Frequently Asked Questions
- I know nothing about sat-nav - how can I find out about it?
- How good is digital mapping for Ireland?
- What systems do you recommend?
Coverage and Updating
- I have just bought a Garmin/TomTom sat-nav and your site says that it has near 100% mapping but there a number of new roads that are not on the GPS - why not?
- How do I update my Garmin GPS to the latest maps?
- Do all Garmin systems have the same map detail?
- Are map updates free when you buy a GPS?
- Can I add maps to my GPS system?
- Why are there so few points of interest on my GPS for Ireland?
Faults and Support
- What are the contact details for Garmin and Route 66?
- My GPS seems to have a problem acquiring satellites?
- My GPS has got a fault - I think I need to send it back - what do I do?
- The Bluetooth on my GPS does not seem to be working correctly?
- How long will a warranty repair/replacement take?
- Do you repair GPS systems?
- My GPS is faulty and in warranty. Can I bring it it and get it replaced immediately?
- When under warranty, do you offer replacement GPS while mine is being repaired?
1. I know nothing about sat-nav - how can I find out about it?
Garmin have produced a useful GPS Guide for Beginners, while a little dated, explains the basics behind GPS, the benefits and applications and why it is as, if not more, important than purchasing a new washing machine!
While most people now associate GPS with car satellite navigation systems, the uses of GPS is extensive and GPS technology has been around for decades. For example, in North America, Garmin kit out 65,000 aeroplanes each year with Garmin navigation devices. GPS is used in aeronautics, marine navigation, fleet management & tracking, recreational uses include hillwalking, climbing, geocaching, golf, hunting and the construction industry make wide use of GPS in survey and measurement instrumentation. Safety applications include personal location beacons and GPS wrist watches for monitoring children.
2. How good is digital mapping for Ireland?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked.
There are two companies that are responsible for the digital mapping in most in-car sat-navs - Navteq (owned by Nokia) and TomTom Maps (formerly Tele Atlas). Navteq maps are found in Garmin products, TomTom Maps in TomTom and Navman. Up to relatively recently, Navteq map data was superior for Ireland to TomTom Maps however as of July 2011 there is little to separate the two mapping companies. TomTom Maps are excellent in the main population centres while you will still find gaps in some rural areas. This reflects the TomTom Maps slant towards a demographic mapping strategy rather than Navteq's geographic coverage. Navteq maps are approx 99.8% complete. There will always be some gaps in digital mapping - new roads, omission due to road works and so on however each year there are steady improvements.
As of July 2011, the latest Garmin mapping available is version 2012.10. It is important to realise that this
map information is not a reflection of the Irish/European road network as of July 2011 but it is already approx. 6-12 months old. This is
due to the length of time it takes from the digital mapping companies surveying our roads to getting that information to the GPS manufacturers and in front of consumers. For
example, the new N9 and N10 roads around Co. Carlow, Kilkenny and Bennetsbridge are not included in version 2012.10. Other points to remember
are that while
nearly all roads have been mapped a number are not named, especially in rural areas, so you may still have
difficulties navigating to specific roads. Thirdly, it is common in Ireland that roads do not have
names so to aid navigation, the townland name have been used to name a number of roads in the same
What you have to bear in mind is that more than 90% of the time the sat-nav is a perfectly adequate device for getting you from A to B and will operate as you would expect.
3. What systems do you recommend?
Click here for a list of recommended GPS systems. Our recommendations are based on popularity, quality and customer feedback.
4. I have just bought a Garmin Sat-Nav and your site says that it has near 100% mapping but there a number of new roads that are not on my sat-nav - why not?
Both Garmin and TomTom provide a free 90-day map update guarantee whereby you can update the maps on your sat-nav to the latest version, free of charge. For Garmin systems, the 90 days start from the date that your sat-nav first acquires a satellite fix.
The reason for this guarantee is that when your purchase a sat-nav whether through a high-street store or online store, the sat-nav will not contain the latest mapping. The reason is that map updates are released approximately once every 3 months while the manufacturing cycle from device production through distribution to stores is much longer. Typically the maps preloaded onto a sat-nav can be between 6-24 months old, therefore availing of the free map update is a must.
