Navigation

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♦♦♦    Map updates are finally available globally once again!   ♦♦♦

Fiat 124

FCA sure doesn’t help clear the confusion many Spider owners have thinking that our systems will compare with the Uconnect® systems in all of the other Chrysler / Dodge / Jeep / Ram / Fiat vehicles that they might already be familiar with, including the many informative app screens, Garmin navigation, Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay® and Climate control screens.   Like every other electronic module in the car except for the ECU, our 124 Spider CMUs  (Connectivity Master Unit, a.k.a. the Infotainment System) are actual Mazda components, which is why they have nothing to do with Uconnect systems.  The “Mazda Connect” system is merely renamed “Fiat Connect” in our 124 Spiders.

igoThe firmware for every CMU includes NNG’s iGO satellite navigation (SatNav) software (not TomTom), but the option is useless until a Nav SD card containing your country’s NAVTEQ (a Nokia company) map data, is inserted in the SD card slot (kind of hidden behind a hinged cover to the left of your USB & Aux ports).  The card must remain in the slot in order for the navigation feature to be enabled and function.

HERE is now the provider of NAVTEQ map data and it was also a Nokia company, but on August 3, 2015, Nokia announced an agreement to sell HERE to a consortium of three German automotive companies, Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG, at an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros. The consortium will jointly own HERE, which will continue to operate as a separate business and serve other customers besides its owners.

aha4aiconIf you purchase your vehicle with the 7″ display screen, but without the Navigation option, know that you simply need to procure the Fiat Navigation SD card:

      • Mopar Part # 68366118AA
      • also available on Amazon for only $69!
      • don’t get the Mazda or Toyota Scion version!
      • includes (I’ve redacted the list to reflect our Fiat Navigation SD card file structure, since the GUI interface/skin/program parameters for OEM versions are already part of the firmware):
/igo
    /content
        /building   – landmarks (.3dl) and buildings (.3dc)
        /car            – 3D cars (.zip)
        /dem          – 3D terrain (.dem)
        /global_cfg – all global settings for the program
        /histspeed  – historical speed (.hsp)
        /lang          – language files (.zip)
        /map          – map files (.fbl), precalculated long routes (.hnr), speed profiles (.fsp), address points (.fda), driver alerts (.da), proximity alerts (.fpa), truck info (.ftr)
        /phoneme  – pronunciation files (.ph)
        /poi           – Points Of Interest files (.poi)
        /scheme    – Color Schemes (.zip)
        /speedcam – speedcam file (.spc), speedcam import (.txt), changes in SpeedcamUpdates.spud
        /voice        – wav or tts voice prompts (.zip)
        /vr             – voice recognition files
    /license  – license files (.lyc and .lic)
    /save      – stored user and program settings
branding.zip – skin elements that overrule the ones in Data.zip
data.zip  – the GUI interface
sys.txt    – program parameters

Since you might not have XM Satellite radio (as evidenced by the lack of a “shark fin” antenna on your trunk lid, at least for MY 2017), which is apparently needed to receive live traffic updates, at least in North America, that will be the one feature that may not be available to you.

I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to get live traffic updates when I purchased my SD card, but nevertheless, it is nice…

  • Taking advantage of the 7″ screen already permanently mounted rather than attaching an extraneous GPS device to my windshield in this small vehicle
  • Having my audio routing instructions overriding my music and routed to the left channel  speakers
  • Having my visual routing instructions to a programmed destination appear in the status bar, even when screens not Navigation related are displayed
  • Having upcoming streets appear in the status bar, regardless of which screen is active, even when no destination has been programmed
  • Having visual speed limit warnings, as well as notification of red light/speed cameras show up (only while in the Navigation screen though)

Some options that can be annoying (but can be turned off by going to the last icon in the Navigation screen Menu Bar which is Settings)…

  • Repetitive audio speed limit warnings can get annoying as they will stop when you slow down, but resume if you again exceed the speed limit (probably best to select “Visual Only”)

    The default TTS warning message for over-speeding is defined on line 3446 of the Voice_TTS-nua-eng-us-lua.zip file in SD card/content/voice as “You are over the speed limit”.  I wonder if that can’t be shortened to something like “Ease up.”

  • Repetitive audio red light/speed camera warnings will continue to be announced until you have exited that intersection (probably best to select “Visual Only”)
    nav warning settings
  • Routing around historical traffic patterns that are inaccurate (probably best to turn off “Use Historical Traffic Data” which is enabled by default).  The Detour settings apply to either Historical or  Live Traffic Data.
    nav traffic settings

If your car came with fully-functional Navigation (Bose system with XM):

  • You will be notified of upcoming traffic issues, even if you have no planned route in the NAV
  • You will be offered alternative routes to get around traffic and construction delays
  • According to this Feature Availability document, if your vehicle has the Bose system, your Spider is prepped for installing the CD player that Fiat doesn’t factory-install, like Mazda does. “Remote CD Prep” probably means that the wiring harness (also used in the Grand Touring MX-5) is tucked in near the rear bulkhead

According to many official Fiat publications, live traffic data was actually supposed to be provided via FM Radio Data System (RDS) data that is…

  • provided by Clear Channel’s “Total Traffic Network” service and broadcast as a free service at many large-city FM HD radio stations
  • is already programmed into the Infotainment software  (but disabled)
  • is enabled and working in some Mazda models, as shown in MDavis’s comment and photo 
    live traffic
  • was planned for the 124 Spider, based on the owner’s manual  ⇓
real-time-traffic

click to enlarge

  • Aside from the owner’s and users’s manuals, Fiat websites and other corporate brochures still claim that this feature is programmed into our Infotainment systems, as evidenced in this screen shot taken 3/25/2017  
nav live traffic

click to enlarge

  • Would have been useful in my area near Chicago 
    live traffic Chicago- IL

Make sure the Navigation SD card that you purchase matches the region of your firmware (which hopefully is the region you reside in).  You can find your OS firmware version and region by selecting  Settings > System > About > Version Information.  As an example, my current version is  56.00.521 NA N, deciphered as:

