Garmin Nuvi 1450 GPSI’m still a book reader so when you buy an expensive electronic gadget such as a Garmin Nuvi 1450 GPS unit and the only physical thing you have to read is the safety guide that basically tells you to watch the road and not your GPS unit while driving and the supposed quick start guide, that doesn’t make me happy. Oh yes, you can get the manual online in a PDF format download, but reading online leaves a lot to be desired. And when the quick start guide doesn’t give you enough information to actually let you get your new GPS up and running quickly, that fellow travelers, is seriously frustrating.

Jean and I are making plans to take a month long vacation starting at the end of September and well into October to Colorado, the Grand Canyon and all points around Flagstaff Arizona, thus the purchase of the Garmin Nuvi 1450. When you follow the enclosed quick start guide it simply tells you to plug it into your car’s 12 volt power outlet and follow the onscreen instructions. That’s nice, there are no instructions to follow except for the unit asking for your location and language, then the unit tries to acquire the satellites that feed it information. On page 2 of the quick start guide it tells you to go outside into a clear area away from tall buildings so your unit recognizes the satellites. That’s kind of confusing there, do we hook it up to the car power or go outside? Unfortunately it doesn’t tell you till page 7 that you need to charge your GPS for 4 hours (there are 3 ways to charge the unit) before you use battery power.

I then decide to charge the unit by hooking it up to my Mac computer with the supplied USB cable. I don’t remember if I was then prompted to download the Lifetime Maps Updater or I went and downloaded it, but it was installed on the Mac and when I went to update to the latest maps, I was informed that my unit did not have Lifetime maps, even though I had paid for it. My quick start adventure with the Garmin Nuvi 1450 was now turning into a 1 hour ordeal, so much for a quick process. This is where the Garmin Quick Start Guide is woefully inadequate and leaves out very vital information you need to run your new gadget. What it doesn’t tell you is that you need to hook the unit up to your computer and register it before you do anything so when you install your Lifetime Maps Updater the software actually recognizes that you do in fact have what you paid for. Nowhere does the paperwork that comes with the Garmin Nuvi 1450 actually tell you to do this. Not good. So, here are the the steps below to avoid turning your afternoon into one of frustration when you receive your new Garmin GPS unit:

Garmin Nuvi 1450 GPS Quick Start Guide – What’s Not In The Manual

  1. Find the supplied USB cable and hook up your Garmin to your computer.
  2. Register the unit at before you do anything else.
  3. You will then be prompted to download the Lifetime Maps Updater. Do that and update your unit. This can take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours depending on the speed of your connection so be patient.
  4. Make sure you unit charges for 4 hour before trying to use it on battery power.
  5. When you hook up the unit in your car or when you go outside to acquire satellites the quick start guide tells you this process can take a few minutes, actually, it can take several minutes the first time. Be prepared to wait 5 to 10 minutes. There isn’t anything wrong with your unit, it just takes time to find the satellites. If you’ve waited 15 or 20 minutes and nothing has happened, then you may have a problem.
  6. Once that is done you can then start playing around with your GPS device and setting routes and seeing how cool this thing actually is.

Once everything starts working correctly the Gamin Nuvi is pretty self explanatory about setting up routes, putting in your destinations, putting in your home information and so on. If you must read the 77 page owners manual you can find them here for whatever Garmin GPS unit you have.

If you’d like a Garmin Nuvi 1450 or any other GPS unit to use for your next vacation or just getting around you can find some great deals at on all brands.

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One Response to “Garmin Nuvi 1450 GPS – What’s Not In The Quick Start Manual”

  1. […] also got a Garmin Nuvi 1450 GPS for the trip as well and if you’ve never used a GPS, they are pretty amazing little gadgets. […]

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