Satellite navigation systems are becoming better, cheaper and easier to install. For many drivers they are now essential accessories. Instead of fighting with a map (or your passenger), you input your desired location to the system and are guided there by a combination of audio and visual instructions. Some systems warn you of road construction and traffic congestion. Others include locations of parks, airports, hotels and so on.
To show you what we mean, here are 10 handy tips if you are installing a navigation system in your vehicle.
The more sophisticated systems often have a separate computer, which can be mounted in the trunk or glovebox. Bear in mind you may need to insert different CDs or DVDs in order to navigate in different geographic areas.
Do not mount the computer near extreme heat or a where it may get damp. It must be mounted horizontally (within about five degrees, or as instructed by the manufacturer).
Mounting the monitor correctly is vital. It should be easily visible when driving but not distracting. Try to avoid reflections on its screen and be careful that it does not cause reflections at night.
If the monitor has a touch screen or buttons in its housing, it needs to be mounted where your hand can reach it easily.
Some heavy monitors or flimsy mounting brackets may cause the monitor to vibrate annoyingly on rough roads - you may need to provide extra support such as a piece of polystyrene foam.
Navigation systems which incorporate a radio/CD and fit in place of the original equipment will need to be connected to your vehicle's wiring loom. Other systems often plug into the cigar lighter - be careful that the cable does not get in the way of controls.
With systems that have a separate antenna, positioning it correctly is vital. The roof or the trunk lid is the best place for the antenna. However, it can sometimes be mounted inside the car - stuck to the base of the windshield, for example.
Do not mount the antenna under a metal surface, dense plastic or cardboard. Some window tinting material or heat-resistant glass may cause poor reception.
Do not shorten the antenna lead - coil excess cable into large loops and secure it with cable ties.
Monitors that clip into a bracket are targets for thieves. Do not leave the monitor (or the bracket) on show when your vehicle is unattended.
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