Question about Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

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Nuvi 350 cannot locate satellites - Garmin Nuvi 350 Car GPS Receiver

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  • lolamanda Aug 03, 2008

    I have the same problem. my 350 lost satellite signal in the mountains, and hasn't been able to acquire satellites since.

  • Anonymous Dec 26, 2008

    will not acquire satellites

  • Anonymous Mar 22, 2009

    nuvi cannot receive signal

    SHARCNET-USA May 11, 2010

    Please see this link for more specific information about this problem. I will be more than glad to help you with this problem.

    - Jim


3 Answers

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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.

Posted on Mar 05, 2009

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This problem is not caused by poor solder joints. It's caused by a defective part. We sent a "marked" defective unit to the repair shop mentioned below and upon its return, disamantled the GPS receiver assembly and made the following evaluation:

1. The shop did NOT replace the defective component causing the initial problem in the 1st place. The defective part was STILL in the circuit.

2. The shop placed a wire jumper between the internal antenna and the external antenna port. This type of modification places a +2.5VDC bias on the internal antenna and essentially shorts the internal antenna to the external antenna (when connected), giving unpredictable results. It also affects the circuit impedance and signal strength. This is not the correct way to resolve this issue.

3. The defective part needs to be replaced with a higher rated part. This type of repair returns the unit to full functionality and allows the unit to properly switch between the internal and external antenna as it was intended to do by design

- Jim
Comments: Feb 03, 2010- I will aso add, as the part deteriorates, it becomes resistive and can eventually short out and shunt the incoming RF signal to ground......EVEN with the jumper procedure performed by the shop mentioned above.

- Jim

Posted on Feb 17, 2010

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Just to let anyone interested know, I did send my Nuvi to Westek Electronics for the $55 repair of the "no satellite" problem. I received the repaired Nuvi back in 3 days and it has been working perfectly ever since (about a one and a half months now). They provided great & fast service at reasonable price. If you are having this same problem I highly recommend you send it to them for repair. Thanks, 36rn

Posted on May 15, 2009

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SOURCE: Nuvi 350 satellite reception problem

Having taken several Nuvi's apart, the flip up antenna has a 1/4" wide flat flex cable that runs from the flip up antenna assembly to the main board.

The flex cable carries the voltages required to power the antenna assembly and bring the signals back to the main board.

There is actually a printed circuit board in the flip up antenna assembly. It's possible that this is the receiver itself.

The flex cable runs through the round center hinge of the antenna assembly on the right (looking at the Nuvi from the rear) back to the main board.

There is also a magnet involved with the flip up antenna assembly that tells the main board whether the antenna is up or down. If the antenna is down, the Nuvi will NOT look for satellites.

A couple things can happen here that can make your Nuvi not find satellites: Assuming you have tried a hard & soft reset:

1. The antenna flex ribbon cable has become damaged.
2. The antenna flex ribbon cable has become detached from either end (it's held in with just a snap down flap).
3. The magetic switch isn't operating correctly and the main board thinks the antenna is down.
4. The front-end receiver has failed.

If your good at taking things apart (and the Nuvi is a little tricky to take apart), you might be able to verify some of the possibilities I mentioned above.

You might also try looking for a Nuvi for parts on eBay. Maybe you can find one that has a bad LCD screen and salvage the antenna from it.

Good luck!
- Jim

Posted on Jul 10, 2008

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SOURCE: how do I set the Garmin Nuvi 350 interior antenna?

The internal antenna/GPS is defective and needs repaired/replaced. Please see this link:

- Jim

Posted on Oct 08, 2009

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SOURCE: My Garvin Nuvi 350 doesn't acquire satellites.

Please see this link. Common problem.

- Jim

Posted on Feb 22, 2010

  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: How do I get my Nuvi 350 to acquire satellites?

I had this problem once. I used a tiny screwdriver to reset the Nuvi through the reset button at the bottom. Make sure the antenna is down when you restart. Once you get to the main screen open the antenna only half way - like 45 degrees from the main unit. It may take a few minutes to locate the satellites.

Posted on Apr 10, 2010

  • 2124 Answers

SOURCE: I can't get any signal from satellite for my garmin nuvi 350

This is a common problem. Please read more about it here:

- Jim

Posted on Aug 05, 2010

  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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