Cannot use my Nuvi while charging in the car!

dyp 0 Points
I've tried both the Garmin car charger as well as a USB cable from my Blackberry. The display shows that it's in data transfer mode and I cannot use the device. Makes the device pretty useless if I can't charge as I am driving.

Can anyone help?
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Comments

  • Haner 0 Points
    Mine works just fine. Make sure you aren't using generic chargers.
  • Tim 1296 Points
    Good call on generic chargers. Also this can happen if you are using a power splitter, and I've also seen it when there was an electrical issue in the car.
  • dyp 0 Points
    Good call on generic chargers. Also this can happen if you are using a power splitter, and I've also seen it when there was an electrical issue in the car.
    So it sounds like a known design flaw with Garmin devices. Sounds pretty silly that they haven't addressed it. It's not like it's never been done before and TomTom and Magellan doesn't have issue.
  • Tim 1296 Points
    I'm not sure I understand. Why is this a known issue on Garmin devices?
  • dyp 0 Points
    I'm not sure I understand. Why is this a known issue on Garmin devices?
    My original post was that when I plug in my Garmin in my car, it thinks its in data transfer mode and I cannot use the device. This means I cannot drive and use the device while charging. Pretty basic requirement.

    In this forum and other GPS forums, others are having the same issue and blame Garmin on how they implemented their USB port which is used for both charging and data transfer. One workaround that seems to work is to plug it in and let go to data transfer mode, unplug it and quickly replug it in while its booting and this seems to force the device to bypass the transfer mode.
  • gatorguy 196 Points
    It wouldn't be considered a design flaw simply because you can't use a charger not designed for it. :roll:
  • Tim 1296 Points
    He said he had tried the Garmin charger. The instances where I've seen this either the car wasn't putting out the required voltage or there was a power splitter involved.
  • gatorguy 196 Points
    :oops:
  • MikeV99 0 Points
    He said he had tried the Garmin charger. The instances where I've seen this either the car wasn't putting out the required voltage or there was a power splitter involved.
    Is it pretty universal that the unit (760) cannot be used with a power splitter? That would reduce its usability significantly for me.

    Thanks

    Mike
  • Tim 1296 Points
    It depends on the splitter and how it impacts the power going to it. I have a splitter that works great with most of the devices I've tested, including the Nuvi 760. But once in awhile I come across a GPS that will go into USB mode every time I plug it into the splitter but works fine when directly plugged into the power source.
  • so 0 Points
    Hi, I had the same problem I could not use my nuvi250 in my car using the cigarette charger. It turned out it was the problem of my old car battery that does not produce enough voltage. I recommend to charge your car battery fully or replace it.
  • dyp 0 Points
    Hi, I had the same problem: I could not use my nuvi250 in my car using the cigarette charger. It turned out it was the problem of my old car battery that does not produce enough voltage. I recommend to charge your car battery fully or replace it.
    Replace my car battery so I can use the Garmin? Seems like an overkill to use a $200 device. I'm trying to get a hold of Garmin to get an offcial response from them.
  • Hi, I had the same problem: I could not use my nuvi250 in my car using the cigarette charger. It turned out it was the problem of my old car battery that does not produce enough voltage. I recommend to charge your car battery fully or replace it.
    This is what Garmins tech support told you ? Or is it just your experience? It takes only 3.5 volts to run a gps and a heck of a lot more to turn over the engine of a vehicle. If a battery cannot run and charge a gps it sure as hell won't crank over the engine. You may have more underlying electrical problems...altenator , wiring etc.
  • so 0 Points
    This is just my experience. My car battery was almost discharged about two weeks ago. My nuvi250 showed PC connecting mode using the cigarette charger and did not work. After two hours drive, my car battery seems to be charged and my garmin works fine now.
  • Tim 1296 Points
    I've heard of that at least one other time as well... A car's battery was low and the result was the GPS going into USB mode. There are more common reasons for the GPS to go into USB mode in a car (as indicated above) but I have heard of that before.
  • WestTx 5 Points
    This is from a usenet post to alt.satellite.gps.garmin:

    go to the test page (press the battery icon for 8-9 seconds), then you can plug in your USB cable, USB charger, etc. Then exit the test screen. The Nuvi will reboot then it will work normally.

