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NAVIGATOR - A vital component in any road rally car

First published in Motorsport News 13th June 2012

It seems that drivers are obsessed with finding the latest component to give their road rally car that extra boost of performance. Usually this involves a fixation with engines, gearboxes, brakes or tyres. I’d like to suggest an item that really should be given serious consideration, it’s called Navigator.

The workings of Navigator are a total mystery to many drivers and its importance can often be overlooked, so here are a few tips on its application and use.


Like new brakes and engines Navigator needs some time to bed in. You won’t be able to get optimum performance straight out of the box. It’s therefore preferable to go for a second hand model but a good one of these can be very hard to get hold of.

Navigator comes in either male or female models. Generally there isn’t any performance difference between the two options, although those with female connections tend to be smaller, better looking and emit fewer odours.

Navigator is self installing, nevertheless care should be taken with preparation of the fitment in which it will sit, it can emit a constant whining noise if not seated correctly. However it’s important to note that a Navigator which is totally silent isn’t working properly, but be warned normal vocal activity followed by a sudden silence can indicate the onset of “Barfing” (see below).

It’s unusual, but not unknown, for Navigator to develop a leak during a rally. A major design flaw on some models causes them to loose a large amount of their internal content at regular intervals. Once this “Barfing” starts it’s very difficult to stop and can cause a significant drop off in performance. A Navigator which has performed faultlessly for years can suddenly develop the problem. This issue can sometimes be resolved with the application of Kwells, or some such preparation, before and during an event.

During rallies you may find that Navigator suffers from “Wrong Slot”. It’s no good as a driver getting worked up about this, keep calm and Navigator should rectify the problem on its own. As with so many other failures, swearing and shouting at the part won’t help.

In summary, Navigator is an essential component for any road rally car, in fact you won’t get anywhere if you don’t have one. Look after your Navigator and it will give you many nights of pleasure.

Don’t forget the slogan: “Navigator - you’d be lost without it”.