The Garmin Nuvi series has been around for many years and the Garmin Nuvi Car Suction Cup Mount has been the one included since the beginning. It’s as basic of a suction cup mount as you can get. Fairly reliable and inexpensive. Most buyers of this mount do so because after many years of use, their old mount has failed and need a new one and if you are confused about how to remove the cradle, be sure to read our article called How to Remove the Garmin Nuvi Ball Mount.
I had one of the first Garmin Nuvi models ever made and it was called the Garmin Nuvi 350. It was much thicker than the current GPS models and had a square folding antenna that folded upwards from the back. The maps needed to be loaded to a memory card from your computer then inserted into the GPS. If I remember correctly, it had enough room to fit a quarter of the state of New Jersey onto it. The funny part is the mount that you get today with almost any Garmin Nuvi model was the same as the one I got with my Garmin Nuvi 350 over ten years ago.
The mount used the same concept that Garmin uses today. It has a 17mm ball. Take a look at your Nuvi. It has a cradle and the back of that cradle has a 17mm socket. The mount has a 17mm ball. Quite functional. This allows the Nuvi cradle to snap on tightly and then swivel and pivot.
The mount hasn’t changed much over the years. The biggest change being the addition of some holes on the ball. Not sure what the purpose of the holes were, but they weren’t present until a few years ago. A current suction mount that came with a recent purchase is shown in the photo that accompanies this article.
The mount locks to your windshield by use of a vacuum lock mechanism that is built into the suction cup. First, be sure the windshield is clean. I recommend using an alcohol based cleaner. Warm up the windshield a bit if it’s very cold outside. Adhere the mount with the bracket already attached and then push the lever down once it is in place. The mount should stay put. If it doesn’t stay on the windshield, it’s time for a new mount.
At first, Garmin car suction cup mount didn’t include a dash disk with the mounting kit nor with the GPS unit. The issue was that certain states did not allow mounting of a GPS on the windshield. After a while and still ongoing today, Garmin started to include a round adhesive disk with their mount. This allowed people in those states, as well as those that do not like to mount devices onto the windshield to mount it to the car dash.
This mount is fairly reliable but with experience I have found that it fails after several years. I suspect the more that it is removed and reinstalled, the more likely it will fail over time. The other limitation of this mount is that your GPS may not fit well on sloped windshields especially if it is a larger Nuvi model. On trucks and large SUVs, this suction cup mount is somewhat limited in terms of the driver’s need to reach so far forward. These limitations led to a whole market for alternative GPS mounts. We wrote an article about some of the alternative suction cup mounts for a Garmin Nuvi that gives an overview if you wish to deviate from this standard mounting solution.
While I believe there are better alternatives, if it’s time to replace your Garmin Nuvi suction cup mount, and you only like to use authentic Garmin, the Garmin Nuvi Car Suction Cup Mount is the model that you are after.