    Note that I have not tried this myself. If you'd like to read the entire thread, search Google Groups for the subject:
    usnig usb port to power nuvi

    les
  • rapriebe 0 Points
    Hi, I had the same problem: I could not use my nuvi250 in my car using the cigarette charger. It turned out it was the problem of my old car battery that does not produce enough voltage. I recommend to charge your car battery fully or replace it.


    This is what Garmins tech support told you ? Or is it just your experience? It takes only 3.5 volts to run a gps and a heck of a lot more to turn over the engine of a vehicle. If a battery cannot run and charge a gps it sure as hell won't crank over the engine. You may have more underlying electrical problems...altenator , wiring etc.
    From what I've read the Nuvi requires 5 volts or it goes into Mass storage mode. That is why some generic cords will work and some won't.
  • Hello, your suggestion was very helpful. I was actually close to throwing my gps away... everytime before using it, i had to charge it as i dint know how to use it while charging.. i can do it now... thanks a lot... Holding the battery signal for 8-9 seconds worked...
  • wjksea 0 Points
    I just bought a Garmin Nuvi after my TomTom began failing to find satellites. I liked the TomTom well enough till I drove from Seattle to Federal Way,WA which is about a 30 minute drive south on Interstate 5. Never found a satellite.

    The Nuvi, unlike the TomTom can't be on the charger and in use at the same time. This seems like an unbelievable flaw.
  • t923347 214 Points
    The Nuvi, unlike the TomTom can't be on the charger and in use at the same time. This seems like an unbelievable flaw.
    Not sure what you mean by not being able to use it.

    If you use the car adapter that comes with the Nuvi you shouldn't have any problem charging the Nuvi and using it at the same time. Sounds like there maybe a problem with the adapter your using. If your referring to using the USB cable attached to your PC then depending on the model of Nuvi you have there maybe a way to use it and charge it at the same time.
  • ozarkie 31 Points
    I purchased a "universal" charger at Walmart of all places, marked as "compatible with Garmin GPS". The USB data cable, car charger adapter cable and 110v wall charger all work just fine. No problem with the GPS being on or off with any of the power suppy adapter cables.

    Sounds like a separate electrical problem or a non-Garmin compatible setup.
  • wjksea 0 Points
    Update on the Garmin. I was used to the TomTom which was unaffected by plugging in and out of a power source. The only time the TomTom took pause was when plugging into the computer at which point a prompt would ask if user wanted device to connect with computer. The Garmin is interrupted when plugged into a power source but after sustained connection will function. I however am unable to use it plugged into the USB of the computer as it only has one mission at that point and that is to connect with the computer. I don't know if a software update could improve on this or not but it seems it's a behavior of the device that should have been changed long ago.
  • Boyd 1352 Points
    Something sounds strange to me.... what do you mean by "The Garmin is interrupted when plugged into a power source but after sustained connection will function"?

    When you first plug the nuvi into the power cord, it takes a few seconds to boot and then it should work continuously. If you unplug the power cable, an alert should appear saying that external power has been lost and an automatic shutdown will happen in XX seconds unless you cancel. If you cancel, the unit will continue to work on its internal battery. Is your Nuvi doing something different from this? If so, there might be something wrong with it, such as a bad battery.
  • t923347 214 Points
    As I mentioned before, if your talking about using the Nuvi as a GPS while using a USB cable connected to the PC, there are a number of ways to do this but they depend on what model of Nuvi you have.

