Question about Garmin eTrex Vista GPS Receiver

4 Answers

Rubber band around case got loose, then broken

First: I am reasonably satisfied with my E-trex Vista, which I purchased in 2003 (it was a truly Expensive-First-Class-De-Luxe purchase then), and keeps soldiering on loyally over my auto dashboard after five years.

Yes, the screen tends to draw strange lines all of a sudden, image disappears or gets crazy, but that can be solved by removing batteries for a reset, or hitting it gently over the Earth-like logo with two fingers.

And yes, that joystick-like little thing tends not to react to movement when you most need to change a route or a waypoint; that usually gets fixed as soon as you turn on or off the screen light. I sincerely hope Garmin has corrected such flaws in later versions.

But REAL trouble is with that cute black rubber band... at first sight, it seems to be a good and simple idea: looks cool, gets a soft-handling feeling, makes the unit easy to operate, softens impacts, well, all fine. But that's just for a while (ok, that while amounts to a few thousand miles, but that's what an automobile GPS is supposed to resist, isn't it?).

I always remove the GPS from the sun when the car is parked for more than a few minutes, but anyway, on its second year of roaming, glue started to melt when exposed to heat and handling the GPS got kind of sticky and unconfortable.

The third year the rubber band got loose and started moving around, spreading glue everywhere; most remarkably, all over the fingers of the person operating the GPS. I tried to glue it back, but I just did'nt find the right kind of adhesive, for it never fixed and made things worse. I also tried to tie almost any conceivable kind of thread and/or wire around the GPS, to keep the rubber in place, but to no avail.

The fourth year the rubber finally broke; let's say it lost its "O" shape to become an open "U", so it got impossible to keep it in place. Since then, I have found nobody, from Garmin.com all the way down to grass-roots dealers, who can offer me a replacement rubber band.

I suppose the cost of such replacement part should be much less than replacing, let's say, the LCD display or the satellite decoding chip (I'm guessing). But nobody would put it for sale: it's just a rubber band! It probably seems nonsense to advertise it among all those trendy accesories.

Now I'm operating the GPS... yes, by pushing the buttons extra-firmly over the water protecting layer (now fortunately clean of glue), for there is no rubber band anymore.

So... my questions are:

1. I need to find somebody somewhere who can sell me a new rubber band for a Garmin E-trex Vista.

2. I would like somebody to suggest Garmin people, back there in Kansas, to chose a reasonably heat-resistant glue, so their units can be actualy used over auto dashboards for long travels without desintegrating.

3. And, were that possible, may the rubber band be made from some kind of rubber that does not expand or break after repeated exposition to sun.

Thanks. I hope you can help me find a solution; otherwise, I have discharged my feelings anyway, so thanks again.

G. F. Kloss

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  • Anonymous Aug 04, 2008

    I too could use a replacement band, but for a Garmin etrex Legned HCx. Even though the unit is quite rugged, it didn't hold up well to being chewed-on by my golden retriever. Fortunately the unit appears to function correctly. Unfortunately the soft band suffered irreparable damage. Any help in locating a source for a replacement band would be greatly appreciated.

  • capt3581 Nov 30, 2008

    My band has come loose also from just sitting in my vehicle in the back seat. Can't find anyone or any replacement for that piece also. I'd hate to have to buy another entire unit just to have the band back to normal.

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I had the same problem with my Vista 1 year ago. I tried the contact cement and worked fine for a couple of weeks. I tried another brand of contact cement and had the same problem (the adhesive unsticks from the rubber band). I finally solve the problem cleaning everything (be sure to remove ALL of the adhesive from both gps and rubber band to ensure a good contact between them) and putting some drops of Locktite instant glue on the water protective layer side, and then carefully place the rubber band on its place (don't forget that you have only a few seconds to work with instant glue) . Just be carefull and don't apply adhesive very close to the buttons. It worked for me for more than 11 months....and still working...

Posted on Aug 10, 2008

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I really need a rubber for my venture cx. Isn´t there any place where we could buy it?
I shoul be greatfull for solutions
bignando@gmail.com

Posted on Sep 05, 2008

I have the same issue and am now e-mailing with Garmin about it. I love my eTrex Legend Cx but the loose band, and associated goo is not good. My thought now is to take the band off, clean off all of the goo (that used to be glue) and use contact cement to re-install it.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008

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Hi, I have exactly same problem. As matter of fact, I don't use GPS on the dashboard and still having the same problem.

I asked Garmin dealer and they said they can fix it at minimum repair charge which is $200. I think the rubber band cost is only $2-5 per unit. I can not afford it. If I pay $250, I can buy entire brand new etrex vista.

Posted on Jul 22, 2008

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