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Can't acquire satellite via my navigation unit.

I have recently been experiencing a problem with my Garmin Quest navigation system. I can not access any satellites during normal operation. The GPS satellites aooear when I am in "indoor mode". I have let the battery run down and recharged the unit but the same problem exist. I have also tried reloading a map in the unit with hopes of resolving the problem but it didn't help. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you! GravesR [email protected]

Posted by Roy Graves on

  • 4 more comments 
  • Etrost Feb 26, 2008

    I've been experiencing the same problems for about a week. I updated all the software, reloaded all the maps, and still cannot acquire satellites... I bought it refurbished by Garmin and it's been working like a dream since Christmas...

  • Anonymous Apr 05, 2008

    My Quest has ceased to locate satellites since I installed a pretty sophisticated car alarm. If I hold the unit outside the car (still connected to the power socket) it will work - guess I may need an external antenna, if I can locate one. Would this solve some of the others' problems?

  • Taffs mate Apr 12, 2008

    I am unable to aquire satellites with my Garmin Quest,just stopped working and wouldn't re-aquire them HELP

  • cjapple Apr 12, 2008

    I recently started experiencing this intermittently. Sometimes my Quest would loose reception for just a second, other times for half an hour or more. Other GPS units were working while this one was blind. Also, it shows zero satellites in any state of lock on the GPS page while this is happening. Makes me think the antennae is the culprit, but it works fine without fiddling with anything. Makes me very uncomfortable traveling to an area where I'll need to rely on the unit to guide me.

  • Reubenfrost Apr 15, 2008

    I have the same problem when just on the battery. With an external power source, it worked. Today, in the car, it didn't show any satellites. I wiggled the antenna a bunch and it immediately showed ready to navigate. I was wondering if the antenna is attached with a wire or just with contacts.

  • gwholmes Jun 23, 2008

    I am also experiencing this same problem. We just took a trip to California and one morning I turned it on and it was working just fine. I had forgotten my car connection to run it on that so to save battery I turned it off while I knew where we were going. When it was time to turn it on to search for our hotel it stopped working. Says it's acquiring satellites but thats all it does and it will not work with any other buttons. No matter how many times I try it will not work...not even flipping the antenna back and forth. Nothing....

    I'm very disappointed in this device.....


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I have discovered that my car windscreen has some sort of built-in interference that has been solved by fitting an external antenna - Garmin is now working perfectly!

Posted on Jan 23, 2009


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It worked! I went into the edit time and changed the daylight savings time from auto to off and sha-zam! Good as new. No need to reset the unit.Thanks for the advise!

Posted on Jan 22, 2009


Hello, I currently own a Garmin quest myself, and some time ago I had some strange problems myself, I am a electronics technician, and I do have a work around for you. I will explain the problems and a cure for you to try, none of the work arounds depend on any parts to be removed.

1. NO RECEIVING SATELLITE TELEMETRY. I beleieve this could be due to a number of reasons, but more so at sometime corrupted telemetry was the problem to fix this,
a turn GPS on when booted (initialised)
b. depress menu
select settings
select Time Setup
when in Time Setup depress MENU
Depress OK button
Depress OK button again on the numberic keypad that appears on the screen (DONE)
what this seems to do is resets the internal date/time clock and the unit starts to work again.
the Second workaround is this but takes hours to perform.

Simply turn the Guest on and allow the battery to fully discharge, usually this works to TOTALLY flush the Memory again, but on my unit I have to setup all the maps again, this is easy to perform, but just takes time. I hope this helps you.

Posted on Jun 08, 2008

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My Garmin quest unit has stopped acquiring satellite signal. All other functions appear normal.

I had a similar problem - and was told that the issue was with the satellites not the unit and that it would be ok in a couple of days. Mine is now working OK again.

Not acquiring all satellites

Try moving your GPS to another location that is more accessable to the sky. You might want to take it out of the card and turn it on while standing outside the car and holding the GPS by hand. This will give you a better un-obstructed path to the sky. If this solves your problem then the location you are using in the card needs to be changed. Good Luck.

No satellites signal

Update/Reload your unit's GPS and sytem software via Garmin page or use Web Updater. Your unit will be functioning again. This problem also occurs if you leave your unit on a dash board in a car and it is exposed to hight temperature.

