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Does cold weather hurt a GPS ?????

 

I have a question for the GPS community. I've got a Garmin 255W and I've recently been told that I shouldn't leave the GPS in the car (even in a case inside the console) because the screen can freeze and break.

I haven't heard this before and I would like to leave the GPS in the car so it is always available, but I don't want any problems either.

Does anyone have any comments about this??????

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Wrong reason, same result

If you want to believe that a thief would never look inside the console to steal your GPS, then take it out of the car to avoid stressing the battery with cold weather in the winter (and hot temperatures in the summer).

Winter Use

I live on the Prairies in Canada and the winters get REALLY cold. I normally leave my Garmin in the car overnight and have never really experienced any problems. It occasionally takes a little longer to start, but at -20 so do I! I have seen some "frosting" on the screen but have never had the screen crack.

Winter Use

I live on the Prairies in Canada and the winters get REALLY cold. I normally leave my Garmin in the car overnight and have never really experienced any problems. It occasionally takes a little longer to start, but at -20 so do I! I have seen some "frosting" on the screen but have never had the screen crack.

Leaving it in the car...

I never leave it in the car for the reasons already mentioned above, tempreture and theft. I guess I feel that I paid too much money for it to let anything happen to it.

--
Nuvi 765T, Nuvi 2350LMT

brr man is cold outside (not here)

My Nuvi lives in the car inside the center console compartment, ever since we bought the Altima in 2006 the Nuvi has been there heat or cold doesn’t bother it.

As far as been secure it is a matter of luck and common sense, we never leave packages or valuables in plain view, the chances of a break in to steal the Nuvi are very low since there are no tell tale signs of being in the car (hard wired from beneath the dash board), they will look inside the car and move on to the next car with valuables visible to the outside.

Going back to temperature I would be more concerned with heat than cold and so far my Nuvi is still ticking after 4 years with 100º+ in the Florida heat, after all you don’t bring the car radio in the cozy house, do you?

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7

Inside or outside?

sire1234 wrote:

I have a question for the GPS community. I've got a Garmin 255W and I've recently been told that I shouldn't leave the GPS in the car (even in a case inside the console) because the screen can freeze and break.

I haven't heard this before and I would like to leave the GPS in the car so it is always available, but I don't want any problems either.

Does anyone have any comments about this??????

The factory built-in GPS units stay in the car regardless of the temp. so why can't your Garmin. There is one major difference between the factory built-ins and yours, yours has a battery. Cold or hot storage temps are bad for a Lithium-Ion battery's life expectancy. Don't worry about the screen, it won't freeze and break unless the temp gets down around -70 f.

Cold .......bad for Battery

My only concern will be about the battery loosing its charge....

always full charge

puchasr wrote:

My only concern will be about the battery loosing its charge....

I have my hardwired, every time I turn the car on, the unit comes on and charges, the main reason I have it hardwired inside the closed center console storage is to alert for RLC, even if I'm not using it for navigating the dong sound alerts for upcoming red lights.

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7

LCD and batteries...

in cold weather the LCD will be slow/sluggish to update, but will recover as the unit warms up.

Lithiums don't suffer from low temps as much as lead acid cells -- if your car starts, you're probably okay. If anything, the self-discharge rate on the battery will be lower with lower temperature.

--
2008 Mini Cooper S, Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

Temperature extremes

sire1234 wrote:

I haven't heard this before and I would like to leave the GPS in the car so it is always available, but I don't want any problems either.

A GPS is really no different in its sensitivity to temperature extremes than any other "portable" device in common use today.

It's been discussed here at some length in earlier threads......and the consensus IS that extremes in either direction can be hard on them, especially batteries and screens but mostly when asked to actually OPERATE at those extremes. Repeated heat will age a battery rapidly, whether in use or not.

It's best not to do it; you will pay a price. It might be small or it might be large; it's a crap shoot.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

shortened battery life

flaco wrote:

... heat or cold doesn’t bother it. ...

What can you base this claim on? Did you keep several nuvis in the car and compare their battery life to several others, also used regularly and stored at normal room temperature, or are you just saying that the gps still works and you have no idea how your storage has affected battery life? I believe that you will find most climates will exceed the recommended storage temperatures for Lithium Ion batteries.

Given that Garmin doesn't even consider the battery user replaceable, I prefer to store mine in preferred temperature ranges, I wouldn't even leave the GPS in the car in the winter in my unheated garage, and certainly would never leave it in the car when not protected from theft by the garage.

