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If a wall powered charger is used it could be bad or the connection from it to the unit damaged---happens if the charger is connected/disconnected a lot----same thing can happen if using the lighter plug adapter for charging.
The one supplied with the Garmin expects you to plug the GPS into the PC via the USB and if you use this to try and charge your Garmin in your car it will think it is connected to the PC and show the connection screen. it will charge the unit but you can't see the map.!!!
Make sure that you buy a lead specially for the Garmin for use in the car its the only type of SAT NAV that you will have this problem with.
Are you charging through the computer or wall charge,I charge my Garmin 255w with a wall charger for about 3 hours and I have all the bars.There are different strengths of chargers but even so,overnight is excessive,try a different charger.
On a Nuvi 200W, when you plug in the charger, the battery status icon should go away indicating that you are no longer on battery power and that you are now running on an external power source. You should also hear a beep when you plug in the charger.
To go into charge mode, move the on/off switch to the left like you would be going to turn it off but only hold it on long enough until you hear it beep or the screen goes black and says "Battery Charging". When the battery is fully charged, touching the screen, it should say "Battery Charge Complete". If its not fully charged, touching the screen, it will say that it's still in charge mode.
Went to Best Buy and they didn't know how to get the bar up either but said that the unit should be charged in 3 to 4 hours. So, when i unplugged the unit from the wall...the battery status showed up. I guess it doesn't show when the unit is plugged into the AC charger. Now, all is well.
Generally most batterys are left on the charger overnight, thats a good way to ensure a full charge, but as you will be using it in your car, it doesn't matter much as power is always available.
To ensure best possible battery life when you have a brand new battery, charge it fully and then drain it almost to 0% Draining most batterys into 0% will be harmfull instead of helpful, I assume the nuvi uses a Li-ion battery so draining it fully is not a good idea, drain it almost fully and then charge it fully.
And you are good to go, repeat the process if you leave the unit unused for a month or two for best battery life.
Have you used the wall charger to fully charge the battery? If the battery is too low after lying around for a month it wil not start, giving it a couple of minutes of charging wo'nt help either, a good and full charge will!