Help: SPOT Warranty: Troubleshooting Tips

SPOT Warranty Troubleshooting Tips

Before submitting a claim, let's see if we can figure out what's wrong with your SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger.

General SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger Usage Tips:

Please make sure that you have thoroughly read your User's Guide included in your package, including Section 5 on Care and Support. If you do not have it, you may find a copy here on our website.

Here are a few important things to remember to get maximum reliability from SPOT:

  • SPOT needs a clear view of the sky to obtain a GPS signal and provide the most accurate location information. It is not reliable indoors, in a cave, or in very dense woods.
  • Orienting SPOT so that the SPOT logo is facing up toward the sky will improve performance, as the antenna is located under the logo.
  • Keep the Messenger at least 12 inches away from other GPS devices as SPOT can interfere with signal reception of other GPS devices.

Tips to Verify that You Can Send a Check-in/OK Message from the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
Read more

The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger performs a self-test when you initially turn on your SPOT. If all visible lights flash red, the SPOT self-test has found a failure, and SPOT will not send a message. If this occurs, your SPOT unit has failed a self-test and should be submitted for repair/replacement.

Perform an initial system test to evaluate your entire messaging system, from the operational condition of the SPOT to the readiness of those you've chosen to receive your messages.

  1. Go outside to where SPOT has a clear view of the sky in all directions.
  2. Press and hold the ON/OFF button until the function light blinks green.
  3. Press and hold the Check-In/OK button until the function light blinks green.
  4. During the system test, the GPS indicator light blinks green as SPOT acquires a GPS fix. Once SPOT aquires your GPS location, the Message Sending light and GPS light will blink green in unison for ~15 seconds to notify you that your message is being transmitted with GPS location. The Message Sending light will continue to blink green over the remainder of the 20 minute message cycle and for one (1) hour after the end of the message cycle (this is to provide you with additional time to check if your most recent message was transmitted). The Check-In/OK function light will turn off once the message cycle is complete.
  5. Verify that the message was received in the email or SMS account(s) that you set up during activation in your Check-In/OK contact list.
  6. You can also view your messages in your account at
If the GPS light blinks red, SPOT does not have a clear view of the GPS satellites and you must move to an area with a clearer view of the sky for proper operation. Then repeat steps 2 through 5. You can update the names and contact information anytime via your account on the SPOT website. Leave your personal contact information as one of the contacts for future system testing and GPS acquisition before each trip.

Tips for Receiving Your Email and SMS Notifications for Check-in/OK, Custom Message and Help Messages
Read more

SPOT sends all North American SMS messages via email. This means to send a cell phone a text message, SPOT emails and then they relay the message to your recipients.

Some email and cellular providers see, and depending on their policies, may put the message into a Junk mail folder or simply discard them without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then Customer Service can determine this with you.

If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their cellular service, they will not be able to receive the message. Also, if your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text messaging services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them from SPOT at this time.

Tips for Sending Track Progress Messages
Read more

First, make sure that you are subscribed to Track Progress service, this is an additionally priced service. For more info on Track Progress service, see here. To verify that you have subscribed to the service, please login to your account at

Track Progress messages are sent every 10 minutes for 24 hours or until cancelled. You can re-engage Track Progress at any time to restart the cycle. With each message, SPOT will include your GPS location for the 2 previous track positions for a seamlessly reliable breadcrumb trail. If SPOT cannot get a GPS signal, it will not send your message, but will try again at the next scheduled interval.

Using the Track Progress Function
Read more

Press and hold the Track Progress button until it blinks green. The GPS light will blink green when SPOT obtains your GPS location. SPOT will then send your waypoint. The GPS light and Message Sending light will both blink green for approximately 15 seconds. The Message Sending light continues to blink green until the next scheduled message or until one (1) hour after the end of the message cycle to notify you that your most recent message was transmitted.

If no GPS signal is found, the GPS light will blink red. You should move to a location with a clearer view of the sky. SPOT will keep looking for your GPS location for up to 4 minutes.

If no GPS location is found in 4 minutes, SPOT will not send this particular waypoint. Both the GPS light and the Message Sending light will blink red for approximately 15 seconds. SPOT will rest for up to 6 minutes and try again at the time of the next scheduled message. The Message Sending light will continue blinking until the next scheduled message or until one (1) hour after the end of the message cycle. The Message Sending light continues to blink for one (1) hour after the end of the Track Progress message cycle to give you additional time to verify the status of your most recent message. In a hurry? You can dismiss the light by activating any other function or by turning SPOT off and then on.

You can send a Check-In/OK or Custom Message while you are in Track Progress mode. If Tracking is active, it will be suspended long enough to send the Check-In/OK or Custom Message, then resume once the Check-In/ OK or Custom Message cycle is complete. This lets you easily update your contacts of your whereabouts while in Track Progress mode. For example, if you would like to send an "OK" message at the start of a trip to let your friends know to follow your whereabouts on SPOT adventures, simply start Track Progress, then press "Check-In/OK". SPOT will send a Check-In/OK message, then continue tracking.

You can stop any unsent messages by pressing and holding the Track Progress button until the light turns off, or by turning off SPOT.

Messages can be viewed on the Messages tab of your login account and if you have set up a Shared Page ahead of time, Track messages will be visible there. Note that Track Progress mode does not send any notifications via SMS or email to your contacts.

Still having trouble with the device?
For further assistance with determining if your unit needs repair, please contact SPOT Customer Service

View SPOT Warranty Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) >

Submit Warranty Claim Form >