Question about Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

2 Answers

How do you open the nuvi 350 case?

I need to repair the unit's on-off switch connections.

How do I get into the unit?

p.s. Garmin wants $175 to make the repair!!! A new unit with updated maps is nearly the same price. A call to Garmin was no help as they would be happy to drive you to a new purchase with their **** customer support design. I think this will be the last Garmin anything for me.

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  • natebfree Jul 04, 2008

    i have to press hard and even wiggle my finger from side to side on the switch cover before i can get the unit to turn on or off. very frustrating. surely there is a simple solution to replace the switch.

  • aross14 Mar 05, 2009

    My switch is broken. The only way to turn the unit on is to plug it in. The lock is activated. HELP!

    SHARCNET-USA May 11, 2010

    As I have said in previous posts, it is a Garmin design flaw. Resoldering the connections will not prevent the problem from happening again. In some cases (like mine), the printed circuit board traces may have ripped up from the main board, making it impossible to resolder them. In those cases, you have to use heavy gauge bus wire to firm up the mechanical leads that support the switch to ground AND use wire-wrap wire (28 gauge or smaller) to solder to the switch contacts/pads and re-run the new wires to the main board, bypassing the damaged PCB tracks. In addition, you need to insert and glue in a piece of plastic between the body of the switch and the SD card housing to give the switch support so that the switch is not stressed when its pushed. Even if the tracks can be re-soldered, you need to still insert & glue in the plastic piece between the switch body and SD card housing or I can guarantee you will have the same problem once again in a short time. The solder pads on the main PCB are too small and do not allow adequate solder to be applied to hold the switch. You are looking at soldering areas that are about the size of a pinhead (surface mount technology). You will need a very small-tip soldering iron & magnifying lamp and the pads are very difficult to reach as they are behind the switch, between the switch and the SD card housing. You will also have to know how to unlock the antenna ribbon cable from the main board in order to be able to freely work on the main board. You'll need a small Torx set screwdriver and plastic tool to separate the top and bottom halves of the unit so you don't damage the plastic case if you use a screw driver. My question would is - Do you feel comfortable attempting all this? There is a chance you can further damage the unit. The antenna ribbon cable can be easily damaged if you're not careful. Once you remove the spring loaded pin, (these pieces can shoot across the room and get lost) you need to use a rubber band to hold the antenna assembly in place or you will rip the antenna ribbon cable. I have repaired many of these units reasonably. Let me know if you want me to fix it for you. Email me at KS3R at sharc dot net.

    - Jim



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I sent you the instructions. Please rate my solution to close this thread thanks!

Posted on Jul 07, 2008


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Yes, I have received a great response from sharcnet. Thanks for asking

Posted on Jul 03, 2008


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1 Answer

My garmin 350nuvi will not acquire sattelites

Make sure to flip your antenna horizontally or 90 degrees and not vertically or 180 dgrees. I see to many people try to use their older nuvi this way and it does not function well.
Try also updating your unit with the latest firmware from Garmin, this helps sometimes.
You may have moved to a location that is far away from the last location your Garmin nuvi 350 was last use, try to keep your unit on for 30 minutes or more to see if it will acquire GPS sattelites.
Last, certain vehicles have shielded windshields and GPS does not work well with these windshield, this can be eaisly verify by simply taking your nuvi 350 out of your vehicle and turn it on with a clear view to the sky, if that still does not work, it could be a defective GPS receiver or GPS connection in which case you should consider sending it in to Auto Nav 2000 Plus, Inc in San Jose CA or Garmin.
You may also consider replacing your nuvi 350 with a newer model nuvi with fresher map.

Good luck

Apr 03, 2010 | Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

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Garmin 350 On off switch

I'll get back to you, very soon.

Aug 06, 2008 | Garmin nuvi 350 GPS Receiver

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Nuvi 350 cannot locate satellites

I own & operate the electronics repair company, Westek Electronics in Nashville, TN. We repair & refurbish GPS units among other things. We have repaired many nuvi 350/360 units with this issue.

This issue is typically due to a hardware malfunction and cannot be remedied by software upgrades, resetting, etc.

Do this test:

  1. Strip a ¼” of a wire twist-tie end (the kind found on bread wrappers) bare exposing the fine wire core.
  2. Power up your nuvi 350/360 and confirm that you are not receiving any signal.
  3. While still powered on, insert the bare-wire end of the twist-tie into the center female external antenna jack located on the side of the antenna. If done correctly the external antenna jack will firmly hold the twist-tie in place. You cannot damage the unit by doing this.
  4. If you now have satellite reception then proceed to step 5. If you still do not have any reception then I have no further advice other than to try all of the update/reset procedures. If all else fails return to Garmin for repair.
  5. Once you have established that you have signal using the twist-tie, remove the twist-tie and confirm signal loss.

Your choices to remedy this issue is as follows:

  1. Purchase & use an external antenna.
  2. Return the GPS to Garmin for repair ($175 if its out-of-warranty). Or,
  3. Send your Garmin Nuvi 350/360 to us for repair. We charge $55 (return shipping included) to repair this malfunction. We can also accommodate this repair transaction via eBay in order to provide you with additional reassurance (an addition $5 is added to cover eBay fees, etc. when using this option). Our eBay ID is westek_electronics, feel free to review our feedback ratings. Our repairs are covered by a 30-day warranty. If for some reason we are unable to successfully complete the repair we will return the unit to you and charge only $10 for return shipping. To initiate your repair contact us at

Hope this helps.

Jul 13, 2008 | Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

1 Answer

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Thanks Jim, but problem was a loose flat cable cable connection from main pcb to screen.

Jul 08, 2008 | Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

3 Answers

Nuvi 350 on off problems

This is a common problem with the Nuvi series. The on/off switch is a surface mount switch that is mounted vertically off of the main PC board.

The problem is, that there is no support behind the switch, so when you press down the button, the solder leads of the switch are stressed and eventually break off the main PC board. This is a design flaw and could have been easily prevented by wedging a small piece of plastic between the rear of the switch and the SD card housing to give the switch support.

Also, the solder pads for the mechanical connections of the switch could have been made bigger, allowing for more surface area and more solder application.

I have repaired many of these before and I'll be posting a step-by-step procedure on how to fix this and prevent it from happening again.

I must point out however, that in order to make this repair, you will need to have skills in dissassembly and soldering.

Also, please only attempt this procedure if your unit is out of warranty.

If you would like for me to repair your GPS, please email me at KS3R at sharc dot net.

- Jim

Jun 22, 2008 | Garmin nuvi 350 GPS Receiver

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The USB port is soldered to the circuit board, it didn't slide in, it broke due to brute force. I think you have to fork out $170

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you need to solder the headphone jack connection on circuit board,how do I open the case without cracking it,there is some resistance on the side the switch is on

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Likely a mechanical failure of the power switch. I called Garmin, described the problem, got an RMA number, mailed in my 350, and received a refurbished unit in less than 1 week.

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