September 28, 2022

How to adapt your car’s navigation device for the big trip

STUTTGART: Are you going on a summer vacation by car? Then you need to update the map data on your car’s navigation system before setting off so that you have the latest information about your route.

Of course, this is only necessary if the car has been on the road for a few years – more modern cars have a cellular data connection which allows map updates to be downloaded automatically.

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If you don’t know how to update your vehicle’s navigation system, you should check the manufacturer’s manual or website.

SD card, USB key or DVD

For cars that are not new, but also less than 10 years old, it is common to use an SD memory card or a USB flash drive for updates.

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And doing it yourself will save you the cost of a garage to do it.

If your car is over 10 years old, map updates are often done using DVDs, which can be purchased from the dealer – provided updates are still available for that particular navigation system.

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Whether it’s an SD card or a USB flash drive, you need to find the right slots or ports to connect them to the system.

Usually they are located inside the glove box or center console. If in doubt, consult the manual.

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If the system already has an SD card inserted, you must remove it to add the updates, but remember to make a backup copy of the old map file beforehand.

Format it first

The map or USB stick must be formatted according to the car manufacturer’s specifications, otherwise the navigation system will not be able to access the new map data.

As a rule, the latest maps can be downloaded from the car manufacturer’s website. The type of vehicle and the year of manufacture must be specified.

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To do this, you often have to create a user account. Many car manufacturers offer free map updates, but some charge for them.

Don’t leave it too late

Depending on the load of the download server and the size of the map file, the download may take several hours. For this reason, you should not leave it until the day before departure.

Typically, the download is a zip file that needs to be unzipped and copied to the freshly formatted storage medium, which is then inserted or plugged into the system.

Once you open the navigation system program, it should recognize and import the new map data. – dpa