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PSA: Never buying a (Toyota) nav system again?
Old 07-28-2014, 03:23 PM   #1
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PSA: Never buying a (Toyota) nav system again?

Both our cars have OEM nav systems, optional on one, standard with the other. Even though they're less capable and as an option cost 3-4 times as much as the best Garmin GPS, it was nice to have a unit integrated into the car so we sprung for them.

Last week the screen on the nav system in DW's 07 Camry Hybrid just suddenly went blank. Radio, Bluetooth phone and everything else seems to be working fine, you just can't see anything. So the equivalent of a PC with a dead monitor, a couple hundred bucks and back in business.

Took it to the dealership and guess what, they can't do anything but replace the whole unit. A new one is $4,400, a rebuilt one with a 90 day warranty is $2,850 [the units originally cost about $1500 as an option]! I've found a few aftermarket rebuilders online that'll rebuild ours for about $500 with 90 days or less warranty, and I could go used on eBay or a junkyard, but with no guarantees at all.

HOLY COW. It's hard to spend more than $500 for a Garmin GPS with a comparable screen size.

Not sure what we'll do, probably can't trade the car in as-is without losing thousands, so we're somewhat trapped.

I'll probably think twice about getting an in car nav system ever again, at least Toyota, when a smartphone or a Dashboard GPS will serve the same purpose for a small fraction of the cost - 'ain't technology grand' as they say.

Caveat emptor...
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:28 PM   #2
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When I was looking for a used car recently I purposely avoided getting cars with a built in NAV for two main reasons. One, what happens if I use a different car? I can't bring all my saved navigation points with me. Two, I don't like glancing lower on the dash instead of forward like on portable units.

I'm happy with my old, portable, trusty Garmin Nuvi 260 that sits on a bean bag mount.
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:36 PM   #3
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Welcome to the wonderful world of electronic car features.

Go buy a BMW like BIL has and see what happens down the road when the seven separate computers in his Bimmer start to fail. I have a friend with a newer Lexus 460 something or other that has a failed NAV screen and no sound out of the radio. Dealer won't even touch it as they say they have no parts and no techs to work on it. Aftermarket shops say they can work on it if he agrees to a whole new system (speakers and all).

Wow! and we used to think a valve job was an expensive venture.
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #4
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Tech packages in cars are a bad investment since they depreciate faster than the rest of the vehicle. We LBYM types may keep a car 20 years by which time tech pieces are obsolete. Imagine how antiquated 1994 tech would seem in a car now: "before starting engine, reinstall Windows 3.1 from floppy diskette".
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Old 07-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
Welcome to the wonderful world of electronic car features.
They could just put in a display that mirrors the drivers smartphone and we'd have more functionality at a much lower cost. Smartphones have maps with turn by turn directions, phones with up to date contacts, music and apps for weather, news, fuel prices, etc. Which probably means we won't see smartphone integration taking over the auto nav system space for many years...until a disruptor forces the issue.

And we've owned some upper level marques, and experienced the outrageous service costs that come with them, we learned that lesson a while back. But Toyota
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:06 PM   #6
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I have OEM nav in one vehicle (2012) and an older Garmin portable I carry in the other. Garmin was bought with 'free' lifetime maps, while OEM wants $150 for each map update . To be honest, once the novelty wore off I found myself rarely using either one. I've been burned so often with maps being out of date (inc major construction projects) that I generally check an on-line map (mapquest, yahoo, google, etc.) before departing. If it's an area I'm completely unfamiliar with I'll print a hard copy &/or link the map page on my phone. And the traffic "updates" on both are utterly useless in my area. Once a traffic jam shows on the display, if it ever does, I'm already stuck in the tie up

Re OP's point- I agree 100% with avoiding OEM nav. Not only are those units grossly overpriced to buy & service/replace, they are generally 1-2+yr old tech anyway. When car makers' design studios are developing their interior dash for a car they have to work with what's available at the time. Updates are limited to firmware or (grossly overpriced) maps.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:09 PM   #7
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They could just put in a display that mirrors the drivers smartphone and we'd have more functionality at a much lower cost. Smartphones have maps with turn by turn directions, phones with up to date contacts, music and apps for weather, news, fuel prices, etc. Which probably means we won't see smartphone integration taking over the auto nav system space for many years...until a disruptor forces the issue.
I'm sure they could, but the markup on the integrated system is high. The "Tech Package" (NAV, etc) in DW's 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe was $4000.00 extra.....we did not go for it.

My 2006 diesel Jetta has no visual dash display, therefore no integrated NAV. I use a $120 Garmin for trips, and I drive about 30,000 miles per year. My backup if the Garmin fails is my smart phone. The Garmin has never let me down.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:28 PM   #8
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Here's an idea for you.

There are aftermarket manufacturers that make "panels" that fit your car exactly for the space where that Nav system is. A company like "Crutchfield" sells these, for example.

If you are handy, you can do it yourself. Just replace the thing with a panel. Then, mount your portable on the panel. You can route the power wires through and behind the panel to get the switched juice.

I say the above if you are handy. For a few hundred at most, you could have a pro installer do the same.

I did this on my Subaru. I replaced the double-DIN radio with a single DIN, and used the second DIN area (which came as a storage box) to mount my phone and portable satellite radio. My dash kind of looks like a Cop car's dash now.

BTW, my sister was bitterly disappointed in her recent Toyota purchase. She says the nav system today is worse than the one she had on her previous Toyota (and early 2000's model).
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
When I was looking for a used car recently I purposely avoided getting cars with a built in NAV for two main reasons. One, what happens if I use a different car? I can't bring all my saved navigation points with me. Two, I don't like glancing lower on the dash instead of forward like on portable units.

