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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I was specifically

replying to a post @ 11/07/2010 - 11:08am by jackj180 stating that there is permanent damage to lithium/ion battery cells, and not to what the manual says about the Nuvi. (which I had read previously.) But thanks for posting the link for those that hadn't read the manual. smile

I just raised a question about the lithium/ion batteries in all hybrids and E/Vs.

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

Sissy Temperatures!

retiredtechnician wrote:

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:
"Do not operate the device outside of the following temperature range: from -4 degrees to 131 degrees F."
RT

Those are pretty mild temperatures! It's -8*C (~20*F) outside right now and will get much colder in the coming months. In February we are likely to get daily HIGH temperatures in the -20*C range.

I realize that temperatures quoted in the manual are for the BATTERY, but it seems unusual that the lower temperature limit is much more likely to occur than the upper limit. Heck, the highest temperature ever recorded was around 138*F... and how often does that occur?

not so harf to exceed high limit

DanielT wrote:

... Heck, the highest temperature ever recorded was around 138*F... and how often does that occur?

That's outside temperature. But the temperature inside a closed car in the hot sun can reach over 140 even when the outside temperature is in the 90s.

I believe that the manufacturer has data to base this rating on, and it is not just the battery.

An alternate question

I have a question for those that take their GPSr inside to avoid the high/low temperatures, per the manufacturer recommendation: Do you also ensure that you never go even 1 mile above the manufactures recommended oil change interval for your vehicle?

I would believe that MOST would not be concerned about any potential damage caused by a few miles (or even a hundred or so).

A secondary question for those that do allow additional miles would be the justification for taking better care of a GPSr that costs somewhere between fifty and a few hundred dollars, than a vehicle that costs several thousands of dollars.

Upper and Lower Operating Temperatures

Frovingslosh wrote:

That's outside temperature. But the temperature inside a closed car in the hot sun can reach over 140 even when the outside temperature is in the 90s.

I agree with you, there! We were in Death Valley, where the temperature was 48*C (118*F), and I left the GPS on the dash for a 20 minute break. I grabbed the unit to move it, and it was toasty!

But I'm more interested in the lower operating limit because I live below that temperature range for much too long each year sad Even with the defrost blasting, it's below 0*C (32*F) in the car. The GPS is a bit sluggish to start but I have never had any problems. Of course it is a DRY cold!

I wonder if the heat generated by the electrical components create a much warmer mini-environment around the unit?

BTW, the original post asked about the effect of cold weather on a GPS. The owners manual provides the official temperature range for proper operation. It might be a bit conservative, but that is the range the manufacturer recommends.

I KNOW that leaving my GPS in the freezing cold is not good for it. If I continue to do that, I have to accept the consequences of my choices. So if I come out one morning and find it encased in a block of ice, I would go "darn" and buy another one. redface

heated mini environment?

"I wonder if the heat generated by the electrical components create a much warmer mini-environment around the unit?"

G4 tv had an episode where Kevin cooked an egg on a processor without a heat sink.

Better take it inside......

Better take it inside...... it might catch a cold grin

leaving gps in car

Your gps will not work glass cover that is might crack manuall says put gps indoors and never leave where gets to warm or cold...oh don't leave in rain

Whether they need it or not

I give my car synthetic oil changes every 5000 miles "or so" and I bring my gps inside. I do not think the car's oil change going over a few hundred additional miles will cause it to have an adverse reaction. Where as I do not chance a sudden adverse reaction to my gps that would be an immediate $200+ loss. Car's adverse reaction.. depreciation. That I can not control. rolleyes smile

I like the anology

WJThomas wrote:

I have a question for those that take their GPSr inside to avoid the high/low temperatures, per the manufacturer recommendation: Do you also ensure that you never go even 1 mile above the manufactures recommended oil change interval for your vehicle?

I would believe that MOST would not be concerned about any potential damage caused by a few miles (or even a hundred or so).

I like the analogy of oil changes. Yes, it is absolute fact and I CAN QUOTE THE MANUFACTURER'S SPECS that you should never drive more than 3,000 miles without stopping for an oil change. If your odometer clicks from 2999 to 3000 while you are on the highway, you must immediately pull over and call emergency services. It says 3000 Miles right there in the manual, so it must be true! mrgreen

Warranty

If warranty is a concern (and assuming one is honest), telling the manufacturer that you operated the GPS at -20 degrees F after knowing the minumum temp rating is 32 F would give them a reason to void the warranty.

Another possible concern with operating in cold weather: warming the GPS from extreme COLD causes condensation, especially in very humid climates. This may be one reason for the GPS's conservative minimum operating temp rating.

RT

--
"Internet: As Yogi Berra would say, "Don't believe 90% of what you read, and verify the other half."

come out, come out wherever you are

We are now on the second page of this very opinionated subject, I’m still waiting for some Eskimo to post saying his GPSr stopped working because he left it overnight on his dog sled.

