Troubleshooting with GPS devices.

My GPS device does not pick up or lock onto satellites ?
Some modern cars are fitted with a special windscreen that cuts down the amount of UV (Ultra Violet) rays that will be transferred through the windscreen which help cut down on glare. These windscreens are called Athermic, or UV Coated and will dampen/reduce GPS signals coming through the windscreen, so if you have an Athermic windscreen, it means you will not receive the same quality of signal as you would do by taking the GPS device outside of the car.

How do I know if I have an Athermic Windscreen ?
You can either contact the manufacturer of your vehicle, or talk to the main authorised dealer who may be able to tell you. If you cannot receive a firm yes or no, then another way to check is to power up the GPS device and hold it outside of the vehicle, receive a satellite fix and use the GPS status screen to see how many satellites or what signal strength you can see. Once you have noted this down, move the GPS device inside the car and see if the GPS signal drops by 2-4 sats. If it does immediately then you probably have an Athermic windscreen.

There is list of cars in the table below that we believe have had Athermic windscreens fitted throughout part of their history. Please note that manufacturers don't always use the same windscreens through the life of a car model, so even though a model may be listed below, it does not necessarily mean that the current model that you have may have an Athermic windscreen. If you are unsure, try the above test or talk to your car manufacturer/dealership.

BMW 3 Series Citreon Xantia Peugeot 306 Renault Scenic
BMW 5 Series Ford Mondeo Peugeot 307 Renault Espace
BMW 7 Series Ford Galaxy Peugeot 607 Renault Megane
BMW X5 Fiat Multipla Renault Laguna Renault Safrane
Citreon Picasso Mercedes W220-S Class Renault Clio Renault Traffic
Citreon C5 Mercedes Vaneo Renault Master Vauxhall Zafira
Citreon Xsara Peugeot 206 Renault Kangoo  

If your car does have this type of windscreen you will need to use an extension GPS antenna that can be placed in an area where you will receive a signal or can magnetically fix to the roof of your car.

An external antenna is available, call on 0161 355 1275.

If you still have reception problems:

  • Obstructions to the open sky will reduce GPS performance. Try to ensure placement of the GPS device away from the windscreen edges so it has the widest view of the skies possible. With an external antenna place it away from roof bars and at least 10cm way from any other roof mounted items.
  • Driving in built up areas and close to tall trees reduces satellite reception.