Region & SatNav Suffix Legend

NA 
is for North America regions – USA, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico  ⇐ mine
EU 
is for Europe regions – United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, Italy,
→ →Greece, Poland , Portugal, Turkey, Spain
4A or ADR 
is for Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, South Africa,
→ →Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Oceania regions 
JP 
is for Japan

N is the ‘SatNav’ protocol belonging to NNG (for all regions except Japan)  ⇐ mine
M is the ‘SatNav’ protocol belonging to Matsukone  (exclusively for Japan)


If you find your system rebooting on its own once in a while, especially near airports or large microwave towers, it is most likely strong electromagnetic interference that is disrupting the system. Airport radar or similar. My Mio C230 GPS unit was really bad in that regards due to very poor shielding. Mazda has admitted to poor shielding in the North American models, and that is the main reason why WiFi was disabled, rather than upgrading the units, as they did for other markets.

More Quirks…

The European origins of the iGo software sure become evident when programming a new route.  If you are going to program a new route to a state other than the one it is currently set to, you will soon find out that common sense logic is not applicable here and that there is no [state] field displayed for you to change your destination state, nor can you enter your destination zip code in the [zip code] field as a means of programming the address, since the only allowable zip codes that can be entered are those within the current state.

Instead, get this, you have to select the [country] field and to select your destination state.  Rather than entering “United States” and selecting amongst all 50 states, my preferred shortcut is to instead enter the first two or three letters of the state name (not the Post office two-letter abbreviation), and select from the much abbreviated list.  Once that is done, then you can enter a zip code or a city name as logic would dictate.


After entering your destination, this screen can be the most non-intuitive Navigation operation.  When I first got my vehicle, I had to get the manual out to get through this last step (the manual didn’t help; I accidentally touched the correct button).  Don’t select the displayed destination – but instead, select “Navigate To”.

navigation


Another non-intuitive operation is saving your destination as a favorite and renaming it to something you’ll later recognize. You would think there would be some means of selecting those options while you are at the screen for your destination, but nope – you need to instead:

Add current location or destination as a favorite:

  1. Select FAVORITES from the Navigation menu or by pressing the Favorites commander button and scrolling over to the NAV tab.
  2. Select ADD/EDIT NAVIGATION FAVORITES.
  3. Select ADD CURRENT LOCATION to add the current location to your Favorites list.
  4. Select ADD CURRENT DESTINATION to add the current destination to your Favorites list.
  5. Select ADD FROM CONTACT to add a contact address to Favorites list; press name of contact to be added.

Then to change the name of a favorite destination:

  1. Select ADD/EDIT NAVIGATION FAVORITES.
  2. Select RENAME.
  3. Select the destination you want to rename; keyboard is displayed.
  4. Input new name.
  5. Select OK to store new name.

fav_navi

fav_navi_add


How to Enter an Address Using Voice

  1. Press the talk button on your steering wheel, which should look like a person speaking.
  2. When you hear a beep, say “Navigate to New Address.”
  3. Pronounce the full address for the destination you want to reach. Include the building number, street name, city and state.
  4. It’s possible the system may pull up multiple addresses, but usually, the first one on the list will be the one you’re looking for. If the address in the first line is correct, say “Line 1” to select it.

How to Enter an Address Using Contacts

Many people are unaware that another method of programming waypoints and destinations is to store them as Contacts in the phone you pair with your vehicle.  Note that you may need to add some digits in the phone number field to insure that the “contact” shows up in your Contacts screen.  This method saves you from having to enter all of the address information, as you’ll instead…

  • push the rotating knob down on the address of your contact which will automatically open your Navigation screen
  • push down once more, and you are on your way

Using contacts as waypoints can be very useful for pre-planning and creating multi-waypoint routes.  See this article for more details.


How to cancel current routing

cancel route


Fixing errors in the maps

When it comes to “House Number”, the actual street address, it seems like half the destinations I attempt to program in are unknown to the map database, so don’t be surprised if you end up unable to program in your intended destination (YOU’RE LOST!) using this Navigation system once in a while.

In theory, by going to Here Maps Creator, you can add details or correct existing information that you find in the maps that will hopefully be incorporated in the next maps update, but how many of us will actually make a note of doing so once we arrive at home?


Installation

navigation button

  • ⇓  To install your SD card, just push down, at the same time trying to pull out the top portion of the SD cover, which is to the left of your USB ports.  The cover is hinged on the bottom, which is why you want to concentrate on the top-side. However, if you would rather not risk breaking your fingernail, using a small flat-blade screwdriver and gently prying the top of the cover away at the centered indent, is much easier!
    sd-card-slot⇓  I personally feel that Mazda should have retained the SD card slot cover design they had in the 2014 models with the convenient finger pull (shown below).usb-ports-2014
  • After opening, insert your SD card label-side up (with vehicle turned OFF!), all the way in and let go.  It should spring back out a tiny bit so that you know it has latched itself into place.
    sd-card-slot-open
  • Close the cover and either start your car or push the start button once (without pushing in the clutch or brake) to put the car in auxiliary (AUX) mode
  • Select Navigation from the main menu and observe that Navigation starts up
  • Navigation will load in 30 to 90 seconds
  • The GPS will find satellites in 1 – 5 minutes, display a map indicating your location and will then be ready for you to program in a destination
  • Note: To remove the SD card (with vehicle turned OFF!), don’t just pull the edge of the card, but instead push the card all the way in and let go, allowing the card to eject partway – then you can pull it out.

Thoughts:

  • I wonder if the dealers convinced Mazda to “hide” the SD slot so that they could get customers to both purchase and pay for “installation” of the Nav option (approx $500+)   😉
  • Then again, maybe being so obvious with the slot cover labelled “SD”, too many people unknowingly tried loading music files or otherwise corrupting the Nav card and running up the warranty bill.


