mi asked in Cars & TransportationCar MakesBMW · 4 months ago

Are built in satnavs in older cars accurate?

How well do older sat navs hold up? Do they get things wrong? Or are they still usable?

So for instance, if I pick up a 2001-2008 BMW, maybe a 3 series E46-E90 or something, would that sat nav work well?

6 Answers

  • Jay P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    That depends on if it can still be updated or not.  Support for older GPS systems tend to end after a few years.

    The other issue is the amount of detail and processing speed.  The graphics tend to be lower quality and it may not be as accurate as modern units.

  • Snowie
    Lv 6
    3 months ago

    The problem I have with them is not so much if they work or if they're reliable (many will still work and are reliable as long as you pay for the map update), it's more of the screen resolution technology. 

    You can easily spot an old tired looking low-resolution screen from afar, and you definitely will not enjoy using it especially when your phone today is so much better. In fact, I would prefer the time-tested orange LCD text display of a BMW Business radio, Bluetooth linked to my phone which is mounted landscape oriented on my dash serving as a "car display". There are many after market Bluetooth kits that will connect to the original BMW audio systems - especially those in the year range you listed.

    With that, you'll have so much more than just reliable SatNav. 

  • 3 months ago

    They generally get regular updates - at least until that model of satnav stops being supported.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    The last thing you should worry about when buying a BMW of that or any years is the satnav system

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    If it turns on, it is usable but will likely need an update.  And really, the satnav is the last thing you have to worry about.  There are many gps apps on your cell phone and they even talk to you or you can install aftermarket gps devices.  You need to worry if the engine and transmission are still working.

  • User
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    It's the same GPS satellite system. (The new, much more exact US satellite system won't be functioning for a few years yet.)

    SO: how accurate these are

    depends on how often (or if) the maps in the nav system have been updated.

    As long as you get regular map updates

    an old nav system should be EXACTLY as accurate as a new system.

    P.S. I looked this up, the new, more accurate system has sufficient satellites in place to begin operations but has not yet begun full, standardized operations. (Signals are being transmitted, so more accurate location is available now, but message content remains uncertain.) Possibly it will begin standardized operations later this year! In any case, after a brief search I could find no navigation system currently available that takes advantage of the new L2 signals. Probably those much more accurate navigation systems will not be available until after the new message standards have been published. The advantages of the new L2 include

    - more accuracy (if I remember correctly, about 18 in for L2 only and less than 12 in for L1+L2 units)

    - stronger signal (connection to satellites much easier, including when view of sky blocked by foliage or building)

    - MUCH quicker reception (full location information received in seconds)

    The downside, of course, is that these units will be more expensive than the L1 units currently available. The fact that the L1 units have dropped in price so dramatically (Garmin had a $600+ model two years ago) suggests to me that these companies are preparing for the release of L2 units.

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