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Etrex Vista unused for a year

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Last year I upgraded to a VistaC and the old Vista had its batteries removed and was put in a drawer. Tonight I put in fresh batteries and turned it on. And off and on again a few times. Each successive time there was more action on the screen: horizontal lines, then slow screen flash, then more lines. The last time I turned it off and then on the lines were vertical and then the screen turned a blue color with some shimmering of the screen. And so it has remained for about 30 minutes.


I have a friend who would like to borrow it, but I don't think so. Anything I can do before I call Garmin to send it in?

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It sounds to me like if the LCD screen is not actually broken, its a loose ribbon cable inside the unit. There are guides online, i'm not sure of any I can find right now. I'm sure if you look back in the forums you'll find a guide for opening it up for some reason or another. Once in it, find the ribbon cable that plugs the LCD into the main circuit board and lift the latches on each side of the socket and pull the cable out carefully. Clean the cable off with alcohol and firmly (but gently) push it into the socket and lock it in place. This SHOULD solve the problem, but if it's still under warrenty, opening it will void your warrenty and it is hard to get the water-tight seal again. I'd suggest you call Garmin and they almost always send a brand new unit within a week (often they'll do it even if its out of warrenty! :laughing:)

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I'll research it tomorrow...it's my bedtime now.

I might just call Garmin tomorrow, too. A new, undinged, unscratched (and not yet loved) unit would be cool!

Thanks for the quick reply.

[My hubby was a Ft Lewis for 8 years a while back!]

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Another two things to try:

- if there is any question about the batteries not being fully charged, try some other batteries

- you might try seeing if you can re-install the latest firmware. You can obtain it and instruction at the Garmin web page.

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Call Garmin. If it's recently out of warranty, they may repair it for free. Garmin is liberal with providing excellent service.


If you're far out of warranty, Garmin has a fixed price repair for a like-new reconditioning. See here. It's $150 for the VistaC, but it's still cheaper than buying a new unit. I did it for my Vista and fixed a number of small joystick and button wear and battery connection issues and also got all the dings and scratches out.

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I tried to call Garmin today, and had to hang up before my 20 - 30 minute wait was up. So, I went caching instead and left the Etrex Vista in the car. I am now home and am back on hold with Garmin, so I thought I'd try to turn the Vista on and low and behold! the darn thing turned on! It's slow, but seems to be OK!


I'm still going to talk to them... and I just did. They extended the warrenty for a year and gave me a new return number just in case it messes up again.

Sweet. We'll see how it goes.


Thanks for the replies!

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