Navigation Guidance Volume

[Added 8/14/2017, Updated 10/15/2018]

The Navigation guidance audio commands have their own volume control:

  • independent of the Entertainment audio volume, and will be remembered independently of any Entertainment volume adjustments
  • the easiest way to change the volume, is to quickly adjust the volume while she is talking ➤ by the way, if you want to prompt the most recent audio guidance instructions, simply press the Commander Navigation button twice (if you are not currently displaying the Navigation screen, hold that button for two or three seconds instead).
  • can be adjusted with either volume control while a guidance announcement is being made or by going to the last icon in the Navigation screen Menu Bar:
    • Settings Guidance Settings Guidance Volume
  • guidance audio is directed to the driver’s-side channel only:
    • for LHD ➤ left-side A-pillar tweeter, left-side door speaker and left-side headrest speaker of the driver’s seat
    • for RHD ➤ right-side A-pillar tweeter, right-side door speaker and right-side headrest speaker of the driver’s seat

As you’ve probably already discovered, just lowering the volume doesn’t eliminate the annoying music interruptions in your headrest speakers (left channel) during each announcement, UNLESS (as reader Mark has discovered) the volume is lowered all the way to ZERO.

By the way, if you want to repeat the most recent audio guidance instructions, simply press the Commander Navigation button twice (if you are not currently displaying the Navigation screen, hold that button for two or three seconds instead).

♦♦♦

wish the system had an easy-access Guidance Mute option…

guidance-mute

Guidance Mute does not currently exist ~ it’s a feature I wish for though

.

I consider this a safety feature since you aren’t supposed to be programming your destination while driving, so that by entering it prior to starting your trip so that you will  be offered the needed guidance as we get closer to your destination, you have a simple method to “shut her up” without cancelling the route, while driving what you consider to be a much more sensible route that currently varies from the system’s recommended route, at least in the initial portion of your trip.


Backing up / Updating your SD card Maps

[Updated 11/17/2016, 1/28/2017, 3/1/2017, 7/31/2017, 4/6/2018, 7/20/2018, 12/10/2018, 2/21/2021]

A new SD Nav card has the following 2 files in the contents folder:

cardnotused.txt.sgn
cardnotused.txt

and naturally, you can not use the the Fiat Connect Toolbox to backup or update the Nav card in this NEW state.  It must be activated with your VIN number first by installing it into your vehicle.  When the CMU detects a new SD Nav card in it’s slot:

  • those 2 files are deleted
  • an encrypted file device.nng (containing your initial GPS fix, VIN number, etc.) is created in the license folder; your card is now “VIN-half-locked”
  • your vehicle will now need to be driven 62 miles (100 kilometers)
  • if the card is still inserted, it will now become “VIN locked” to your vehicle (CAUTION – if the card is inserted into any other vehicle before the 62 mile lock-in, the card will VIN lock to that vehicle instead)
  • after the card is VIN locked, it will then be ready for updates via Fiat Connect Toolbox
  • buy another 8GB Class 10 SD card (16GB in Europe, and for those finding that the size of the files is approaching 8GB), and create a backup “clone” of your Nav card before doing any updates. Then update both your original and your clone.  I recommend that you put the original in a safe place, and use the clone in your vehicle.  That way if anything happens to the copy, you have the original to fall back on.
  • the Toolbox update will re-write the 2 aforementioned files into the contents folder (I’m guessing for processing the license files, as I’ve observed that they are again deleted by the CMU)

.

If you purchase a Nav card and it doesn’t work (you get the message “Invalid SD card”), after ensuring that the write-protect lock isn’t engaged (tab should be “up”), look in the license folder and see if it contains the device.nng file.  If it does, you may have actually purchased a “used” card that is either VIN-half-locked or VIN-locked, as per the illustration just above the Compass section below.

If the card is compatible with your vehicle, the Toolbox will result in a screen like this:

35310778432_5da14216e5_z


Your dealer will update your maps for you within the first 3 years of ownership, if you aren’t able to update them yourself.  If they play dumb, show them the disclaimer on the Toolbox website:

If you do not have access to a computer, you can contact your dealer for updates.

NNG’s iGo Naviextras.com Portal

igo[added 2/23/2020]
John M. has recently discovered a nice portal site for those having multiple vehicles that use NAVTEQ map data in conjunction with NNG’s iGo navigation software, that will summarize all of your vehicles, as well as all of the maps that you are entitled to, after logging in with your Fiat Toolbox credentials.

You may be able to update all of your vehicles with one currently valid maps subscription.

.

Extending your subscription

Starting in the summer of 2019, owners of 2017 124 Spiders will start losing their free map updates, as that only lasts 3 years.  Unlike some brands, at least the SD card will continue to function, so you could probably wait for a while before resuming map updates, but eventually you should expect to pay, unless you consider alternatives, like installing the retrofit USB hub, which will then allow you to navigate via Android Auto or CarPlay programs instead.

And remember, the map service is tied to your VIN, so don’t waste your money buying a new Nav card on eBay/Amazon, thinking you can restart the clock for another 3 years 😉 .

nav map paid updates


Fiat 124 Spider Connect site / Fiat Toolbox

It’s now March of 2017 and I’ve given up on the North American Fiat 124 Spider Connect site ever working, even though that is the link Fiat is emailing to new vehicle purchasers. The Mazda and Fiat Connect Toolbox (map update) sites are actually managed by HERE MapCare.  I suspect that there may be a VIN platform verification in place (NE or NF), since I’ve verified that the Mazda Toolbox won’t accommodate the Fiat SD card.

Thanks to a European blog reader (thanks Andrea!), I discovered that North American 124 owners can go to the European Fiat 124 Spider Connect site to download Toolbox (runs in Windows, but an OSX version is now also available) and alerted all my blog readers:

  • works just fine with your North American SD card
  • is reported to also work with Navigation cards from all other global regions (except Japan).
  • backing-up and restoring your card can be done there as well.
  • if you have difficulty running the toolbox, you may need to select “Run as administrator” and make exceptions in your firewall and anti virus settings.

If you have a PC, you can manually copy all files in the SD to a folder within your Documents folder. Better engage the lock on the SD card before you do that with a Mac though, to prevent incompatible files from being added to the card.