The recommended storage temperatures for LiIon batteries is -20c to 60c, which is -4 f to 140 f. A car can easily get over 140 f in the hot sun in most of the U.S.A, -4 f is frequently seen in winter in most of the northern half of the country. I think it would be rare to find an area where at least one of these limits is not exceeded regularly.

so why can't your Garmin

jackj180 wrote:

...The factory built-in GPS units stay in the car regardless of the temp. so why can't your Garmin. ....

For one thing, the factory unit doesn't have a battery. Aside from a factory unit being more difficult to steal, that is most likely the biggest issue. I don't know if cold is bad for the display or not. But even if it is, do you think that the factory would stop selling GPSs at their exorbitant mark-up, or just hope that the device lasts longer than the car warranty and replace the few that don't? Car makers do a lot of things that limit part life, they see it as a profit center. It doesn't mean it is always something to emulate.

shorten this...

Frovingslosh wrote:
flaco wrote:

... heat or cold doesn’t bother it. ...

What can you base this claim on?

YO what is your problem, get off the wrong side of the bed today?

I base my claim on my own experience, what do you base yours on something someone else said?

I don't give a crap what you prefer to do with yours, for what I care you can take to bed with you and keep under the blanket.

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7

Really?...

k6rtm wrote:

[...] If anything, the self-discharge rate on the battery will be lower with lower temperature.

Really? I didn't know that.

I just got my first GPS (Garmin) this summer and the hot weather really affected the unit's performance. If I didn't have the AC on the nuvi855 will crash and I will have to reset it. I Hope the cold doesn't have a similar effect on it.

It has been my experience

It has been my experience with electronics that several things happen at the extreme ends of the storage temperatures. When it is extremely cold some materials become very brittle and it is easy to cause damage if there is any shock. Also thermal shock is very hard on electronics. Moving an item from extreme cold to a hot place can often damage electronics or solder joints that are not perfect as they quickly expand. Another source of damage can come from components that are encapsulated with insulating material that helps with shock protection or thermal dissipation. The insulating material can contract at very low temperatures and actually crack delicate components.

--
John B - Garmin 765T

From Garmin

Question: What temperature range should I store my nuvi within?

Answer: Garmin strongly recommends operating and storing the nuvi unit between the temperature range of 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C).

--
Nüvi 255W born on 602117815/nüMaps Lifetime North America

Yes

canuk wrote:

Question: What temperature range should I store my nuvi within?

Answer: Garmin strongly recommends operating and storing the nuvi unit between the temperature range of 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C).

You are correct but the recommendation is based on the battery's requirements. If you don't care about the number of years the battery will last then the unit will operate over a much larger temperature range. As I stated in an earlier post, GPS units that are supplied as an option with the car are permanently mounted. They don't seem to be harmed by extremes of temperature so your portable unit shouldn't be harmed either.

My 255W also stays in the

My 255W also stays in the truck 100% of the time. Winters normally get down below freezing here in Dallas, but never below 0*.

In Wisconsin, it did get below 0* many times. I left my older Garmin unit in the truck there and while it took a little longer to start up (or the screen would fog up for a few mins), it always worked fine.

Problem.....

flaco wrote:
Frovingslosh wrote:
flaco wrote:

... heat or cold doesn’t bother it. ...

What can you base this claim on?

YO what is your problem, get off the wrong side of the bed today?

His problem is the same as mine is.

That is: People making sweeping, unsubstantiated conclusions, which are often wrong, based only on their limited experience.

And then trying to pass that conclusion off as fact rather than an opinion.

I think that regardless of which side of the bed I arise from.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

Not the same design.

jackj180 wrote:

They don't seem to be harmed by extremes of temperature so your portable unit shouldn't be harmed either.

Different units, built to different specs. ofen have different performance characteristics. For one thing, there is no particular advantage to a smaller foot-print with an in-dash unit so the components can be spread out more and some are even larger for better heat dissipation and reliability.

It is largely an apples and oranges comparison.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

to further elaborate

ka1167 wrote:
jackj180 wrote:

They don't seem to be harmed by extremes of temperature so your portable unit shouldn't be harmed either.

Different units, built to different specs. ofen have different performance characteristics. For one thing, there is no particular advantage to a smaller foot-print with an in-dash unit so the components can be spread out more and some are even larger for better heat dissipation and reliability.

It is largely an apples and oranges comparison.

