Monday, 19 June 2017

Garmin Zumo 590LM battery fix

A permanent fix for an always flat, won't charge Zumo battery

I've been meaning to post this for a while and have been reminded/prompted by several related threads over on ZumoForums.

April 2018 UPDATE: the original ZumoUser forum suddenly closed it's doors and all data seems lost (lucky I posted here, eh?). It's replacement can be found at www.zumouserforums.co.uk.

Credit to user stu_m for having the nerve to diddle with the connector in the first place. I'd previously only re-seated the connector a few times to reduce contact resistance and the improvements didn't last.
Please refer to the forum for the origin(s). I will post these details there too, it is just more convenient for me to create here.

Garmin Zumo 590LM.
If your Zumo seems to die within minutes of taking it out of the cradle and doesn't seem to charge no matter how long it's left on charge for or with whatever charger/power supply, then there's a good chance this will work for you.

My fix is slightly more pin-friendly and reduces the risk of bending a pin too much (and crushing or snapping it) and provides improved contact on both sides of the pin and it's mating half, as it should have been at point of manufacture. It's fairly easy to do, you just need a steady hand and good eyesight (or some kind of magnification - close-up pictures here are from a cheap USB microscope).

Step-by-step:

1. Remove battery.
Press down tab and lift out connector.

2. Remove a pin (one at a time to avoid short-circuit or mixing up the sequence) by using either a pin, small jewellers flat-blade screwdriver or the blade of your scalpel/X-Acto knife to carefully lift the tiny pin-retention tab on the connector housing. Gently pull the wire at the same time and it will slide out.
Lift tab and pull out pin.

3. Insert the knife blade between the "sprung" contact surfaces, either side of the pin and "lean" the blade over slightly (both ways) to expand the gap, it doesn't need much.


Spread the contacting surfaces.


4. Re-insert the pin in to the connector housing.

Back home, ensure the tab is pushed back down.

5. Repeat 2-4 for all pins.

6. Re-insert battery, switch on and you should see an immediate improvement.



In the couple of months since I did this, I've never had my 590 die on me or any low battery warning for that matter. Enjoy!

52 comments:

  1. You are the man! Thousonds of people, even Garmin itself owe you. Thanks a lot.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Credit to forum user stu_m though for having the nerve to diddle with the connector in the first place, but I did want to share it beyond the forum.

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  2. Many, many thanks for this. it seems that a lot of people have been spending a lot of time getting nowhere. This certainly worked for me, and I'm very surprised that Garmin themselves didn't/haven't found the answer to what is a fairly simple issue. My battery now stays charged when I remove it from the bike mount, and even after a week or so of not being used is still showing a good charge. Something it hasn't done since shortly after I bought it a couple of years ago.
    I agree with your instructions. The connectors are very small, so take care, but it's not a difficult or complicated task.

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    1. Glad you got good results too. Simple fix to an annoying problem. Please feel free to share.

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  3. Thank you very much Outsider (and of course user stu_m) for giving peace of mind to the entire world of Garmin 590 users, that we lived in a constant nightmare everytime we switched on the GPS. It's really incredible that Garmin never reported this issue and the solution on time. Tight hugs for both of you !! Fernando

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  4. Thank you so much for this fix! I had already contacted Garmin and had agreed to pay the $180 exchange charge (out of warranty) in hopes of getting a unit that would charge the battery. Your fix worked perfectly and my GPS is charging for the first time since new. GREAT JOB!

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  5. Butt the batteri time is only 1-2 haurs
    Battery fix is not a fix to inprov battery time only battery bug/errors

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    1. Without the fix you’d be lucky to get 10 minutes. If you’re getting 1-2 hours then you don’t have a problem.

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  6. mine doesn't look like that. The "contact surfaces" is 1 solid block.

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    Replies
    1. Really? On a 590? I’d like to see some photos, get on over to the ZumoForums and post.

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  7. Thanks very much for your step by step instructions. After having this problem for months with my garmin I was going to resort to buying a new battery until I came across your post and thought I would give it a try and it worked.
    Thanks again Outsider, Top Man.

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  8. I've just followed your instructions and although its early days, they seemed to have worked! My Garmin Zumo 590LM had become unusable when disconnected from a power supply even after having been plugged in to a power source for hours. After the fix, when I turned on the GPS it showed almost full power rather than me getting a 'battery low' warning - and after some further charging it now shows battery full - something it has never done before, even when new.

    Many thanks for your post - it may be an obvious thing but the instructions were clear and very helpful. Thanks again, Paul

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  9. Seems to have worked immediately as battery showed full then dropped back to 75% so will charge and see what happens.
    Better than getting low charge indicator all the time.
    Used a needle to spread the pins without removing them from their housing

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  10. Looks to have worked 75% now instead of low battery
    Will fully charge and see how it goes.
    Used a needle to spread the pins without pulling them out of the housing

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  11. Replaced my battery after experiencing the same issue, still the same problem..... Shazam! It’s fixed with your tip.
    Many Thanks!

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  12. I thought this was BS but it just worked. Mind blown. Thanks.

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  13. I had my first battery "die" in 2015 after a short 2 year life and it always seemed to be low. The replacement battery never held a charge from day 1 and I have had to keep it plugged in when in use. Just tried this fix 10 minutes ago and I have to say I could feel that there was a better connection when I re-inserted the battery. Thanks for ensuring that this fix got published. Assume it worked unless I post here again!

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  14. Pitty It didn't work for me. Immediately at least.I guess my battery is really useless. Let's wait ....

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  15. I gave it a try but wound up worse off than when I started.