Procedure for Updating (if you skip backup, should take about 20 minutes)

Step 1. Download & Install Fiat Toolbox via Fiat 124 Spider Connect site.
Step 2. Open Fiat Toolbox and insert SD card into the computer.
Step 3. Create a backup of the information currently on your SD card following the Toolbox prompt.
Step 4. Log in to Fiat Toolbox using your email/password combination.  If it is your first time, you’ll have to create a user profile.
Step 5. Once logged in, a button will appear labeled “Updates” if a map update is available or “Device” if there are no new updates. Click “Updates.”
Step 6. Create a new SD card backup. If you have an alternate Nav SD card, you can skip this step.
Step 7. Click INSTALL to begin map update.  After Download progress has reached 100%, Installation progress will commence, eventually reaching 100% as well.
Step 8. Once the new backup is compete, eject your SD card and return it to your vehicle.

Note: If you wish to update your backup/alternate SD card, the entire process will go much quicker, since the download portion is already completed, however since the original Mopar SD cards are not not SDHC Class 10, the installation of the update (writing to the card) is considerably slower.

Questions have come up as to whether the Nav cards available on eBay in the $100 range (vs. $400+ from the dealer) are legitimate.  The only way the eBay cards can be clones is if these vendors are either able to change the CID (serial #) of the card to match the source, or if they know the algorithm to change the lock code to match the CID of the target SD cards. Just making plain copies of an official card will not work.

The cards may look like mass-produced copies from a master, but each one is actually produced individually so that the license is locked to an embedded CID number (similar to a serial number) put there by the SD card manufacturer.

Once you’ve inserted the card in your vehicle and driven it 62 miles (100 km), your card becomes VIN-locked (rather than CID-locked), meaning it will only work in your vehicle.

This would be an ideal time to backup your Nav card once again, as you will now be able to restore the files onto a different SD card should your original card become unusable, and that copy will also function for your vehicle only.  

One large advantage to this ability is that you can purchase a faster, larger-capacity Ultra SDHC Class 10 card (8 GB is adequate), and after formatting it FAT 32 and copying the files from your original VIN-locked card onto it, use that card instead – so that, in theory, not only should your Nav boot up quicker, but should future updated map files grow in size, you won’t have to worry about your card conceivably becoming too small.   The hardware is said not to be compatible with SDXC though, so don’t try those cards (this may not be the case for 2017 vehicles and newer, but I’ve yet to confirm).  You have a greater chance of success of creating a backup copy of your SD card using the command prompt XCOPY with switches /E /V /G /H /K (all directories, also empty ones, verify copy, include encrypted and hidden files, do not change file attributes).

[UPDATE 2/24/2021]
For those that are a little unfamiliar with DOS and XCOPY, Cal has written up a detailed step-by-step guide for backing up your Nav card @ https://www.124spider.org/threads/how-to-clone-your-navigation-sd-card-on-a-windows-pc-you-dont-need-special-software.39039/, duplicated here:

The following is a step by step process that you can follow to create a functional backup copy of your OEM Navigation SD card that can be used in your vehicle, thus allowing you to put your original in a safe place. That way if anything ever happens to the the copy you have produced, you can easily create another replacement. These instructions are provided as is and at the discretion and risk of the reader to utilize if they choose to do so. The author of the instructions neither provides nor implies any warranty and accepts no liability for their use.

First, I’ll give you the basic syntax for those of you that have more desktop experience. Then I’ll follow that with detailed instructions for those that don’t do this sort of thing very often.

Short version:

Lock your OEM SD card and insert it in your computer. Insert your new blank SD card in the computer. In Windows Explorer, confirm the drive letter assigned to each SD card. Format the blank SD card as FAT32, and leave the volume name blank (the OEM SD card doesn’t have a name either). As a safety consideration, even if my blank SD shows up as already formatted to FAT32, I do it again, and I don’t use the quick format option. That allows the card to be thoroughly tested and any potential bad sectors excluded. For the sake of this example, let’s assume your OEM SD card mapped to Drive E: and your blank SD card mapped to Drive F. Open a CMD window and type the following (I’m using a red lower case s to denote where spaces need to be placed between the parameters):

XCOPYse:sf:s/Es/Vs/Gs/Hs/K

When the XCOPY process has completed, eject both cards and close your CMD and Windows Explorer windows. Remember to unlock the OEM SD card, and then tuck it away in safe place. You can then install the XCOPY you just created in your vehicle.

NB: If you can only access on SD card at a time, you can perform the XCOPY to your local hard drive, and do a second XCOPY to move the content from your hard drive to the new blank SD card.

Long Versions (two variations, one for those with two available SD reading slots and a second for those with only one slot available):

Assumptions:

  • You have a VIN locked OEM navigation card for your vehicle
    • VIN locked means you have purchased and installed an OEM navigation SD card in your vehicle, and driven the car more than 60 miles / 100 km since you installed the card.
  • You have access to a Windows PC with has either an SD card reader slot, or a USB attached SD card reader device
    • Instructions will be provided on how to perform the process on a machine that has only one available SD reader slot, and for those with two available SD slots
  • You have purchased a blank Class 10 SD card in either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB size
    • These are readily available through online resellers like Amazon, or places like WalMart, or pretty much any electronics shop that sells items like USB sticks
  • You know how to use Windows Explorer, and how to identify drive letters that your SD cards will be assigned when it is inserted in your computer for use

Process Option A: (two SD reading slots available):

