I don't know if this is the recommended way. Hold the unit facing you and look at the top of the unit. There is a seam about ¼” from the front.I simply used a small jewelers screwdriver and inserted it at the top of the unit about 1" from the side. I lifted the front section a little bit.It released one of six tabs that hold the face plate in place (two on top and two on each side). Repeat the same step on the other side then the sides.When you remove the face plate the silver on/off button will fall out, but don’t worry about that.Here is the tricky part.It has four star screws holding the back of the case to the electronics unit.I took a trip to the local Harbor Freight store and bought a star wrench set for $3.99.Remove the four screws and presto you can take the back casing right off.The batteries are at the bottom, but I can’t find any info on what type they are, so I don’t know what to replace them with, at least not yet.
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This has plagued me for a while until I found the answer on Lowrance's website. Apparently, there are three rubindium crystals in the location sensor that go bad over time. Mine lasted three years. If you shake the unit for about 10 seconds, the liquid in the rubindium crystals activates and your position will be immediately found. Unfortunately, there is no user servicable access to change the crystals. Just shake it and it will continue to work and next time buy a Garmin or TomTom. They are much better.
The updates it is referring to are the NAVTEQ database updates. This is the turn by turn street mapping and an update is available every year. You can purchase updates from the Lowrance accessories website http://www.lei-extras.com/store/search.asp?SearchType=Unit&Unit=iWAY+350C. The part number for this update is 95-63.
But you don't NEED this update. It costs $74.99 and may not even include updated street information for where you are. I would use it as is and if you think the street mapping is too behind, take the $74.99 and put it into a new Automotive GPS...you can get really good ones for under $100 now.
I do recommend installing the latest firmware update for the iWay 350 from http://www.lowrance.com/en/Products/Automotive/iWAY-350C/Downloads/iWAY-350C-Software-Update/.
Unfortunately Lowrance is no longer repairing the iWay 500c model due to lack of parts. You may try calling them at (800) 324-1356 and ask if i's repairable. They may offer you an upgrade to the newer iWay 600c for a reasonable price. Well it's cheaper than a new iWay anyway...
Unfortunately there are no parts or repair manuals available outside Lowrance for any of their models.