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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:48 am 
Retired Admin/Techinfo Admin
Retired Admin/Techinfo Admin

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 2:08 pm
Posts: 26008
Location: Space Coast, or at least it used to be
Year and Trim: 03 SLE, 95 SE, 95 TS SE
Compass calibration procedure

Calibrate your compass at least once per year, or any time it displays 'calibrate', or any time you think it's displaying incorrect info.

1. Drive to an open area such as a large, empty parking lot. Be sure the area is not only free of other vehicles, but also away from power lines or large metal objects, including storm drains.

2. Push and hold MODE for mor than six seconds. After three seconds, CALIBRATE and the heading display will go off. ZONE and the zone number will be displayed.

After six seconds, CALIBRATE will flash and the heading display will rotate. ZONE and the zone number will go blank.

Release the MODE button.

3. Drive slowly in a circle at about 5mph (8km/h). Try to keep your vehicle level.

4. When CALIBRATE stops flashing, your compass is calibrated to magnetic north.

If CALIBRATE stops flashing before 1.75 circles, the calibration may not be accurate. However, if you are certain the calibration is accurate after the zone is set, then recalibration is not needed. Otherwise, repeat the calibration. If this condition continues, move the vehicle to a new area and recalibrate.

If CALIBRATE continues to flash after about seven circles, your compass is not calibrated. You could be too close to a power line or large metal object, or something magnetic in your vehicle (like a CB antenna or large speakers) could keep the compass from calibrating.

If you are uncertain about where you are in the calibration sequence, or want to start over, simply push and release the MODE or SET button, or turn the ignition off and restart the engine.

Setting the zone corrects for differences between magnetic and true north. You can set the zone in two ways: By selecting the zone you are located in or by pointing your vehicle north and telling the compass the direction of north. Perform only one of the two methods (A or B) each time you change zones. The last zone selection is remembered.

(A) By geographic location:

1. With the engine running, press and hold MODE for more than three seconds. After three seconds, CALIBRATE and the heading display will go blank. ZONE and the zone number will be displayed. Release the MODE button.

2. Check the chart to see which zone you are in (note....for these zones, post in Mechanical and Maintenance forum, and a member will check their book for you if you don't have one).

3. Press or hold SET until the display shows the number of your zone.

4. Press MODE again to enter your zone in the compass.

(B) By pointing vehicle North:
1. Point your vehicle to true north. (use a GPS or a really smart person to do this).

2. Press and hold MODE until ZONE appears on the display.

3. Press or hold SET until ZONE 00 is displayed.

4. Press MODE. The display will show a northern heading and the direction bars will flash.

5. Press MODE again. The display will show the current zone setting for two seconds, then keep that settin unless you change it.

6. When your engine is running, your compass should display true north.
You can change your zone any time you move to another zone without calibrating to magnetic north. However, if you are uncertain of accuracy, repeat the entire sequence by starting with step 1.

Temporary Disturbances:
Your compass may sometimes display a different heading for a moment as you pass under bridges, power lines, or large metal objects, or when you are driving on steep hills. This is normal.


If you replace your stock rear-deck speakers with larger units, or a subwoofer is installed in your trunk under the rear deck, your compass will need to be re-calibrated. It also may fail to work properly even after re-calibration due to magnetic interference. That's the price you pay for thumping. Also, if you are in doubt as to the accuracy of the calibration, most city streets are laid out in true N S E W grids. Your compass should show a true heading on most city streets.

Author : Willwren

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