10 Most Encountered GPS Navigating System Problems

Last Updated: 18.09.19


No matter what people search online, whether they tell themselves something like ‘I must get a radial drill press for my garage’, or they focus on navigation systems for their cars or RVs, they often overlook important things, such as the problems these things might have.

It is easy to get lured with the promise of a device that will do everything for you, from mapping out correctly alternative routes to making sure that you won’t get stuck with your RV because of low bridges or narrow roads. However, even the best navigation systems might have problems. Knowing about them will help you have realistic expectations about the performance offered.


Your GPS unit doesn’t want to boot

That must be the most common thing that people complain about when they get a GPS unit. Several circumstances might be to blame for this possibility. First, you should consult the owner’s manual to see if your unit must have its battery charged completely before using it (some models have this requirement).

Another thing you can do is to check if the power cable was connected correctly to the unit. Sometimes, it is the little things that might cause it to malfunction, so it’s best to start with the obvious.



You can’t see a map on the unit’s screen

If that happens, the cause may be something easy to figure out. Sometimes the scale may be too large or too small. Fiddle a little with the map scale, to see if what you need to see comes into focus. In case this operation fails to bring forward the map, you should try to input a place name in the search bar.

In case nothing happens and you can’t see the map, then the problem might be more complicated. To solve that, it is recommended that you talk to the distributor or reseller of the GPS unit you have so that they can give you the necessary information for troubleshooting it.


The locations given don’t appear to be accurate

Again, some things could cause this type of malfunction. For instance, the antenna might not pick up the satellite signal. Sometimes, it might pick it up, but the reception might be iffy. What you must do is to position the antenna correctly to avoid such mishaps.


You don’t appear to be able to access the path history

Some models offer you the possibility to log all your driving activities, something that you might find convenient when you need to check routes you tried in the past. What you should know is that models that come with specialized apps for path history logs do not store the information themselves.

This is stored on a website that you can access with a username and a password. If you can’t see your path history, first you need to check your connection to the internet and other problems with your phone or computer.


Jumpy location movements

A weak signal might also be the cause of this type of malfunction. You might get such jumpy location movements even if your car is not moving. Again, you should check the position of the antenna to observe if you manage to get a better signal.

Also, it is a common issue with cheaper models of GPS. So, if you need to pinpoint the location with high accuracy, you should consider investing in a model that offers better than average performance.



You don’t get updates on location

Typically, the GPS trackers get the position from satellites, so if you notice that your location remained the same while you moved, that means that there may be some other issues with the signal. Make sure that the trackers are not locked in a toolbox or any container made of metal.

However, poor service may be to blame. Connectivity issues must be considered so that you don’t end up replacing your GPS when there’s nothing wrong with the device.


You get wrong directions

A GPS unit needs maps for calculating routes and the likes, and usually, these are downloaded from an external source in case they don’t come with the unit. That means that quite a lot relies on those maps. If they happen to stop working for some reason, malfunctions will appear in the form of wrong directions.

The thing with maps is that they can become outdated. When you choose your GPS, check the company supplying the maps for details such as if they offer lifetime updates on maps – some do – or what you need to do to update yours.


Geofence alerts are false

When you define geofence boundaries that are too small, your GPS might just jump in and outside those borders. It is a good idea to work with an area that is a bit large than just a single object on the map, such as your house. For instance, you can place a geofence boundary that is as large as your entire neighborhood.


You get too many alerts

There can be some reasons why you may get too many alerts. For instance, if you list your phone number or your email address multiple times, or if you set geofence alerts, too, you might get duplicates. The system doesn’t discern between registering with various devices, and you might get the same alert all the time.

Make sure that you remove all the duplicated settings for receiving alerts. Check the Settings, and see there the option called Remove Email/SMS from the Alerts menu. This way, your GPS might stop sending alerts all the time to your device.


Travel routes appear as winded lines

Any GPS server will update and reorganize its history, when specific changes occur, such as the changing of time zone settings. When that happens, if you take a look at your travel routes, you will be surprised to see them as convoluted lines.

To avoid such troubles, make sure to set the time of your GPS to 0 UTC. Also, it is a good idea to erase the history so that the unit can calculate the routes again.




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