The components used in the units will also differ. Those in the permanent unit will be stressed for harsh environments while the commercial portable units will not. There can be a significant cost difference between the various grades of materials.

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

Well...

On a Nuvi 500 (which is sealed and waterproof), I have had it out on the trail at 11 degrees with no harm done.

So much for a screen freeze theory.

--
If you ain't got pictures, I wasn't there.

my problem

flaco wrote:

....YO what is your problem, get off the wrong side of the bed today?

I base my claim on my own experience, what do you base yours on something someone else said?

I don't give a crap what you prefer to do with yours, for what I care you can take to bed with you and keep under the blanket.

"My problem" is that you made a completely bogus and incorrect statement, trying to pass off your own very limited experience as fact, and if left unchallenged some people reading this forum for information might mistake it for advice that they should follow. I backed up my counter argument with actual data, giving the manufacture rating on Lithium Ion batteries as -4 f to 140 f (and I completely missed the far more conservative Garmin rating of 32 f to 140 f). Ratings from manufacturers that advise what specifications their products should be used and stored under are hardly "something someone else said", and they command a lot more credibility than someone saying "duh, I do this and I have no data to determine what the consequences are, so I think others should do it too".

I also have a problem when someone responds in a discussion with words like "crap". I regret that you found it more in your nature to do this rather than discuss facts and hard data, and I hope that Ms. POI takes notice of it.

I NEVER dreamed I would

I NEVER dreamed I would start such a "firestorm" of comments from my question. I really appreciate all the comments and have read through them all.

I had heard that a "plasma" screen can freeze and crack and I was wondering if that would apply to the Garmin units as well. I took your suggestions and based on the operating temperatures in the book, I will definitelt bring it inside when the cold Michigan winters get down to well below freezing.

Again, thanks for all the comments you've all offered.

heat will melt speaker cone and distort sounds

cold will take longer for start up but wouldnt affect gps at all

--
:-O

nonsense

plumber200 wrote:

cold will take longer for start up but wouldnt affect gps at all

It is interesting that you would say (with nothing to support it) that cold will not affect the GPS "at all" when both the GPS manufacturer and Lithium ion battery makers give a temperature range for storage that indicates one should avoid low temperatures.

In addition to my concern about proper lithium ion battery storage, one of the main points of failure with any electronic component is "thermal shock". This refers to the stress that devices go through as they warm up and different components expand at slightly different rates. It is well known to people who work with electronics that just cycling things off and on does more to shorten their life then leaving them running (although there are certainly other cost considerations in leaving some electronics on 24/7, like energy costs). And allowing a GPS to experience freezing or sub-freezing temperatures before turning it on is certainly not good for it. Yes, it might survive this hundreds of times before it eventually fails, but the extreme temperature cycling does shorten its life.

Thermal shock can be seen in anything from a computer to a simple light bulb. Ever notice how each is more likely to fail when first turned on rather than when left on for days or weeks? That's plain old normal thermal shock at work, and exposing a device to winter night outdoor temperatures just makes things even worse. You'll get away with it much more often than not, but you will shorten it's life.

I'm confused (or maybe it is you)

Frovingslosh wrote:

one of the main points of failure with any electronic component is "thermal shock".

First, you say that thermal shock is bad for the GPSr. But if the GPSr is left in the car it will slowly change temperature with the environment. If the GPSr is taken out of the car, it will be exposed to a sudden change from the car temperature to the outside temperature, then to the house temperature. Only to repeat those sudden changes in the morning.

Frovingslosh wrote:

exposing a device to winter night outdoor temperatures just makes things even worse.

Then you say that it is not good to leave it outside.

RE: I'm confused

WJThomas wrote:
Frovingslosh wrote:

one of the main points of failure with any electronic component is "thermal shock".

First, you say that thermal shock is bad for the GPSr. But if the GPSr is left in the car it will slowly change temperature with the environment. If the GPSr is taken out of the car, it will be exposed to a sudden change from the car temperature to the outside temperature, then to the house temperature. Only to repeat those sudden changes in the morning.

Frovingslosh wrote:

exposing a device to winter night outdoor temperatures just makes things even worse.

Then you say that it is not good to leave it outside.

The almost instantaneous temperature change from thermal shock is internal to the active components of the unit and thermal shock happens every time power is applied. As the device is powered on, heat is generated and it is the rapid change to go from cold to operating that causes the problem. The problem is made worse when there is a large difference between the internal temperature of the component and the operating or 'junction' temperature internally.

