If it is switched off for more than a short period the clock loses time and it forgets it's most recent position. And it requires a cold start, that is it takes maybe 15 minutes to re-establish its current position. At that point it works OK again but I suspect the memory battery is failing.
There is a button cell soldered to the main circuit board that powers the real-time clock while the unit is off or the main battery is removed or flat. After a couple of years this button cell dies and has to be replaced. I've had this problem twice in five years, and each time replacing the button cell fixes the problem.
Needs a Garmin workshop, or someone who's good with a fine-point soldering iron.
I had the same problem. The Real Time Clock slowly started to fail and
my unit lost both time and position between uses. Had to return to
Garmin at a cost to fix of over $200.00. They could not fix it and sent
me a remanufactured unit.
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I have a 276C that has the same problem. Garmin has a unit with this
problem and is working on a solution. The problem is that the real time
clock loses time when the unit is turned off and disconnected from a
power source. As a result when you turn on the unit it thinks the
satelites are in a different orbit than where they actually are. The
unit will continue trying to aquire forever and not find the satelites.
You have to select "New Location" from the menu and select "Autolocate"
and the unit will start to look for any satelites in view. The unit
should get a fix within 15 minutes. This is a very frustrating problem
having to reset it every day. There is a new version of firmware (5.3).
I don't know if the problem has been fixed with this release.
Garmin has updates for this issue on the website but it doesn't fix all the units. Mine for example still does the whole "charge complete" thing when showing 1/2 a battery. The funny thing is I let it drain and the unit stays on for about 10 hours after it says the battery is dead. Garmin is working on a new fix and they said it should be up in about a week.
I think your problem, as it was my also, is the memory card. I tried with a friend of mine's data card (memory) and is working fine, I sent my card to garming after I talk to them over the phone for an exchange.
I have a 276C with 512Mb data card.
I hope this help you to solve it.