As of July 2011, the latest mapping from Garmin is version 2012.10. Sat-navs purchased through high street shops and online stores may have map versions anywhere from 2010.10 to 2011.40, i.e. maps already 6-24 months old.
Other factors to bear in mind are that surveys carried out by the digital mapping suppliers, Navteq and TomTom Maps, are time-consuming and laborious - it is near impossible to ensure everything new is included in a survey. Both these companies drive the length and breadth of the country to digitise roads and capture as many features as is practical. If a new road opens in an area a day after a survey was conducted it can be another 12-18 months before it is likely to be re-surveyed.
5. How do I update my Garmin GPS to the latest maps?
There is a full page on the mysatnav.ie website that explains how to updating your sat-nav. Follow this link, How to update the Maps on your Sat-Nav. Garmin's instructions are complicated so we hope this accompanying explantion helps. Let us know if specific elements need clarification or further explanation.
Following on from numerous requests, especially in the last year, we have expanded our services to offer a Map Update Service for Garmin devices. To find out more follow this link,.
The Garmin Map Update process in complicated, unwieldy and time-consuming. The beauty of our service is that it is entirely hassle-free and we can have your Garmin sat-nav updated and back in your hands normally within 2-3 days.
6. Do all Garmin systems have the same map detail?
All Garmin systems use exactly the same underlying navigation software and map data. A Garmin nüvi 1310 has the same level of detail for Ireland and the UK as the Garmin nüvi 1390. An optional SD card of France has the same map detail that comes on the nüvi 1390.
7. Are map updates free when you buy a GPS?
When you first purchase your new sat-nav, both Garmin and TomTom offer a free 90-day map update guarantee whereby you can update the maps on your sat-nav to the latest version, free of charge. In the case of Garmin systems, the 90 days start from the date that your sat-nav first acquires a satellite fix.
After the 90 days elaspe, you have to pay for map updates. As of July 2011, Garmin updates cost €59 for a single-use map update, TomTom charge approx. €49 per annum which entitles you to four map updates over a 12 month period.
8. Can I add maps to my GPS system?
Yes. All Ireland/UK based Garmin systems can accept European maps at a later date. A Map comes on a microSD Card that is simply inserted into the side of the unit. As a general rule it is much more cost effective to purchase a sat-nav with European maps already preloaded rather than purchase the maps later on as much of the cost of a sat-nav system is in fact the maps rather than the hardware itself.
9. Why are there so few points of interest on our sat-nav for Ireland?
Points of interest for Ireland are still in a 'catch up' phase with other European countries. The most obvious ones such as hotels, restaurants, transportation, petrol stations, car parks and recreation are reasonably well covered - pharmacies, supermarkets, stores and so on are not really covered at all. The main reason for this is the lack of a postcode system in the Republic which requires that point of interest data is collected at time of survey. In the UK, for example, a postcode refers to approximately 8-10 addresses so in urban areas, a postcode is a very accurate means of getting to a location - so often databases of locations can be built up without the need to conduct a physical survey.
To address the lack of points of interest available for Ireland, a website, www.mypois.ie, allows sat-nav owners customise their GPS with lots of up to date, local information such as the locations of industrial estates, pubs, hotels, pharmacies and much, much more. For many this additional data can same time, money and take the hassle out of finding places.
10. Can I enter co-ordinates onto my GPS to find a location?
The Garmin nüvi and zumo range allow you to navigate to a co-ordinate. The GPS can accept easting and northings in both minutes and seconds or as decimal degrees.
11. What are the contact details for Garmin?
Email: Garmin Product Support
Tel. : 0044 2380 662902 (Monday to Friday, 09:00-17:00)
Our experience is that telephone support provided by Garmin is in general very good and above average for the industry.
12. My sat-nav seems to have a problem receiving satellites?
If your GPS system has a problem acquiring satellites it may be due to one of the following reasons:
- Indoors: Sat-navs do not generally work indoors but will sometimes if near a window - a clear view of the sky is essential for normal operation.
- Position in your vehicle: Always ensure that your sat-nav has a clear view of the sky preferably on the dashboard or fixed to the windscreen between the driver and passenger.