  1. Remove the VIN locked SD Navigation card from your car
      1. If you’re unsure how to do this, refer to your owner’s manual
  2. Slide the tab on the side of the SD card to the “locked” position
      1. This will prevent you from accidentally overwriting or damaging the contents of your OEM navigation card
  3. Insert your newly purchased empty SD card into your computer
      1. If your computer has a built in SD card reader, just insert the empty SD card into that slot, or,
      2. If your computer doesn’t have a built in card reader, connect your USB card reader into one of your USB ports on your computer, and insert your blank SD card in that reader
  4. By now, a Windows Explorer window should have popped up, but if not, just open Windows Explorer
      1. Scroll down, and expand the item called “computer”, and note the Drive letters that have been assigned to your OEM sd card and your empty SD card
      2. For the sake of this example, assume the OEM SD card was assigned to Drive E: and the empty SD card has been assigned to Drive F:
        1. If your drives have been assigned different letters than E: and F:, use the letters that were assigned on your computer instead
      3. Format the empty SD card to FAT32
        1. Right click on Drive F: (your empty SD card)
        2. Click on the “format” option
        3. In the requestor window that pops up, leave the volume name empty
        4. Make sure FAT32 is selected as the File System type
        5. DO NOT select fast format
        6. Accept the options and allow the card to be formatted
        7. Once complete, you can move to the next step
  5. Click on the “round Windows icon” on the very bottom left of your screen, and in the “start search” area, type CMD… you’ll notice a command called CMD appear at the top of the results list. Left click on that command icon.
      1. A DOS Command (CMD) windows will now open on your screen… typically black with white lettering inside
      2. In that CMD window, type the following exactly as shown here (I’m using a red lower case s to denote where spaces need to be placed between the parameters… don’t type an “s“, hit the spacebar to insert a space in that location):XCOPYse:sf:s/Es/Vs/Gs/Hs/K When the XCOPY process has completed, you can close your CMD and Windows Explorer windows.
      3. In the very bottom right of your computer screen (the system tray area, with all the small icons), you’ll see one that shows USB attachments.
        1. Left click on that icon, and your USB/SD card will be listed.
        2. Click on each one to eject them
        3. The computer will pop up a message saying it’s now safe to remove that drive (SD card)… do so
        4. Repeat for the second SD card
  6. Remember to unlock the OEM SD card, and then tuck it away in safe place. You can then install the XCOPY you just created in your vehicle.
  7. You’re done!

Process Option B: (only one SD reading slot available, will use computer hard drive as transfer drive):

  1. Remove the VIN locked SD Navigation card from your car
      1. If you’re unsure how to do this, refer to your owner’s manual
  2. Slide the tab on the side of the SD card to the “locked” position
      1. This will prevent you from accidentally overwriting or damaging the contents of your OEM navigation card
  3. Insert your OEM nav SD card into your computer
      1. If your computer has a built in SD card reader, just insert the empty SD card into that slot, or,
      2. If your computer doesn’t have a built in card reader, connect your USB card reader into one of your USB ports on your computer, and insert your blank SD card in that reader
  4. By now, a Windows Explorer window should have popped up, but if not, just open Windows Explorer
      1. Scroll down, and expand the item called “computer”, and note the Drive letter that has been assigned to your OEM sd card
      2. For the sake of this example, assume the OEM SD card was assigned to Drive E:
        1. If your OEM SD card is assigned to a different letter than E, use that letter instead when following the instructions and syntax example below
  5. Create a folder on your C: drive called “OEMSDCARD”. All one word, no spaces. It should show up as c:/OEMSDCARD
      1. This is where we will copy the content from your OEM card so we can later transfer it to your new, empty SD card
  6. Click on the “round Windows icon” on the very bottom left of your screen, and in the “start search” area, type CMD… you’ll notice a command called CMD appear at the top of the results list. Left click on that command icon.
      1. A DOS Command (CMD) windows will now open on your screen… typically black with white lettering inside
      2. In that CMD window, type the following exactly as shown here, and then press your “enter” key to execute the command (I’m using a red lower case s to denote where spaces need to be placed between the parameters… don’t type an “s“, hit the spacebar to insert a space in that location):XCOPYse:sc:\OEMSDCARD:s/Es/Vs/Gs/Hs/K When the XCOPY process has completed, eject the OEM SD card and remember to unlock the tab on the side of it. Tuck it away in a safe place.
      3. Leave the CMD window open, as we’ll use it again in a few moments
  7. In the very bottom right of your computer screen (the system tray area, with all the small icons), you’ll see one that shows USB attachments.
      1. Left click on that icon, and your USB/SD OEM SD card will be listed.
      2. Click on it to eject them
      3. The computer will pop up a message saying it’s now safe to remove that drive (SD card)… do so
  8. Now we’ll prepare the empty SD card. Insert your new, empty SD card into your computer
      1. If your computer has a built in SD card reader, just insert the empty SD card into that slot, or,
      2. If your computer doesn’t have a built in card reader, connect your USB card reader into one of your USB ports on your computer, and insert your blank SD card in that reader
  9. By now, a Windows Explorer window should have popped up, but if not, just open Windows Explorer
      1. Scroll down, and expand the item called “computer”, and note the Drive letter that has been assigned to your empty SD card
      2. For the sake of this example, assume the empty SD card was assigned to Drive F:
        1. If your OEM SD card is assigned to a different letter than E, use that letter instead when following the instructions and syntax example below
      3. Format the empty SD card to FAT32
        1. Right click on Drive F: (your empty SD card)
        2. Click on the “format” option
        3. In the requestor window that pops up, leave the volume name empty
        4. Make sure FAT32 is selected as the File System type
        5. DO NOT select fast format
        6. Accept the options and allow the card to be formatted
        7. Once complete, you can move to the next step where we’ll copy the content from your C:/OEMSDCARD folder to the freshly formatted empty SD card
      4. Go back to your CMD window that you left open from step 6.3 above
      5. In that CMD window, type the following exactly as shown here, and then press your “enter” key to execute the command (I’m using a red lower case s to denote where spaces need to be placed between the parameters… don’t type an “s“, hit the spacebar to insert a space in that location):XCOPYsc:\OEMSDCARDsf:s/Es/Vs/Gs/Hs/K When the XCOPY process has completed, eject the new SD card
      6. In the very bottom right of your computer screen (the system tray area, with all the small icons), you’ll see one that shows USB attachments.
        1. Left click on that icon, and your new USB/SD card will be listed.
        2. Click on it to eject it
        3. The computer will pop up a message saying it’s now safe to remove that drive (SD card)… do so
  10. You can now delete the folder c:\oemsdcard and all of it’s contents. It is only needed as a temporary transfer location and now that your new SD nav card has been created, this temporary file storage is no longer required.
  11. Take the new card out to your vehicle and insert it for use
  12. You’re done!

