How to Unlock Garmin Traffic

Written by kelly gray
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How to Unlock Garmin Traffic
Traffic jams can be avoided by unlocking the traffic information on the Garmin GPS. (gps image by AlcelVision from

Certain Garmin GPS models come equipped with a traffic receiver. A receiver can also be added to other units. When the receiver is connected to the GPS unit, it will recalculate the route based on current traffic conditions. Traffic conditions could include slow-moving traffic, accidents or road construction. An annual traffic subscription is required to use the receiver, which provides current area traffic information on a continual basis.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Garmin GPS
  • Traffic receiver
  • Instruction manual
  • Traffic subscription

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  1. 1

    Visit the Garmin website and select the "Extras" tab from the top of the page. Select "Services" from the drop down menu, and select "Traffic." Select the "Activate or Renew Service" option under FM Traffic.

  2. 2

    Purchase a traffic subscription service for your area. Services are available for a variety of different countries.

  3. 3

    Connect the Garmin GPS unit to the traffic receiver by inserting one end of the receiver's cord into the GPS unit. Insert the other end of the receiver into the vehicle's power outlet. The traffic features will not work unless the traffic receiver is connected to the unit.

  4. 4

    Touch "Next" on the Garmin GPS unit. Enter the unlock code provided with the purchase of the traffic subscription service. Select "Done" or "OK."

  5. 5

    Touch the "Tools/Traffic" icon on the GPS screen. This will indicate any traffic problems in the immediate area.

  6. 6

    Select the "View by Road" option to see traffic problems on a certain road or select "On My Route" to see traffic problems on a certain route.

Tips and warnings

  • The green power button on the traffic receiver will light up when it is connected to an external power source.
  • The Garmin GPS unit will calculate the route based on current traffic conditions. The route will be recalculated if a traffic problem occurs along the route.

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