Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Garmin Nuvi Switch Problems   
For those of you that own a Nuvi 350/360/660 with an on/off power switch problem....don't worry you're not alone - The same thing happened to me.

Here's why it happens:

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 on the button, the very small solder leads of the switch are stressed and eventually the switch breaks off from the main PC board. This is a design flaw and it could have been easily prevented by gluing a small piece of custom-fit 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.

Another possibility of failure because of poor support, is that the switch body may have bent down and away from the case's on/off flap that pushes the switch. There is a plastic stop pin in the case that prevents the flap from going down too far. So, if the switch has been bent down as much as 1/16", the flap will never reach the button on the switch.

Can it be fixed? Yes...... but it's not just a simple matter of just resoldering the switch. Without fixing the original support issue, the problem will certainly happen again. In some cases, the printed circuit board tracks may have lifted up off the board and need to be bypassed with wires.

The proper way to fix this problem is to improve the mechanical mounting of the switch by securing its metal body to the motherboard groundplane with pre-tinned buswire. The mechanical leads of the switch are not enough to secure the switch to the board. A custom-fit plastic block needs to be glued between the rear body of the switch and the SD card housing. Bottom line, if the switch can't move, the leads won't be stressed causing them to break.

It's very unlikely that the switch itself is bad. The life cycle of this switch is 250,000 cycles. For example, if you pressed it 20 times per day for an entire year, that would add up to 7,300 presses per year. Divide 250,000 cycles by 7,300 and it would take 34.25 years before the switch would fail. No doubt the switch will outlive the Nuvi itself.

Taking the Nuvi apart itself requires the right tools. The internal flex cables for the antenna, touch screen and LCD screen are delicate and can be torn easily if you're not careful. The antenna flex cable runs through the swivel antena shaft and is very delicate.

You will need a surface mount desoldering/soldering station with illuminated magnifier. A standard soldering iron is far too big to solder the leads and will overheat the solder pads, lifting them off the board. All work should also be performed with proper grounding to eliminate static charge issues.

To determine if your Nuvi's switch is broken with no other issues, please confirm the following:

1. Pressing the on/off switch has no effect and the switch feels mushy
when pressed - no soft click.

2. The unit powers up and operates normally when using the car adapter
or USB adapter and can be turned off by pressing the reset button.

If the above conditions appear to be the symptoms of your Nuvi 350,
then most likely, the on/off switch has broken off from the main
printed circuit board.

Please contact me at KS3R at sharc dot net if you would like further information about this problem and how to get it quickly repaired.

Best wishes,
- Jim
Pittsburgh, PA

Post Response 
03:24:51 PM
Follow up on Garmin Nuvi Switch
This is great information. Thank you Jim. It made a difference in what I will buy next time I will go for my GPS upgrade!
Post Reply

09:53:32 AM
Oh boy!
That says it all Jim! Normally, I would just hand down to a friend or family if something bad goes with my toys. If mine gets this problem, I will just ask my nephew to contact you so it can be fixed.
Post Reply

03:21:28 AM
I have Garmin nuvi200.. i download and delete one map from the internet after that i tried to switch on Garmin but it failed and the following message came:\r\n
"No detailed maps found that support routing. The nuvy cannot be used without them"
Post Reply

05:47:44 PM
garmin nuvi 350 freeze screen
garmin Nuvi 350 was working fin then just froze on enter code, will toggel between setting screen and where to go with power button. locked up then when i got home which is my unlock area it opened up a little more - the back button is dark like its perssed and it wont respond to touch
Post Reply

07:17:45 PM
Garmin Nuvi 660 Problem
Since I updated my Nuvi, the unit will not charge up in the car. The 12V socket is fine. Has anyone experienced this problem? Maybe my cord went bad, but it's highly coincidental. The unit will work for a few seconds before winking out on low battery.
Post Reply

03:27:10 PM
this unit turns off after booting up whats wrong?
Post Reply

09:35:05 PM
Switch problem
Don't try to open it your self without any proper tools....
Post Reply

06:54:41 PM
Garmin NUVI 660 problem
I've been using after market chargers in car and on ac. They worked fine for a long time. Now, my Garmin Nuvi 660 seems to turn off (goes into "charge mode" or something) when I plug my car charger into the slot on the side of the Garmin (not the connection built into the windshield mount.) I took it back to Best Buy (where I bought it). They said "It has a short. Just buy another one.") Do I need to order a replacement charger from Garmin, if available, or is the thing washed up. It seems to work fine when just on batter power, so I can charge it from my computer or an ac charger. It's just when I try to use it with the car charger that it goes out. Of course, I can use if briefly on the battery, but it turns off in about a minute or two when on the battery. Thanks, sam424
Post Reply

10:56:40 PM
white screen
so my navigator stopped working and I shut it down and it wouldnt turn back on and I tried about 3 more times it then turnned on and a white screen apears with a small dot in the left bottem corner, it says press button and I did and nothing happened and it seems to be stuck on that screen please help
Post Reply

03:22:27 PM
Nuvi 50LM
Works well, but the push button popped out and it is lost. I may be able to make one. How does one open the unit? I have pried, a bit, but it won't pop open
Post Reply

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