    If you'd post your model then we could possibly help you out.
  • dcssb 0 Points
    My Nuvi model is 205 - pretty old, but still working. Using a generic automobile charger, but it goes into data transfer mode when USB cable connected. Do you think it's the cable or is it this model 205 which cannot be used while charging? Comments appreciated. Thanks
  • Boyd 1352 Points
    It's the cable. Some will work, others will not. It needs to be a power cable and not a data cable. I have a generic Radio Shack charger that works with every Garmin unit I've tried.
  • sviking 141 Points
    A Motorola cell phone charger (mini USB plug) also works fine.
  • Balham 0 Points
    Thanks for sharing that information about unplugging and replugging. This has worked on my nuvi 200w. My car charger connector was damaged so I resorted to a usb cable which just charged showed the PC connection image. This information was a gem!
  • This is from a usenet post to alt.satellite.gps.garmin:

    go to the test page (press the battery icon for 8-9 seconds), then you can plug in your USB cable, USB charger, etc. Then exit the test screen. The Nuvi will reboot then it will work normally.

    Note that I have not tried this myself. If you'd like to read the entire thread, search Google Groups for the subject:
    usnig usb port to power nuvi

    les
    Thanks a lot for this tip. I tried it and now I'm one very happy driver!
  • This is from a usenet post to alt.satellite.gps.garmin:

    go to the test page (press the battery icon for 8-9 seconds), then you can plug in your USB cable, USB charger, etc. Then exit the test screen. The Nuvi will reboot then it will work normally.

    Note that I have not tried this myself. If you'd like to read the entire thread, search Google Groups for the subject:
    usnig usb port to power nuvi

    les


    Thanks a lot for this tip. I tried it and now I'm one very happy driver!
    Well I was obviously premature when I said I was a very happy driver. I tried the battery icon tip today but this time to no avail! :x
  • An update to the car charging problem. I took the unit back to the dealer and he solved the problem by going into tools, settings and restore. He restored the unit and the problem is solved.
  • I'm having a issue with our Garmin 700 car adapter. The battery drains while in the car using the car adapter.

    I'll think I'll try the Settings Restore.
  • All GPS sets are made to be used in cars with the set connected to the car battery and charged by it. That is what a GPS is for.

    Understand some models came with 2 ports - one for charging (usually mini USB) and another for data transfer (micro USB, if I got the name correctly) and connections for both are USB. Some users may got confused and plugged in the GPS on the incorrect port when using the set in the car.
  • In my case, I noticed the car adapters connection to the Garmin(750 by the way) was very loose and about to come off.

    I took someone else's earlier advice in here and purchased a universal usb car adapter from Walmart.

    I pressed the battery icon and I noticed the screen said, car adapter not connected.

    Thanks for the previous advice.
  • DougME 0 Points
    The mini-B usb connector that plugs in to Nuvi's (and other models I assume) contains a resistor connecting pin 4 to pin x which tells the Nuvi you have a charger plugged in, not a data cable. Resistor value lets the nuvi know the charger capability - 1 amp or 500mA. So, generic charger units are not likely to work.
  • Boyd 1352 Points
    I think this is less of a problem today, because Garmin has standardized all the newer models to use a mini-usb charging cable and no longer uses the proprietary multi-pin cradle connectors. I have not found any problems using standard USB chargers with the newer devices myself.

    One problem with the older models (like the 750) is that they will not attain full screen brightness if you power them via USB instead of the cradle. I found this to be a real problem when I tried using a USB cable with my Nuvi 5000 a few years ago, and we have seen a number of threads on the topic here as well.
  • vrossi 0 Points
    I have the same problem, and it's not related with charger cables and car battery.

    In fact I have two Garmin nuvi (a 1200 and a 1250), both of them purchased in 2010. I have two different original charger cables and I have two different cars.

    Both devices have always worked well until yesterday, when I downloaded a software update.

    Now the 1250 goes in PC mode every time I connect it to the car charger, while the 1200 performs correctly.

    I have tried all the combinations of Garmin/charger cable/car, and every time the 1200 performs normally, while the 1250 always goes to PC-mode, so I can say for sure that it's not a problem related with car battery or charger cable, but rather an hardware or software issue with my nuvi 1250.

