Sat Nav is probably one of the most important features in modern cars. Many people choose to use some form of navigation when driving from one location to the next. Without solid Satellite Navigation, we would need to use maps, or even worse, phones, which could be a distraction when driving on the road.
However, Sat Nav is a dependent feature in your vehicle and could easily be damaged or stop working.
BMW Sat Nav Not Working – Most Probable Causes
1. Power Failure
Almost all the components in your vehicle are powered by the battery and a power failure coming from the battery could be due to a few possible factors. You must look at some of the possible symptoms before doing something:
- Dead Battery: The dead battery is one of the biggest causes and this will also hinder your car from starting. You will notice that the center console is dimmer when you start the car and this could cause some frustration.
- Loose Connection: If the Sat Nav has an issue with intermittent working before it turns off, you could have a loose connection. You see, all the wires run from the battery to the fuse box. From the fuse box, they will spread out to other parts of the vehicle. A simple loose connection could be causing the Sat Nav to behave weirdly.
Fortunately, you can trace the wires or use a voltage meter from the fuse box. This would give you an indication of whether or not it is the wiring. By using the same voltage meter on your battery, you will see if the battery needs to be replaced. Keep in mind that all car batteries only have a limited lifespan.
2. Software Issues
Most vehicles would have a standard software they come out with. Upon buying your car, this would most probably be the most popular software version on the market today. With so many vehicles being sold each day, the standard software of the car should be without any drastic flaws. However, this is not true for new updates.
Occasionally, I have found that when I add new software updates to my Sat Nav, it might have some issues. These issues are widespread for the most part and a simple search on the internet would reveal effectively what software could be causing which issues for your vehicle. It is important to keep this in mind as well.
Once you have identified the issue, you can simply reset your Sat Nav to the factory settings and it should remove any of the new software that might be prevalent when you have the issue. As a word of advice, I would suggest that you do some research before downloading software for your Sat Nav system. You will be able to spot whether or not it has flaws or glitches. Fortunately, these issues would be patched rather quickly.
3. Firmware Issues
As you know, there are two ways of updating the Sat Nav on your BMW. The first method is the one that I recommend and this entails you going into the BMW shop and asking them to do it for you. They will use computers that plug directly into the onboard CPU of your vehicle, which should make it much easier for you to sit back and have everything working as it should.
However, many of the older BMW models also have the CD ROM method or the newer USB method that you can use. In this method, people would download the maps from their PC before installing them on the Sat Nav system. Unfortunately, we make mistakes and we can often have a hard time setting it up correctly, which could lead to corrupted files.
From my experience, I believe that trusting a certified BMW mechanic or technician is the best way to make sure that everything is in optimal working order. Should any problems arise, you can hold BMW directly accountable and they should fix the software issues for free. It is best to trust the original person for the vehicle.
4. Antenna Issues
Another major issue that I have picked up is when the antenna is damaged or broken. The antenna is responsible for directly communicating with the satellites and this makes it so that you always have an accurate idea of where you are heading when driving. Unfortunately, the Antenna is not perfect and you might often have issues.
One example from a client was that when the client entered a location, the live traveling location was always 50 miles off. You can probably see how confusing this might be to some people when they are searching for a specific location. It could also be dangerous and people might get lost in unsafe areas they want to avoid.
The antenna issue is not uncommon and you might often find the standard wear and tear after a few years could cause this issue. The best practice would be to readjust the antenna in such a way that it does not succumb to any external damage. However, a broken antenna will most probably need to be replaced for efficiency.
How To Troubleshoot BMW Sat Nav?
Unfortunately, when you reboot the software on your Sat Nav, you will lose some of the information on the console and the CPU that you have customized. This means that you would need to manually readjust the settings once you are done. However, this is how you would go about troubleshooting the system:
Soft Reset Method
You will effectively be pressing the volume button down to make it possible for the system to turn off and back on again. For this method, you will press the volume button down for thirty seconds until the screen turns off. It should make the BMW logo upon restarting. This method is a soft reset and will not delete any important things.
Hard Reset Method
While not all models will allow you to perform a hard reset, you will be able to do this as well. For the hard reset method, you will be navigating to the settings tab. The settings tab will have a selection that allows you to reset to factory settings. This will erase all the possible issues and will remove all your custom settings. It is the best way to fully reset your Sat Nav but will take some time to reconfigure as well.