Now, you say, "But these things don't generate a lot of heat." Think about that small amount of heat being applied to a device with internal ribbon style connections less than one millionth of a meter wide, and even less deep.

Frovingslosh is correct when he states thermal shock can be an issue, but then we also don't have the design specifications for the components in the unit. If someone takes one apart and gets part numbers and manufacturers, then the thermal profile can be made. I suspect we will find the components firmly in the 'commercial grade' of temperature range which means an operating temperature range somewhere around -20 C and 50 C.

Each component can be different, so the screen can have different specifications than the integrated circuits inside the case. The battery is another device altogether with it's own set of temperature specifications. The manufacturer will publish the specifications of the component having the smallest operating temperature range.

Is it a little less confusing now?

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

You are on-target here.

"in cold weather the LCD will be slow/sluggish to update, but will recover as the unit warms up.

Lithiums don't suffer from low temps as much as lead acid cells -- if your car starts, you're probably okay. If anything, the self-discharge rate on the battery will be lower with lower temperature."

You are on-target here...exactly what I was going to post...

Thermal Shock

I think that's what happened to one of my sunroom casement windows. The interior temp was 50 degrees and it was -15 outside when I cranked open the window for a couple of minutes. The next time I looked at the window it had a perfect line crack the length of the window. Expensive mistake. Regarding the gps going from the car to the house and back again it will not indure a hard frozen state because of the insignificant time exposed. Plus, there is the outer shell protecting the internal wires. I do not leave mine in the vehicle and I also have a case for it.

Cold weather

I don't understand why you guys are getting your panties in a bunch over whither or not to leave your GPS in your car overnight. Most electronic equipment will have two temperature ratings, storage and operating. As long as you keep your unit's temperature within those ranges, you will not have a problem related to temperature.

This from Wikipedia:
"Thermal shock is the name given to cracking as a result of rapid temperature change. Glass and ceramic objects are particularly vulnerable to this form of failure, due to their low toughness, low thermal conductivity, and high thermal expansion coefficients."

So leaving your GPS in your car overnight is NOT going to expose it to the dangers of Thermal Shock. It's internal temperature will not change radically over a very short period of time. Rather it's internal temperature will change over a period of hours and that won't hurt it at all as long as the temperature doesn't exceed it's ratings.

Lots of opinions, no real data

Until someone does actual double-blind testing of actual conditions of a GPS unit, we can only apply generalizations learned from other devices.

Thermal Shock: Follow the logic, and you should leave your car running all night long when it's below zero outside. After all, the same thermal shock that is being proposed for the GPS will also affect the car's other electronics when it's first turned on, too. Conclusion - Thermal shock is real, but all electronics are built to minimize this concern.

Battery temps: Low temps temporarily reduce output until they warm up again. There is no permanent harm. Very high temps can over time permanently damage batteries. Garmin's operating recommendation is 140F. Sounds about right. If it's been left on the dash in the sun and it's hot enough to be uncomfortable to hold it for more than 5-10 seconds, it's probably a healthy thing to let it cool down before turning it on.

My own experiences with a Nuvi 350 and 760:

I leave them in the car all the time.
Chicago temps range from -20 to 100+.
I have a custom in-dash hidden installation, so please keep security concerns out of the discussion.

Last winter we had a few days of -25!
On those days, the Nuvi's turned on right away but showed only 1 or 2 bars on the battery indicator. Within a couple minutes, it was up to 3 bars. Touch screen did not respond well to my finger touches. I had to use my fingernail. But they powered up, found sats and navigated fine. Once warmed up to reasonable temps, the battery indicator shows full and the battery life was unaffected.

My hidden in-dash custom setup has one flaw - the dash compartment is a mini oven when the car sets in the sun on hot days. I didn't expect it to get so hot under there. See the pictures:
http://www.jcpics.phanfare.com/1502421_2450868#imageID=34756...
On hot and sunny days, the Nuvi is hot enough to be uncomfortable in my hand. Had to be pushing or exceeding Garmin's recommended limit of 140F, I'm sure! Still powered up and worked fine, though.

So, my unscientific experience is: Storing and operating at -25 degrees had no adverse results to the device or the battery. After one summer of using my custom compartment setup with the Nuvi stored there all day in the hot sun, the 760 battery life eventually went to less than an hour. Not solid proof of cause/effect, but I replaced the battery for $10 or so and on hot sunny days I pull it from the compartment and store it in the center console now. I've been doing it this way for 3+ years with the 350 and 2+ years with the 760.

