Ask the mechanic: How can I change the navigation system language?

My ex-Japan Nissan X-Trail 2014 model has a noisy prerecorded Japanese language voice that squawks at start up and even during driving. Since I do not understand the language, it only distracts me. How do I get rid of it?


Hello Anthony, that intrusive or irritating voice on your car audio infotainment is the built-in or retrofitted car navigation system common on many ex-Japan imported used cars. The navigation system allows you to track or find your way using mapped routes assisted by the Global Positioning system (GPS).

It is a useful device in developed countries as it helps you find particular locations, addresses and even provides traffic advisories and alternative routes. Admittedly, this device works better in areas and on roads that are mapped. In Uganda, the equivalent is google maps, which is available even on android phones. There are instructions you can use to change the language of the navigation system.

Step 1: Switch off the vehicle:  This allows you to turn off the navigation system.

Step 2: Browse through the menu: Start the car again and find the ‘English’ option on the menu. Most Japanese domestic market cars offer the option to change the language of the GPS when you start the vehicle.

Step 3: Locate the language button.  Usually, the navigation system’s language automatically reverts to Japanese after every start. Find the Language or LANG button on the menu. Do this as soon as you select English. This ensures that the GPS will not revert to Japanese, setting English as default language.

Step 4: Check the navigation system.  It is advisable to check if you can operate the navigation system after changing the language to English. Some navigation systems are DVD-based.

In case yours is DVD based, you will have to buy an English GPS language disc.  Should you have a challenge interpreting the Japanese language on your X-Trail infotainment unit, you can download the google language translator app to help you.

If that is a tall order, then visit the local Nissan dealer to remove the Navigation system.


I recently spilled some milk in the car but even after several washes, the smell lingers. How do I get rid of it?


Hello Goretti, spilt milk on car upholstery or carpets can smell horrible when it goes bad. Worse still, the smell lingers on forever. It is worsened as you wet the upholstery and carpets with soap and water. When milk spills in your car, it is advisable to sprinkle baking powder over the patch or use white vinegar soaked in a clean towel to clean the area as soon as possible. This will prevent growth of a bacteria, which causes the everlasting unpleasant smell.

Use a steam cleaner, if available to finish off the cleaning process. Try to avoid wetting the upholstery or carpets with buckets of water and soap as this will create another nightmare of bacteria mould, which compounds the smell. The above recommended cleaners (baking powder, white vinegar and steam cleaning) will work just fine.

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