I figured by now someone had a bad experience to tell about the damaged sustained by his GPS, there has to be one out there…

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

Keep mine in car

I have always kept mine in my car and never had a problem with them. Live on Long Island, so it does go below 32 in the winter.

Just my 2 cents.

--
Nuvi 50LM Nuvi 2555LM

Have you looked?

flaco wrote:

I figured by now someone had a bad experience to tell about the damaged sustained by his GPS, there has to be one out there…

Have you looked? Not only this site, but others? Have you searched the internet? Give it a try, you'll find some!

RT

--
"Internet: As Yogi Berra would say, "Don't believe 90% of what you read, and verify the other half."

with all do respect

retiredtechnician wrote:
flaco wrote:

I figured by now someone had a bad experience to tell about the damaged sustained by his GPS, there has to be one out there…

Have you looked? Not only this site, but others? Have you searched the internet? Give it a try, you'll find some!
RT

RT I have a high opinion of you and the work you have done for POI-Factory but on this one I beg to disagree.

So far my point is winning, validated by me and many others who always leave their GPSr in the vehicles, so to prove yours and Garmin’s assertion that the unit will sustain irreparable damage you should be the one searching the internet to find the individuals with damaged units to validate you point.

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

~

flaco wrote:

So far my point is winning, validated by me and many others who always leave their GPSr in the vehicles, so to prove yours and Garmin’s assertion that the unit will sustain irreparable damage you should be the one searching the internet to find the individuals with damaged units to validate you point.

Winning??? It's only been shown that in the responses received thus far, no one has seen catastrophic failure from leaving their GPSr in their car.

RT and other in this thread have posted valid information on how thermodynamics can impact electronics. And there is a reason manufacturers put operating ranges on their devices - THEY TEST THEM. They know what can happen.

So, with all DUE respect flaco, you've "won" nothing.

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

Leave in the car?

Theft is a good reason not to.

As far as temperature, check the owners manual. There will be environmental limits in there and you can go by that.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

What?

flaco wrote:

So far my point is winning, validated by me and many others who always leave their GPSr in the vehicles, so to prove yours and Garmin’s assertion that the unit will sustain irreparable damage you should be the one searching the internet to find the individuals with damaged units to validate you point.

My posting in this thread have:
1. Never stated I have had, or will have, a GPS problem with 'cold weather operation'.
2. Quoted the specs from the manuals.
3. Stated what the manufacturers can use to void the GPS warranty.
4. Stated that "a POSSIBLE concern with operating in cold weather" was condensation.
5. Mentioned there are users who have had condensation problems caused by cold weather. I HAVE searched the internet and have found some. You can do the same. (unless you choose not to find anything to 'support the other side'.)

I choose to operate within the manufacturer's specs and keep my warranty intact. You can do what you choose; but be sure to let us know if/when your GPS craps out because of your decision to operate outside the manufacturers temp range; and be sure to tell the manufacturer you paid no attention to their temp requirements when asking for a warranty replacement. Then tell us you 'Won'! Good Luck!

RT

--
"Internet: As Yogi Berra would say, "Don't believe 90% of what you read, and verify the other half."

i won!!!

Kch50428, diesel, RT, I may have used the wrong word “winning” if you guys let me I like to change it to “correct”

What you guys are doing is dismissing the opinion of those of us who regularly leave the units inside the vehicles with no apparent damage.

You are just repeating the mumble jumble written in the manual, the OP probably knew that was in the manual when he asked for advice.

We gave advice based on personal experience, not one person has posted to the contrary.

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

same data, different interpretation

kch50428 wrote:

... It's only been shown that in the responses received thus far, no one has seen catastrophic failure from leaving their GPSr in their car....

Well, I see plenty of people saying that they leave their GPS in the car, and I see a lot of posts about GPS failure. All that I don't see is people who make the logical connection between the two things. And it would be even harder to conclude that leaving the GPS in extreme temperature conditions compromised battery life or capacity, even though battery manufacturers state that it will.

I also see plenty of posts about stolen GPSs, and so far every one that I've seen reported that the GPS was left in the vehicle. People just seem unable to make the connection.

I know from experience

That electronic equipment can crash due to being in extreme temperatures both hot and cold - and also from going from one extreme to the other.

It is fact.

That no one here has experienced it with a GPSr does not make it impossible to happen with their GPSr.

Does leaving a GPSr in a car shorten its useful life due to temperature?

Yeah, it probably does.

Chances are, I'll never find out because 1) I don't leave mine in my car... and 2) I'll have a new one before I have a chance to find out.