*

Based on my experience, if the backup-card copy (which will also be VIN-locked to your car) doesn’t work in your vehicle directly, it should after you update the card using the 124 Spider Toolbox .   Then you are able to put aside your original card in case you ever need Navigation related warranty work done or need to create another backup. Now that I’ve switched to my Ultra SD card copy, I don’t feel that my Navigation loads up any quicker, but it could be that the newer map version has more data to load into memory.

If you’re using a smaller laptop with a limited size SSD, be aware that for each update, the toolbox will leave about 15GB of cached map data behind!  On Win 10 you can find it in the  C:\Users\{your user name}\AppData\Roaming\Visteon  folder (which can be deleted, if you like).

So just to reiterate…

  • restoring the card using the Toolbox is different than copying the card
  • after your card is VIN-locked, the license is no longer paired to the CID, so copies of your card will also work in your vehicle
  • you should not add your own files (music, audio books, etc.) to these cards as that will result in errors

The Mazda diagram below explains why you shouldn’t try to use your Nav card in vehicles other than the one your card is intended for…


sd-card-vin-lock


Compass

[Updated 11/24/2016]

compass

Another of the main complaints I, and many others, have with this system is the lack of a compass.  If you don’t have Navigation, you’re shown a nice compass screen in an effort to entice you to purchase/install the Nav SD card so that you’ll then have Navigation, and guess what, you’ll never see that (or any other) nice compass again, at least not while you’re in the predominant 3D cockpit view.  In 2D-North Up view, you’ll be able to visualize the direction you are travelling, similar to the Where Am I view, but a simple compass, where the red needle pointer aligns itself with North?  –  Nope.

screenshot statusbar 80 percent

Some point to the compass button in the map manipulation view (shown above), but that is not a normal viewing screen, and the compass serves more as a toggle button between 2D-North Up view and 2D-Route Up view.  You can change from the cockpit view to the map manipulation view by swiping the screen or by moving the Commander knob up/down/left/right (rotating the knob zooms in/out).

Suggestion to NNG:  I feel that an ideal software improvement would be to affix the already created compass button (from the map manipulation screen) into the bottom right corner of the Route Up cockpit views, when the Navigation Menu bar is hidden (as shown below). Unlike your placement of the compass button in the  map manipulation view, it would be non-intrusive and wouldn’t need any separate display/no-display toggle capability.
.
map manip2.png

New Cluster Gauge with Compass (Turbo gauge?)

[Updated  3/1/2017]
compass

There’s the missing compass!

The MX-5 RF is debuting a new cluster gauge (the left-most gauge) which is actually a TFT (color) screen presented in a similar style to the mechanical gauges, but which can be customized to show a variety of different information, unlike our LCD info screen which is very limited in it’s capabilities.  It is officially called the 4.6″ Multi-Information color TFT display and I bet a turbo boost gauge could easily be accommodated in place of the unused monotone water temperature gauge (the color version functions nicely).

Anyways, it appears that a compass has been added to the primary screen to make up for the deficiency in the Navigation screens (and no Heads-Up Display).  The 2018 124 Spider is also supposed to come with the upgraded Multi-Information TFT Display, but if so, you’ll need to order the Technology package to get it in the Classica model.  Read more on this subject here.

I wonder if it will include a turbo boost gauge 😉

[Updated  1/6/2018]

Apparently the new cluster debuting in the RF has a significant battery drain issue when the ignition is off and the cruise-control has been left on prior to shutdown.  This was only recently discovered as the root cause and a software update will be introduced that will insure that cruise-control is turned off during shutdown.  Perhaps the last minute discovery of the issue without knowing the root cause explains why Mazda recommended delaying the implementation of the new cluster gauge into MY 2018 124 Spiders along with soft top versions of the MX-5.

129 thoughts on “Navigation

  1. I am beyond pleased to report that four months after the journey began, we in NA can again download map updates from Naviextras via the Fiat Toolbox software. This was a large, collective effort by many people on the 124Spider forum which involved outreach to FCA/Stellantis and Naviextras. Ultimately FCA had to get the Mazda engineers involved, which makes sense, as our infotainment system is the same as Mazda’s. The successful outcome proves that if enough people work together to solve a problem, we can influence even major corporations to do the right thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just wanted to let everyone know that I received a call from Fiat NA today advising me the map updates were working again. I can confirm I have downloaded the latest from the maps update tool. Lots of calls and emails to them over the last 3 months has paid off.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now that map updates are working again, many of us with MY 2017 Spiders that have 2 year-old maps will probably be subscribing for the 3 years of updates.

    Like

    • There is no hack for this that I’m aware of. Buy a card off eBay. They’re cheap and if you’ve never had a card VIN locked to your vehicle, then you get three years of updates as soon as you drive 60 miles and then register the card using the Toolbox app. To be frank, we have enough challenges with the provider of our navigation data, so the thought of someone attempting to fraudulently access their services is something I find rather distasteful. By trying to save yourself a few bucks, you can poentially bugger the rest of us legitmate owners up. Just buy a card if you want to use nav, and let your brother’s card die a natural death along with his totalled vehicle.

      Like

  3. Cal posted in his “October 2020 update available” thread, a reminder, which I paraphrased and added to my “Backing Up / Updating your SD Card” section of my article.

    buy another 8GB Class 10 SD card (16GB in Europe), and create a backup “clone” of your Nav card before doing any updates. Then update both your original and your clone.  I recommend that you put the original in a safe place, and use the clone in your vehicle.  That way if anything happens to the copy, you have the original to fall back on.

    Like

  4. “Release” is probably a more appropriate term, because if you look at the dates of the files contained in the “update”, they aren’t as recent as you’d expect. Anyways, my last file release was June 2019 (and if memory serves, were actually 2nd quarter 2018 updates), so it is good to learn that the Toolbox is working again for North America, since I’m due for an update!

