Is your Garmin GPS not charging properly , dead , or keeps rebooting ? We can help !
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If you own a Garmin GPS- whether it is a nuvi, Zumo, Edge, Dezl, Oregon, Colorado, etc... and your unit does not charge properly, please read on. We got you covered !
;After receiving more than average repair requests for these models, we decided to investigate the issue further and see what's behind it. We found out that In almost every case, the repair had to do with the USB connector/charging port. It either became loose and connection was intermittent, or it completely came off and separated from the board. We also see ports that are damaged internally and must be replaced. Do not give up on your GPS. Many of these models- especially the ones that come with Lifetime Maps- are definitely worth fixing !
The problem will start like this: one day you will notice that you have to wiggle the cable to get a good connection. This will work for a while. But as time goes by, you find yourself wiggling the cable more and more to achieve that elusive connection. At some point,you lose connection altogether no matter what you do or how hard you wiggle the cable ! You may also get a message on your screen "External power has been lost." Your battery may not charge, the GPS at some point will go completely dead and you won't be able to turn it on, or it will keep rebooting as you drive All these are signs of a loose or damaged USB connector. On some models this USB connector is actually in the cradle that attaches to the back of the GPS, but the symptoms are the same.
Our advice to you is this: if you have to wiggle the cable only once, this is a sign that the USB connector is starting to lose connection with the board and you should have it fixed immediately before it gets worse. Especially, you should not connect the GPS to the computer and try to update it if your connector is loose or damaged. . Don't bother calling the manufacturer. Someone on the other end of the line will try to sell you a refurbished unit for over $100 if you trade yours in. They do not deal with these kind of issues. They do not believe in this "repair" option. In fact, they are known to incorrectly tell customers that their device is not repairable !! Why would you want to shell out so much money when your unit can be repaired for much less ? To us it seems a no- brainer. And who is to say that the replacement unit will not suffer from the same problem down the road ? And then you will be faced with yet another tough choice to either buy a new unit or spend more money to repair yours. If your Garmin GPS served you well and the only problem with it is the USB connector, fix it and keep it. This will save you money for sure ! This problem does not warrant another trip to the landfill !!
The problem explained :
Like so many USB connectors, the connector in these models is a SMD (Surface Mount Device) It is soldered to the board by means of heating the entire board in a special oven. It is not hand soldered. If the manufacturer has to spend more time on the connector to hand solder it and give it extra support, this will drag the production time much longer and the price of the unit will have to go up. That is why they are mass produced. No special attention is given to the USB connector even though it is the work horse of the GPS. For this reason, the pins and legs are made thin and fragile to make soldering them possible during mass production. The legs that hold the connector in place become loose first. Sometimes the pad to which the USB is soldered lifts off the board completely. The other pins follow suit very shortly thereafter because their job really is not to hold the USB in place. when the big protectors fail, the pins have no chance. Do not bother using glue or any of the crazy ideas you read about. In desperation, some people will squeeze the top and bottom of the USB hoping this will solve the problem. Friends: There is only one way to fix it correctly and permanently and that is to actually open the unit and hand-solder the connector the old-fashioned way, or replace it if it is damaged, period. It is like an aching tooth. You can stop the pain temporarily by using pain medications. But the best treatment is to make a trip to the dentist and have it fixed the right way and for good (assuming you have a good dentist :)
We have noticed from some of the units that come to us after having been worked on by other shops that these shops used a generic USB connector, not an original one. They modified the connector to make it fit on the board. They do that because it is very hard to find the exact replacement connector. They also drenched it with what appeared to be Super Glue ! Well, unfortunately by cutting corners the repair did not last long. And replacing it again becomes a nightmare ! We use the original Garmin brand connector and give it a bit of much needed extra support. Nobody else stocks this connector ! Some online sellers pretend to have this exact connector. Be careful ! They do not. What they sell is not even close to the real, original part. Do not settle for inferior parts and workmanship. Let us fix it right the first time so you do not experience this problem again ! Remember, the problem really is not the connector itself. It is the way it is installed with very little solder and no support at all.. Even if the USB is just loose, we do not simply go over it. We take it out, clean everything up and then re-install it correctly. This is the only way to achieve a permanent, reliable repair. Some USB's are mounted vertically on the board with very little room to work with it. This type of connector is where most shops and do-it-yourselfers screw up. We fix the most difficult ones, so please give us a chance to help you and save your device.
Software damage :
We test every unit BEFORE we proceed with the repair to make sure there has not been any software damage and that your GPS will work as it should after repair. If we detect a problem, we will contact you before we do the repair. Unfortunately, some people cause permanent software damage to their unit by continuing to use it with the loose or damaged connector. Have you ever noticed the warning message on your screen every time you connect your GPS to the computer ? It clearly warns not to disconnect the GPS during the map/software update or permanent damage will occur. Please do not take this warning lightly. When you do an update, your old software is being deleted and updated with new software at the same time. But when you attempt to update with a bad USB, that is exactly what happens: the GPS gets disconnected during the update due to the faulty USB and software damage occurs.
Battery Contacts ( hand held models):
A very common problem on hand held models are the metal battery contacts inside the battery cavity. They break off easily- especially if there is battery acid leakage. Once this happens, you won't be able to use the unit outdoors with AA batteries- which to many people is a great inconvenience Soldering these tiny parts back can be very tricky, but we can help. If there is battery acid, we will inspect the unit first to make sure the acid did not damage the main board underneath. Diagnosis is free.
Fix it !
If you are like the vast majority of people who are money conscious and would like to save some of your hard earned cash, we urge you to consider this repair option. Once fixed, your unit will work like new again !
Garmin Edge models:
The Edge series uses different charging ports depending on the model. We stock ALL of them. Please know that these units simply have no extra room for a similar part not identical to the original OEM part ! We have seen horror cases where a shop tried to fit another USB and literally ruined the unit ! If you choose to take your Garmin Edge somewhere else, the first question you should ask the tech who will be doing the work is: " do you have the original OEM part?" If he says NO, please move on.
Always send the car charger: We must rule out your charging cable as being part of the problem. If your GPS uses a car charging cable, please send it along with the GPS so we can test it for free with our specialized test equipment. The test will tell us the condition of the tiny wires inside the cable. A damaged charging cable will cause power/charging/reboot problems. Some models use a cradle/cable combination. If your unit uses this type of charging system, please send BOTH cable and the cradle that attaches to the back of the unit.