After my post last week about disabling the navigation lockout on Lexus and Toyota nav systems, I received a request from an unhappy Ford owner with the same problem.
After a bit of searching, I unfortunately wasn’t able to turn up any straightforward “secret-password” solution for this. What I did find, however, is a straightforward hardware modification that will put you back in control of your navigation technology. Assuming you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and disassembling your dash, this fix is known to work with a couple Ford truck models, and I have a feeling that the same method might be a general solution for almost all factory navigation systems that have this lockout functionality.
The navigation system uses a connection to the Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) to determine whether or not the vehicle is moving. By installing a small switch that can disable this connection, you can trick the navigation system into thinking the vehicle isn’t moving (apparently it doesn’t think to double check your speed with the GPS unit). Turn the switch off and you can enter your destination information. Flip the switch back on and your navigation system is back to normal and tracking vehicle speed correctly.
Now here’s the interesting bit. It looks like factory navigation systems for many other vehicles use a VSS connection to determine speed. While the particulars of removing the dash and locating the VSS wire will be different, chances are good that this hack will work as a last-ditch effort in fixing navigation systems that don’t have a software override (hear that 2007-08 Lexus and Toyota owners?).