GPS Failure

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doggy
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Posts: 256
Joined: Tue, 24 Jul 2018, 09:59
Real Name: David Kerr
Location: Sydney
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GPS Failure

Post by doggy »

A couple of months ago, my GPS started to misbehave. Sometimes TomTom would have me driving over the ocean and on one memorable occasion, as I was driving in Sydney, there was an alarming graphic and warning to say the car was in imminent danger of tipping over!

I tried many things such as checking and FSCKing the SD card. I made sure all firmware and software was up to date. I rebooted R-Link. I pulled the R-Link fuse a couple of times....all to no avail.

Some days it would be okay, other days not. The GPS status screen which shows the satellites, Lat/Lon, heading, speed was useful. I found that suddenly, all satellites would turn from green to orange and then finally disappear. Sometimes, the would go back to green. Sometimes there would be no satellites acquired for 40mins and other times for 5-10mins. So it was not a situation of losing a few satellites, it was all gone and then all back again.

All this pointed to a failure of power to the GPS module or an intermittent failure of the GPS module itself or most likely a failure of communications between the GPS module and the processor in the R-Link. The GPS antenna is mounted with the GPS module near the shark fin antenna on the roof and the cable runs along the roof and is connected to the back of the R-Link unit.

Research showed that the same thing has happened to a handful of other cars in the UK and in France. In all cases, replacing the antenna fixed the problem. Out of the tens of thousands of Zoes, this has only been reported a few times on forums overseas.

So, I booked into Col Crawford Brookvale and typed up a full description of the problem, photos of the satellite displays and my deduction that it was the GPS "antenna" (module). The first day, they went through all the software/firmware, took various measurements and conferred with Renault. They were not certain it would be fixed and they were right. Basically no change- though it did work all the time on the 40min drive from the service centre to home. So I made another appointment expecting them to replace the antenna. That was their idea too, but when I got there, they said that Renault would not take the antenna back if that was not the problem and this would cost the dealership $800. So they said they would check connections and a few other things but not replace the antenna.

When I went to pick up the car, they said that they had convinced Renault to supply the antenna unit and a new one was on its way. So, I was booked in for a third visit the following week.

They said the work should only take 90mins and I decided to wait. But after an hour, they knew it was going to take longer and they offered me a loan car. I accepted this and they expected the work to be done by that afternoon. However, the job turned out to be hugely greater than they anticipated. It took 12+ hrs of labour and was finally completed the following afternoon. I won't repeat the list of what they did, but it involved removing the steering wheel, most of the dashboard, two airbags, the interior roof lining, lining on two pillars and other things. Huge!

They have done a good job with no rattles, no marks and everything properly back together. The GPS again works as it used to and after several days has not caused any problem.

They were good in believing what I described without insisting they had to see the fault themselves. That can be a problem with intermittent faults.

Cheers,
Dave

antiscab
Senior Member
Posts: 2564
Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Re: GPS Failure

Post by antiscab »

great outcome Dave.

Our GPS hasn't worked for around a year, due to the SD card breaking, and the unit not having had the firmware update to fix the date change over issue.

This has prompted me to get around to following up with Renault
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

doggy
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Posts: 256
Joined: Tue, 24 Jul 2018, 09:59
Real Name: David Kerr
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: GPS Failure

Post by doggy »

Gee, I don't think I would have liked having it out of action for that long.
You are the second person I have heard of with a broken SD card holder. It is perhaps in an awkward spot.
I have a carbon copy of my SD card because they are so expensive if they die. dd command in Linux is all it takes and I have verified the exact copy works fine.
Cheers,
Dave

antiscab
Senior Member
Posts: 2564
Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Re: GPS Failure

Post by antiscab »

Good to know
I never liked the onboard GPS - it's accuracy was even worse than apple maps

When it died I was going to do the android auto enable hack, but never got around to it
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

doggy
Groupie
Posts: 256
Joined: Tue, 24 Jul 2018, 09:59
Real Name: David Kerr
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: GPS Failure

Post by doggy »

Hm, we have had several map updates in 18 months and have found it good. Apart from when the GPS started to muck up. That was unpleasant in unfamiliar locations and particularly in the Sydney CBD. My actual Renault GPS unit has 11 to 12 satellites even in my steel roofed garage. Not as many as a state of the art GPS module that I have which does multi constellation (i.e Russian, USA, Chinese, European) with 3 of 4 at any point in time. I get 35+ sats with that and extremely tight accuracy, down to about 20cm. However, the Renault unit is good, now does not lose lock and I've not found much in the way of map inaccuracy. The realtime traffic info and speed/red light cameras are good.

I converted my Peugeot 508 to an Android head Unit and tried out 8 different map products and ended up with TomTom GO being the best....i.e. virtually the same as Zoe.

I assume your 4G connection is working okay in your Zoe? Also when you get it fixed, you'll find quite a few updates including Oz maps.

Cheers,
Dave

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