--
*Keith* MacBook Pro *wifi iPad(2012) w/BadElf GPS & iPhone6 + Navigon*

I wonder if

If cold & hot weather is bad for computers and batteries, how do the car manufacturers get around this problem? All cars have fairly powerful computers in their cars now, and all of the electric cars and hybrids have Nickel Metal Hydride battery packs.

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

auto industry uses special broad range CPUs

Last Mrk wrote:

If cold & hot weather is bad for computers and batteries, how do the car manufacturers get around this problem? All cars have fairly powerful computers in their cars now, and all of the electric cars and hybrids have Nickel Metal Hydride battery packs.

You can't compare lead acid batteries to Lithium Ion batteries, they are very different. As to the CPUs, there was just an article in Slashdot a week ago that covered this. The Auto industry's fastest CPU is 125 mhz. Why so so compared to other processors? Because they greatly over-engineer the chips so that they can survive extreme temperatures. See:
http://tech.slashdot.org/story/10/11/13/2248249/Auto-Industr...
Garmin, on the other hand, doesn't do that, instead they spec the GPS for storage in the 32-140 degrees range. If the auto industry could cut costs by just using faster cheaper consumer grade chips, why do you think they go to the extra costs of making their own extreme range chips?

OK, we've had the first snow

OK, we've had the first snow of the winter here. When are the various sides on this argument going to start throwing snowballs at each other? smile

Back & Forth

Seems like a lot of back and forth to get the the simple truths.

the GPS will survive in extreme hot and cold, it will probably shorten the battery life or the chip life. If you can't afford to replace it in a couple of years you probably don't want to leave it in the car. It will probably survive longer then that, but even with the best treatment that is no guarantee.

Because ..........

Last Mrk wrote:

If cold & hot weather is bad for computers and batteries, how do the car manufacturers get around this problem? All cars have fairly powerful computers in their cars now, and all of the electric cars and hybrids have Nickel Metal Hydride battery packs.

Because their components are designed for those conditions. (Incidentally, not ALL electric cars use Nickel Metal Hydride battery packs, see the “Chevy Volt”).

It can also be asked “How can Aircraft/Military/Space electronics operate at such extreme climate conditions when the automotive GPS unit can’t”? ‘Not all components are created equal’. Not only do their components (i.e. resistors, capacitors, transistors, IC, etc) have different ‘value’ and ‘temperature’ tolerances; the units also have different design and manufacturing requirements. An example is some Aircraft/Military/Space components and circuit boards are encased in a material similar to epoxy to keep out moisture.

While working in an Environmental lab for a major Electronics Manufacturer, we pulled units off the assembly line … then ran them through extreme temperature, humidity, altitude, vibration, drop, and RFI tests. If we had redundant failures, the unit would have to be re-designed. I doubt that the 255W goes through that kind of rigorous testing.

Anything can happen when a component is operated well outside of its temperature spec, including applying a voltage to an IC that exceeds its max voltage spec … thereby frying it. If you want a Garmin GPS that will operate outside the 255W’s temp specs, have a look at their aviation units. Still the cheapest route … just take it out of the car.

RT

--
"Internet: As Yogi Berra would say, "Don't believe 90% of what you read, and verify the other half."

Me?

I don't worry about the cold or hot temps because I always take mine in the house. The reason why? The security factor. I have no doubt that Lola will work just fine in hot or cold weather, even though it may shorten her life cycle, but I keep nothing of value in my vehicles. Just something I learned long ago as a former LEO. (Better safe than sorry.)

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

Stupid Cold

My wife just came in the house upset because our gps we leave in the car (in a case in the console) is broken. The screen is a bunch of crazy lines and it won't turn on or off. Hopefully this will fix after it's been in the house for a while but who knows. It is less than a year old.
I'm not sure what the temp is outside but it's a cold Michigan winter. Don't leave it out in your car! I should have researched before I did that. My gut said not to leave it out there as it seemed common sense not to leave electronics out in the cold.

I'm pretty Sure

that my 205W could survive the cold and heat just fine if I left it in my truck always, but it's consumer electronics grade, not milspec, so if it's extreme outside, I bring it in with me. I just think I'll get some better battery life that way. Not to mention the touch screen seems to operate better when it isn't really cold.

Cold

Mines been in the truck 24/7 for 2 years no problem..Tom

I just came across this post

I just came across this post so I'll add my 2c. In Dec 10 we bought an '11 Ford Edge with all the electonics. Everything worked ok, but the big touchscreen was a bit sluggish at -35c in the mornings. I park outside and only use 1 block heater - garage is full of a '64 TR4 under permanent rebuild...
I have tried using my Garmin Etrex Legend gps outside and the lcd screen goes blank at about -20c.
By the time I turn on the Nuvi 1350 the Edge interior temp is warmer so we haven't had a problem.

--
phlatlander
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