Garmin reliability? makes me wonder

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

  1. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    my 60cx developed battery power issues after 1900 miles of baja on a KLR..LOL...


    I was running external power, but left batteries in for whatever reason...not again.

    so..IMO...stuffing an ear plug in the battery box to minimize battery vibration is helpful
    #21
  2. frewhl

    frewhl daily rider

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    I only sell Garmin,that should say enough about my store's opinion of them.

    I tell my customers that the forum I consult is more like 99 to 1 (or even more)

    In order to try to get a more honest opinion of modern magellins,
    I invited myself to check out the one handheld a customer had us order.
    And,as we offer free lessons on units we sell,and a few customers are bold enough to ask for help with their Magellin as they buy paper maps,I oblige mysels to get a little more hands on.
    I know these are top of the line units,I just can not get a good feeling for any of them.

    We did sell magellin in the salad days,I think 315 was the popular unit.
    After all of the warrenty claims were over,we just quit ordering.

    I can only remember one lemon in the garmin line up.

    I had to demo an etrex today,I don't like it,but I could get by with it.

    The 12 is long in the tooth,but the guys in the field still like them and hope they can be replaced if need be.
    #22
  3. BigJon

    BigJon Cactus Hobbit

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    I have a Garmin 60CS and have had it since they came out, bought it prior to the release. I would have to say that you have just had some bad luck. I have used mine on my motorcycle, in my Jeep, on and off road, never any issues. It has had many rough falls in the Jeep and still kicking strong. Garmin customer support is the best on the market IMO.
    #23
  4. Mike in Atlanta

    Mike in Atlanta Oh Noes

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    Glad to see so many who drink the Garmin KoolAid.

    Just kidding, but I still say there is more to it than just bad luck. Even counting the folks here with no issues, I know more folks WITH PROBLEMS than without. My GPS V is still going strong just like the day it was opened. Wish I could say the same for the other 3.

    I like the product, just please improve the reliability.


    Ever wonder how there seems to be a flood of refurbed garmins?


    Mike
    #24
  5. frewhl

    frewhl daily rider

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    What if 99 to 1 chose Garmin?

    Would it be expected that more people people would have problems with them?
    #25
  6. ghostbuster2

    ghostbuster2 Been here awhile

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    Do you use the cylinderical ear plugs? Do you lay it in parallel to and between the batteries? Does it exert pressure on the micro SD card? (I have a 60CSX with a data card, I don't know if the 60 CX has one.) I do have my unit hardwired on my Honda XR400 but it does not have a battery so I have to leave the AA batteries in the GPS.
    #26
  7. GoNOW

    GoNOW Long timer

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    I have had a lot of different GPS units over the years. The first was a Sony GPS that had a 4" antenna that was larger then the GPS unit itself.

    Most of the GPS units have failed over time. I don't think I had a Magellan last over 2 years. So I switched to Garmin. Yes I have killed Garmin ones too. I left a III+ on the dash of my truck for several hot days. The screen slowly burned out.
    I also had a Garmin V bad from the factory.

    Overall, the Garmins seem to last longer.
    #27
  8. Mike in Atlanta

    Mike in Atlanta Oh Noes

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    Not sure what point you are trying to express? of course if you increase the number sold, the number of problems would go up. That woudl apply to any and every product sold. My comments are on the %'s of problems being higher than expected on an market leading product.

    Again, IMO they could do better.


    When I called about my Zumo problem yesterday, the operator on the phone even stated they have been overwhelmed in the last year. 20min hold just reach someone at customer service. Sounds like more than just a few folks had problems over the holiday.
    #28
  9. Mik

    Mik Riding big jugs airheads

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    Great idea. What did you use to clean the ear plug? You did clean the ear plug, didn't you?!? :brow

    I'll try it in my 60csx, thanks,
    #29
  10. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    Found so many were DOA, and overall reliability was the pits. Biggest problem I consistently encountered was BATTERY LIFE, BATTERY LIFE, BATTERY LIFE.
    #30
  11. ISDTBower

    ISDTBower Been here awhile

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    I, like Countdown, carry a spare....which may be on another "buddy" bike.
    A year ago we started on a 1700 mile dirt ride with 9 units. We finished with 3 working.....

    As you become more reliant on Tracks and Routes, reliability will become more important! Knock on wood, I have not lost one. I use a RAM mount horizontal to the ground and BEHIND the bars trying to reduce vibration and shake. Gets you in the nuts once in a while, however.
    #31
  12. ghostbuster2

    ghostbuster2 Been here awhile

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    How many units have failed in a Touratech mount?
    #32
  13. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Unless failure rate gets over 1-2 % stories about non-failure have no value. Much more important is what caused failure? Random variation in manufacturing process, environment, lack of problem prevention.

