.1 software update was released in 2018.  


The MFD sat nav system is fully integrated into the FCDIM (display) and basically has nothing to do with the connectivity system. The MFD sat nav system was developed by Ford in cojunction with Bosch/Blaupunkt.

The Ford MFD Satnav system uses Bosch/Blaupunkt software and TeleAtlas maps. TeleAtlas is currently owned by TomTom. The original SD- cards for the MFD system can be bought From a Ford, TomTom or a Bosch dealer. However the prices between these vendors may vary quite a lot. The SD-cards from Ford are usually the cheapest.

The SD cards for the Ford MFD Satnav system can be identified by the number on the label of the SD-card:

V1 = 2011
V2 = 2012
V3 = 2013
V4 = 2014 (V4 contained an error and is replaced by V4.1)
V5 = 2015
V6 = 2016
V7 = 2017
V8 = 2018
V9 =2019
V10 = 2020

The V10 SD-card is the latest available and was released in March 2020.

The files on the SD-cards can easily be found on the internet but making a functional copy is pretty difficult because of the copy protection. Being developed in cojunction with Bosch/Blaupunkt the Ford MFD Satnav system uses the (very good) Bosch/Blaupunkt copy protection. This copy protection is based on the unique CID number of the SD-card. The CID number of the SD-card is encrypted into the files on the SD-card. This type of encryption has never been cracked so if you want to make a copy of an original SD-card it needs to be a full clone with an identical CID number. This requires an SD-card with a changeable CID number (very hard to find). 

Several Chinese SD-card manufacturers offer (large quantity batches of) SD-cards with a custom (user defined) CID number. These SD-cards can even be supplied with a custom (user defined) label. Many of the cheap SD-cards that are offered on Ebay for the Ford MFD Satnav system are no original SD-cards but these cheap Chinese clones. The quality of these clones fully depends on the quality of the SD-card. Unfortunately many of these clones are based on very cheap SD-card (less than 2 Pounds a piece when bought in large quantity batches).  

A few Years ago Samsung produced several large batches of SD-cards that had a security fault. The security of these SD-cards have a backdoor which makes it possible to change the CID number of the SD-card. By using this backdoor it is perfectly possible to make a 100% fully functional clone of an original Ford MFD SD-card. This is the only way to make a fast, very high quality clone of the original Ford MFD SD-card.

Unfortunately Samsung fixed the security fault after they discovered the fault. These days it is pretty hard to find a suitible Samsung SD-card that has the ability to change the CID number. The Samsung EVO+ SD-cards (not the newer EVOplus ones) have the highest success rate. 


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Easily the most comprehensive answer the world has ever seen! Thankyou. Basically, I don’t have a Sync radio and to upgrade the satnav I need to go back to Ford! Cheers!

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