    Like

    • I can confirm I installed the Oct. 2020 update a couple of weeks ago as soon as the access issues had been resolved with NaviExtras. Yesterday I successfully installed the Feb. 2021 update for North America. There’s an additional 300MB of content added since the Oct. 2020 release.

      Like

      • Hi,
        I wonder if anyone can shed any light on my problem. I bought my 2017 Spider Lusso in 2019. The car was long past 100 km and so the SD card was locked. At some point I started having the problem of my infotainment system rebooting. I learned (here) how to reset it with the key combo and this sometimes helped, but it got worse over time. Sometimes it would reboot 5 times. Also, sometimes, the navigation system would not load: the screen would say ‘loading’ but the map would never appear.
        I removed the SD card and cleaned the contacts and found that this helped temporarily, but not permanently. I also noticed that with no SD card installed, the system did not show the rebooting problem but started up reliably (but without any navigation). So I concluded I had a bad SD card. However: I could not get a clone card to be recognized by the car. I use a Mac and the first thing I did was buy a new SD card and use a program that is dedicated to cloning SD cards. Although the clone seemed good, the car did not recognize it (I had the compass only, as if no SD card was installed). Next, I installed the Mac version of Map Update Toolbox, backed up my original SD card and restored to my new SD card. The Map Update program recognized this cloned card as valid, showed the VIN etc. However..the car did not recognize it (again, as if no SD card installed). I then borrowed my son’s PC with an SD card slot and used the XCOPY protocol from this page to make a clone. Again, the car did not recognize it.
        I then bit the bullet and brought the car to the dealer. (I still have a couple of months of 5-year warranty but the 3-year full warranty is long gone.) I was glad to see that on the morning that I drove in, the navigation would not load (as I was afraid that it would behave perfectly in the shop). However..after keeping the car 2 days they said, nothing was wrong, they saw no problem, everything was fine. They also said there were no updates (presumably they meant there were no system updates; the Map Update Toolbox also says there are no updates, but it offers to sell me a map update for CAN$114). They told me it would cost (I think) CAN$700 to buy a new SD card.
        Well, when I drove home (yesterday) everything was indeed fine. But I doubt that the problem has gone away, since they did not do anything except connect it to their computer and say that they could not find any problem. I considered purchasing the map update available through Map Update Toolbox in the hope that it might fix my SD card, and I am not shy to pay for this, but I don’t want to do it if, in the end..I need anyway to purchase a new SD card for my system to work reliably! Maybe that paid update would somehow be linked to my account but that is an expensive gamble.
        I also at some point tried to clean the SD card reader in the car in case it was dirty–there are techniques on the web for this. It made no difference, and anyway there was no sign of dirt buildup in the reader.
        Can anyone enlighten me as to why my cloning efforts failed? Even if (by a miracle) the system keeps working, I would be glad to have a working backup of the card.
        Thanks! LDS

        Like

  5. Wonder if you might have an intermittent USB hub, or connectors in the wiring from it to the CMU (“map data” in the diagram below).

    https://21stcenturyfiat124spider.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/the-infotainment-control-buttons/#diag shows how you can bring up the diagnostics check, and this could be the same test the dealer did (one-time) that you might want to try when the unit is acting up.

    #4 may let you know if there are any issues with the system, including the SD card reader
    #72 tests the GPS function.

    Like

  6. Many thanks for the quick reply! That looks a little over my pay grade but I will try it out the next time I have trouble. Will I be able to understand the output of those diagnostics, or will they be something like codes?
    Does anyone have thoughts as to why I can’t generate a working clone? I suppose a hardware failure in the car would be one possibility. I should add that I ran the card diagnostics that are built in to the Map Update Toolbox program on both cards, and both passed. Interestingly, that program takes a lot longer to recognize the original card than the new one I bought (the ‘recognizing card’ screen reloads about 10 times before it is done, while the new one is recognized right away).
    Thanks again Dan, for your reply and for this whole resource.
    Lionel

    Like

    • Insert and remove your SD card a few times (and make sure the vehicle is off when doing so). My cloned copy (Sandisk 8GB Class 10 SDHC; perhaps you should avoid SDXC?) works much more reliably than the factory card, so perhaps some brands of SD cards have better gold plating, or some other variable. I’m glad you have backups though, so you won’t need to purchase additional Nav card(s) as you experiment.

      Like

      • I’ve read though this thread and want to offer this observation. Aside from the issue of the OEM nav card perhaps being defective, and since your vehicle is more than three years old, your 3 years of free nav data updates has expired. That’s why when you use the Toolbox that you’re being told none are available. You would need to purchase either a “one time” or 3 year extension to nav data to access and download the more recent content. Now that that the issue with access to their servers has been resolved (long story on that one), it’s safe to purchase access to new content. If you do end up having to replace your OEM SD nav card, don’t buy it from the dealer. You’ll find them on eBay for less than $100 CAD. I “think” that a replacement card would also VIN lock to your vehicle and be acceepted by the Toolbox app to update content, but buying a new card does not start the clock ticking again on the 3 years of free updates. That’s tied to your VIN, so you’ll still need to purchase access to the new content. I hope this helps, and Dan, if you think I’ve stated anything incorrectly, please step in and advise where I’ve strayed of the path.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks to both. Dan, I did not keep the packaging of the Kingston card I bought so I am not sure whether it is class 10. It is the kind where the ‘SD card’ is really an adapter and there is a little card inside it.
    Cal, thanks for that info. I understood about needing to purchase map updates. There is one thing I don’t understand about your post. I see those OEM cards on eBay Canada..only about CAD35 in fact. Is the idea that one of those simply replaces my original without the need to restore from a backup? If so, this looks like the best option..since a blank card costs $15 anyway and I can’t get it to work!