    After carefully adjusting each contact and re-setting the connector, no-charge condition was unchanged.

    I figured maybe I hadn't widened the connectors quite enough so I tried again. The more aggressive approach yielded two busted connectors.

    Then Zumo would not boot. Bought a new battery from Garmin.

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    Replies
    1. Unlucky. They are delicate connections.
      Hope your new battery fixes the problem.

      Delete
  16. Absolutely brilliant! I was just about to purchase a new battery when I ran across your article.
    My 590 has never shown a full charge, regardless of how long I had it on the charger. Additionally it would be fully depleted (without connected to a power source) in an unacceptably short period of time.
    I applied your fix and viola! A full charge in no time at all! Thank-you for taking the time to post the procedure and the pic's.

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  17. Excellent. My battery has never had much of a charge life - this week it held a charge for about 1 minute from allegedly being full ! I'm glad I found this - it definitely worked for mine and I saw an instant improvement in behaviour.

    The chief problem seemed to be that the battery wasn't getting the charge in the first place as the contacts were not making proper contact. But also, I noticed that different chargers that I used displayed different behaviour - from trying to put the unit into USB mode, to simply providing power, to actually charging. The best result came from plugging into an Ipad charger, turning the unit off after the USB connection display appeared and getting the message that it was now charging. Other chargers didn't have the same effect - possibly because the IPad charger will charge at up to 2 amps. Much better than the 300mA from my other chargers.

    jfheath

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Garmin 590 spec page says:
      "Power supplied to device power cable should be capable of up 12 V (typical) and up to 1 A. zūmo device power consumption is 5 V; 2 A".
      And my 590 manual says that it may "charge slowly or not at all" from some computers, implying it is indeed quite power hungry (2A needed).

      Delete
  18. Wow... worked immediately. thank you very much!

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  19. I have just done this and it works ,I had my 590 for 3 year and the battery has always been bad the same as all the rest of the comment above , many thanks Mr Outsider you saved me £40 and it only took 10mins to apply your fix , I am so pleased , PS the pin gap is very small and my look like it solid but it is not, there is slot if you look very close .

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  20. Perfect! Took 10 minutes and worked instantly! Saved me the $50 on the new battery I was about to buy when I stumbled on this! Great job!

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  21. I was just about to buy a new battery when i came across this fix. It took me 10 minutes with a needle and now the battery is showing a full charge and the screen is brighter. Just need to get my eyes tested now. Thanks for sharing this fix. It makes you wonder how many thousands have been spent on replacement batteries that were not needed.

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  22. You are the guy. It worked perfect for me.

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  23. Battery would always go flat in a few minutes, so glad I found this post, a great help. Thank you.

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  24. Top post! HOPPICKER said it perfectly above. I went form non operational off power to 100 % charge.

    geez, where is the quality control on this connector??

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  25. Thank you! This worked like a charm, you saved me from buying a new battery! Cheers!

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  26. Just tried this with my zumo 595. Have the same symptons as per previous 590 posts above. Notice that when i opened up the plugs though, when pushing them back into the plastic case that they close back up. Anyway, thanks for the heads up, will see how it goes.

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  27. Just tried this with my Zumo 595. Fiddly job, Had or have the same issues with my Zumo 595 as stated above with the 590. Unplug from power source and unit shuts down within 5 minutes or so. Put the plugs out and spread them, but noticed when pushing back into the plastic housing that they close up again. Anyway, thanks for the heads up, will see how it goes.

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  28. Finally..Somebody figured it out! Your release of this fix is nothing short of brilliant. Thank you so very much. Now if Garmin had just accepted the liability and did their homework....Big fail on their side.

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  29. Thank you much for sharing this fix. saved lot of my money and time, i was about to buy a new battery. But, with the help of this article my issue is fixed. All thanks to you. Keep sharing more ideas and fixes with us.

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  30. Unbelievable! The fix worked for me too! Many thanks!

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  31. A big thank you, worked on my zumo 590.

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  32. It works! Thank you!

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  33. This worked for me, easy fix thanks

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  34. Just wanted to add another thank you! The procedure was exactly as you described with the results I was hoping for.

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  35. Remarkable! Like others, I was frustrated and ready to spend 50 bucks on a new battery. A battery connector is not rocket science. Garmin should be ashamed! Many thanks for posting this

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  36. Thank you! Worked great If only I could do the same with my dezl garmin truck gps that battery life is useless

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  37. This solution sounds great as I too have same issue. The question I have is what size torque (T number) is needed to unscrew the back as none of mine are the right size?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know about that as my 590 has a battery door and doesn't require tools. I'd suggest heading over to the Zumo user forum (link up top) and post your query there, someone will be able to help out.

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  38. Thanks worked well on my new to me 595. I then tried charging it up on the cradle while the unit was off (yes there was power to the cradle) and it did not charge. I then plugged it into a quality USB lead and turned the unit off (to speed up charging) and it did not charge. I then did as someone mentioned plugged it into the usb. The unit automatically then turned on. I then put it in stanby mode with a quick press of the power button. The screen came up with 'charging the battery - press the power key to turn on" i left it for a while and now the battery is fully charged. It seems these units will only charge whilst on or in standby mode. I hope this helps others.

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  39. To charge: in cradle or via usb the unit must be on or in standby mode. To put it in standby mode quick press the power button whilst the unit is on. Message will appear "charging the battery - press the power key to turn on"
    These units do not seem to charge when turned off. I hope this helps someone.

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  40. This is a brilliant and simple fix. Garmin should have picked this up long ago and fixed it on a recall basis. My Zumo is three years old and has never had held a charge for more than a few minutes. Thanks.

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