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GPS Stopped Working

Discovery Scout
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I was driving on the interstate looking for a TB Hotel when my GPS screen went blank and then it said "Loading: Loader". It froze and I turned it off. Since then it won't turn back on. Even when I put new batteries in the unit all it does is flash briefly when I press the power button.


I wrote to Garmin support and they said I can send it in to be fixed. The catch is there is a flat rate for the fix - 186 dollars. It is a Garmin 76CS and I have had it just 1.5 years now. Just long enough to be out of warranty and not long enough (in my opinion) to be broken.


I don't know what to do.... I can't decide if I should:

a ) Throw it away and stop geocaching

b ) Send it in and pay for the repair and shipping and handling (for a unit that is now discontinued)

c ) Throw it away and buy a new model


It is a tough decision because it is so expensive. If this was a 50 dollar unit I would be upset but I think I could handle buying a new one without regrets. I know there are cheaper GPS units but now I am spoiled with the compass, driving directions, color map, games, etc.


I feel kind of bad because three days before my Garmin stopped working I bought a Garmin Forerunner 305 for my running. I hope this doesn't do as badly as the 76CS.


I know I have to decide for myself, but what would you do? Has anyone run into the same problem with their GPS?


If anyone has the 76CS, could you do me a favor? Look at the buttons from the side. Is the power button on your unit lower than the other buttons? Mine is and I was wondering if maybe the button is depressed/stuck for some reason and maybe that is the problem. I didn't pay attention to this before but the power button is lower than the rest. Just curious.




Edited by Discovery Scout
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First thing I'd try is a GPS reset. Don't know how to do it, just that it can be done.


After that it's a matter of budget. Would you buy a new GPS for 150 bucks? Think of the 186 as a sunk cost. You are going to pay it and have what you had before. Or you can pay 150 more for the newer better version. Unless of course all you have is the 186 bucks. Then the decision is easy.

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I have also heard from many in the forums here that their customer service is excellent as well. I would call them and talk directly to someone first before sinking that money into the repair. Sometimes talking with someone in person will get better results than a simple email. Can't hurt to try anyway. Here are a couple of the US numbers.....- 1-800-800-1020 (U.S.)

- 1-888-442-7646 (U.S.)

Edited by haffy
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Thanks for the replies. Garmin support gave me a couple of the reset codes but nothing worked. It is strange that the unit just won't start. It does briefly flash when I press the button for the first time. I have to take the battery out and then put it back in to be able to press the power button and make it flash. The reset codes just don't make it do anything.


I will call Garmin but it looks like they are only open on weekdays. I keep hoping that it will fix itself. :rolleyes:

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HMMMMM??? What to do, what to do???? Well I own 2 garmin GPSr and they have very reliable except my gpsmap 60c took a dump but it did get fixed under warranty. I think what happened may or may not be a fluke. I would not spend the 186.00 dollars to get it fixed. Save the money. There are SEVERAL websites to get new GPSr's for a great price. Save up and get the new 76CX/CSX and see what happens. You should be ok.....


P.S. Option A is not an option!!!!!!!

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Call this number 1-800-800-1020 and speak to the service tech. My Garmin IQue 3600 stopped working last week and I was issued an RMA to send the unit in for repair. The service rep that I spoke to placed my RMA as a warranty item although my warranty expired two years ago. I was told that my flat rate for out of warranty repairs is $150 which I would never pay since you can get a better GPS unit for about the same price. Unless you are really fond of you old GPS, I'll recommend to you to buy a new one vs. fixing an old one.

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Try the reset, if that fails contact Garmin, their CS is quite good and there is a good chance they will replace the unit for you even though it is out of warranty.

my garmin etrex started having problems at 16 months and garmin told me $99 to fix or tough s***


This is a GOOD REASON to just buy a cheap gps for caching, and next time it'll be a MAGELLEN :)

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I don't have a Garmin, but I would just offer two thoughts as possibilities...


* Re-apply the operating system of the GPS of you can get your computer to recognize it. I don't know if that's how it is done on Garmins, but that solved a problem I was having on my Magellan gps.


* See if the place you bought it has any extended warranty of any sort. Some of the places that are really good about replacing items like this are Costco, Sams Club, and REI. They don't even necessarily have to have a formal policy. It doesn't hurt to ask.


Good luck!

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Thanks guys for the replies. I wish I could reinstall the operating system but it won't turn on and when I plug it into the USB port nothing happens.


I am going to call Garmin hopefully Monday or Tuesday and see what they say. I don't think I will pay for it to be repaired. It probably is a minor problem and they will fix it in two minutes and charge me 186 bucks. I am surprised that tech support (through several emails) could not tell me why it would even say "Loading: Loader". Mine can't be the first Garmin to say that.


That would be great if I call and they give me a break. I may look at Magellan but I haven't heard many good things about them.


I bought my GPS through amazon.com and didn't buy an extended warranty. :)

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