How to Connect GPS to Car

by Benjamin Aries

The Global Positioning System was developed for government and military use, but has many applications in the civilian world. Vehicle GPS units use satellite technology to improve navigation during trips. These types of devices feature color displays, and usually show a moving map of the surrounding area. According to USA Today, three of the most popular car GPS brands are Garmin, TomTom and Magellan. Modern vehicle GPS units can be easily mounted on the windshield and do not require permanent installation.

Remove the protective plastic film from the bottom of the GPS suction cup. Push the suction cup firmly against the windshield of the car.

Push the suction cup lever down to create a strong seal against the glass. This feature is not found on all GPS vehicle mounts.

Attach the GPS unit to the vehicle mount. Connect the ball mount of the suction cup to the corresponding hole on the back of the GPS. Alternately, place the GPS unit on the cradle mount.

Connect the power cable to the back or side of the GPS. The exact location for this cable will vary, depending on the unit.

Plug the opposite end of the power cable into the cigarette lighter port of the vehicle. On most vehicles, the GPS will automatically receive power when the engine starts.

Connect the traffic and satellite radio receivers to the data port on the GPS unit, if they are available. Not all GPS devices have these optional accessories.

Plug the sound cable into the GPS audio jack. Insert the opposite plug into the "Auxiliary In" port of the vehicle's stereo. This allows the GPS sound to play through the car speakers. Not all units have this feature.

Tip

  • Limit the amount of material between the GPS and the sky to improve signal quality. The windshield will not normally block the signal, but materials such as metal can cause interference.

Warning

  • Place the GPS mount in a position that is easy to see and touch, but does not cause a distraction while driving.

Items you will need

  • Power Cable
  • GPS Mounting Kit

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images