How to Add Weather to a Garmin GPS

by David Lipscomb

One of the added benefits of Garmin Global Positioning System units is the ability to inform you of weather updates. This is done primarily using XM Weather services, Garmin NuLink! add-ons or by linking an Android Smartphone Link weather app via Bluetooth. In each case, the weather information gathered may influence your intended route, with severe conditions reported to you in real time.

XM Weather

Place the XM Weather antenna on the dash near the junction of the windshield and the dash itself.

Plug the USB cable attached to the antenna into the USB port on a suitably equipped Garmin GPS unit.

Turn on the Garmin navigation unit. Press "Menu" twice. Select the "XM" tab option on the screen of the unit.

Highlight the XM tab. Press the center of the function key to access the "Information" section. Jot down the XM radio ID number. You'll need this when you call to activate your service.

Select the "Audio" tab. Look and listen for the XM preview station to confirm a link.

Access the XM WX Satellite Weather Web page on your computer. Select the package you want from the list. Call the appropriate phone number to order and activate your service.

Garmin Android Smartphone Link

Download the Garmin Smartphone Link app onto your smartphone (see Resources). Open the app by tapping on the icon.

Tap the "View Bluetooth Settings" button at the bottom of the app's first page. Search for your Garmin Navigator device in the "Available Bluetooth Devices" list provided by your Android phone. Tap on the device and confirm the passkey provided by the Navigator.

Tap on the "Advanced Weather" service button toward the top of the new page. Confirm purchase of the service by tapping on the price button on the upper right of the following screen.

Wait for your Navigator and Android device to sync via Bluetooth. The services enabled on your phone now link to your Garmin device.

Garmin NuLink!

Turn the Garmin NuLink! enabled device on via the power switch. Go outside to a spot with a clear view of the sky. Allow the Garmin unit to acquire the satellite signal. Weather features in NuLink! enabled devices are preloaded, but the unit and satellites must sync for you to see the information.

Touch "Tools" then "Weather." Touch the "Current Location" option to view current conditions in your area. Tap the "Current Location" then "Add City" option to change or correct your current listing.

Touch any day in the "Forecast" list to view the expected weather for that day.

Tap the multi-bar indicator, then "Favorite Cities" to review a list of saved locations.


  • NuLink! services come prepackaged free for the first year. After the initial subscription ends, service may be continued for five dollars per month.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • XM Weather-compatible Garmin unit
  • XM Weather antenna
  • Garmin Smartphone Link App
  • Garmin NuLink program

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

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