Home Projects Car About

Garmin GPS Installation

GPS devices mounted on the windshield have been a theft magnet around my university, so I decided to mount my Garmin Nüvi 760 in a less conspicuous area-inside the ashtray area in front of the automatic shifter. However, to get the ashtray out of this VW, you must first disassemble the center console. Luckily, I was able to follow a fantastic guide here on PassatWorld. This photo shows the start of the disassembly, beginning from the backseat.

With the proper bolts removed, the center console assembly lifts out over the shifter.

In order to power the Nüvi (and the traffic receiver), I removed the cigarette lighter electrical outlet from the ashtray assembly and attached it to the GPS cable. Electrical tape is used to prevent any shorts between the cigarette lighter outlet and the chassis when the power/traffic receiver is tucked up and under the car stereo bracket.

A photo of ashtray area with the center console re-installed. The plastic piece jutting out into the ashtray protects the automatic shifter dust guard.

In order to keep the GPS from wiggling around when it's pressed against the plastic, a piece of foam is jammed underneath to keep it from moving.

The exposed metal in the ashtray area is covered with black felt for a cleaner look. The power cable for the Nüvi is pulled out to plug into the powered mount.

The GPS is installed into the ashtray using the Garmin Dashboard mount found here. Actually, only the removable ball-and-arm piece is used from the Dash Mount. It is inserted into the socket of the Nüvi's powered mount, and the whole assembly is wedged into the ashtray area. This holds the Garmin relatively securely while remaining easily removable.

The Nüvi looks slick in it's new location, especially at night.

It takes some getting used to the new GPS layout (vs. being on the windshield), but I like how nicely it integrates into the center console. Satellite & traffic reception is affected slightly, but it doesn't affect normal operation significantly. Just make sure to keep eyes on the road and not on the GPS screen!


Garmin Nuvi 760 $270.00
Garmin Dash Mount $16.99
Black felt $1.00

Total $287.99