Question about Garmin GPS III

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Garmin GPS III LCD screen problem

My Garmin GPS III recently "stopped working"... or DID it? It powers up with both battery and car adapter, and the only reason I know that it's operating is that the backlight lights up. The GPS III only has a simple monochrome LCD screen, and mine is [apparently] shot. I have owned this GPS for several years (bought it new when they first came out), and I love it.

The ONLY thing I can come up with: I bought a RAM vehicle mount for the GPS, and mounted it on the left A-pillar (i.e. driver's side of the windshield) of my truck; which is where it resided for a couple of years (aside from removing it occasionally to rough-locate property boundaries, et cetera, when I carried it by hand). I also carried it on my ATV occasionally, to mark trail ride routes, et cetera.

I'm thinking that the LCD screen PERHAPS might have been damaged by sitting in direct sunlight (i.e. under my truck windshield) for so long... but I don't know for sure. My 3-year-old son loves to play in my truck, and I'm thinking he might have pressed enough buttons on it to lower the screen contrast to where I can't even see it. (?)

Is there a "FACTORY RESET" procedure for the Garmin GPS III? I have the manual (somewhere), but cannot find it! I really DO NOT want to pay to have the thing fixed... I'm assuming the repair cost(s) would come close to the price of a new GPS unit. (?)

Yes, I have replaced the batteries (several times), and used my vehicle power cord to power the unit. The only thing that works (visually) is the backlight.

Someone PLEASE help me... I use my GPS a lot!!!

Thanks in advance!!!

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  • 2 more comments 
  • Anonymous Jul 02, 2008

    Screen on my GPS III will not light up. I have replaced the batteries with new batteries, to no avail.

  • Anonymous Jul 02, 2008

    The screen on my GPS III receiver will not light up. I have replaced the batteries with new ones. This is a ten year old unit. Is it "dead"?

  • Anonymous Jan 01, 2009

    i have the same problem, i am thinking it is the internal battery , does anyone know how to change it

  • Agent0013 Jan 21, 2009

    I have a Garmin GPS III that has a broken screen. I got it from a friend that had let rain get on it and after opening it up and cleaning it, it worked fairly well. I tried cleaning it up again because the memory was getting lost and now the screen is definitely broken.

    If anyone has one of these that does not work anymore, but the screen is not the problem. Then maybe we can work something out where I could get it from you to swap parts to fix mine. I would be willing to pay around $20.

    Email me at



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I have a GPSII+ that has a screen problem. Several of the x and y coordinates have failed and I think it is due to condensation in the unit due to hot day temps then cold nights. If I open it and dry out the unit for a while... the display will be better but will not return to full display. Some of the X and Y lines don't work.

Posted on Dec 08, 2009

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I saw a site that shows you how to replace the battery but I cannot remember it. Maybe try a google search. But there is a way to change it.

Posted on Jun 18, 2008

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Dear ckcamp I don't think it is your screen - I have a III and I never left it in the sun and hardly ever used it.  All of the sudden - nothing on the screen.  I suspect it has something to do with the internal battery - the one that retains your memory.  The manual states that it is suppose to last up to 10 years.  Well, I don't remember how old mine is but I'm guessing that is it.  You can see the backlight initiate but nothing no matter how many AA batts you put in.  My guess is that if we replace the internal battery - if possible - it will start up.  I look forward to seeing you post if you are sucessful in finding out how to replace that batt.  Good luck.

Posted on May 18, 2008

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