Our Own Story:
For those of you that own a 3xx or 6xx GPS with an on/off power switch that no longer functions....don't worry you're not alone. Two days after we purchased our GPS, our on/off power switch broke too. The problem we faced, was that we bought it from a so-called "Authorized Dealer" on eBay. It turns out that the manufacturer had never heard of the dealer and therefore refused to register our GPS and honor the warranty. The manufacturer states on their website that they will not honor the warranty if your GPS was purchased on eBay. They also state that they have no "Authorized Dealers" on eBay. When we tried to register the unit with the manufacturer, they told us that it was already registered to someone else. They did however offer to replace our GPS with a refurbished unit for a flat fee of $175.00. So, what do you do in this type of situation? We did some research on the web and discovered that the on/off switch failure issue is is a common problem with this type of GPS.
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 the main PC board. This is a design issue that could have been easily prevented by installing a custom-fit plastic block 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 little as 1/32", the flap will never reach the button on the switch to turn your GPS on.
Could This Be Problem With Your GPS?
To determine if your GPS's power switch is broken with no other issues, please confirm the following:
If all of the above conditions appear to be the symptoms of your GPS, then most likely, the on/off power switch has broken off from the main printed circuit board.
Important! - If your GPS will not power on at all using the AC wall charger, DC car charger or USB cable connected to a PC, then the power switch is NOT the problem. When a GPS is completely dead, this is a sign that a component on the board has failed. Click [HERE] to obtain more information about a dead GPS.
Is Your GPS's Power Switch Defective?
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 GPS itself.
Can Your GPS 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. The mechanical legs of the switch are not large enough to adequately secure the switch to the board and therefore the switch can not withstand the pressure exerted it from numerous presses by your finger. A custom-fit, insulated block needs to be installed between the rear body of the switch and the SD card housing. The bottom line is.....if the switch can't move, the leads won't be stressed causing them to break.
Can You Fix It Yourself?
Taking your GPS apart requires the right tools and you need to possess soldering skills using a soldering iron designed for surface mount components. You'll also need to know how to perform our unique & "proprietary" modification to your GPS's switch. There are internal flex ribbon cables for the antenna, touch screen and LCD screen. These cables are very delicate and can be torn easily if you're not careful. The antenna flex ribbon cable runs through the swivel antena shaft and is very delicate. In addition, these devices contain components that are sensitive to static discharges and can be damaged without using the proper grounding techniques. WARNING!!! Please do NOT attempt to make this repair yourself unless your are qualified to do so. We have received numerous emails from people who have gouged and cracked their GPS's case and permanently damaged their GPS's LCD screen and antenna! Save yourself the aggravation and possible damage to your GPS by allowing us fix this problem for you. Resoldering of the switch only will NOT fix this problem permanently! Please do not ask us for information on how to perform this procedure yourself. It requires the right tools and soldering skills. Save yourself the aggravation and the possibility of further damaging your GPS, by allowing us to resolve this issue for you, with our "proprietary" modification procedure.
What Makes Our Solution Unique?
Our repair approach is unique because in addition to restoring the functionality of your GPS's on/off power switch, we also resolve the problem that caused the switch to fail in the first place. We can assure you that this problem will not happen again with your GPS. In addition, you are getting back your own GPS, not another refurbished unit. All of your prior settings, "favorites", MP3 & picture files will be left intact. You will not lose any of your settings or files.
What Is Our Procedure To Repair Your GPS?
What Are The Basic Functions That We Test On Your GPS?
What Experience Do We Have To Fix Your GPS
Please click [HERE] to learn more about our Electronics background.
Is The Manufacturer Aware Of This Problem?
Yes they are. However they haven't fully resolved the problem and the cause. We've seen instances where the manufacturer attempted to address this problem by placing drops of epoxy around the mounting legs of the switch but the switch still broke free from the board. The proper way to fix this problem is to reinforce the switch body to the board and install a plastic block behind the switch so that the switch can't move and be stressed when pressed by your finger.
Is My Repair Covered By The Manufacturer's Warranty?
No it isn't. If your GPS is still under the warranty, we strongly suggest that you send it back to the manufacturer for repair or replacement. Taking apart your GPS before the warranty period has expired, violates your manufacturer's warranty. However if your warranty has expired, there is no problem in sending your GPS to someone else to have it serviced. For example, If you own a Chevrolet vehicle, no one says you have to take it back to Chevrolet or General Motors for non-warranty work. The same philosophy applies here. We do not work for any GPS manufacturer and this site is not affiliated with any GPS manufacturer in any way, whatsoever.
Do You Offer A Warranty On This Repair?
Yes, we provide a full 90-day warranty on this type of repair. We are also proud to announce that not a single GPS has been returned to us with this problem after we have repaired it.
Will My Switch Feel Any Different After Your Repair?
Your GPS's On/Off switch will feel like it did and have the same action as before it broke.
My Switch Seems OK Now, Can You Do Anything To Prevent it From Breaking Later?
Yes, our procedure can also be performed on non-broken switches and I would recommend having it done as preventive maintenance. We have given GPS's to several of our relatives and we have performed this procedure on all of their GPS's to insure they never have an issue with this problem.
How Much Do We Charge To Fix Your GPS?
The cost for this service is $25.00 USD (repair fee) + return shipping costs. Please click [HERE] for more information.
What About Shipping?
Please click [HERE] to learn more information about shipping.
How Long Will It Take To Fix Your GPS?
Most repairs are completed within a week (depending upon repair backlog). There are instances where it may take longer, if your GPS has multiple problems, like a defective on/off switch & broken screen or dead battery or bad speaker.
Good Communication Goes A Long, Long Way
We like to keep good communication going throughout the entire process. You won't be dealing with third parties like sales reps, managers or receptionists. We will be the one repairing your GPS and you'll have the opportunity to have a personal one-on-one conversation with us as we go through the process of determining the problem with your GPS and how to go about getting it repaired.
What Other GPS Repairs Do We Offer?
Please click [HERE] to see a full list of other services we provide.
If you have multiple problems with your GPS, let us know. Once we have your unit opened, we can most likely offer a discount on multiple repairs.
Do We Have Any References?
You bet we do! :) Please click [HERE] to view feedback from some of our customers, from all around the world.
Please feel free to fill out a Repair Request/Quote Form, which is located at the bottom of the left-hand menu. We'll be more than happy to discuss your GPS problem with you and attempt to offer a possible solution to have the problem resolved.