    I've gone to the test page (press the battery icon for 8-9 seconds), then plug in the USB cable, USB charger, etc., then exit the test screen, but the issue is still the same.

    Any other suggestion is welcome.
  • vrossi 0 Points
    An update to the car charging problem. I took the unit back to the dealer and he solved the problem by going into tools, settings and restore. He restored the unit and the problem is solved.
    I also went into tools, settings and restore, but the problem is still the same.

    :(
  • sussamb 235 Points
    First try a hard reset to see if that cures the problem. It's always the first thing to try after a software update if the GPS isn't working normally, it's like rebooting your PC.
  • Boyd 1352 Points
    I also went into tools, settings and restore, but the problem is still the same.
    FWIW, that would never have any effect. All that "restore" does is set any menu choices you may have made back to the default. :)
  • vrossi 0 Points
    I also went into tools, settings and restore, but the problem is still the same.


    FWIW, that would never have any effect. All that "restore" does is set any menu choices you may have made back to the default. :)
    You are right, Boyd, however I tried since in a previous post holein10 said:

    An update to the car charging problem. I took the unit back to the dealer and he solved the problem by going into tools, settings and restore. He restored the unit and the problem is solved.

    Anyway, I have now performed a hard reset (thank you, sussamb, for this tip), but unfortunately the issue is still the same. :cry:

    I also compared the configurations of the two devices (the "good" 1200 and the "bad" 1250) , as it is displayed by pressing several seconds on the battery icon, but I didn't find any relevant difference
  • jmp521 0 Points
    Back in 2008 I bought a garmin nuvi 255 model. After 2 years, the gps would go into computer mode while using it in my truck. I would have to unplug the charger and it would work just from the battery. Eventually the charger wouldn't work at all and it became useless. I tried a new car charger...Garmin and a universal, neither worked.

    Finally, I threw it away.

    I love the features of the Garmin so I bought another one in 2011...nuvi 1450. It worked great up until 3 weeks ago. Its doing the exact same thing as my 255 did. It started to think it was in computer mode, so I would unplug it and use it on the battery alone. I tried using it this morning and...nothing. It may turn on but after a second or two, it shuts off. How can the same issue happen to two different devices?

    I use the gps in my personal and work vehicle so I'm pretty sure that its not the truck batteries. I bought new GARMIN chargers, but still no luck. I've seen a bunch of forums on this issue. Is Garmin aware that their gps's stop working and so many people are having this issue? I love the Garmin...when it worked. But now I may have to buy a TomTom or Magellen. I cant drop $200 every two years on a GPS device.

    Has anybody found a fix for this? The advice Ive seen on this forum has been awful. People are blaming universal chargers, car batteries, etc. But that's not the issue. I read somewhere that the issue is with the pins on the back. That makes sense cuz I can push the charger in the back and the gps turns on, but the second I let go, the gps turns off.

    Is it expensive to get my gps fixed? Does Garmin purposely put in this flaw so people have to keep buying new gps's?

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!!
  • SergZak 222 Points
    I read somewhere that the issue is with the pins on the back. That makes sense cuz I can push the charger in the back and the gps turns on, but the second I let go, the gps turns off.
    It could very well be that the mini-USB connector on the back of the unit has gone "bad"...not necessarily failing at the USB connection pins inside the socket but more than likely where the USB socket attaches to the main board on the GPS. Many of these units have the connector soldered (of course) to the main board but the design provides no stress relief except for the solder joints. This is a known weak link with these types of units. After connecting/disconnecting over the course of time, the solder joints can simply crack and cause an intermittent connection. I had this happen with an old nuvi 200 which fell from the bed to the floor while connected to the PC with the USB cable. The USB socket detached partially from the main board (not totally but at least one of the solder connections broke) and afterwards, failed to connect to the PC.

