nüvi 255 Was SLOW TO START - Now VERY QUICK TO START After Replacing Battery

 

I have an old Garmin nüvi 255 (circa 2009) that has been rather slow to start-up for a long time...unless it was last used within an hour or so of turning it back On. With a typical 'cold start' it took maybe 2-3 minutes to get to the point of it being ready to use. It spent most of its starting time with the green bar loading at the bottom of the screen. However, if it had been used recently (within an hour or so) it was always a bit faster, but still nowhere near as fast as when the unit was new. I just figured the long start-up time was likely caused by all my custom POIs I have loaded. By the way - the nüvi 255 has the latest software, and no card in the slot.

I have always used the nüvi 255 with an outboard power source, namely [switched] 12 volts from the car. The only time the nüvi ever goes to internal battery mode is when I turn off the car's ignition and the unit starts timing-out using the internal battery power, which I always turn Off within a second or two.

The other day I decided to unplug the outboard 12 volt power source (from the car) and run the nüvi 255 on just the internal battery. Well, the battery only lasted about 3-4 minutes before the 'Low Battery' warning came on the screen. It did not really surprise me that the 5 year-old original battery needed to be replaced.

I dropped by a Batteries Plus store and purchased a replacement battery (UltraLast Part# PDA-200LI) for $19.99. After replacing the 5 year-old original battery with the new replacement battery my old nüvi 255 now starts-up very quickly every time regardless of how long ago it was last used. It's really nice for it to no longer take a few minutes to start-up. If I had known that a new battery would have given me a quick start-up I would have replaced the old original battery long ago...

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced their Garmin nüvi (any model) being slow to start-up, but after [just] replacing the battery it became very quick to start-up.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

.

Thanks for reporting this.

There have been several problems posted recently which some of us have wondered were related to, perhaps, drained battery problems.

It really did surprise me

It really did surprise me the tremendous difference in how quickly it starts-up now with a new battery. I actually timed it when I went out for dinner an hour ago and it took only 16 seconds to get the 'Agree' message on the screen. The last time it was used was 7 hours prior, which normally would have taken at least a couple of minutes to start.

I'm convinced the difference is the battery. That's all it can be.

If I had only known. Now I do...

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

i think it was the battery too

koot wrote:

I have an old Garmin nüvi 255 (circa 2009) that has been rather slow to start-up for a long time...unless it was last used within an hour or so of turning it back On. With a typical 'cold start' it took maybe 2-3 minutes to get to the point of it being ready to use. It spent most of its starting time with the green bar loading at the bottom of the screen. However, if it had been used recently (within an hour or so) it was always a bit faster, but still nowhere near as fast as when the unit was new. I just figured the long start-up time was likely caused by all my custom POIs I have loaded. By the way - the nüvi 255 has the latest software, and no card in the slot.

I have always used the nüvi 255 with an outboard power source, namely [switched] 12 volts from the car. The only time the nüvi ever goes to internal battery mode is when I turn off the car's ignition and the unit starts timing-out using the internal battery power, which I always turn Off within a second or two.

The other day I decided to unplug the outboard 12 volt power source (from the car) and run the nüvi 255 on just the internal battery. Well, the battery only lasted about 3-4 minutes before the 'Low Battery' warning came on the screen. It did not really surprise me that the 5 year-old original battery needed to be replaced.

Here is what I think was happening:

Your battery was faulty and fairly quickly self-discharged after you switched the 12volt power off and turned the Garmin off. (Within an hour or so.)

When you turned on the 12 Volt power after being off a long time and the Garmin tried to start up, the battery voltage was well below the minimum operational voltage (probably 3.0 Volts) of the chips and the battery drug the system voltage down to that level until it had time to charge up to at least 3.0 volts.

When you turned the Garmin on after being turned off for a shorter time, the battery did not have time to self-discharge as much, so did not take as long to charge up to the minimum operational voltage.

When you ran on battery power, the 255 only takes about 9 mA @ 100% brightness but with the added self-discharge and probably not charged to full capacity the battery fairly quickly drains.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I would think that there would be no difference in operation of the 255 once it got started up.

In other words, a bad battery would affect the startup time but not the operation of the unit once started. (Unless it was so bad that the 3.0 volts could not be achieved.)

BTW I would wager that the unit would start up fast if there was no battery installed.