I'm happy with my old, portable, trusty Garmin Nuvi 260 that sits on a bean bag mount.

Just did the same thing as you did Easy, but I took it to a lower level. Flew up to get vehicle, then drove it home via the use of handwritten highway directions and an atlas as a backup. Yep they still print them, and I got the 2014 edition free!


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Old 07-28-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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This is why we didn't even consider a Nav system when we bought the Honda. I don't even like the fact that it has a screen at all.

Not to mention that all the models with Nav also had to have a sunroof, which is an absolute non negotiable deal-killer for us. Been there, done that, got the wet T-shirt.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:13 PM   #11
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This is why we didn't even consider a Nav system when we bought the Honda. I don't even like the fact that it has a screen at all.

Not to mention that all the models with Nav also had to have a sunroof, which is an absolute non negotiable deal-killer for us. Been there, done that, got the wet T-shirt.

Now you tell me... That was one of the criteria in getting my SUV last week was a sunroof as I never had one or dealt with one before. On the way home from buying it at night I was playing with it and all it would do was lift up about 3 inches in the air and back down. So I thought what a piece of crap sunroof that barely let's any air in. So I thought I hit the button to close it and I look up and it's gone. Being dark, I said to myself damn the whole thing just blew out of vehicle... That's when I realized it did slide back in a hole. Never play with stuff until you know what your doing....


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Old 07-28-2014, 05:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
Here's an idea for you.

There are aftermarket manufacturers that make "panels" that fit your car exactly for the space where that Nav system is. A company like "Crutchfield" sells these, for example.

If you are handy, you can do it yourself. Just replace the thing with a panel. Then, mount your portable on the panel. You can route the power wires through and behind the panel to get the switched juice.

I say the above if you are handy. For a few hundred at most, you could have a pro installer do the same.

I did this on my Subaru. I replaced the double-DIN radio with a single DIN, and used the second DIN area (which came as a storage box) to mount my phone and portable satellite radio. My dash kind of looks like a Cop car's dash now.

BTW, my sister was bitterly disappointed in her recent Toyota purchase. She says the nav system today is worse than the one she had on her previous Toyota (and early 2000's model).
We might, though I doubt we could trade/sell the car in like that. I am considering putting the most basic unit Toyota sells (without nav) so it at least looks somewhat 'factory.' We're still weighing our options...
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:34 PM   #13
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I learned this lesson long ago. DW had a car with a factory nav system that was kind of a nightmare to use. It was on CDs (or maybe DVDs) and the US was broken down into four sections. You could only have one section loaded at a time, so if you were driving from one to another, it was a complete hassle to change over. Also, the map updates meant another set of CDs for over $200 a pop.

One day with that dog and I resolved never to have a car with a nav system again.

Another benefit of aftermarket systems: On a trip last winter, my Garmin Nuvi went bonkers when I was several hundred miles from home. Tried everything to get it back to normal, but finally had to give up. Stopped in the next town at a Best Buy and bought the identical unit and was back on the road in less than half an hour.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:35 PM   #14
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Guess Toyota is going the way of the DeSoto, a division of Chrysler. Some of them were very advanced and very good. The Chrysler Airflow was magnificent. Toyota actually copied it in 1936 as the Toyota AA.

Second the Crutchfield fix.

Since I buy used cars for 10 cents on the dollar, I may end up in the future with one that has a by then obsolete or non-working nav. It will be promptly ripped out and replaced with something useful.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:40 PM   #15
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We had NAV as an option when we bought our last 2 Toyota's. I mean, thousands for what you can buy for hundreds?
NAW

Glad we just bought a Garmin and stuck it in the armrest compartment.
But, we do like that bluetooth thingy that hooks up to the phones.
Cause of that I named my car Gladys
(bonus points for anyone who can figure out why Gladys..........

(Hint; think TV show)
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:43 PM   #16
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Cause of that I named my car Gladys
(bonus points for anyone who can figure out why Gladys..........

(Hint; think TV show)
Did one of Heinlein's books make it to a TV show?
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:53 PM   #17
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Now you tell me... That was one of the criteria in getting my SUV last week was a sunroof as I never had one or dealt with one before. On the way home from buying it at night I was playing with it and all it would do was lift up about 3 inches in the air and back down. So I thought what a piece of crap sunroof that barely let's any air in. So I thought I hit the button to close it and I look up and it's gone. Being dark, I said to myself damn the whole thing just blew out of vehicle... That's when I realized it did slide back in a hole. Never play with stuff until you know what your doing....
I laughed out loud when I read this. Too funny.
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:53 PM   #18
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Since there seems to be general agreement that the OEM nav systems are overpriced junk, is it maybe smart when shopping for a used vehicle to look for a car with an inop nav system? If it really drives the price down a lot, and we all agree that an aftermarket blank panel with an aftermarket NAV system (for a few hundred dollars) is just as good or better . . . Sure it will also drive down the resale value when you sell, but usually by then (for me) the major hit is due to the rusted through floorboards, dead transmission, or some other expected result of driving 300K miles over 20 years.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:08 PM   #19
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This is why I would never pay anything extra for a built in NAV system. State of the art five years ago can be bought for $50 today (used smartphone off ebay with cheap/free cell service). And paying thousands for a replacement? No thanks.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:17 PM   #20
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My Toyota Venza has all the bells and whistles except for the NAV system. Next time I am going for a stripped down version. Too much electronics in it for me to feel like I'm the one driving. (This is a sign of advanced old age, I'm sure! )

I'm sure glad I didn't get the NAV system, from what everyone is saying. I know the major streets around here anyway, so I never seem to get lost.
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