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Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} As GPS units are used, data is gathered which helps them acquire satellites quickly at the start of each use. If a device is used daily it should be able to acquire satellites in a minute or less. Using a GPS device while it is outdoors with a clear view of the entire sky is the ideal condition for acquiring satellites. Please know that there can be several different factors that may cause a GPS unit to not acquire satellites:
  • If your unit is trying to acquire satellites for the first time, it may take longer than normal to establish an initial position. If the unit is powered on and outdoors with a clear view of the sky this should not take more than 3-5 minutes.
  • If your unit has not been used for an extended period of time (more then a month), it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire satellites.
  • If your unit is indoors, it may not acquire satellites. Even standing next to a window indoors will block a majority of the sky which is needed for a device to locate and lock onto a satellite signal.
  • If you have just finished updating the software in your unit or you have performed a master reset, your unit may take 3-5 minutes to acquire while outdoors as the data that is used to locate satellites may have been erased.
  • If your unit has traveled over 500 miles while turned off or not tracking your travel, it may take 3-5 minutes to acquire even in ideal conditions.
  • If your vehicle has a protective coating on its windshield or electronic devices which interfere with the unit receiving signal, your unit may need an external antenna* in order to acquire satellites.
    • If you suspect this to be an issue, try taking the unit outside of the vehicle with a clear view of the sky for 3-5 minutes so that the unit can acquire satellites. If your unit loses satellites once moved back into your vehicle you will most likely need an external antenna*.
If your unit is still having trouble acquiring satellites, please ensure that it has the latest version of operating software by using our WebUpdater program. Once your unit is updated please allow the unit to acquire satellites outdoors in a stationary position with a clear view of the sky.

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I had the same issue with the only difference that I haven't replaced the battery yet. When my unit can't locate or acquire satellites I change between GPS and WAAS mode. Within 45 seconds my unit successfully locates satellite. After some time if I disconnect unit I might have to switch it back to GPS and so on, and so on, and so on. It worked for me for past 3 months... Hope it will help you...

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Update your unit. Garmin has this problem where you try to enter a location before it acquires satellites. It is very noticeable on the Garmin Nuvi 650 also. Another thing you can try is wait for it to acquire the satellite and see if you don't get up and running. In some cases, it can take up to 4 minutes to acquire satellite information. If this is also your case, updating the firmware to 6.10 should fix that also.

To find what your firmware version you have, click on the TOOLS icon (wrench), click on SYSTEM, ABOUT (bottom of your screen). Anything less than 6.1, you'll have issues.

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Take the unit outside and turn it on. Then select View Maps, at the top of the screen it will say either "Locating satellites" or "Acquiring Satellites". Once the garmin has locked onto the overhead satellites, then it will say "Ready to Navigate".

Locating Satellites take longer than Acquiring Satellites.

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Same happened to me - try --> Answer: If your StreetPilot i-series unit is having a hard time acquiring satellites we would recommend ensuring that it currently has the most recent version of unit software and then performing a master reset. In order to update your unit to the current version of software you will need to use the Garmin WebUpdater. Here is a link to the page on our website that has the WebUpdater program and instructions on how to use it:
Once your unit has the most up-to-date software, you may need to perform a master reset. To do this follow the steps below:
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  2. Press and hold the arrow button, wheel, and power button simultaneously.
  3. Continue holding these buttons until you see the message, “Do you really want to erase all user data?”
  4. Once this message appears, release all three buttons.
  5. Select ‘Yes’
Note: A master reset will restore your unit to the factory defaults and will erase all of your favorites and recent selections.
Once you have completed these steps, please place your unit outside in an area where it will have a clear view of the sky. The unit may need 15-20 minutes to initially acquire satellites. Once your unit acquire satellites you may continue normal operation.
solution = solution1description.innerHTML; Last modified on: 02/12/2008
Apr 24, 2008 • Garmin GPS

No Reception with Garmin Quest

You can find a discription how to reset the GPS here (

I've already tried it and all the suggested solutions like discharging the battery, changing the date, ... , but it diden't help.
littletramp on worldtrip
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