Also I am not saying it is ok to operate with a bad battery, continued deterioration of the battery could cause problems,even a fire so it definitely needed to be replaced.

simpler answer

Evert wrote:

Here is what I think was happening:...

Well, it was the battery, but you're making this too complicated. The original poster, koot. seems to be using the term "quick to start" to not just mean booting up the firmware, but rather he is taking about how long the GPS is taking to lock on enough satellites to navigate. What is happening is far more obvious. The battery was so dead that it couldn't keep the GPS clock running. So the receiver didn't know the time well enough to do a hot start. I can't say for certain how it retains the almanac and that may or may not have been lost too (same for last known location), but without an accurate clock the almanac is useless. So the GPS receiver, once it gets power from the external supply through the mini-USB connector, has to go through an entire cold acquisition. If it is restarted quickly enough it can do a hot boot, but once that voltage dies enough for the clock to stop there will be a long slow acquisition process.

Had the user kept the GPS power on even after shutting down the GPS (with an unswitched 12 outlet or even an alternate USB supply such as a laptop) then the clock would have kept running and would be accurate enough to support a warm start.

@ Frovingslosh

What you say about the time and almanac effect makes sense and I wish had thought of that.

But what about

koot wrote:

……..
“However, if it had been used recently (within an hour or so) it was always a bit faster, but still nowhere near as fast as when the unit was new. I just figured the long start-up time was likely caused by all my custom POIs I have loaded. By the way - the nüvi 255 has the latest software, and no card in the slot.

I can see that the clock would not run at all if the battery was too low but would it run slower if it had enough voltage to run but not full voltage?

I would think a crystal controlled clock with no moving parts would either run accurately or not run.

And if it had not run for even an instant, the clock would be set to a default time and date the next time it started so there would be no variation in how much time the clock was wrong by, after various periods of time being off.

Could the situation be a little more complicated that the simple answer?

That is interesting

I would think if it was plugged in, the battery wouldn't come into play at all. But it certainly sounds like it is doing something with the battery.

switched power

donbadabon wrote:

I would think if it was plugged in, the battery wouldn't come into play at all. But it certainly sounds like it is doing something with the battery.

koot said that the unit normally is powered via a"[switched] 12 volts from the car" so when the ignition switch is off, the unit's battery is what keeps the internal clock running - that is how it comes into play.

This further explanation may help

Evert wrote:
donbadabon wrote:

I would think if it was plugged in, the battery wouldn't come into play at all. But it certainly sounds like it is doing something with the battery.

koot said that the unit normally is powered via a"[switched] 12 volts from the car" so when the ignition switch is off, the unit's battery is what keeps the internal clock running - that is how it comes into play.

Correct - the unit is powered via [switched] 12 volts from the car. In other words, the unit is Off and only turns On when it receives the 12 volts from the car. And, the only time the unit ever used the internal battery was for 1-3 seconds when the car's 12 volts was switched Off, which is the amount of time it takes to hit the screen message to turn the unit Off and not allow it to continue to operate on just the internal battery.

Evert wrote:

Here is what I think was happening:

Your battery was faulty and fairly quickly self-discharged after you switched the 12volt power off and turned the Garmin off. (Within an hour or so.)

Evert - Just to clear up something... My unit has never been run completely down until the unit shut Off on a completely dead (discharged) internal battery. In fact, prior to the other day when I decided to see how long the internal battery could power the unit (and I learned it was only able to power the unit for a few minutes), the unit was only [ever] powered by the internal battery power for a few seconds when the car's 12 volts was turned Off.

What is interesting about this is that the internal battery strength indicator (viewed at certain times on the unit's screen) always indicated full bars. I'm sure this was certainly because the unit had just (seconds earlier) been receiving external 12 volts from the car and this gave an unrealistic 'fully charged' internal battery indicator. When in reality (as previously explained) the battery was only able to power the unit for just a few minutes.

