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Backlights are part of the LCD display and consist of LED's. You may have to replace the entire LCD display or find another display that is cracked but has a working backlight. In most cases, you can swap backlights. There may be some soldering involved.
There are a couple of tide software updates available on Garmin.com in the downloads and updates section. You will need to register your product and download. It took me a while fumbling around before I could find the updates. I got some "no updates are" available messages but there are, so keep looking. If you have a newer computer, you will need to purchase a serial to USB converter too. I had the same inaccurate tide message and the updates fixed my GPSmap 168. ps. you will need the unit ID #, and the Garmin instructions are incorrect. Go to menu 2x, Systm, then hit menu again, and pick "software version".
Some 235s had a problem with the contrast setting. When the contrast is set to full the screen turns black.
When you turn on the GPS and the screen goes black, try tapping the left arrow on the track pad a few times. You should see the screen start to lighten. If that doesn't work, tap the power key and try tapping the left arrow a few times.