As for supporting creds, I was an electronics technician for around 10 years for consumer and commercial electronic devices intended for automotive use. That certification and around $5 will get you a coffee at any Starbucks nationwide. grin

Temperature

WJThomas wrote:

If the GPSr is taken out of the car, it will be exposed to a sudden change from the car temperature to the outside temperature, then to the house temperature. Only to repeat those sudden changes in the morning.

It seems to me that you are making a real stretch just to disagree. I don't know about YOU but the temperature of my car, when I'm in it for more than a few minutes, usually isn't THAT much different than my house.....and the few seconds to make the transition is trivial.

Another factor not mentioned yet is moisture condensation, which happens when the temperture changes drastically. A cold object thrust into a warm environment sometimes collects "dew".

The manufacturer's recommended operating range has been quoted. Going outside those limits carries some risk. Nobody knows for sure how much.
I don't see the point of further discussion.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

Tests?

johnc wrote:

Until someone does actual double-blind testing of actual conditions of a GPS unit, we can only apply generalizations learned from other devices.

The manufacturer has already done tests, that's how they determined the minimum and maximum temperature ratings. As for double-blind, why? Double-blind tests are used when the tester has to interpret the data. In this case, it either works or doesn't work. The tester's opinion doesn't matter.

johnc wrote:

Battery temps: Low temps temporarily reduce output until they warm up again. There is no permanent harm.

You are correct in regard to almost all battery chemistries. The lone exception is Lithium/Ion according to what I have read. Use or storage outside the recommended temperature range does do permanent damage to the cells. I don't know how many times it takes to ruin the cell but each time does do "some" damage.

unless...

Unless your Mr. Freeze, cold weather pretty much hurts every and anything.

Read this

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone5 + Navigon*

@jackj180

jackj180 wrote:

I don't understand why you guys are getting your panties in a bunch over whither or not to leave your GPS in your car overnight. Most electronic equipment will have two temperature ratings, storage and operating. As long as you keep your unit's temperature within those ranges, you will not have a problem related to temperature.

This from Wikipedia:
"Thermal shock is the name given to cracking as a result of rapid temperature change. Glass and ceramic objects are particularly vulnerable to this form of failure, due to their low toughness, low thermal conductivity, and high thermal expansion coefficients."

So leaving your GPS in your car overnight is NOT going to expose it to the dangers of Thermal Shock. It's internal temperature will not change radically over a very short period of time. Rather it's internal temperature will change over a period of hours and that won't hurt it at all as long as the temperature doesn't exceed it's ratings.

For what it's worth, the basic raw material for both glass and integrated circuits is the same - silicon. IC's are 'grown' on wafers of super pure glass so thermal shock is an issue. And again, it comes down to the engineering put into the design. You can, and they do, make allowances for thermal shock. That's why there are several different grades of ICs. Some are capable of handling a much greater temperature range than others. Here is some information from Texas Instruments.

Commercial, industrial and military temperature ranges for TI Logic Devices

Problem:
What are the commercial, industrial and military temperature ranges for TI Logic Devices?

Solution:
Typically, the commercial temperature range is 0 degrees C to 70 degrees C. The industrial temperature range is -40 degrees C to 85 degrees C. The military temperature range is -55 degrees C to 125 degrees C. Some variations occur from time to time so please consult the product data sheet.

http://www-k.ext.ti.com/srvs/cgi-bin/webcgi.exe?Company={5761bcd8-11f5-4e08-84e0-8167176a4ed9},kb=logic,case=1774,new

Notice the key word here is TYPICALLY. That means the device manufacturer can use higher grade components to fill orders for lower grades and marked as the lower grade.

Now, the components used in the portable devices would most likely be commercial and those used in cars are the industrial grade. This is why the built-in units appear to be less affected by temperature differences.

As far as "getting your panties in a bunch" it is not a problem as far as I am concerned. The question was asked if cold weather affects a unit and the topic of thermal shock was brought up with some unclear and incorrect information. Thermal shock happens every time a device goes from a powered down to an active state - period. The amount of difference between the normal internal operating temperature and the temperature of the device when powered up is thermal shock. Thermal shock only happens when the at rest temperature is less than the operating temperature. It's another discussion when the ambient temperature of the device is higher than the normal operating temperature.

