Stuttgart If you don’t really know which update route your own vehicle is taking, you should read the operating instructions or ask the manufacturer and dealer. A common way for cars that are not necessarily dewy, but also do not have ten years under their belt, are map updates via SD memory card or USB memory stick, reports the trade magazine “Auto Motor und Sport” (issue 16/22). And: If you do it yourself, you can save 100 euros or more in workshop costs.
If the car is older than ten years, updates often run via DVDs. You can buy the silver discs from the dealer, provided that map updates are still available for the respective navigation system.
No matter whether SD card or USB stick: where the slots are located, the operating instructions will tell you in case of doubt, often the glove compartment or center console are the places you are looking for. If an SD card is inserted, you should remove it in order to save the updated map material on it later; of course not without first making a backup copy of the old map file.
After that, it is necessary to format the removed card or a USB memory stick according to the specifications of the car manufacturer. Otherwise, the navigation system will not be able to access the new map file later. Of course, this does not apply to the possible case that you have bought a USB stick with new maps at the car dealer.
Download from the manufacturer
As a rule, however, the most up-to-date map material can and must be downloaded from a website of the car manufacturer. The vehicle type and year of manufacture must be specified. In addition, it is often necessary to create a user account, the experts explain.
For many models from Ford, Hyundai, Skoda or VW, the data is even free. Otherwise, there are subscription models or the possibility to buy individual updates. The prices for a Europe ticket package are usually between 100 and 130 euros.
No update just before departure
Attention: Depending on the load of the download server and the size of the map file, the download may take a few hours. Therefore, one should not download them only on the eve of departure.
Usually a zip file is downloaded, which you have to unzip. Then the new map file is dragged to the freshly formatted storage medium. Then the memory card moves back into its slot in the car, or the USB stick is connected for reading. Then you start the navigation system, which usually recognizes the new maps and sets them up or proceeds according to instructions.