    Like

    • Lionel, my understanding is as follows. You’re registered on the NaviExtras site using the Toolbox app. What that’s really doing is registering your VIN. What I’m not 100% certain of is if you have to insert the replacement card in your car and drive for 100km to get it to layer the VIN on the card or not. I’d complete that process just for safety sake and avoiding re-work. Then when you log into the site again using the Toolbox, it should read your new card and recognize that there is newer content available for it. After you’ve paid to access new content (as you already know this is required), you be ready to go. For how little they’re charging for replacement cards on eBay, it’s a fairly inexpensive experiment to get you up and running again.

      On a related note, it might also be a good time to create a clone of your card once you get it working and updated. I’ve provided a detailed walkthrough of how to perform the cloning process on the 124spider.org site, but that walkthrough is tied to Windows PC’s, not Macs. If you do it on a Mac, I really can’t provide guidance. If you have access to a PC, the walkthrough makes it pretty easy to accomplish. BTW, what you have purchased as a blank SD is a Micro SD card that comes with an adaptor that’s shaped to be the same as a rull size SD card. They’re pretty common. However, if you’re going to make a clone of your nav card, I recommend buying a 16GB Class 10 from your local Staples, Best Buy, Amazon, etc. The 8GB versions are becoming very hard to source, and the larger 16GB card will protect you for far into the future as you’ll have oodles of room for new content. Right now, it all fits on an 8GB card, but five years from now, who knows?

      I’ll try to insert some links for you:
      The Windows PC Card Cloning Walkthrough:
      https://www.124spider.org/threads/how-to-clone-your-navigation-sd-card-on-a-windows-pc-you-dont-need-special-software.39039/#post-547175
      16 GB Class 10 SD Card sources:(I’m using the Gigastone,and it seems to work well, but you can find them everywhere. Just make sure you’re getting a Class 10 card)

      https://www.staples.ca/products/1923543-en-sandisk-ultra-sdhc-uhs-i-memory-card-16gb-sdsdunc-016g
      https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/gigastone-16gb-sd-card-u1-c10-uhs-i-sdhc-memory-card-up-to-80mb-s-for-dslr-camera-camcorder-pc-mac-pos-surveillance/14996397

      Liked by 1 person

  8. OK..the one I can’t get to work is class 10 (it’s marked on the micro card inside). I did try the XCOPY system on a PC, that was one of the three clones I made, and none worked. So, I will try the eBay route. If I understand well, the idea is that this OEM card should work just on its own, ie out of the box (and after the 100km it will VIN lock). Then I can clone it buy a map update.
    Many thanks for the generous help.

    Like

    • Hi Lionel,
      before buying a new card you might want to have a look at one of my comments here:
      https://21stcenturyfiat124spider.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/new-map-updates-dated-june-2019-are-available/
      I used a tool called Win32DiskImager to clone my SD card and never encountered problems afterwards.

      Regarding your rebooting issue: The infotainment system in my Spider is still on its initial firmware (56 something something). I can repeatedly make it reboot via playing a certain song from USB. Though this only happens when the infotainment system shows the music playback screen. When you switch it to a different menu it will play fine. So I suspect that the firmware either doesn’t like the cover art or some other ID3 data.

      Like

      • Tobias, for what it’s worth, my thoughts are that whatever a person finds works for them in regards to cloning their card, they should use it and document what they did in case you ever have to repeat the process. That’s paramount for everything we do, and I’ve done that rigorously for everything I’ve done with the car, including tweak installs. But I digress…

        I personally first downloaded and used the app you mentioned to make a clone, but found it more cumbersome than just using DOS command line prompts. That’s when I personally started over and wrote the step-by-step “how to” using DOS command line syntax. I would also note that using DOS command line allows you to create a clone to a 16GB card without having to do any special partitioning adjustments.

        Cloing of Lionel’s OEM card, regardless of whether he uses the built in Windows tools or by downloading and install an app… will merely result in an identical copy of the OEM card and operate in the exact same manner. The clone will function the same as the original. But that’s just my assessment, and it certainly doesn’t hurt to download the free app you refer to and attempt to create a clone using that process. If it works, great! If not, then he has options to puruse.

        After he completes that experiment, and IF he’s still experiencing the same issues, my recommendation is to spring a few bucks to replace the OEM Nav card and start with a fresh version. Obviously, the case of caveat emptor applies, and it’s Lionel’s decision as to if he wants to pursue that route or not. If he does, he has two different routes he can use to clone the new card… but only after it’s become locked to the vehicle. Since he’s already using the command line process, its something he already knows how to do and avoids the complexity of the Win32DiskImager application.

        So, two potential routes to peruse, and certainly you’ve provided some good suggestions in your post. I wish him success, no matter how he chooses to get there. The end result is truly what matters.

        Like

      • Hi Cal,
        i wasn’t trying to downplay the work you did with creating your guide. If it came across the wrong way I apologize. I very much appreciate the work everybody put into writting such guides.
        My sole intention was to tell Lionel about a method with which I had a positive experience.

        Since he didn’t have much success with the xcopy commands I don’t expect Win32DiskImager to work either (in fact I believe deep down xcopy is what all the windows tools use anyway), but I still consider it worth a shot. All there is to lose are a few minutes time.

        Like

      • Tobias, fear not, I didn’t read anything negative into your post and no need to apologize. I value what you’ve brought to the table as well (on this and other topics), so the respect is mutual and appreciated.. Like you mention, it’s a quick (and free) test to see if the app provides different (better) results. He could be running into a multitude of conflicts in his attempts to create a functional clone… class of card, quality level of card, etc. It’s a peculiar situation he’s facing, and I hope he eventually finds a fix.

        Lionel, when you read this, one final parting thought. Please make sure you are formatting your replacement cards as FAT32, and using the full format option (not “quick format”). That gives you a clean place to start with your cloning efforts. Lock your OEM card before you begin to work with it, and remember to unlock it when you’re finished with everything. I do that myself every time I work with mine, simply to ensure I don’t accidentally bugger it.

        Like

    • After driving 62 miles with the card installed, back-up the card and then run it through the Toolbox program. Chances are, you won’t have the latest maps, until you update. For the next 3 years, you should be able to get 1 or 2 updates annually.

      Like

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