    As I have said before, based on very limited emperical data it looks to me like movement of the batteries is the big problem in the 60s & 76s.
    #33
  14. reepicheep

    reepicheep Been here awhile

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    Got a refurbed Quest, and after a few months the flip up antnenna stopped working. Take off the right hand bezel (facing the back) and snap the antenna off to the right (like a little MTX connector) and clean it good with isopropyl alchohol and it comes back. I have to do it about once every 8 months.

    It sits on a RAM mount on a Buell XB9SX, so it has a hard life.

    Got a second quest on Ebay for $100... it also had a broken antenna. It had been dropped off a bike at speed. Other then the antenna, it works fine.

    Customer support has been polite, but not perfect. They twice did not email information they promised. Also, while they did give me the unlock codes for the unit I bought used (the purchase price included the new software and the media and license certificates) they claimed that the original license for the software that came with the quest is not transferrable (even if you transfer ownership of the quest).

    This is (IMHO) BS. I work in information security, I understand the needs to protect intellectual assets. But if you force me to drink that cool aid then you better make it *REALLY* easy for me to recover. Because you have to know that strong digital rights management has a huge impact on your customers doing legal and legitimate things... generally more of an impact on legal customers then pirates.

    So Garmin has built me a good unit and has treated me fairly well, but they have not been the "amazing experience". Probably just "above average".
    #34
  15. DirtBag53

    DirtBag53 Adventurer

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    I'm still using the original Streetpilot. I bought it refurbished. That thing still works fine and won't die. I guess the early models were the best. Has an intermittent hiccup now and then.
    Just bought a 2610 for a backup when this one goes out. Hope the 2610 is as reliable:wink:
    #35
  16. Der Berliner

    Der Berliner Adventurer

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    The first unit I wasted was the ETrex I used on my Tenere, mounted in a RAM Mount cradle. It was powered by batteries and thats what killed it.
    As batteries and especially rechargables are very heavy compared to the weight of other components in the unit they are heavily affected by vibrations.

    I was stupid enough to use my 60Cx with batteries inside on my KTM LC4A mounted on the roadbook rail in a hardwired Touratech cradle. I even had sponge foam in the lid of the battery compartment to dampen the movement. The problem is the orientation of the batteries in the unit. When you mount e.g. a 60series unit in upright position the bikes vibrations and every bump moves the batteries up and down.

    So it's very easy:

    NEVER use batteries in a unit with vertical battery compartment (especially not on a thumper)
    #36
  17. F1Turbo

    F1Turbo Adventurer

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    I haven't been happy with my Garmin/BMW Nav II. I've had several problems with it since I bought it new from BMW.

    Also not sure if I agree that Garmin has great customer service. Everytime I've had an issue and had to send it back, I'd be without the device for a minimum week and a half, sometimes almost a month (this was back when I had to go through the middleman (BMW shop) to get my warranty service). The first time they exchanged my unit for a refurb unit, they gave me one that had a bad card reader in it. When I called them about this, they told me "that shouldn't happen." Ya think? So then I had to ship the bad unit back to them (they paid shipping), wait for them to receive it, and THEN ship me out another refurb unit, none of which was done with expedited shipping. A company with good customer service would've overnighted me a receiver on the spot. They can take a charge card number to ensure I return the defective unit.

    So while they haven't completely stonewalled me on anything yet, service could definitely be better. I'd also still like to have one I'm satisfied with, as the current unit has a dim screen that you can't really see in sunlight.
    #37
  18. cokeslurpee

    cokeslurpee Banned

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    three of mine have!
    #38
  19. Claybuster

    Claybuster Been here awhile

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    I've had a 3+ for 10+ years without any issue. Finally the battery connections failed. Long story short, purchased two new Garmin units in the past three months, the second one so I had one to use while the first one went back. Also purchased TOPO U.S. 08 which worked for a couple days and then looked just like Trip and Waypoint mngr. Been on the support line several times, today the wait was only 78 min. only to be told that the "software team" might know!

    Garmin support makes me long for the credit card company's customer service that's outsourced to the middle east!

    There has to be a better way.
    #39
  20. mrmaico

    mrmaico Long timer

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    Sounds familiar, I have a Nav II I bought used that is just over a year old that the protective screen is coming loose on. Even though it is supposed to have a fuel resistant screen and a 3 year warranty they tell me there's nothing they can do......told me it's not a warranty issue?? They say they can fix it....for $200! I only paid $300 for it.

    It seems to have a nice bright screen and if I am able to get them to fix it I'm afraid I'll get one back that won't be as bright.

    I do plan to play CSR roulette again though and see if I can talk them into fixing it.

    Barry
    #40