Garmin reliability? makes me wonder

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Mike in Atlanta, May 26, 2007.

  1. Mike in Atlanta

    Mike in Atlanta Oh Noes

    Joined:
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    First I would like to start with saying Garmin makes some very cool and useful GPS units.

    BUT

    I am on my 3rd NEW Garmin GPS that has failed in the first 3 months. Their customer service is great, I see why as it is used quite often, lol. This is getting out of hand.

    2610, died 3 or maybe 4months into my ownership. Mounted on a GS1150, very little offroad or wet weather use.

    2730, Moisture behind the screen issue, delamnating but a crack head stole it before I sent it back.

    Zumo, today it just shuts off and now will only get to the loading maps page and does nothing. removed battery, reset it etc, nothing helps. On a friggin holiday weekend with a ride planned and stored in the Zumo. Great break out the trusty GPS V hope I can remember the route.


    I dont get it. 1 unit I could understand, 2 is just bad luck but 3 in a row is just plain bad product. Polling the local folks I know with Garmins tend to paint a like picture. More than 50% had issues, replaced units etc.

    Bummer as I really like the Zumo

    Sorry for venting.

    Mike
    #1
  2. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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    Bummer, man. You must have gotten all the bad samples I would normally have gotten. I've had seven Garmins over the last 12 years without a problem (knock wood). Gave three away when they became redundant and still have the other four. Good stuff.

    CHeers.
    #2
  3. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    I had e-map fail after a couple years. Vibration caused loose "super cap". Then connection from mother board to display failed.

    Next I had 76C battery clip break due to vibration of batteries. A friends did exact same thing after 1.5 years.

    Bought a backup 76C ( I use for business and can not be without GPS to save tracks), it got rattle and failed first time out. Garmin gave me new one and it has been working for a year.

    Bottom line, they don't lilke vibration!
    #3
  4. sherpa

    sherpa ...Robert

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    I'm wondering the same thing....I've been through two 276C's in the last three years and before that I had a 2610 that went belly up. I'm waiting right now for my latest replacement to arrive. If I didn't have all my bikes wired and mounted for the 276C I might have considered another product this time.
    #4
  5. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    I am wondering if there are any common elements for you guys who have had the failures. What kind of mounts are you using, and where are the mounts located?
    #5
  6. xrmattaz

    xrmattaz sputum is my bread/butter

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    Wonder how many of "US" keep a trusty GPS V just in case?

    I've got mounts on the VStrom and DRZ for the 2730, haven't killed it yet after a couple months of trying.....
    #6
  7. Mike in Atlanta

    Mike in Atlanta Oh Noes

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    2610 & 2730 were mounted in a ram mount on the handle bars of my 1150. They were used in my cage 95% of the time though.

    Zumo mounted in stock mount on the handle bar.
    #7
  8. excelfreak

    excelfreak Been here awhile

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    bought a 276C probably 3 years ago, acted up in the first week
    was returned with no questions
    the replacement has been working without flaws since then

    as long as they replace it, I am not too worried. Of course it sucks since you "need" it, that is unfortunate, but I wouldn't hestitate using Garmin again.
    #8
  9. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    My 276c survived a 70 MPH grinding and is still ticking. It was mounted on my KLR last year when a tiedown broke, flipping the bike off the trailer and on to the handle bars on the interstate. The footpeg hung up on the side of the trailer and kept the bike upside down and hanging on the trailer till I could get stoppped. The GPS was lying about a hundred yards back on the shoulder. The antenna and power cord were gone. I had an extra antenna from an old unit I put on and it works just fine. :clap
    #9
  10. Mike in Atlanta

    Mike in Atlanta Oh Noes

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    I have no question the units are durable, just not reliable.

    Kinda like a BMW no? :rofl


    I dont think we should debate who and who hasnt had problems, it is a simple fact there are many folks out there with dead units. Some abused, most just simple use/cage use etc and they have experienced problems. I have been impressed with their customer service, no questions or gripes there but I would rather NOT KNOW how well the customer service works and just enjoy the device that I paid dearly to own. Look at the number of DOA units that are mentioned just in this forum. There is a problem and they need to step up the quality control IMO.

    Mike
    #10
  11. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Forgot to mention that holding the batteries from moving on 76C seams to do the trick for me. I put small piece of black electrical tape under each battery and a very small piece on battery cover such the cover pinches the batteries and stops all high frequency end to end movement.
    #11
  12. MikeO

    MikeO Like your helmet Lou?

