How to Change Japanese Car Navigation to English 

Used to track down locations and unfamiliar routes, an automotive navigation system offers added safety and convenience to drivers. Typically an add-on feature to a variety of car models and makes, car navigation, more popularly known as GPS (Global Positioning Systems), collects position data and syncs it with existing road maps.

However, a car’s navigation system is useless unless it delivers data in a language you can fully understand. When you are purchasing a used vehicle from Japan, for instance, the information on the navigation system is usually displayed using the Japanese language.  This can be quite problematic at first glance, but the good news is, some cars just need a quick fix.

As a guide, below are some of the steps you need to follow to change your navigation system’s language setting:

Step 1: Turn on your engine and look for the “LANG” or “LANGUAGE” button

Turn to your dashboard and look for the “lang” or “language” button. If your car’s navigation system has this option, you just need to select “English” to change the system’s language setting.

Step 2: Check your car’s navigation system

You can also check if your car’s navigation system is run by a DVD or a GPS system. If it operates on a DVD system, you just need to call the car company and buy an English language disc. The upfront cost is usually around 150 USD.

If, on the other hand, you’re using a GPS system, take your car to the nearest servicing station and ask for professional help. Dealerships may or may not charge you any fee, depending on how difficult it is to reprogram your car’s navigation system.

Bonus TipWhat You Need to Know Converting Language Settings

All Japanese models and makes are designed with unique built-in features. While converting the navigation system is as easy as counting 1 to 3, there are models that do not allow language conversion for other features.

For instance, the E51 Nissan Elgrand’s navigation, audio and DVD system can easily be converted to English, but its car information system and control buttons are not convertible.

The car information system displays all the car-related information and warnings. To fix its language settings, you can fit in a double DIN in its system. You can easily find an android device that offers advance features like navigation, radio and other multimedia functions. If your vehicle does not have a double-DIN sized slot, you have to purchase a replacement center console fascia panel, which is typically available in car shops. By replacing your vehicle’s head unit and fixing some of the wirings, you can fully enjoy extra features, including DVD, radio and navigation.

As a final note, if you are planning to import a used car from Japan, it is always best that you thoroughly review the car’s features and language settings before you make a purchase. By directly asking your car dealer, you can find early solutions to problems you might encounter once the vehicle is shipped to your country.

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