How to Install and Use a GPS

Last updated:

Maps have long since been replaced by GPS devices as drivers’ preferred method of navigation. Today’s global positioning devices are easy to install right out of the box and most drivers have no difficulties in programming and using them. Follow these easy steps to get your GPS up and running in no time.

To install a portable GPS device:

  1. 1

    Take the device out of the original box and locate the instruction booklet. It is always important to follow any specific guidelines that are given in the manufacturer’s instructions.

  2. 2

    There should be three main pieces. The GPS device is a small box with a screen on the front. A power cord should also be included with an adapter that plugs in to your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. Also included should be some type of holder with an affixed suction cup for mounting the device to your windshield or dash board.

  3. 3

    First, place the GPS device into the holder.

  4. 4

    Next, mount the device inside your vehicle. It is highly ill-advised to mount the device on a portion of your windshield where it will distract or block your view of the road. The safest place to mount your GPS device is on your dashboard, either in the center or to the far left of the driver’s seat. You may have to moisten the suction cup to successfully affix it to either surface.

  5. 5

    Plug-in the appropriate end of the power cord into the GPS. If your vehicle has a cigarette lighter, remove it before plugging the other end into the twelve volt power outlet.

  6. 6

    Situate the extra length of power cord so that it will not become a distraction while you are driving.

To use a portable GPS device:

  1. 1

    Turn the power button on.

  2. 2

    Program the device. Most GPS devices will ask a few basic set-up questions the first time they are turned on. For example, you may be asked to provide information on the date, time, and the address of your home location.

  3. 3

    Use the GPS’s instruction booklet to locate the function that allows you to enter starting and ending addresses. Many GPS devices also allow you to look for different categories of destinations in your surrounding area such as restaurants, parks, or retailers.

  4. 4

    Be aware that GPS devices are magnets for thieves. When you are not in your vehicle, store the device in your glove box or console.

GPS devices have become so common that many vehicle manufacturers are incorporating them into their vehicles’ designs. Remember that GPS devices can be very distracting. Never use or situate the device while operating your vehicle. Have a passenger enter destinations while you are driving or pull over in a safe location if you are by yourself. Having a GPS installed in your vehicle is the equivalent to having a road map for every state in the country inside your glove box.

Andrei Zakhareuski, Founder
Andrei is a driver with 11+ years of experience and the founder of

You may also like:

5 Pieces of Automobile Technology That Have Their Pros and Cons

Today’s drivers are used to a variety of technology in their vehicles. From radios to internal navigation systems, most new models have a variety of technological devices at work while they are in use. Every piece of technology in your vehicle has both negative and positive aspects. Review this list of some of the most popular piece of automobile technology and their uses and disadvantages. 5 Most Popular Pieces of Automobile Technology1 Radio ...

Are We There Yet? How to Use Navigational Road Signs

Whether you rely on road maps or GPS devices to find your way while driving, it is essential to be familiar with common U.S. navigational road signs. Understanding how to identify navigational road signs will enable you to match your directions with your actual location. In the event that you do not have a map or navigational device, you can use road signs to find your way.American roadways are dotted with millions or road signs, most of which ...

7 Effective Tips That Will Make You Feel Confident Driving Somewhere New

One of the best things about being able to drive a vehicle is the ability to go anywhere you wish. Many drivers love the adventure of taking a road trip to a new or unusual destination. Driving somewhere new requires planning, strategy, and knowledge. Here are some tips that will help make driving to an unfamiliar destination a positive and enjoyable experience. 7 Tips for an Enjoyable Road Trip1 Decide where you are going. Unless you are taki ...