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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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.
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:
Strip a ¼” of a wire twist-tie end (the kind found on bread wrappers) bare exposing the fine wire core.
Power up your nuvi 350/360 and confirm that you are not receiving any signal.
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.
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.
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:
Purchase & use an external antenna.
Return the GPS to Garmin for repair ($175 if its out-of-warranty). Or,
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 email@example.com.
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.