Also, when I say it now takes only ~16 seconds to 'start-up' - I mean the time for the unit to reach the 'Agree' message on the screen, whereas before it could take 2-3 minutes of green bar progress [at the bottom of the screen] loading time to reach the 'Agree' message on the screen. After replacing the internal battery I do not recall any significant lag in acquiring the satellites, but I suspect that is on an individual event basis that oftentimes has nothing to do with the GPS unit itself. But, I really haven't paid any attention to that in particular, however it seems to be ready (having acquired the satellites) right away. One thing that I did notice on the first start-up after replacing the internal battery was that it took a full minute or two to acquire the satellites, which is highly unusual though I really didn't think much about (since I just replaced the battery and knew that I probably eliminated voltage that may have been needed to retain some memory like the unit's physical location)...because I was still in shock of how quickly (~16 seconds) I saw the 'Agree' message on the screen.

donbadabon wrote:

I would think if it was plugged in, the battery wouldn't come into play at all. But it certainly sounds like it is doing something with the battery.

donbadabon and others - What I want you to come away with from my experience of replacing the internal battery is - the internal battery was not completely dead and even had enough voltage/current capability to power the unit for a few minutes (before the 'Low Battery' message appeared on the screen), yet for some reason this weak internal battery caused the unit to have a very long (2-3 minutes) start-up time whenever it was cold started, which by the way used external 12 volts that was immediately available from the car and it was never powered with just the internal battery 'only' even for a brief split-second of time. That said, it's clear that there is something in the unit's circuitry that does not like a severely weakened internal battery - not a dead internal battery mind you, but weakened battery. In other words, a weakened internal battery is apparently all that is needed to slow the unit's start-up time from what I'm now experiencing as ~16 seconds with a new internal battery to 2-3 minutes that I was experiencing before with a weak internal battery.

Frovingslosh wrote:

Well, it was the battery, but you're making this too complicated. The original poster, koot. seems to be using the term "quick to start" to not just mean booting up the firmware, but rather he is taking about how long the GPS is taking to lock on enough satellites to navigate. What is happening is far more obvious. The battery was so dead that it couldn't keep the GPS clock running. So the receiver didn't know the time well enough to do a hot start. I can't say for certain how it retains the almanac and that may or may not have been lost too (same for last known location), but without an accurate clock the almanac is useless. So the GPS receiver, once it gets power from the external supply through the mini-USB connector, has to go through an entire cold acquisition. If it is restarted quickly enough it can do a hot boot, but once that voltage dies enough for the clock to stop there will be a long slow acquisition process.

Had the user kept the GPS power on even after shutting down the GPS (with an unswitched 12 outlet or even an alternate USB supply such as a laptop) then the clock would have kept running and would be accurate enough to support a warm start.

Frovingslosh - Agree on all with one exception - about how long it is taking to lock on to the satellites to navigate. My 'start-up' definition was to the time point of receiving the 'Agree' message on the screen. Yet with rare exception the satellites are always acquired at practically the same time and thus the GPS unit is truly ready to navigate and be fully used...

It's been a long time ago (5 years), but thinking back on it I guess when the unit was new it was indeed fast to start-up....and maybe it just got slower and slower over time. Or, then again, maybe there is a voltage threshold that when a weak internal battery falls below a certain voltage threshold it triggers something that causes a full re-boot of sorts. Dunno...

I hope this further explanation helps.

PS - The battery was very easy to replace. It took me all of 15 minutes and I was very careful and took my time. You just need a T-5 Torx screw driver/wrench to remove the two case screws located at the bottom of the case under the Model/Serial Number label, a Size 000 Phillips screw driver to remove the circuit board mounting screws, and some sort of tool to pry open the snap type case.

Note: Not everyone may have a tiny T-5 Torx screw driver bit/wrench since a T-5 is so small. A small set of Torx screw driver bits/wrenches that includes the needed T-5 size are readily available for $3 to $6 from places like The Home Depot, Harbor Freight Tools, Lowes Hardware, Sears, Radio Shack, etc.

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For convenience:

Here is a 23-Piece Precision Screwdriver Set for $3.88 that is usually in-stock (even though it says 'Out of stock - Online') at The Home Depot, which includes a T-5 Torx bit:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-Precision-Screwdriver-Set-23-...

Here is the Battery Plus website with the Garmin model ready to be chosen:
http://www.batteriesplus.com/models/583-0/5554-GPS-Battery/G...

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

I will have to try that as I

I will have to try that as I have the same problem. Thanks for the info!

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an94

Sourcing

Based on the fact that koot was able to get the battery at Batteries Plus (which is a store I use a lot). I did not make any comments on sources or instruction.

