Your vehicle’s GPS is an excellent resource that provides directions, real-time traffic updates and may connect you to emergency services. However, as your car ages, the system might not work correctly or can completely lose connection.
A malfunctioning GPS may lead to several unpleasant or unsafe situations.
What causes GPS connection issues?
There are many reasons why your car’s GPS stops working, such as:
- Signal providers shutting down obsolete towers, preventing older GPSs from receiving updates
- Extreme weather such as thunderstorms, blizzards and intense heat
- Poor or no satellite signal
- New or rural roads that are not in the GPS
What happens when the GPS stops working?
While you may not use your navigation system for everyday driving, you depend on it to be accurate when you do. Systems that do not work correctly can lead to some of the following situations:
- Being stuck in traffic behind slow-moving vehicles
- Backtracking due to construction detours and closed roads
- Being lost and unable to find your destination because it is on a new or remote road
- Being stranded on a road closed due to poor weather
- Without help after a crash if onboard emergency services no longer connect or determine your vehicle’s location
Another issue is if your GPS software is out-of-date and fails to update. Certain car manufacturers require customers to pay for GPS updates, including map updates. If you do not pay to update your map, your GPS may show you an older map with routes no longer accurate or available. This could pose a safety risk if highway exit or entrance routes have changed and it is not accurately reflected on your map.
What can you do if your car’s GPS is obsolete?
Recent software updates may leave many GPSs with outdated data. Some automotive manufacturers have updates available for customers, while others do not. If your vehicle does not have an update, many third-party and cellphone-based alternatives are available to purchase.
GPS is a great resource as long as it works accurately. Check with your vehicle manufacturer to determine if your GPS needs updating.