--
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. president

Sometimes you have to leave devices in the car.

It is a firing offence to take a cell phone, gps, or just about anything else into my work location. I carry an ice chest type lunch box and store the phone, gps and other toys in it summer and winter. It minimizes the temperature changes to some degree, and hides items from prying eyes.
My boss just thinks it's beer...

Not confused

ka1167 wrote:
WJThomas wrote:

If the GPSr is taken out of the car, it will be exposed to a sudden change from the car temperature to the outside temperature, then to the house temperature. Only to repeat those sudden changes in the morning.

It seems to me that you are making a real stretch just to disagree. I don't know about YOU but the temperature of my car, when I'm in it for more than a few minutes, usually isn't THAT much different than my house.....and the few seconds to make the transition is trivial.

You almost got my point. I'm not confused at all. I work in the defense industry hand have personally performed component testing at ultra high and ultra low temperatures. I have seen a few military grade components that fail at temperature, and I have see a few commercial grade components that pass at temperature. When a manufacturer makes both grades of components, often times (but not always) the commercial grade components are built side by side with the military grade components. The ones that fail the military screening but still work are sold as commercial grade. Once the lot yield of military grade components is met, the parts skip the military screening.

I live in sunny FL, and we usually don't have to worry about extreme cold, but we have the extreme heat. I leave my GPSr hidden in the car all day and night with no issues. I will take it inside at night on occasion, just to refresh the POI and mapshare corrections.

When I drive up to PA to visit family in the winter, I will typically take the GPSr inside with me, as we are switching vehicles back and forth, and I don't know which vehicle I will take next.

Am I shortening the life of my GPSr? Possibly, but I now have three GPRr (not counting the one in my smartphone). They have all been used and abused, and keep asking for more. The technology is advancing so fast, that I will be purchasing more GPSr before any of my units die from abuse. There are many improvements on the near horizon that will make us all want to update to newer units.

Thermal shock

Box Car wrote:

As far as "getting your panties in a bunch" it is not a problem as far as I am concerned. The question was asked if cold weather affects a unit and the topic of thermal shock was brought up with some unclear and incorrect information. Thermal shock happens every time a device goes from a powered down to an active state - period. The amount of difference between the normal internal operating temperature and the temperature of the device when powered up is thermal shock. Thermal shock only happens when the at rest temperature is less than the operating temperature. It's another discussion when the ambient temperature of the device is higher than the normal operating temperature.

One last time and then I'm done with this topic. Thermal shock happens when a material cracks or comes apart due to RAPID TEMPERATURE CHANGE. If you take a standard drinking glass out of the freezer and put it in a hot oven, it will crack - Thermal Shock. If you take a glass and put it in a cold oven and then turn the oven on, it won't crack - Gradual Temperature Change. Now take that glass out of the hot oven and fill it with cold water and it will crack - Thermal Shock. THERMAL SHOCK IS CAUSED BY THE RAPID CHANGE OF TEMPERATURE.

Leaving your GPS in your car overnight won't subject it to thermal shock. The internal temperature of the GPS won't change in a mater of minutes, it will take hours.

I'm done!

it happens...

I’m back and armed with scientific results of my exhaustive investigation on the subject of GPS and cold weather.

Before moving on to my results I like to clear some items that arouse in response to one of my post.

Frovingslosh you took offense when I use the word ”crap” in my response; you went as far as suggesting to Ms.POI to take notice of me using the word crap.

This is what you wrote:

Frovingslosh wrote:

I also have a problem when someone responds in a discussion with words like "crap". I regret that you found it more in your nature to do this rather than discuss facts and hard data, and I hope that Ms. POI takes notice of it.

This is what I wrote:

flaco wrote:


I don't give a crap what you prefer to do with yours, for what I care you can take to bed with you and keep under the blanket.

I really don’t know what you found so offensive in the use of the word crap. . I never suggested you were full of it merely that I didn’t care what you did with the GPSr.

If you find the word crap so offensive to alert Ms.Poi I suggest you do a search in the box at the top of this page and type the word crap. you will be surprised how many times it has been used in this forum, probably many more times than the words cold weather damage.

Now that I got that out of the way let me move on the results of my scientific investigation that will support my claim that no apparent damaged is done after several years of being exposed to extreme temperatures, I was unable to do the double blind test since we only have one blind person in the neighborhood who is vision challenged.

Two groups of users responded to the OP and here is how they are divided.

