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Will Heat Damage my GPS?


With summer officially here in North America and the mercury rising, many GPS users have been asking how hot weather might impact there GPS devices. Particularly, if they leave their car out in the hot Arizona sun with the GPS on the dash, will it survive their day at the beach and still be able to guide them home? It is difficult to predict exactly where the breaking point will be, but your owner’s manual will typically provide some insight. Here are some excerpts.

You will typically find different acceptable temperature ranges for different usage types. For example you might find an operating temperature range, a short term storage range, and a long term storage range. Here are some examples of different devices and their stated acceptable temperature ranges. These are just examples, you should consult the manual of your own GPS for its temperature ranges.


Do not store your [GPS] where prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures can occur (such as in the trunk of a car), because it can cause permanent damage. …

  • Short term storage: -4° – 140°F (-20°C – 60°C)
  • Long Term Storage: 32° – 77°F (0°C – 25°C)
  • Operating Temperature: -4°F – 131°F


Your GO is not designed for use in extreme temperatures and any such exposure may cause permanent damage. Do not expose your [GPS] to high or low temperatures, which can cause
permanent damage. For example, don’t leave it in the car on hot summer days or during cold winter nights.

  • Temperatures: Standard operation: -10C (14F) to +55C (131F)
  • short period storage: -20C (-4F) to + 60C (140F)
  • long period storage: -20C (-4 F) to +25C (77F).

For safety reasons, and to prolong the lifetime of the battery, charging will not occur at low (below 0C/32F) or high (over 45C/113F) temperatures.

So the lesson to be learned is to keep your GPS out of the hot sun, away from frigid cold, and be careful where you store it. Too bad these devices were mad for the dash of a car. :)

4 Responses

  1. Garmin long term storage temperature of 32 to77F looks like a typo. You think?? jk

    jack - July 18th, 2008
  2. That seems like a reasonable and plausible range to me.

    Tim - July 18th, 2008
  3. When TT says 131F max for short term does that mean a 8 hr day sitting and not working ?(Iwould think it doesnt get that hot in a car in PA)

    bob - July 31st, 2008
  4. I think you would have to ask TomTom that.

    Tim - July 31st, 2008

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