Does your iPhone overheat when being used with a Car Kit (Tom Tom or Magellan)?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Kim Sux, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Kim Sux macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2010
    Prior to the iPhone 4 my 3GS worked pretty well in the Magellan Car Kit. I really only had one major issue and that was the phone overheating.

    I'm not sure if it was from the sunshine coming through the windshield or the car kit itself heating up the iPhone beyond it's tolerance. On several occasions I'd have to remove my phone, power it off and hold it in front of the A/C vent to cool it off. I eventually began running the A/C through the defrost to try and keep the phone cool. But because it didn't blow directly on the phone my results were mixed.

    It seems to me using either the Tom Tom or Magellan Car Kits with the iPhone is dangerous in the sense of heating up your phone too much. I think standalone GPS devices are engineered and manufactured with materials to handle being in the sun. Whereas the iPhone was never meant to be exposed to such hot temperatures.

    I've tried two solutions to keep the direct sunlight off the phone. One was to create a sun-visor attached to the car kit. But after a few days I wasn't satisfied with that solution. So currently I'm using a makeshift deflector (see attached image) to force the air from the Defroster directly onto the car kit and phone. This actually seems to work pretty good. When the A/C is on the phone can be on and exposed to the sunlight but only be slightly warm. I'm still testing it out, but so far so good.

    Attached Files:

  2. lululalalee macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2010
    mine seems to get really hot when I use it with my adapter for my car to use as an ipod. The thing is it isn't in direct sunlight at all. The adapter comes out of the glovebox, so I'm not sure why the thing gets so hot.
  3. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I've noticed a few posts re. the iPad overheating and shutting down outside in the sun and was also wondering if the iPhone4 was prone to the same. Mine gets really hot after 30 mins in the TomTom in afternoon sun - but keeps working.

    Like the deflector idea, BTW - might try a variation on that. Or a cocktail parasol :)
  4. -MRB macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2010
    When I use Co-Pilot Live UK i've noticed my phone gets EXTREMELY hot.

    I've never had a warning, but it does get very hot indeed.

    So much so, I held my phone out the window for a minute to cool it down. Risky. But hey.
  5. S1njin macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2010
    Great, I'm just about to buy a GPS for my iPhone 4. Anybody else getting this? Is this another issue w/ the phone?
  6. deeem119 macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    Not a particular iPhone problem - using any CPU intensive app will make it heat up, and there's the added kick-in-the-teeth of having it in direct sunlight when it's stuck to your dashboard for GPS use (magnified through your windscreen, greenhouse-like).

    Apple have a note about it on their site:

    At least the iPhone has a safety cutoff - some devices would just fail under those conditions.

    Like the deflector. I've put together a cooler made from a thin 4cm PC case fan wired to a USB cable, then run from my lighter-socket. Sits between my cheapo and very deep Halfords phone holder and the iPhone, and seems to do the job. iPhone is then charged from my car stereo connector.
  7. eelpout macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    Interestingly enough, I've been running some HTC Windows Mobile 6.x phones for a few years (Fuze & Trinity) and they never have this problem when running any GPS software (TomTom, iGo etc.). They run all day on road trips and never heat up. And yes this is on a mount in the window. Add in the issue of the iPhone cutting off charging while running the GPS (again because of overheating) and the iPhone becomes one of the least desirable smartphone GPS solutions IMO, especially for long drives. I was hoping they solved this in the 4.

    I'm not sure what Apple is doing, maybe their location services are too tied to the main CPU unlike HTC, which has Qualcomm or SirfStar GPS chipsets to offload to, but HTC and Microsoft are way ahead of them here. Hopefully they won't screw this up with Windows Phone 7 in their goal of more closely emulating the iPhone. ;)
  8. Kim Sux thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2010
    Ha ha ha... it's funny hearing someone try and justify how their HTC or other iPhone knock-off is better. They're not even in the same league pal. Go post in the HTC forum if you want to stroke yourself on how great your phone is. LOL!
  9. CDew macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2010
    No, But...

    I had put my iPhone 4 in the Magellan Permium Car Kit and ran RoadMate 2010 for several hours on my dash (in the sun) and it didn't overheat. Sounds like there's no problem, but... because I had an Apple bumper on the iPhone, it turns out that it wasn't making good enough contact to charge or use the kit's GPS.

    In case you're wondering how I didn't notice, it's because in that state, when using RoadMate 2010, the battery percentage displayed didn't change so I assumed that it was charging at the same rate it was draining. As soon as I removed the phone, however, the percent charged updated and it became obvious that it had not been charging. Also, the iPhone 4's GPS is much better than the one in the iPhone 3G, it's much harder to notice improved GPS accuracy.

    So what do I have to add to this discussion. Not much other than you can run RoadMate 2010 on your iPhone 4 for hours, while mounted on the dash (in the sun) and not get particularly hot.

    Anyway, I have since removed the rubber grommet from around the base of the plug on my Magellan Premium Car Kit -- so that it charges and uses the kit's GPS chip -- and will let you know how it does after the next extended use.
  10. eelpout macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2007
    Silicon Valley
    Wow. Where did that come from? :confused:

    I've got a 3G too. Just sharing something I've noticed that I thought was interesting. I'm not claiming something is overall "better," simply that overheating hasn't been an issue like with my iPhone.

    BTW, I was mistaken and Apple does use separate chipsets, such as the PMB 2525 HammerHead II GPS Reciever in the 3G.

Share This Page