However we do have a FAQ
http://www.poi-factory.com/node/34618
that gives links to YouTube videos telling you haw to change a battery. These videos are from newpower99.com which sells "kits" for replacing lots of device batteries.

the one for koot would have been on
http://www.newpower99.com/category_s/215.htm
(and search for 255)

Quote:

Garmin Nuvi 255W Battery Replacement Kit with Tools, Video Instructions, Extended Life Battery and Full One Year Warranty
List Price: $29.95
Our Price: $23.95
You save $6.00!

Replace your Garmin Nuvi 255W Battery or Keep an Extra Battery on hand as a backup. This is an Extended Capacity 1250 mAh, Lithium-Polymer Battery that offers up even more up time than your original. Works in your Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS. Simple, Easy and Inexpensive! You get a New Battery, an Installation Video, a FREE Torx and Shim Tool (necessary for installation), AND You also get a full ONE YEAR Money Back Guarantee exclusively when you purchase from us

Since the "kit" was $23.95 plus tax, the Batteries Plus option would be better - assuming they are in stock

jgermann - Thanks for the helpful information.

jgermann - Thanks for the helpful information. The battery I needed was indeed in-stock at two nearby Battery Plus locations that I checked. There are also other battery replacement stores around the country too, but of course some people live in areas in which they must order online because they don't have such stores nearby.

The 'kit' that NewPower99 offers online does come with a ~$4 Torx screw driver, which most people probably do not have on-hand. That makes the price for the NewPower99 kit about the same price as buying the battery from some place like Battery Plus and a T-5 Torx screw driver elsewhere.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

I highly recommend that you try this

an94 wrote:

I will have to try that as I have the same problem. Thanks for the info!

You are very welcome!

I highly recommend that you try this if you are having the same problem. I'm sure there are others here that would love to hear from someone else to confirm what I have experienced after replacing my original battery.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

Another source of battery with tools

koot wrote:

jgermann - Thanks for the helpful information. The battery I needed was indeed in-stock at two nearby Battery Plus locations that I checked. There are also other battery replacement stores around the country too, but of course some people live in areas in which they must order online because they don't have such stores nearby.

The 'kit' that NewPower99 offers online does come with a ~$4 Torx screw driver, which most people probably do not have on-hand. That makes the price for the NewPower99 kit about the same price as buying the battery from some place like Battery Plus and a T-5 Torx screw driver elsewhere.

My one and only battery replacement was from these folks and all worked well:

http://www.batteryship.com/htmlos/htmlos.cgi/batteryship/cat...

They may be a tad cheaper than other sources and are worth looking into. In my opinion, the plastic pry tool is as important as the proper wrench. Without a plastic pry tool, be very careful not to damage the front and back case halves as you pry them apart.

It gets even better!

When I went out to dinner this evening I wanted to check two things; (1) check once again how long it took to get the 'Agree' message on the screen, which has been ~14-16 seconds since replacing the internal battery, and (2) check how quickly the unit acquired the satellites after receiving the 'Agree' message - something I had not done previously. The last time the car was driven was 7+ hours.

Here are the results:
Upon turning On the ignition (which provided the unit external 12 volts from the car) I timed how long it took to get the 'Agree' message on the screen, which was a new record low time - just ~11 seconds! And as soon as I got the 'Agree' message on the screen I tapped 'OK' and looked to see that the unit had acquired the satellites and all strength bars were green. The unit was fully ready to use in literally just 12 seconds - ~11 seconds (this time) to get the 'Agree' message and another split second to hit OK to clear the 'Agree' message from the screen and get to the main screen for use. Pretty amazing!

I personally do not remember it ever being this fast, even when new. (Maybe some software updates along the way has now helped speed the start-up, which was not noticeable with a weak internal battery prior to replacing the battery.) Maybe the unit will start-up a bit slower in cold winter temperatures, but an ~11 second cold-start after 7+ hours of down time is pretty dang good! And here I've been patiently waiting for ~2-3 minutes or longer for the unit to cold start for years - thinking it was normal protocol because I had so many Extra POIs loaded. Now I know that is not the case...

Anyway...I think people get the gist of what was done and the vast improvement it made.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

Cache

Could also be that a "Real" "Cold" start, by removing the battery, cleaned out a cache or did some other housekeeping.

It's been recommended here before to remove the battery and then re-install after a few minutes to do a true hard start to fix a problem.

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Metricman Nuvi 660, GTM-20 Traffic Receiver Nuvi 3597 GTM-60 Traffic Receiver Williamsburg, VA

@koot...