- Initial GPS Fix: Acquire your GPS position before starting your journey. Sat-navs find it much more difficult to acquire a GPS position when moving rapidly and often will not acquire at all.
- Cold & Warm Starts: When a sat-nav has not been used for more than 6 hours or the sat-nav has travelled a considerable distance since the last GPS fix - a cold start is performed and acquisition time is longer - perhaps up to a couple of minutes. In contrast a 'warm' start should only take a matter of seconds.
- Athermic windscreens: If your vehicle has an athermic windscreen (i.e. windscreens that reflect UV light) this will affect the strength of a GPS signal in your car. To test if your car has an athermic windscreen, turn your sat-nav on outside the car and once you have a GPS fix, if the signal drops significantly when you bring the sat-nav inside your car the likelihood is that your windscreen is athermic.
- Firmware Updates: Ensure that your sat-nav has the latest firmware updates installed on the unit. The manufacturer web sites all have areas where you can download updates for your sat-nav and instructions on how to install updates.
- Return: If you have tested and carried out all the above but your sat-nav still seems to be having a problem acquiring satellites then please contact us to organise return of your system to us.
13. My sat-nav has got a fault - I think I need to send it back - what do I do?
Please see our Returns Policy for instructions on what to do next.
14. The Bluetooth on my sat-nav does not seem to be working correctly?
The most common problem we encounter with bluetooth is that either your mobile phone is not compatible with the sat-nav
or the bluetooth versions on either the sat-nav or mobile phone are not up to date. For mobile phone compatibility, always check
on the sat-nav manufacturer's web site that the sat-nav you are about to purchase will definitely work with your phone. On the product
pages of our online store we have placed the links to the manufacturer's web site to check compatibility.
If your phone is listed as compatible but you are still encountering problems then we suggest in the first instance that you make sure that the bluetooth firmware on your sat-nav is up to date. Most firmware updates are available as free downloads from the manufacturer's web site such as www.garmin.com and include instructions on how to update your system. To ensure that your sat-nav is working optimally we recommend that you keep the bluetooth firmware on your system up to date. Updates are generally available once every couple of months.
If your mobile is compatible, the sat-nav has the latest firmware and your are still having problems then it may be necessary to update the bluetooth firmware on your mobile phone. Again, firmware updates are available as free downloads from mobile phone manufacturer web sites. You can also bring the phone back to where you purchased it and normally they will update the phone for you free of charge.
If you are still having problems, then we recommend that you get in touch with the sat-nav manufacturer directly as they will be able to identify very quickly if there is a fault with your system.
15. How long will a warranty repair/replacement take?
When goods are returned to us for repair, we arrange for the product to be sent back to the relevant manufacturer as we do
not have in-house repair facilities.
This process can take between 4-6 weeks from the time we receive the goods and confirm the fault, sending of the goods to the manufacturer for repair/replacement, the goods being returned to mysatnav.ie and finally the goods being sent back to the customer.
We are more than happy to organise the repair of goods on behalf of customers, however when the returned item is under warranty more often than not we are simply acting as the 'postman' and you are more likely to have your problem resolved much more quickly if you contact the manufacturer directly. We have found both Garmin and TomTom very responsive to customers.
16. Do you repair GPS systens?
Mysatnav.ie specialises in the sales of GPS satellite navigation and accessories over the internet to Irish consumers. The market size here does not make it economical viable for us to maintain the technical skill sets and equipment necessary to carry out repairs. We are very happy to organise repairs of sat-navs on your behalf and in most cases this involves sending the goods back to the manufacturers in the UK.
17. My sat-nav is faulty and in warranty. Can I bring it it and get it replaced immediately?
No, as a sat-nav is an electronic device which needs to be examined to confirm a manufacturing fault it is not possible to bring a suspected faulty device into our offices for immediate exchange. Please see our Returns Policy for further details.
18. When under warranty, do you offer replacement sat-nav while mine is being repaired?
No, we do not offer replacement sat-nav when your system has been returned to us under warranty. If we have a system available, we may be able to lend you a sat-nav while yours is being repaired but this is not a guaranteed service nor should it be expected.
19. Do handheld GPS support OS Irish National Grid?
All Garmin handheld GPS systems can display and accept Irish National Grid.