A GPS Navigation system practically pays for itself in terms of saving you time and gas money that you would have otherwise wasted driving around in search of your destination. Though GPS units bring the ultimate convenience inside your vehicle, it can be difficult to install them. Besides plug-and-play GPS navigation units, which require a simple application of a suction cup for mounting on your dashboard or windshield, GPS systems can be complicated.  Installing an in-dash head unit with GPS navigation requires many of the same steps as a car stereo install, but there are a few additional steps as well.

In-dash navigation systems include a car stereo deck with a built-in monitor, a hideaway or “brain” unit for A/V inputs and outputs, and a GPS antenna. Some in-dash navigation systems must also be connected to your Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) wire in order for the navigation to track position. The VSS wire sends a signal to the navigation system that relays vehicle motion, and the navigation responds by tracking the location of your vehicle.

The standard remote mount system is made up of an external hard-drive and antenna that you connect to your car radio. Besides the power and ground wires, you also need to connect the system to your Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) wire. Most in-dash and remote mount systems must be connected to your vehicle’s reverse signal wire so that the navigation system will track your vehicle’s motion when backing up. Most systems also use a gyroscope to relay your vehicle’s turning motion to the GPS navigation device. A gyroscope enables your navigation unit to track your vehicle throughout the twists and turns in the road. To adjust the gyroscope angle, unscrew it and use a hex key to set the gyro at a horizontal angle.

The external GPS antenna relays your vehicle’s global positioning relative to satellites in space. You can mount the antenna either inside or outside of the vehicle. If you mount the antenna inside of your car, be sure to mount it away from anything that will block its receptive ability. Also, if your vehicle has a wired rear defroster, a metallic window tint, a solar reflective window, or a windshield mounted radio antenna, then you should mount your antenna outside of the vehicle to avoid the signal from being blocked. Be sure to mount your GPS antenna away from other antennas to avoid mixing signals.