Just for a point of reference, slow startups on the nuvi with a very slow progress bar have been traced (for a fact, on my end as well as others in numerous other forums) to a full trip log on the device. BUT, the slowness was when connecting the unit to the PC. I don't remember if this behavior also applied to simply powering the unit on while in the car. It could very well be the case, especially on the older models.

I also know that replacing the battery on a nuvi in effect will "hard reset" it and likely clear the trip log.

Perhaps this is why your unit is now booting very quickly...with a full trip log, the device will take approx the amount of time you mentioned (sometimes up to 3-4 minutes) to boot up...the trip log is read and parsed/validated in some way...the larger the trip log, the longer the boot time. The newer models dump the trip log periodically to an archive folder to prevent this. The older models needed to have the trip log cleared manually to prevent this.

Just throwing this out as I said for a reference point.

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nuvi 760, nuvi 765T, nuvi 855, nuvi 3790LMT, nuvi 3490LMT - SoCal area

Good information

DorkusNimrod - Good information about the trip log. That may indeed have had an effect on my [previous] start-up time. But in my case the slow start-up time was not when connecting the unit to the PC - it was under normal use conditions in the car with external power. Regardless, the original internal battery needed to be replaced...and that somehow helped the start-up time in a tremendous way. That new battery may have refreshed the unit with a hard reboot that helped the start-up time, and/or cleared the trip log or done something else to help.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

It could have...

metricman wrote:

Could also be that a "Real" "Cold" start, by removing the battery, cleaned out a cache or did some other housekeeping.

It's been recommended here before to remove the battery and then re-install after a few minutes to do a true hard start to fix a problem.

It could have...

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

an94 - Can you clear your unit's trip log to see if it helps?

an94 (and others) - Since you are also experiencing a slow start-up (but have not replaced your internal battery yet) can you try what DorkusNimrod suggested (below) by clearing your unit's Trip Log to see if the start-up time improves any? That will be easy to do and give us some input on whether a sizable amount of old data in the Trip Log files may be a cause for the unit being slow to start-up. It would be nice to have a time comparison of before vs. after clearing the Trip Log. (Tools > My Data > Clear Trip Log)

Note: Your internal battery may still need to be replaced, but clearing the Trip Log may provide some good input and a new metric of determining what the causes are for slow start-ups.

an94 wrote:

I will have to try that as I have the same problem. Thanks for the info!

DorkusNimrod wrote:

Just for a point of reference, slow startups on the nuvi with a very slow progress bar have been traced (for a fact, on my end as well as others in numerous other forums) to a full trip log on the device. BUT, the slowness was when connecting the unit to the PC. I don't remember if this behavior also applied to simply powering the unit on while in the car. It could very well be the case, especially on the older models.

I also know that replacing the battery on a nuvi in effect will "hard reset" it and likely clear the trip log.

Perhaps this is why your unit is now booting very quickly...with a full trip log, the device will take approx the amount of time you mentioned (sometimes up to 3-4 minutes) to boot up...the trip log is read and parsed/validated in some way...the larger the trip log, the longer the boot time. The newer models dump the trip log periodically to an archive folder to prevent this. The older models needed to have the trip log cleared manually to prevent this.

Just throwing this out as I said for a reference point.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...

It would be much appreciated if some people

It appears that DorkusNimrod may be right about clearing the Trip Log helping with start-up time. With a bit of research I learned that the Trip Log stores or archives a tremendous amount of trip data history, which is probably useless to most people. But more important to the topic being discussed here is that this Trip Log data history almost certainly slows the start-up process of Garmin GPS devices.

Note: "A Garmin can store 10,000 points before it begins the process of archiving additional logs.1 Beyond 10,000 points the device moves the oldest trip data into an internal archive file. Up to 20 archive files can be stored internally on the device. This means, depending on space available, the device can store over 200,000 points of trip data."

That's a LOT of data!!! Can it slow the start-up process? It sure looks like it is a culprit!!!

Here are the simple instructions of how to clear the Trip Log on various Garmin devices:
http://support.garmin.com/support/searchSupport/case.faces?c...

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It would be much appreciated if some people would clear their Trip Log data and then post a quick message here to report their findings if clearing the Trip Log data helped speed up the start-up of their Garmin GPS unit.

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Politicians and Diapers must be changed often for the exact same reason...