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    Had a Streetpilot III for two years then sold it to a friend - he still uses it. Replaced it with a BMW Nav II - still going strong (80k all weather bike miles - probably the same in the car). The only snag I had was the screen coating flaking off (there were a bad batch of these) - they replaced it by return of post, well outside of warranty.

    I guess either you've been unlucky, or I've been lucky...

    Mike :dunno
    #12
  13. gybeman

    gybeman Been here awhile

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    On the other extreme (as in all internet posts), mine bounced on a carpeted floor from 3 ft up and it started powering itself down, or would lock out intermittently. Garmin replaced it no questions asked.
    You have to wonder how long a complex electronic device can even hold up at all with the vibes and bouncing around on an offroad bike, let alone my paint shaker 640. As long as they stand behind their product, I actually expect a failure is more than likely in those conditions.
    I run the same unit on its own battery on my 300EC with a touratech mount in very rocky terrain, and its only shut itself off one.
    Strangely, on my 640 I find using the stock Marine mount on the dash transmits less vibes to the gps than the touratech mount. With the same mount on my 300 2T its very smooth.
    #13
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    It is not the complex parts that fail, just the heavy simple ones like capacitors, batteries and internal mechanical conections when boards flex.
    #14
  15. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    My E Map is still alive and kicking after 5 years even surviving falling off the bike at around 30 MPH! :eek1 Just had to replace the battery cover. My 2610 I had for a couple years with no problems, and my 478 I've had for about 6 months and is working fine. I've never used anythng but standard mounts on my bikes.
    #15
  16. frewhl

    frewhl daily rider

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    I brought mine stowed way away.
    I did take it out to "high mark"
    The V is the unit I sailed to Belize with(III+ was my trusty back up then and still could be)
    I like to collect a waypoint here and there.
    Belize City and Fairbanks are the high and low points.

    Now about the Garmins.

    I work in a small city boat store.wWe are known as the people who know Garmin)it is the only brand we have sold for ten years.
    Trust me,we have sold a bunch,and what I am getting at,it is on a sort of personal level.
    People tell us about all of their problems,street names spelled or pronounced wrong,one way street reports,waypoint list "misplaced"
    Most of the problems are user error.
    We have sent some units back,but more for neglect than for material or workmanship problems.
    If our customers(as well as those who bought at the big box sporting goods store) were having problems,they would be letting us know first
    I will say that they do well to take care of their customers,they even take care of people who bought second hand.
    #16
  17. frewhl

    frewhl daily rider

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    I meant to have this in my previous post.

    I stated a lot of user error.
    I tell people to try to use them more often,to learn more about them.

    At the same time,if there was a problem,perhaps they could catch it before the big trip.
    #17
  18. Jeffro115

    Jeffro115 Redemption.

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    I had a GPS III+ that was abused like hell for ten years. Never a problem.



    I bought my 60CS two years or so ago. The first one would shut off on it's own, but only at high speeds (above 80mph) on my XRL. Of course, the vibration was intense, in fact so bad that it was impossible to read the screen at those speeds.

    Any other time, no problems.


    I took it back to the store and exchanged it for another. Second one is flawless.


    Garmin has been extremely helpful on the phone, and has sent me parts like the rubber plugs for the ports on the back at no charge.


    And, since I'm familiar with Garmin products and how they work, it would really take a lot for me to switch to another brand.
    #18
  19. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    My III+ lasted for years with a lot of abuse. Lost it on a camping trip.

    My Garmin V had a pretty easy life, was sold here on AdvRider to Mutineer, who I'm sure babied it (kidding) and it is now in the hands of a 3rd Advrider, and I'm sure still doing well.

    My 276C has been bullet proof, despite being dropped multiple times on to pavement, had roughly 30K miles of bike usage, maybe 5K of that on thumpers, and most of the time lives in my truck, cooking. Never had an issue.

    Friends 2610 which is here on Fleamarket for sale, was mounted on a bike for several years, and despite being exposed to the elements, works great, even if the screen is a little rough. Nice unit though.

    Plan on a pair of Rinos in the next week or so as well. Long live Garmin.

    Only Garmin issue I've ever had is the funky connectors on my 276C. I've had two of the auto plug/speaker combos had the plugs break. Not sure what a good fix for that might be.
    #19
  20. Fastfwd

    Fastfwd Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Canada, Quebec, Saint-Hubert
    I have an old etrex vista monochrome screen. It's really tiny and really can't compare to today's GPS units but it shows me where I've been, what are the major roads in the area.

    I'm thinking it's probably more solid than the newer units due to its small size. I have used it on motorcycles,hiking,bicycle and it just keeps working.

    supposed to be waterproof to 1 meter depth but I never tested it.
    #20