Group one belongs to the users who leave their GPSr in their vehicles regardless of temperature.

1) One Canadian (very, very, very cold weather)
2) One Wisconsinite now living in TX (very cold and HOT weather)
3) One Chicagoan (very, very cold weather)
4) Two Floridians (very, very, very HOT weather)

Group two belongs to the opinionated, engineers wannabe, scientist in the making and other very savvy in quoting what others with big names have researched and posted on the “Internet”.
From this very knowledgeable group none has taken the time to move their GPSr from under the blankie and left it in the car for an extensive period of time, neither have they done a double blind test but are quick to dismiss the opinion of those who actually leave it in their vehicles and report no apparent damage after years of doing it.

One group that failed to post a response is those users that leave their units in the car day in day out and their units have sustained irreparable damage, and could support what group two claims.

Note: Also the claim of theft doesn’t appear to be supported by group one, neither by the group that failed to respond.

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7

Make that two Canadians

Make that two Canadians please flaco. When mine is in the car it is plugged into an always powered lighter socket so it stays relatively warm in winter and in the summer I have the windows cracked open (have those plastic window vents), plus the GPS is mounted down on the console in front of the shifter (03 Focus w/AT) so it is out of the sun.

--
All the worlds indeed a stage and we are merely players. Rush

I agree

flaco wrote:

My Nuvi lives in the car inside the center console compartment, ever since we bought the Altima in 2006 the Nuvi has been there heat or cold doesn’t bother it.

I also live in N. Arizona where it gets pretty cold at night - below freezing during the winter. I leave it in the console and it is not garaged. I have never had a problem with it.

--
Larry - Nuvi 680, Nuvi 1690, Nuvi 2797LMT

User's Manual

sire1234 wrote:

I have a question for the GPS community. I've got a Garmin 255W and I've recently been told that I shouldn't leave the GPS in the car (even in a case inside the console) because the screen can freeze and break.

I haven't heard this before and I would like to leave the GPS in the car so it is always available, but I don't want any problems either.

Does anyone have any comments about this??????

Direct from the user's manual:
"Do not store the nivi where prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can occur, because it can cause permanent damage."

I suspect no one has a thermocouple in their GPS to make sure the GPS has warmed up before turning it on; so operating temperature may be more of a concern. Again, direct from the User's Manual:
"Operating temperature range: 32 degrees F to 140 degrees F."
"Charging temperature range: 32 degrees F to 113 degrees F."

From the "Important Safety and Product Information" literature, concerning battery warnings:
"When storing the device for an extended time, store within the following temperature range: from 32 degrees to 77 degrees F."
"Do not operate the device outside of the following temperature range: from -4 degrees to 131 degrees F."

RT

--
---------------"Internet: Don't believe half of what you read, and verify the other half."---------

I wonder if

Toyota and all the other manufacturers producing Hybrids and EV's have the same concern for their Lithium/Ion batteries. I know the performance is reduced but causing permanent damage, I've never seen that quoted anywhere.

--
If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else. - Yogi Berra

cold

I leave mine in the car. Last winter temperatures were around 0-30F. The GPS has been working fine. Although I'm sure the operating and charging temperatures were above freezing.

cold weather

When I leave mine in the car it seems to start up slower and the screen is not real bright but thats only for about 3 to 5 sec.

1 from Louisiana

hot in summer, cold in winter (mostly from humidity- cuts right thru ya)

Constitutive components

To answer the effect of temperature, just break the device down to its constitutive components. I saw people already mentioned the effect of cold on LCDs and batteries. The only other real components to worry about are transistors, memory chips, etc - which won't be affected at the temperatures mentioned. On the more macro level, it's possible for moisture in the device, through humidity or a spill, to get into a crack and freeze to physically damage the device, but very unlikely.

Did you Read the owner's manual?

Last Mrk wrote:

Toyota and all the other manufacturers producing Hybrids and EV's have the same concern for their Lithium/Ion batteries. I know the performance is reduced but causing permanent damage, I've never seen that quoted anywhere.

It's right there in the 255W (205W) owner's manual:
https://buy.garmin.com/support/manuals/searchManuals.faces?r...

Direct link to the owner's manual:
http://static.garmincdn.com/pumac/2675_OwnersManual.pdf
Page 40, 2nd column, first paragraph under "Protecting your nuvi".

RT

--
---------------"Internet: Don't believe half of what you read, and verify the other half."---------
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