    It could be that the solder joints from the USB socket to the main board simply need to be re-flowed. If you're good with electronics & soldering, I would try this to correct the issue since the unit is likely well out of warranty. If you're not able to do this yourself, maybe a local electronics shop would do it for you but they'll likely charge a pretty penny.
  • willyboy 51 Points
    Indeed it's unusual for two units to have the same issue you describe of going into computer mode. I echo SergZak's advice.

    Since you're using the Nuvi in a truck it's quite possible a trucks rough ride is partly to blame. If you repair or replace the Nuvi 1450, try to run the power cable so there is no stress at the USB connector on the Nuvi. This can cause movement at the solder joints and break contact. Garmin does need to reinforce the USB connector at the housing so there is no movement when a cable is connected.
  • SergZak 222 Points
    See the following page for more info on this issue with the nuvi 1450/1490

    http://www.nabilselectronics.com/garmin14501490owners.htm

    Note that I have no affiliation with the page above. It was found using Google search with the search term " nuvi 1450 usb connector broken".
  • WAASup 81 Points
    See the Loose/Broken Mini-USB Port section of the link below for a similar explanation of what might have happened to your 255 and 1450:

    http://www.sharc.net/gps_charger_repair.htm

    I have no affiliation with the above company; I found the link on another forum last year after my 1490 stopped working due to a loose mini-USB port.
  • willyboy 51 Points
    See the Loose/Broken Mini-USB Port section of the link below for a similar explanation of what might have happened to your 255 and 1450:

    http://www.sharc.net/gps_charger_repair.htm

    I have no affiliation with the above company; I found the link on another forum last year after my 1490 stopped working due to a loose mini-USB port.
    @WAASup
    Great link and outstanding description of what is causing the problem.
    Jim at sharcnet is a member of this forum as well as others.
    His posts are always informative and his repair shop in Pennsylvania has received good reviews from customers that posted their experiences using his services.
  • Zemartelo 91 Points
    edited July 20
    My Nuvi 2555 is also showing the same symptoms while driving in the car.
    It goes into storage mode and I am using the standard charger that came with the unit.
    I also think it has to do with the connector pins, there is a contact failure somewhere.
    I got recently a 2597 but I am guessing it will be the last unit I will buy that requires the cable to plug directly into the unit. From my experience it will be a matter of time before it does what the 2555 is doing now.
    I thought of opening mine to look at the connections and see if something as came loose but I dont have the tool to unscrew it. Anyone know what is the size and name of it so I can look it up?

    My next unit will have the cable plugged into the craddle to avoid this situation.
  • privet01 47 Points
    I would think the likely culprit is a dirty or messed up contact on the male or female side of the usb connector. I believe there is a resistor between a couple of the usb pins in the cable, and that might fail, but if the cables undamaged, I'd think that unlikely. Voltage on the power-point/cigarette lighter of the vehicle might be an issue, but that's easy enough to check but also unlikely IMO.
  • SHARCNET 81 Points
    The Nuvi 25xx series uses the same USB receptacle as the Nuvi 11xx, 12xx, 13xx and 14xx. What is important, is to stop using the port immediately and have the unit repaired when failure of the port is suspected or is intermittent.

    Further use of the port can loosen up the remaining pins, possibly breaking the pins off of the receptacle and/or pulling up tracks off of the board. In either case, it makes the repair much more difficult and costly. Typically when there is an intermittent connection, the user pushes the plug into the receptacle with greater force and begins to wiggle the plug, back and forth, causing more damage.

    You will not be able to purchase this part because they are made to order. The overseas company that manufactures this part requires a 15,000 piece minimum order as there is cost associated with the tooling and setup of their machinery.

    In most cases, the pins just need to be resoldered with a temperature controlled iron, however great care must be taken to make sure that the printed circuit board (PCB) traces are not overheated or that any of the pins are accidentally bridged with solder. This can happen VERY easily. In addition, the mechanical connections of the receptacle need to be reinforced to prevent the connector from becoming loose again and breaking the (5) data pins from the board. This is all standard procedure when we repair a USB port.

    - Jim
    SHARCNET-USA
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